Essential RV Arizona:
The Top 10 Destinations
in the Grand Canyon State
by Jake Poinier
The Valley of the Sun
With a hip restaurant scene, almost 200 golf courses, four major league sports teams, world-class museums, and a full year-round calendar of events, the Greater Phoenix area has become much more than a winter tourist destination in the past 20 years.
Like its recreation options, Phoenix has a wide range of options for RV camping. Some of the notable choices include Desert Shadows RV Resort in north Phoenix, featuring more than 600 campsites with full hookups and a heated pool, and Eagle View RV Resort at Fort McDowell—a luxury home base that’s adjacent to a casino and the renowned We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, and a fantastic jumping off point for exploring the city as well as nearby wilderness.
Red Rock Country
Sedona’s red sandstone formations are the definition of photogenic—glowing brilliant orange and red in the sun, crisscrossed with miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. You can catch the views at local breweries, cafés and restaurants, and shop till you drop at uptown Sedona’s galleries and gift shops.
Rancho Sedona RV Park ranks among the favorite RV parks in Arizona, whether you want to hang out and enjoy the amenities or explore the nearby terrain. Just south of town, Zane Grey RV Village is another full-service park that’s a perfect base of operations for a Sedona adventure.
Life at 7,000 Feet
You can’t put a single descriptor on the town of Flagstaff. It’s a longtime high-altitude summer escape from the heat of Phoenix—with a hopping culinary and microbrew scene—as well as a destination for excellent downhill and cross-country skiing during the winter. As home to Northern Arizona University, Flag also has that laid-back college town vibe.
Flagstaff KOA, with a huge array of adult and kid-friendly amenities, ranks among the best KOA campgrounds in Arizona—with more than 200 campsites. If you’re willing to make a bit of a drive, Meteor Crater RV park is about a half hour outside of town and a place to get an up-close view of the best-preserved meteorite impact site on the planet, created by an asteroid about 50,000 years ago.
Natural Wonder of the World
Spanning nearly 300 miles of the winding Colorado River and cutting a mile deep into the earth, the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most famous natural monuments and favorite places for hiking and photography.
As a popular tourist destination, the Grand Canyon provides lots of options for RVers. The Mather Campground and Desert View Campground are among the most popular, but an interesting alternative to consider is the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park in nearby Williams, AZ. Here, you have easy access to the Grand Canyon Railway that takes you straight to the national park—and there’s even a pet resort to take care of Fido or Fifi while you’re out exploring.
Arizona’s Winter Gem
Over the years, Quartzsite has earned a reputation as a rite of passage for RVers—transforming into a bustling city of 2 million sun-seekers each winter. In addition to hiking, cycling and off-roading, events include the Quartzsite RV Show in January, flea markets, and gem and mineral shows throughout the season.
Because much of the surrounding area is federally operated BLM land, there are numerous free camping areas, including the La Posa Long Term Visitor Area. There are dozens of paid RV campgrounds as well: Hassler’s RV Park, American Trails RV Park, Kofa Mountain RV Park, and 88 Shades RV Park, among countless others.
Bridge to Recreation
Beaches probably aren’t the first geographical feature you think of when it comes to Arizona, but that’s exactly what Lake Havasu City delivers. This large reservoir sits on the California border, providing ample opportunities for freshwater fishing or simply exploring the waters by boat, kayak or paddleboard. It’s also a must to visit the original London Bridge, which was purchased and shipped to Lake Havasu City when the bridge was replaced in 1968.
The campground at Lake Havasu State Park offers campsites set among small trees right in front of a beautiful stretch of soft-sand beach, with stunning views of the lake and hills. Campbell Cove RV Resort and Crazy Horse Campgrounds are two of the private options available.
Organ Pipe National Monument
This 517-square mile park, set aside to preserve the northernmost natural habitat of the Organ Pipe cactus, includes plenty of hiking trails, scenic drives, and native desert wilderness.
The Twin Peaks Campground, the monument’s main campground, has 208 campsites but no hookups. For more amenities, a better bet is to stay at the Ajo Heights RV Park.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
A Glimpse into History
Montezuma Castle is one of the four original national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt on December 8, 1906. Built by the Sinagua people between 1100 and 1425 AD, these ancient limestone cliff dwellings soar five stories high above the desert floor.
Nearby Distant Drums RV Resort consistently ranks among Northern Arizona’s premier RV resorts, with paved roads, a heated pool and spa, and full hookup sites—with the added benefit of being in Arizona’s wine country, if you’re looking for additional activities.
Epic Views, Night and Day
During the day at Monument Valley, expert Navajo tours can take you into the heart of the backcountry for an intimate view of dwellings, petroglyphs and pictographs, and natural geological features. At night, the stargazing is unparalleled, thanks to the remote location.
For RVs, the View Campground at Monument Valley has sites that feature the best sunset views of Monument Valley. While they’re dry sites with no hookups, the views are worth every bit of the extra planning required.
Water Recreation Galore
Located on the Colorado River between Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell is the second-largest manmade reservoir in the United States. The scenic canyons are tailor-made for every kind of water recreation, from fishing to jet skiing, or simply exploring.
On land, there are numerous camping and RV options throughout the area. If you’re looking on the rustic side, Lone Rock Beach Primitive Camping may be just the ticket. For those looking for more facilities, the Wahweap RV & Campground offers 112 dry campsites (no hook-ups) as well as 139 sites with full hook-ups—and all the amenities you could need, such as restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings and/or grills, dump station, coin-operated laundry and showers at store, and potable water.