The 2012 Camping Season Starts Early in Arizona

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Fred and Suzi Dow, authors and publishers of, recognize notable National Forest campgrounds in Arizona.

Tent camping at Ten-X campground

Tent camping at Ten-X campground

The 2012 camping season starts early in Arizona. Warm days and cool nights, combined with Arizona’s diverse landscape and spectacular scenery, provide a wide range of camping experiences to campers each Spring. There are great national forest campgrounds in Arizona and here are some the authors of the website have enjoyed.

● Bonito campground, in the Coconino National Forest, is east of Flagstaff, west of Sunset Crater Volcano and south of the Wupatki National Monuments. Almost in the shadow of the San Francisco Mountains and with flush toilets, groundcover of colorful cinders, and generous campsites, makes Bonito campground an excellent base camp for exploring the community of Flagstaff, neighboring national monuments, or Coconino’s many natural features. Towering Ponderosa pines cast long shadows, offering pleasant shade, and reminding visitors there’s more to Arizona than deserts.

● Little Elden Springs Horse Camp, also in the Coconino National Forest, has lots to offer equestrian campers especially an extensive network of trails. The trail system is designed to be used by all levels of equestrians, as well as mountain bikers and hikers. The basic amenities of piped water, vaults, highlines and ample room for corrals are welcomed by equestrian campers.

● Cochise Stronghold campground, in the Coronado National Forest, is a place of history. In the mid-1800s, a band of Chiricahua Apache, lead by Cochise, sought shelter and peace here. The tall surrounding bluffs provided natural lookouts for sharp eyed warriors and protection from the elements. A self-guided interpretative trail offers information about the plants the Chiricahuas used for food and clothing. The campsites are scattered among boulders shaded by native oak trees and fancifully shaped rocks. One feels the presence of past inhabitants here.

● Ten-X campground, in the Kaibab National Forest, is a perfect place to enjoy the Grand Canyon National Park - South Rim. An alternative to high density national park campgrounds, the campground has spacious campsites that are shaded, level, and will accommodate any size RV. Plus, it is convenient to several nearby businesses, diners, and motels.

● DeMotte and Jacob Lake campgrounds, also in the Kaibab National Forest, are on the the Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim and well situated for exploring the area. At 1,000 feet above the campgrounds on the South Rim, temperatures are cooler. DeMotte, closest to the Park and at the edge of a huge mountain meadow, is outstanding for wildlife viewing. Jacob Lake campground, farther from the Park, is popular for daytrips to see the wonders of the North Rim. Off US Rt. 89 Alternative, and in the little community of Jacob Lake, this campground often fills with recreational vehicles.

● Fool Hollow Lake campground in the Sitgeavers National Forest was developed in partnership with the Forest Service, Arizona State Parks, Game and Fish, and the city of Show Low. It offers full hook-ups, some sites with only water and electric, and others with no hook-ups. Resort-like, it is close enough to town for a cook’s night out. The campground sits on the banks of the 149-acre Fool Hollow Lake and has a 0.75-mile family-friendly paved hiking trail.

● Tortilla campground, in the Tonto National Forest, is the only campground in the Forest Service inventory with water and sewer hook-ups - a unique combination. Located at the beginning of the Apache Trail scenic drive, in the tiny community of Tortilla Flats, the drive ends at Roosevelt Lake and Dam. After Tortilla Flats, the dirt roadway is well-maintained and not suitable for recreational vehicles.

About, the U.S. National Forest Campground Guide, is a complete and comprehensive guide to developed campgrounds in national forests and grasslands. It provides detailed information to campers looking to experience the great outdoors.

Fred and Suzi Dow, authors and publishers of, have devoted 17 years to visiting, personally researching, and providing the public with Free, detailed information about 175 national forests and grasslands and over 2,400 personally surveyed campgrounds. focuses exclusively on national forests and grasslands and the camping available in them. In addition to developing and managing the website, the Dows also self-publish Ebook CDs and downloads of eleven U.S. National Forest Campground Guides, organized by geographic region and one Guide for the U.S.


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