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10 Best Places to Go Boondocking in Arizona

10 Best Places to Go Boondocking in Arizona

Are you interested in boondocking in Arizona? If so, you’re in luck. There are countless places to boondock in the Grand Canyon State due to its vast public lands, beautiful landscapes, and many national parks and monuments. Arizona is a fantastic place to spend your winter. Below we discuss everything you need to know about boondocking and the top 10 places to boondock in Arizona. Let’s get started!

What Is Boondocking? 

Boondocking is dry, dispersed camping. You usually boondock on public lands or another free, public location. Boondockers go without hookups or other amenities and survive on the resources they brought with them.

Boondocking typically involves camping in a self-contained vessel like an RV, van, or converted school bus.

New to boondocking? Start here: Important Things To Know Before Going Boondocking

Is Boondocking Dangerous? 9 Frightening and Odd Boondocking Experiences In 5 Years Full-time RV Life

Like anywhere, boondocking is legal as long as you find the right places to camp. Most Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land allows dispersed camping for up to 14 days. Unless otherwise noted, it’s perfectly legal to camp on this public land for free.

Never camp on public property unless you have specific permission from the owner. This includes businesses, personal property, and even vast farmland. When in doubt, move on to a place you’re sure about.

Find out more about the rules of boondocking before you head out.

Can You Just Camp Anywhere in Arizona? 

While you may have heard that you can practically pull off anywhere and boondock in Arizona, this is simply not true. Yes, there are many areas where BLM land is abundant, and it feels like you can camp just about anywhere, but you should always make sure camping is permitted before deciding to spend the night.  

There are some great resources to help you find legal boondocking spots, which we’ve shared in our article about Best Boondocking Apps and Websites for Amazing Free Camping. These apps and websites indicate where you can find free camping and show reviews from other travelers. 

Top Tips for Preparing to Go Off-Grid "Boondocking" in an RV - Mondays with the Mortons

10 Best Places to Go Boondocking in Arizona

Here are the 10 best places for boondocking in Arizona. All of these spots feature gorgeous and secluded dispersed camping.

1. Plomosa Road Dispersed Camping in Quartzsite

Address: 33.856, -114.0433

About: Plomosa Road is an isolated, quiet place to stay just north of Quartzsite, Ariz. Like most BLM land, you’re allowed to stay for a maximum of 14 days. You’ll just need to register with the camp host once you get there. 

Why You’ll Love It: Are you looking for a peaceful place to unwind? Maybe you want to explore Quartzsite without camping among a sea of other RVs. If so, this is the spot for you.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10

2. Castle Dome Dispersed Camping in Yuma

Address: 33.0354, -114.1815

About: This site lies within the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge north of Yuma. You won’t need a permit, but campers report the sound of distant explosions (apparently, it’s close to a military testing ground). This is an otherwise peaceful spot for boondocking in Arizona.

Why You’ll Love It: This is a free, secluded spot surrounded by pristine nature. You’ll be able to visit both Yuma and Quartzsite from this location. But are less than an hour away.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10

Small camper boondocking.
Boondocking is a safe and unique experience to participate in while exploring Arizona.

3. The Steps Dispersed Camping in Lake Havasu

Address: 34.3336, -114.136

About: You’re allowed to stay 14 days at this spot with a permit. This is a great spot close to Lake Havasu City, AZ with plenty of room for rigs of any size. Just be careful turning off the busy road into the dispersed camping area.

Why You’ll Love It: If you’re looking for more interesting scenery than southern Arizona’s same old flat gravel, just go up to Lake Havasu City. This area has interesting rock formations that make for a beautiful camping experience, especially while the sun is setting.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10

4. Forest Road 171 Dispersed Camping in Flagstaff

Address: 35.2614, -111.8324

About: Located in Coconino National Forest, there are plenty of spots to choose from that will accommodate rigs of any size. Reviewers report decent cell phone coverage with the major carriers. This site is open seasonally.

Why You’ll Love It: This is a fantastic spot if you want to explore Flagstaff, Sedona, and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Couple that with the fact it’s absolutely beautiful here, and this just might be the perfect spot to camp.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 10/10

Pro Tip: Ready to explore the Grand Canyon? Find out How to Plan an Epic RV Trip to the Grand Canyon.

