Arizona Camping Suggestions

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CHILL907

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So me and my family are new to Phoenix and will be moving into our new house just before Christmas. We won't be setting up a tree or decorating at all and I was thinking I needed to come up with something exciting for my family this year. I suggested we go camping and spend Christmas in the great outdoors. My wife loved the idea so now the question is where do I take them? I would love feedback!
 

Rogue Beardsman

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When I lived in Tempe I went out to the four peaks wilderness area a few times. You can go google it for trail options to find what your looking for. There are some main trails that aren't too bad and go up into the mountains. I usually would just pick random rights and lefts until i found a spot furthest from people hahah.
Theres a lot in that whole national forest area. It might even be nice and cool in december!
 
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Rogue Beardsman

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Oh and just a warning. I know sometimes people like to go out that way for target shooting so just keep that in mind when picking out a camp spot. Most people take care to pick spots away from roads and other campsites and shoot toward dirt mounds. But not everyone learned proper handling and shooting of firearms.
 

CHILL907

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Oh and just a warning. I know sometimes people like to go out that way for target shooting so just keep that in mind when picking out a camp spot. Most people take care to pick spots away from roads and other campsites and shoot toward dirt mounds. But not everyone learned proper handling and shooting of firearms.
Good to know! Bullets flying through camp is not the kind of excitement I'm looking for!
 
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Gunnermoose

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@CHILL907, I guess welcome to the valley of the sun. You have already found the AZ Overlanders thread. Also lookup AZ Overlanders on meetup. We try to do a monthly trail run and camping trip, next one is the weekend of 17 December (i think). Chris (1Louder) and I are headed to Moab 26 Dec - 1 Jan to run the White Rim Trail. Taking a few other locals with us. I second @Jensen Cole Mason warning about our local morons. They get so focused on what they are doing they get tunnel vision to the world around. During the winter, the local desert is a great place to go. There are plenty of areas around Montana Mountain and the Florence area that is close to home. Pretty busy though. Pick up a book called Guide to Arizona Backroads and 4-Wheel_Drive trails by Charles A. Wells ( i think the newest is the 2nd edition). Most of the areas that have trails are also great areas to camp. During the summer, you definitely want to head north!

At some point in February I am sure we will run and camp on the El Camino del Diablo. Pretty fun trail with plenty to see. Need 2 nights for sure and you will still feel rushed. It runs from the town of Ajo, AZ to Yuma, AZ just north of the border with Mexico.
 
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CHILL907

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Peoria, AZ
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@CHILL907, I guess welcome to the valley of the sun. You have already found the AZ Overlanders thread. Also lookup AZ Overlanders on meetup. We try to do a monthly trail run and camping trip, next one is the weekend of 17 December (i think). Chris (1Louder) and I are headed to Moab 26 Dec - 1 Jan to run the White Rim Trail. Taking a few other locals with us. I second @Jensen Cole Mason warning about our local morons. They get so focused on what they are doing they get tunnel vision to the world around. During the winter, the local desert is a great place to go. There are plenty of areas around Montana Mountain and the Florence area that is close to home. Pretty busy though. Pick up a book called Guide to Arizona Backroads and 4-Wheel_Drive trails by Charles A. Wells ( i think the newest is the 2nd edition). Most of the areas that have trails are also great areas to camp. During the summer, you definitely want to head north!

At some point in February I am sure we will run and camp on the El Camino del Diablo. Pretty fun trail with plenty to see. Need 2 nights for sure and you will still feel rushed. It runs from the town of Ajo, AZ to Yuma, AZ just north of the border with Mexico.
All great feedback, thanks! I did pick up the Guide to Arizona Backroads and have been glancing through it. We're thinking of checking out north of Lake Pleasant.
 

Gunnermoose

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All great feedback, thanks! I did pick up the Guide to Arizona Backroads and have been glancing through it. We're thinking of checking out north of Lake Pleasant.
That's a good area and Crown King area is nice. It can get real crowded on the weekends. I would just say get out and start exploring. There is a good guide on old mines and ghosts towns also. Vulture mine outside of Wickenburg is a cool area.
 

mase001

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Don't write off the high Country either. Flagstaff, Sedona, Pinetop, Greer etc are all great places in the summer!
 

Radiola

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Just wanted to chime in from Southeast AZ. don't miss Mt Graham, the Chiricahuas or Reef Townsite up the hill from Sierra Vista I also just remembered that there's a really need place near Mt Graham called Black Hills Rockhound Area where you can just go and pick up Fire Agate off the ground and there is even camping there I have linked the BLM page : https://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/recreation/rockhnd/locations/blk_hills.html
 
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Contributor I

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If you're heading north uptown flagstaff and pull off at stoneman lake rd, head north for a few miles and find any forest rd that heads east and take that over in to the buckhorn mtn area, you won't be disappointed.
 
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AZ_4Runner

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One of my favorite spots is the Mogollon Rim. There are paid campsites with all the amenities or you can keep travelling and there is some cool off roading you can do to get to camp sites that are out in the woods with no bathrooms or hookups. If you'd like more info I can post the .KMZ files so you can look at them. They are also near lakes that are stocked with fish. On holiday weekends it can get a little crowded with people in ATV's and those side-by-sides but you can find spots that are a little more isolated. It's nice to be around sites that have bathrooms/showers if you wanted them.
 

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