Our Thanksgiving plans had us on a northward trajectory and we weren’t quite sure where to head after the Phoenix area. Watson Lake in Prescott is on our list as a great kayaking destination so that was in the running but ultimately we decided we should go there in warmer weather. We had heard great things about Lake Havasu and the reviews for camping at Craggy Wash BLM were pretty positive so we decided to check it out for ourselves.
THE QUICK DETAILS
- Craggy Wash BLM offers free camping with a 14 day stay limit
- Turn off Highway 95 at GPS 34.584879, -114.368790 then you’ll need to head in another mile on the dirt road before you hit the actual BLM camping area
- This area is a ‘wash’ so be aware of the weather forecast and avoid this spot during heavy rain
- Cell service varies throughout the camping area but we had lightning fast AT&T at our spot 1.5 miles in from the highway
- This is a very busy and popular camping area but the crowd thins out the further in you go
- There was a camp host parked near us (indicated by a “Site Host” sign) but we never checked-in as some reviews on Campendium suggested
- We paid $10 at Cattail Cove State Park to enter and use their dump station and fill fresh water before heading over to Craggy Wash
We arrived here on a Thursday afternoon and the first camping area that you come upon was completely crowded with rigs parked super close together. That’s definitely not our style of boondocking so I continued further in in our tow car while Brad pulled over in the RV to wait for the go ahead. I only went another half mile or so before I spotted a solo site with a fire ring. It was right next to the road but I figured there wouldn’t be a ton of traffic and besides that I had super fast cell service over AT&T and the site was plenty long for us. There was actually an off-shoot site next to us, up a steep but short incline, that would have been much more private but it was occupied.
As for the quality of this camping area – it leaves a bit to be desired. We much prefer a less busy place and there was something about the hills rising up from the road that made me feel ever-so-slightly claustrophobic. You could also tell some folks had been there for a while, although there is a camp host who presumably would be enforcing the 14 day stay limit. We had read some reviews on Campendium where people had checked in with the camp host and got a permit to put in their window but we never did that, and they never approached us, so we aren’t sure how important that is to do. We only stayed for three nights so maybe they would have eventually come to talk to us if we’d been there longer.
We hiked up one of the craggy hills one evening for sunset and enjoyed the views but the terrain was really rocky and in the steeper areas it would be easy to lose your footing, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing it.
We had some super windy days while we were there and so kayaking here wasn’t in the cards for us but we did learn there are five free launches for unmotorized watercraft. We did take some time to visit the lake which is quite beautiful. We packed up the dogs and went for a drive across the London Bridge. We found a little pathway down to the water and discovered a really nice little area with a fountain and nice views of the bridge.
Even though it was a short stay, Brad also fit in some maintenance on the house batteries which you can watch in our video, and needless to say, after a few nights I was ready to roll out. Onward!