I’m not sure when I first saw photos of this camping area on social media but I immediately added it to my list of places we should visit. After a short stay in Tempe, we needed to stick around the area but we were ready to get back out boondocking and it was a great time to check out this spot. Brad discovered that this is one of the highest rated boondocking sites in Arizona on our favorite camp-finding app: Campendium, so we were really looking forward to checking it out.
THE QUICK DETAILS
- This is free camping on BLM land with a max 14 day stay and no amenities
- GPS 33.464, -113.0366
- We were here Jan.6-9, 2019 and had daytime highs in the 50s & 60s, lows in the upper 30s
- It’s a very rough road at the GPS listed above. We would recommend trying the road 2000’ down the highway – we saw many more rigs over there, leading us to believe that area is more accessible
- You can see more photos and reviews on Campendium
As mentioned, the road listed at the GPS is pretty dang rough and rocky but we went slowly and were able to make it a few sites in from the road. Some more adventurous souls went in further, a class C was several hundred feet beyond us and a skoolie bus was all the way at the base of the mountain. What we didn’t like about the road was that one side is a lot higher than the other, coupled with rocky terrain, rutted spots, and it was narrow. There just wasn’t a need to push our luck by going in further so we didn’t!
The views were fantastic, it was quiet, and there was hiking to be found however there were SO many dang flies around where we were camped. No matter how hard we tried, they inevitably got in and drove us all bonkers! So awful! It became my daily mission to rid the RV of them, but anytime we opened the door more would find their way in. Some reviewers on Campendium have speculated that campers have been dumping their grey tanks out there which attracted the flies – so we would offer this friendly PSA: it’s illegal to dump your grey tank anywhere other than at a dump station, so just don’t do it! It’s not illegal to collect your water in a bucket, as you are using it, and then pour that outside, but once it enters the grey tank it’s definitley a no go and can get very stinky, very quickly. For more on that, I found this interesting article.
As far as things to do around Saddle Mountain, there are some ATV trails, hiking in the mountains, and probably some good mountain biking. Sunset photography and astrophotography are great out here, and we saw a few folks rockhounding, although I don’t know what they were finding. We were here on work days, so aside from dog walks, we just went for a little drive and when that didn’t pan out (we quickly reached an impassable spot much more suited for ATVs) we got the drone in the air – we always love to get that aerial view when we can!
Check out our video for all the fun!