RV Camping America’s Southwest National Parks Itinerary 2

Itinerary #2: Southern Arizona National Parks

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

If your trips to Arizona have only encompassed the Grand Canyon, it’s time you learned the beauty of Southern Arizona’s National Parks. About an hour south of Phoenix (or an hour north of Tucson) RV campers with a thirst for ancient Native American culture will find Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This Park preserving the history of the “Big House” Pueblan ruins was the very first archaeological site protected by the US government.

Back in Tucson, you’ll find a national treasure in the form of Saguaro National Park, home to thousands of this region’s giant cacti. Not only will you experience the beauty of this Giant Saguaro forest, you’ll also be surrounded by the jaw-dropping scenery of two mountain districts. Tucson and Rincon Mountain Districts both serve up spectacular scenery and are well worth the round-trip drive. For a true high-desert camping experience, try Catalina State Park just north of Tucson.

To complete your Southern Arizona National Parks education, make the loop southeast of Tucson to Fort Bowie and Chiricahua National Monuments. There you’ll experience both stunning desert beauty and a taste of the bitter conflict between Native Americans and early settlers. By the way, there is “no-hookups” camping available at Chiricahua and you’ll find full-service RV campgrounds nearby in Willcox, AZ.

Once you’ve explored these two parks to your heart’s content, swing south to the Southern edge of Arizona to Coronado National Monument. The fascinating Coronado Cave Tour, numerous hiking trails and scenic motorhome camping in surrounding Coronado National Forest make this site commemorating the Spanish explorer’s journey north unforgettable.

Complete the Southern Arizona loop by heading northwest from Coronado to Tumacacori National Monument. Three Spanish colonial mission ruins can be visited within this Park’s boundaries. Learn about the work and influence of Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries in the former New Spain region of Pimiera Alta in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Nearby Amado, AZ offers two RV campgrounds right off the highway.

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