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article imageOp-Ed: 4 great camping destinations in Arizona

By Daniel Taibleson     Mar 25, 2014 in Travel
Arizona offers the intrepid outdoors enthusiast high adventure in one of the most environmentally diverse places on the planet.
From scorching deserts to high plains, snowy mountains to deep pine forests, pristine lakes to deep barren canyons, the Grand Canyon State has an experience for every taste. Encompassing almost 114,000 square miles, yet with a population of only 6,500,000 inhabitants, it’s one of the last places in the nation where you can truly get lost and get away from it all.
Although Arizona has always been known for copper and silver mines and its vast cattle ranches, most of the state’s economy is driven by tourism and its natural environment. It’s no surprise that the state takes its accommodations very seriously and offers some of the nicest camping spots to be found in the country. Here are some of the best destinations if you’re planning on following Route 66 or the old Santa Fe Trail into the southwestern wilds of Arizona:
Buck Farm Overlook
If you’re going to take in the Grand Canyon while you’re in Arizona, take a trip off the beaten path and check into this isolated and very private campground. But be prepared, you’ll have to traverse 23 miles of rough dirt road to get there, and when you do, the camping is strictly of the primitive sort. But it’s also free, and the spectacular views out over Marble Canyon and the fantastic hiking make it worth a little inconvenience. Whitewater rafting and mule rides into the canyon are close at hand.
Photo of Marble Canyone by brewbooks via Flickr
Apache Lake
If you’re looking for something a little closer to civilization, then Apache Lake and the Crabtree Wash Recreation Site is just outside of Phoenix. With several lakes nearby, there are plenty of water sports, including swimming, boating and fishing, in addition to some gorgeous canyon and desert scenery. And it’s cheap; just $6 per day to camp.
Photo by mirage1210 via Flickr
Burro Creek
If you’d like to try your hand at some prospecting and maybe strike it rich, or if you just want to find some semiprecious stones, Burro Creek is your destination. The spot takes its name from its population of wild burros introduced in the 19th century. But if you like your ride a little more modern, bring along your ATV for some great trails. If you're going to ride, some of the trails are highly technical, make sure you visit an ATV shop before your trip to gear up on safety equipment! You’ll find this great campground just north of the Joshua Tree Forest on State Rd. 93.
Photo by Tombothetominator via Flickr
Sinkhole Campground
If the desert is not for you and you’d like to get up into the high country ponderosa pine forests, then the Sinkhole Campground in Sitgreaves National Forest in northern Arizona is ideal. This campground is close to Willow Springs Lake, with its excellent water-borne activities, and also the General Crook National Recreation Trail, which is known for its great hiking and mountain biking. But be careful, there must be a sinkhole around there somewhere.
Photo by cogdogblog via Flickr
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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