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Monday, October 8, 2007

Phoenix Metro Boondocking--It's Gotta Be Tonto

Planning a visit to the Phoenix, Arizona area with your RV? "Boondocking the Big City" can be a bit of a challenge, but it's not impossible, if you don't mind going a few miles out of the metro area and out in the bush. We've spent several favorable nights north of the metro area, and can tell you it's quiet, even if not free.

From the Mesa area, locate US 60--the Superstition Freeway--and take exit 191 to South Ellsworth Road. Follow Ellsworth north, and it will eventually become Usery Pass Road. Usery Pass interstects with the Bush Highway north of the edge of "civilization" and at that fork in the road you can make your decision as to where to go. The whole area is now a part of the Tonto National Forest--don't expect to see many trees, though.

The whole area up here is rife with little places for camping; sad to say, the Tonto National Forest web site needs a little work to make it usable, but here are links to some information on some of the more popular camping areas:

You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader to look at and print this files.

Photo: A little hideaway in the Tonto National Forest by R&T DeMaris


  1. Great info, we will look at these places this year


  2. Nice pixs, can you give the GPS co-ordinates?

  3. Thanks we are going to check them out, fee is being charged during season only? meaning season is summer or winter?

  4. Russ & Tina, great info but what you may not know is that Theadore Roosevelt Lake, has been opened up as an LTVA. Great fishing and boating and yes, even a little solitude. The lake is down right now but that's the way it is all over AZ, due to the drought. A great place to visit and boondock. Also some camping areas with hookups and a dumpstation. Tubing and rafting in the summer on the Salt River at the Reservoir headwaters, several marinas and pay campsites. Worth the visit.

  5. Russ and Tiña De MarisNovember 24, 2007 at 10:17 AM

    Anon of November 12 on seasonal charges: Excellent question! Anybody out that way have a handle on that one? Else recommend you check with the phone number listed for the ranger serving the area.

  6. It's only open for camping from Oct 15th to Mar 15th and other than that it is day use only.