rv camping in arizona with grand canyon stop

RV Camping in Arizona: A Guide to Southwest Exploration

The arid landscapes and dramatic terrain of Arizona make it a premier destination for those who love outdoor adventure. Whether you’re traveling for the breathtaking sunsets, the desert flora, or some of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, there are many options for RV camping in Arizona. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best spots to park your rig and immerse yourself in the splendor of the Grand Canyon State.

two people standing in front of sign to grand canyon

Top Spots for RV Camping in Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

The name Arizona is virtually synonymous with the Grand Canyon, one of the most alluring natural wonders in the world. The park offers RV campgrounds on the South and North Rim, each providing a unique perspective of the canyon. Wake up to the sight of the sun creeping over the colossal chasm, and spend your days hiking along the rim or venturing down into the abyss on one of the park’s trails. You can also enjoy ziplining nearby and guided tours. The Skywalk offers an unforgettable experience, letting you soak in the vastness of the canyon just below.


Famed for its massive red rock formations and New Age vibe, Sedona is a magnet for more than just its renowned vortexes. One of the quieter treasures is its RV camping option, which showers you with stunning views and proximity to the town’s attractions. Explore the rugged terrain on a Pink Jeep Tour, or relax with some yoga in a serene desert setting. You can also enjoy Slide Rock State Park, positioned just below an apple orchard. Named as one of America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes, Slide Rock is covered by thousands of red rocks with algae, creating an exhilarating slip n’ slide you don’t want to miss. 

Lake Havasu State Park

For those who prefer more open waters, Lake Havasu beckons with 60 miles of navigable boat routes. The park’s three campgrounds provide campers with easy access to sandy beaches, coves, and rock outcroppings perfect for a lakeside escape. Don’t miss out on the London Bridge, disassembled and reconstructed in the 1960s. Swimming and fishing also offer great outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a little history and education, don’t forget to stop by the Lake Havasu Museum of History or the Wildlife Refuges.

Petrified Forest National Park

Step back in time at Petrified Forest National Park, a land of fossilized trees and colorful badlands that stretch along historic Route 66. The park offers two established campgrounds with spaces for RVs and camper vans up to 45 feet, near hiking trails that lead to some of the best-preserved logs from the Late Triassic. This park offers a variety of activities including geocaching, horseback riding, bicycling, guided tours, and demonstration labs and exhibits. You won’t get bored on this adventure!

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

This lesser-known gem is a testament to the beauty and resilience of the Sonoran Desert. Its unique ecosystems and stunning array of cacti, including the park’s namesake, the organ pipe, are highlights for any nature enthusiast. The Twin Peaks Campground offers a tranquil spot to observe the starlit desert skies after a day of hiking or a scenic drive along the Ajo Mountain Loop. Organ Pipe also offers biking, bird watching, night sky viewing and horseback riding. Spring is a particularly unique exploration with the blooming of extraordinary wildflowers and cacti.

Another great Arizona camping destination is Mountain Park Preserve. Learn more here.

woman enjoying the view while RV camping in arizona

Seasons for RV Camping in Arizona

Arizona is a haven for RV enthusiasts and road trippers eager to experience the diversity of its vast landscapes and rich outdoor experiences. From the cacti-studded deserts in the south to the pine-covered mountains in the north, the Grand Canyon State beckons adventurers throughout the year. But when is the best time for RV camping in Arizona? Let’s find out!

Spring in Arizona

When the winter chill begins to thaw, spring in Arizona is nothing short of a spectacular rebirth. The deserts come alive with colorful wildflower blooms, and the temperatures are perfect for outdoor exploration.

Weather conditions: The springtime weather in Arizona is temperate, with daytime highs ranging from the 70s to 80s, ideal for outdoor activities.

Wildflower blooms: Arizona’s Sonoran Desert and other regions boast a stunning array of wildflowers, turning the landscapes into natural tapestries.

Outdoor activities: The comfortable weather invites hikers, bikers, and horseback riders to explore the trails. It’s also prime time for birdwatching as migratory species pass through the state.

