Where Will You Go?
The summer has just passed, and everyone is getting used to the rhythm of the fall and the start of a new school year here in Tucson. Sometimes the only way to get through the humdrum of it all is to plan something to look forward to! How about a family road trip in that RV? Planning is essential, especially for RV camping trips in the Arizona desert. Here are a few ideas to jumpstart the process.
Catalina State Park
If the family doesn’t want to travel too far, check out Catalina State Park, just minutes outside of Tucson. At the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Catalina State Park includes 5,500 acres of hills, canyons, and streams perfect for camping and other outdoor activities. Have horses? Catalina State Park has equestrian trails and an equestrian center with plenty of room to get prepared to ride the trails for hours!
Catalina State Park has paved roads, and there’s no limit on RV length at any of the campsites. The 120 campgrounds at Catalina State Park are open all year, but keep in mind that reservations are limited to fourteen consecutive days. The campgrounds have modern restrooms with hot water and RV dump stations, along with water and electric hookups.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Less than an hour’s drive from the heart of Tucson, Kartchner Caverns State Park features Arizona’s most extensive living cave system. The property was acquired and approved as an Arizona State Park in 1988. Conservationists have worked hard to preserve the cave, and it remains in near-pristine condition over thirty years after its discovery!
Kartchner Caverns State Park is a goldmine of experiences for cave-enthusiasts. Home to the world’s most extensive formation of brushite moonmilk and the first reported occurrence of “birdsnest” needle quartz formations, this park is a peek into the past. Some of the structures have been growing for tens of thousands of years, so make sure to instruct all family members to keep their distance. Even accidental and seemingly minor damage can stop the formations from growing.
Kartchner Caverns State Park has both back-in and pull-through camping sites suitable for RVs and other large vehicles. Campsites vary in length, so make sure to pick an appropriate spot. All of the park’s campsites are single-width, but they have plenty of room for pull-out units. The campground also has waste bins and restroom facilities, including bottled water vending machines.
Roper Lake State Park
If the family is in for a bit more of a haul, Roper Lake State Park is just a two-hour drive from Tucson. Cool off with lakeside camping and enjoy five miles of trails and parks in the park. Keep on the lookout for wildlife, Roper Lake hosts numerous bird species and is a brilliant bird-watching opportunity. Watch out for redwing blackbirds, great horned owls, cardinals, herons, and more! Additionally, many mammals call Roper Lake home. There’s a chance to see bobcats, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes.
Roper Lake has two shower buildings, an RV dump building, and modern, handicap accessible restrooms. In addition to 45 campsites, Roper Lake has eight cabins at its Gila Campground, fully furnished with bunk beds and air conditioning. The RV-friendly campsites in Hacienda Campground and Cottonwood Campground can accommodate vehicles up to 45 feet in length. Hacienda Campground has some pull-through sites, but Cottonwood Campground only has back-in campsites.
Like to fish? Every fall and winter, the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks Roper Lake with rainbow trout. Due to the hot summers here in Arizona, the rainbow trout can’t survive throughout the year. It’s up to fishers and anglers to take the trout back out of the lake. Roper Lake is also home to largemouth bass. The park asks its visiting anglers to practice catch-and-release during the spawn to keep the bass population in the lake at an acceptable level. Roper Lake is also home to plenty of catfish and panfish to keep children busy and interested in fishing with multiple types of lures and bait!
Picacho Peak State Park
Less than forty-five minutes northeast of Tucson lies Picacho Peak State Park. The 1,500-foot peak of Picacho Peak State Park is visible from I-10 and has been used as a landmark for hundreds of years. The Anza Expedition in the 1700s recorded the use of the peak as a landmark.
The park has 85 campsites suitable for both tent and RV camping. Only one RV is allowed per site, and there are no water or sewer hookups available. However, there is a sewage dump station, and all of the roads to campsites are paved. Keep in mind that this park does not allow the use of generators. There are two shower buildings equipped with handicap-accessible stalls. Since Picacho Peak State Park is located in the desert, fire restrictions are often in place. Make sure to ask the camp host if campfires are currently allowed.
The park also has high-speed wifi access if someone in the family needs to get some work done on vacation. There is an additional fee for wi-fi use and access, but this can be purchased upon park entry. Picacho Peak State Park has miles of hiking trails to explore, but they vary in difficulty, so make sure to have enough supplies and experience before embarking on an adventure. The park recommends carrying gloves and at least two liters of water per person on any day hikes.
Mobile RV Repair
Things happen on the road. Don’t let a flat tire ruin a much-needed and well-earned vacation. Mobile Maintenance and Towing in Tucson can come to a broken-down RV, even in the middle of a two-week-long camping trip in the Arizona desert!
Mobile Maintenance and Towing can handle fuel deliveries, jump starts, batteries, flat tires, and lockouts. Additionally, Mobile Maintenance and Towing can offer trips to auto repair shops via their heavy-duty towing service. Mobile Maintenance and Towing employs dependable, friendly tow truck technicians who are dedicated to superior customer service and safety.