People boondocking in Arizona.
Stay close to the Grand Canyon while boondocking in Arizona.

5. Forest Road 305 Dispersed Camping Outside Entrance of Grand Canyon

Address: 35.8426, -112.1266

About: This awesome spot is located in Kaibab National Forest. You’ll be able to boondock in Arizona for 14 days in this beautiful, secluded area. T-Mobile users tend to get the best cell service here.

Why You’ll Love It: Forest Road 305 Dispersed is close to the Grand Canyon. It’s beautiful and secluded. Reviewers love this dusty but peaceful location.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

6. Loy Butte Road Dispersed Camping in Sedona

Address: 34.8681, -111.9039

About: If you’re interested in seeing the stunning landscapes of Sedona, this spot is for you. While this spot accommodates larger rigs, be careful on your drive in. The road is rough, and the pads are dirt.

Why You’ll Love It: This part of Arizona is gorgeous. The stunning red rock formations make for a beautiful camping experience. Plus, you’ll be close to Sedona. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10

The Mortons sitting on top of their RV
Spend 14 days boondocking throughout Arizona.

7. Punkin Center Dispersed Camping in Tonto National Forest

Address: 33.8846, -111.2578

Website

About: Punkin Center is another great place to stay northeast of Phoenix. Located in Tonto National Forest, it has sparse cell coverage but lovely views. Beware of the noise on the weekends.

Why You’ll Love It: Tonto National Forest is beautiful and secluded. You’ll be miles away from any large cities and surrounded by stunning deserts. Get ready for some amazing sunsets. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

RV boondocking in Arizona desert
Become one with the cacti in Arizona.

8. Darby Well Road Dispersed Camping in Ajo

Address: 32.3393, -112.8495

About: Located right outside of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, you’ll find plenty of spots to park your rig among the cacti. The pads are gravel, and there’s some cell coverage, but don’t count on it for work.

Why You’ll Love It: Fellow travelers leave rave reviews about this location. You’ll find secluded and beautiful boondocking in Arizona here. This is a great place to stay while you visit the nearby national monument. 

Morton Road Trip Rating: 9/10

Pro Tip: There are things you learn after boondocking for a while. Here are our 40 RV Boondocking Tips To Make Your Off-Grid Camping Better.

9. Forest Road 687 Dispersed Camping in Tombstone

Address: 31.8557, -110.0084

About: Located in Coronado National Forest, you’ll find vast amounts of primitive dispersed camping here. And although this spot is popular, you can create a private campsite of your own. Just be careful driving in. It’s about a 10-mile drive, and the road is very bumpy. 

Why You’ll Love It: You’ll love this spot because it’s located next to one of the most unique towns in Arizona. Visiting Tombstone is like walking into an old western movie.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 8/10

RV parked by cacti.
Explore all of the national parks, monuments, and unique towns in Arizona.

10. Redington Pass Dispersed Camping in Tucson

Address: 32.2555, -110.6622

About: Redington Pass Dispersed Camping lies in Coronado National Forest. This is a great spot if you want to be within driving distance of Tucson, but campers report it being a bit noisy, especially during the day. The road is pretty rough driving in, as well, but once you get there, you’ll find amazing views. 

Why You’ll Love It: This spot is great because of its proximity to Tucson and its beautiful views of the city. There are also some great hikes in the area.

Morton Road Trip Rating: 7/10

Boondock in Arizona

Boondocking in Arizona is amazing. With so much public land, there are endless places to camp for free. Are you interested in visiting the many national parks, monuments, and unique towns that Arizona has to offer? Chances are you’ll be able to find a great boondocking site nearby.

What are the best places you’ve stayed in Arizona? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jim

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

Thank you for all the information you share. I'm looking for a small 5th wheel, one slide-out or even none. Less than 10 years old. Any ideas gratefully accepted. Thanks, Jim

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

You may want to look for one of the small 5th wheels we mention in this article: https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/fantastic-small-5th-wheels/ Then, if you find a model you like, we recommend browsing sites like RV trader or Facebook Marketplace for used units.

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