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Old 10-17-2017, 03:08 AM   #1
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Camping & Touring in AZ

My wife & I would like to do some touring in Arizona this winter. A long while back I read an article about a North/South route that covered a lot of scenic territory. Stupidly, I did not clip it.

Our goals are 1st to get out and camp. We can do that in lower elevations during the winter. The N/S center of Az is about a day's drive for us - which is good because we have a maximum of 3 or 4 days per trip. We can hit the AZ border anywhere from the Mexican border on up to about the I40. The basic idea is to stay at a CG with hookups and drop the TT whilst we go scouting and sightseeing.

A 2nd goal is just to road trip and see some pretty scenery. How much altitude we can gain is limited by weather - I have no desire for snowy mountain driving or chances to hit ice.

A 3rd and important goal is to scope out boondock sites. Our preference is for trees and greenery rather than desert. We realize that the greener sites and routes may well have to wait until spring but we'd also like to get started on planning routes.

So, any help that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:43 PM   #2
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Which month of "winter" in Arizona are you planning to do your camping?

We have been in Arizona the past two winters and had a 90 degree day during President's Day week each year. We have been at some relatively high elevations that had no snow at that time of year, but we have also stayed considerably south of I-40, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon during those trips.

My recommendation would be to keep your planned route no further north than about Jerome, Sedona, and Globe. However, just by watching the weather closely during your trip, you might be able to stretch that quite a bit further north, no matter which month you are there.

There is a lot of BLM land in southern Arizona on which to boondock, but it is mostly desert, not forested mountains. We visited the Sonoran Desert National Monument along I-8 when we were staying in Casa Grande last winter and all of its camping is boondocking. But, again, it is desert camping, with some trees and hills, but no real mountains.

If you are going to be there in January, be sure to stop for a short boondocking stay at Quartzite just to be able to tell your RVing friends that you have been there. And if you are there in early February, don't miss the gem, mineral, bead, and fossil shows (plural, because they are all over the city) in Tucson.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:51 AM   #3
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We will go whenever my wife can get some time off work. I need to temper that statement much depends on my medical condition. I am facing some surgery for which option A will require a 2 - 4 month recovery, while option B is probably a 6 month recovery. Don't know, we'll know more in about 3 weeks.

Quartzite sounds interesting but probably isn't our "thing." I'm putting the Sonoran NM on the list of place to spend some time.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:20 PM   #4
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My wife & I would like to do some touring in Arizona this winter. A long while back I read an article about a North/South route that covered a lot of scenic territory. Stupidly, I did not clip it.

Our goals are 1st to get out and camp. We can do that in lower elevations during the winter. The N/S center of Az is about a day's drive for us - which is good because we have a maximum of 3 or 4 days per trip. We can hit the AZ border anywhere from the Mexican border on up to about the I40. The basic idea is to stay at a CG with hookups and drop the TT whilst we go scouting and sightseeing.

A 2nd goal is just to road trip and see some pretty scenery. How much altitude we can gain is limited by weather - I have no desire for snowy mountain driving or chances to hit ice.

A 3rd and important goal is to scope out boondock sites. Our preference is for trees and greenery rather than desert. We realize that the greener sites and routes may well have to wait until spring but we'd also like to get started on planning routes.

So, any help that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
I'm in the same boat, except I don't like developed sites too much...2 many people. I'm getting my A-FRAME in a few weeks & would love to take it on a trip. Let me know if you find anything.
I'm in chandler, where are you?
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:20 AM   #5
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:41 AM   #6
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hi! we live in payson which is nearly in the center of Arizona. here are some north south routes from flagstaff to the phoenix area. through oak creek canyon to Sedona I think the road is hwy 89 (not sure about the number). from Sedona you could connect to interstate 17 to phoenix or go west to cottonwood, Jerome, prescott. the direct route is interstate 17. from flagstaff go south and take lake mary road to where it connects to hwy 87 at clints well. then take 87 south to mesa. 87 north would take you to where it connects to interstate 40 at hobrook. both the oak creek canyon route to Sedona and the lake mary road / hwy 87 are very scenic routes. interstate 17 has some nice view also, especially of the verde valley. places to visit would be Jerome, cottonwood, Sedona, prescott. there is a natural weather boundary called the mongollon rim that basically runs east west across the state. it is the drop off from the Colorado plateau. on top of this plateau you will have much colder (freezing) weather with snow. elevations can be in the 7,000 foot range. this would apply to places like flagstaff, William, grand canyon, page. the rim drops off nearly vertical for about 1500 feet. below it are places like Sedona, cottonwood, camp verde, and payson. these places are much more temperate. they do get snow and they do freeze occasionally at night. where we live in payson the elevation is 5,000 feet and any snow is usually gone in a day or so. there are a tremendous number of camp sites in the areas I have mentioned from full hook up rv parks to forest service and state campgrounds to wide open boondocking sites. there are rv's coming up through payson from phoenix all year long! come and enjoy yourself!
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:24 PM   #7
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Well, thank you very much. Will have to overlay your words on a map. Just put the TT in for warranty work and have some time.

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Old 11-07-2017, 01:42 PM   #8
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Hi,

Depending on the size of your rig, the road between Jerome and Prescott might be a challenge, with narrow and tight turns in places.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:49 PM   #9
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Not only narrow, but some have some low rock overhangs. A friend recently shaved the top of her rig by taking the curve a bit on the inside, due to oncoming traffic too close to the centerline.
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:15 PM   #10
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Hi,

Depending on the size of your rig, the road between Jerome and Prescott might be a challenge, with narrow and tight turns in places.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
Good and important to know. Thanks for the heads up!
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