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Old 01-22-2023, 01:36 PM   #1
DT6
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Southern Arizona

We will be traveling from Salem Oregon down to Oceanside CA, then to Las Vegas for a Senior Mens Baseball Tournament, then from there to Arizona for a few weeks or more, then home.

We have plans pretty much set for California and Nevada, but are looking for any suggestions people have for Arizona, particularly Southern Arizona.

Suggestions on campgrounds are appreciated (hookups or not as are setup to boondock and are also eligible for military campgrounds), but we are really looking for suggestions on "must see" or "fun to see and do" things. Outside of the Grand Canyon, which is in Northern Arizona, we have not seen much of the state.
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Old 01-22-2023, 03:13 PM   #2
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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

I am currently at the Twin Peaks campground at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I think this is the prettiest campground I've ever stayed in. There are over 200 sites, all of the RV sites are pull-thrus, and all have concrete pads. There are no hookups.

When are you going on your trip? I imagine it starts getting hot here in March, but I haven't checked the temperature records. Currently the highs are in the upper 50s - low 60s and the lows are in the mid-30s.
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Old 01-22-2023, 04:08 PM   #3
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It's a big state

Two favorites of mine are Gilbert Ray campground outside of Tucson. Easy access to the city, nearby local attractions. The Sonoran Desert Museum is nearly next door. Other attractions in that area are a retired Minuteman missile silo in Green Valley (sounds Dr. Strangelove weird, but it is historic and interesting) and Kitt Peak National Observatory.


The other favorite.
Yosemite of AZ. Interesting place, sweet camping spots.
https://www.visitarizona.com/like-a-...-creek-canyon/
A popular bird watching locale.

Kartchner Caverns, in the vicinity, is also pretty interesting. Camping there on site is available.
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Old 01-22-2023, 07:37 PM   #4
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I second Gilbert Ray but it's very popular and can only be booked a max of seven days. Last year our loop camp host full timed in a 19 and we averaged four Escapes every night there, the first week of February. Sites are smallish so you don't get the big rigs. No showers but big laundry size tubs and shower head for washing hair behind the restrooms. Great hiking nearby in Saguaro Nat. Park.
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Old 01-22-2023, 08:52 PM   #5
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I am currently at the Twin Peaks campground at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I think this is the prettiest campground I've ever stayed in. There are over 200 sites, all of the RV sites are pull-thrus, and all have concrete pads. There are no hookups.

When are you going on your trip? I imagine it starts getting hot here in March, but I haven't checked the temperature records. Currently the highs are in the upper 50s - low 60s and the lows are in the mid-30s.
Love the area, however and have stayed at Twin Peaks. What we like way better is Gunsight Wash BLM which you pass on your way in; maybe six miles?

Many here like Catalina SP in Oro Valley north of Tucson and that is nice if you can get a spot; we prefer a church parking we know of nearby.
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Old 01-22-2023, 11:21 PM   #6
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Rancho Sedona

For the magic that is the Sedona area, we stayed at Rancho Sedona RV park. It is within walking distance to shopping and the downtown strip, and is also in the trees and on Oak Creek. Hiking is amazing in Sedona, and it is hard to find an ugly area among the majestic red rocks. I would recommend a few days to get to see the area and do some great hikes.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:03 AM   #7
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Southern AZ

I agree with Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, great campground. Also enjoyed Patagonia Lake State Park.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:43 AM   #8
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Suggestions on campgrounds are appreciated (hookups or not as are setup to boondock and are also eligible for military campgrounds)
There is a big military campground at the air force base in Tucson. It has many sites with hookups and dozens of "overflow" sites for boondocking. I haven't tried it yet but I intend to in a few weeks. The campground isn't far from Saguaro National Park.
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Old 01-23-2023, 03:57 PM   #9
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Mayflower County Park (riverside county) is on the California bank of the Colorado a few miles north of Blythe. I've stayed there quite a few times when passing through...it's nice and the restrooms are pretty new. Kinda off the beaten path just enough. IIRC there's a good Indian restaurant in Blythe.

If you want to camp near Sedona I'd also recommend Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood. It's about 30 min from Sedona but there are lots of cool places near the park to check out. The small old time town of Jerome (that road not suitable for trailer) , Tuzigoot national monument, there's a train ride up and back the river canyon, an old copper smelting place turned into a very cool small museum, etc.
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Old 01-23-2023, 05:34 PM   #10
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Another Tucson area attraction

Another very interesting attraction is Biosphere 2, near Tucson. A remarkable facility built to test long term space travel methods and technology of supporting a crew of people for 1 year.

Catalina State Park is just down the road from Biosphere 2.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:37 AM   #11
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The small old time town of Jerome (that road not suitable for trailer).
We drove our 5.0 on 89A from Prescott through Jerome to Cottonwood and had no problem going through Jerome. Escape campers are wonderful in that respect. We’ll miss that ease of towing.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 01-24-2023, 10:45 AM   #12
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Agreed, we've towed through Jerome with our 21 at least five times easily.
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Old 01-24-2023, 10:56 AM   #13
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For Southern AZ: Pima Air and Space Museum (boneyard) - just south of Tucson, Kartchner Caverns is near and has good camping, and Fort Bowie/Apache Pass is nearby as well (nice hike). I'd skip Tombstone although it's okay, most people like Bisbee although I haven't been there personally.
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Old 01-24-2023, 10:56 AM   #14
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While towing through Jerome is OK for a small trailer even with the switchbacks in the middle of town, finding a place to park it if you want to stop (and I suggest you do) is tough. The view from the Haunted Hamburger is well worth a lunch stop:

More photos from Jerome (Scroll down).
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Old 01-24-2023, 11:51 AM   #15
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and so is the hamburger!

I second the recommendation for the Desert Museum, also made somewhere above. It's a very comprehensive mostly outdoor showcase for the desert and the inhabitants.
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:03 PM   #16
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I'd skip Tombstone although it's okay,
We have been wondering a bit about Tombstone. We love history, and were very disappointed when we visited Deadwood, SD last year. Thought we would be able to see a lot of history, but mostly the historical district there is now practically nothing but slot-machine filled stores. Was hoping to see the gunfight at the OK coral, but now questioning if it is worth it.

Quote:
towing through Jerome is OK for a small trailer even with the switchbacks in the middle of town,
Is the issue with the road that it is narrow with switch-backs or are there a lot of really high drop-offs? For some reason, I don't seem to do well these days with too many drop-offs and really tall bridges. It depends on the day and the road, but when the vertigo kicks in, I have a hard time with it and really have to slooow down.
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:49 PM   #17
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We have been wondering a bit about Tombstone. We love history, and were very disappointed when we visited Deadwood, SD last year. Thought we would be able to see a lot of history, but mostly the historical district there is now practically nothing but slot-machine filled stores. Was hoping to see the gunfight at the OK coral, but now questioning if it is worth it.
I'd say that it's worth it. Not a huge draw but worth seeing.

How times change. I was a little surprised to see that even in 1900 the public were invited to hangings.

Ron
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Old 01-24-2023, 02:48 PM   #18
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While there is an interesting museum in Tombstone, in my opinion the rest of the town is about the same as Deadwood.
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