Summer in Arizona

Arizona’s summer offers a different kind of adventure – one where travelers must contend with the heat but are rewarded with unique activities catered to the warmer climate.

Coping with the heat: The key to enjoying Arizona’s summer is to plan activities during the cooler morning and late afternoon hours. Take advantage of shady spots, stay hydrated, and utilize cooling gear like misters and high-SPF sunscreens.

Water-based activities: The state is home to several lakes, including Lake Powell and Lake Havasu, perfect for water skiing, kayaking, and fishing.

National park visits: Although summer temperatures at the Grand Canyon can soar, early morning and sunset visits provide breathtaking views with fewer crowds.

Fall in Arizona

The fall season in Arizona is a balance between the scorching summer heat and the crisping cold of winter, offering the perfect combination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Mild temperatures: The autumnal weather is characterized by warm days and cooler nights, making campfires a cozy evening essential.

Fall foliage: While Arizona’s fall colors may not rival the East Coast, the state’s mountainous regions still offer a display of golden aspens and oaks.

Harvest festivals: From apple picking in Oak Creek Canyon to grape stomping in the Verde Valley, fall welcomes an array of harvest activities.

Winter in Arizona

Winter draws camper van campers to Arizona with the promise of mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine. It’s the season to escape the cold elsewhere and bask in the desert’s warmth.

Mild winter climate: High temperatures in the desert regions usually stay in the 60s and 70s, providing respite for snowbirds seeking warmth.

Snowbird destinations: Arizona’s southern RV parks and campgrounds fill up with seasonal visitors who migrate to popular destinations like Yuma and Quartzsite.

Holiday events: The state hosts a range of festive events, from parades to holiday markets, providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for travelers.

going up in a hot air balloon while rv camping in arizona

Activities and Attractions

The Montezuma Castle

When you’re RV camping in Arizona, you can’t miss the historic site showcasing ancient cliff dwellings, providing a glimpse into the lives of pre-colonial Native Americans.

Hot Air Ballooning

Get a bird’s-eye view of Arizona’s stunning landscapes by taking a hot air balloon ride during sunrise or sunset for mesmerizing views.

Hiking and Rock Climbing

Arizona is a hiker’s and climber’s paradise with trails and routes for all skill levels. Don’t miss out on the Camelback Mountain trail in Scottsdale or the acclaimed Cathedral Rock Trail of Sedona.


The dark, clear skies of Arizona make it an ideal stargazing destination. Many of the state’s parks and monuments, with their low light pollution, offer prime conditions for celestial observation, providing a view of the night sky that’s an attraction in itself.

Wildlife Viewing

Arizona’s diverse habitats are home to a wealth of wildlife. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep scaling canyon walls, herds of elk at the Grand Canyon, and a colorful array of birds throughout the state. Patience and respect for the animals’ space will reward you with some unforgettable wildlife encounters.

camper van parked while rv camping in arizona

Planning Your Trip

Before you hit the road, thoughtful planning ensures a smoother experience.

Selecting Campgrounds

Arizona boasts numerous campsites, from the Grand Canyon to scenic lakesides. Research and book a campsite well in advance to secure your spot, especially during peak seasons.

Packing Essentials

Be prepared for your adventure by packing necessities:

  • Food and water
  • First aid kit
  • Camping gear such as chairs, a grill, and lanterns
  • Navigation tools
  • Toiletries

And remember, when you rent a camper van from GoCamp, you’ll enjoy our Hop In and Go promise. We include all living essentials with your camper van rental. This means you don’t have to worry about bedding, towels, cookware, camp chairs, lanterns, etc. If you have other needs/requests, you can simply select the add-ons during check-out. We make camping easy.

Arizona Camping – something for everyone

Arizona’s wide-open spaces, undisturbed landscapes, and a surprising variety of camping options make it an RV camper’s paradise. With spots ranging from the internationally celebrated Grand Canyon to the more off-the-beaten-path wonders like Organ Pipe Cactus and Petrified Forest, there’s a wilderness waiting for every kind of outdoor experience. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice, setting out on your first adventure, RV camping in Arizona has something for everyone who’s ready to hit the road.

Let’s plan your trip!