RV camping with kids creates family memories and instills a love of nature in the next generation. The State of Arizona is a favorite with families who camp, thanks to the wide range of outdoor experiences available. Here’s our list of six outstanding places to camp with the kids in Arizona.
Buckskin Mountain State Park, south of Lake Havasu on the Colorado River, will welcome your family with roomy riverside campsites and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Outdoor recreation the kids will enjoy includes several scenic trails, water sports (boat launch is located near the campground), fishing, swimming and photographing desert wildlife. There’s also a convenient market on-site to make your family camping vacation even easier.
Homolovi State Park, on Hwy 40 at Winslow, can kick-start your kids’ interest in Native American history. The park protects the 14th century ruins of Homolovi, once inhabited by the Anasazi and considered sacred by the Hopi people.
Your family can learn more about the history and culture of this special place while camping there, thanks to the museum and visitor center with displays about on-going archaeological research. Another way this park will entertain and amaze the kids is with outstanding stargazing opportunities. Check the Homolovi SP website for special ‘star night parties’ throughout the year.
Before we move on to our next Arizona family camping spot, here’s a tip for parents: most Arizona state parks participate in the Junior Ranger program. Kids complete the activity book while visiting a state park and can then be sworn in to the Junior Ranger program by a Park Ranger.
Lost Dutchman State Park, east of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, offers camping in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains, and a whole lot more, for your family’s entertainment. From hiking trails through the rugged beauty of the high desert to nearby Apache Junction, complete with ghost town, cowboy shows and other Western-themed entertainment, Lost Dutchman can be the epicenter for a memorable camping vacation.
Ranger-led nature walks and demonstrations can inspire your youngsters to explore the desert habitat more deeply, and the stargazing opportunities are excellent here, as well. This park’s roomy campsites welcome your largest rental RV, so bring the whole family and enjoy the unique experience of camping in the Sonoran desert.
Lyman Lake State Park, just across the border from New Mexico on US-191, is a boating family’s dream vacation spot. The state park surrounds a fifteen-hundred-acre mountain lake that allows any size watercraft, so bring the boat, the fishing gear and the RV for a water-themed Arizona RV camping vacation.
Three shorter hiking trails will also encourage the kids to take time away from their screens to discover petroglyphs, mountain wildlife and great views of the lake. Bald and Golden Eagles and Great Blue Herons are known to nest near the lake, so why not teach the kids to identify these mighty birds while on vacation? You’ll find the campground, camp store, boat launches and no-wake swimming and fishing areas combine to create the best possible environment for your RV camping family.
Picacho Peak State Park, about an hour and a half south of Phoenix on I-10, is another high desert getaway your family will enjoy. It’s especially good for families with bored teens in need of a challenge, thanks to the hiking trails that wind their way up to the Peak. For this trip, bring your hiking gear and plenty of water and prepare to be pushed to the limit by the rocky Hunter Trail.
The campground has electric sites only, but water and a dump station are available in a central location. Science-minded youngsters will love the natural desert setting of the campsites, so be sure to have them pack their notebooks for recording plant and animal life. There are also a visitor center and historic markers with details on the only Civil War battle in Arizona, the Battle of Picacho Pass.
Kartchner Caverns State Park, a couple of hours south of Phoenix, through Tucson on I-10, is home to an underground wonderland waiting to be explored by your family. Only revealed to the public in the 1980s, this limestone cave in the foothills of the Whetstone Mountains can be seen on a Ranger-led tour that’s suitable for grade school kids and older.
Both mountain and desert trails provide even more interest for your family, and the park’s scheduled stargazing parties are popular with campers, as well. To ensure a pleasant experience on this vacation, be sure to purchase your tickets for the cave tour in advance and arrive at the park’s Discovery Center an hour before your scheduled tour time. The campground here offers electric/water sites plus shower houses, dishwashing stations and other amenities.
Come to Arizona on your next family RV camping vacation! It’s easy to rent an RV in Phoenix, and the state’s excellent highway system makes these state park locations simple to access. Whether it’s beside a mountain lake or in the peace and beauty of the desert, camping with the kids in Arizona is an experience every active family should enjoy.