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As we make our way east, free camping is becoming difficult to find. We did find a great free camping spot in Tucson, Arizona. Eight miles west of the city on Ajo Highway, the BLM land is along the edge of an Indian Reservation and close proximity to Tucson Mountain Park. The area is quite small with well established campsites. The sites are close to each other – not the type of place to go for peace and quiet.
Free Camping Tucson, Arizona
This was our first time boondocking or dry camping on BLM land and we weren’t quite sure what to expect. There are multiple entrances into the campground – GPS coordinates 32.157842,-111.115391. Some entrances are narrow and steep with brush on either side that could easily scratch a camper or cause it to bottom out. The roads are mostly dirt with some rocky areas and large ruts. Unfortunately we saw a Class A with a toad bottom out on a dip. Make sure to scope out the area if you camp here.
There is a 14 day limit with no amenities. The area was more than half full with tent campers, truck campers, small travel trailers, fifth wheels and motorhomes. Most campers stayed for a night or two then moved on to their next destination.
This free camping spot is not ideal for anyone looking to get away from it all. However, if you don’t mind neighbors, it’s a decent free camping spot near Tucson, Arizona. We found it to be a convenient place for to spend a week and see the sights. We visited Pima Air Museum, which ended up being the highlight of our time in Tucson.
One great thing about our time here was the solar power. The 100 watt portable solar unit kept the coach batteries charged. We didn’t have to run the generator for eight days. Normally we have to run the generator for an hour or two each day when dry camping.
The desert sunsets were beautiful. The locals have a saying “when the mountains turn pink, it’s time for a drink.”
Since there are no amenities here, we found a free dump station at the Shell gas station near the air museum.
There was good AT&T cell/data coverage at the campground. There is a Skeet Club nearby and activities can be heard during the day. The club also has RV hookups for members at a decent price. We drove by and probably saw over a 100 RV’s ranging from Airstreams to Prevosts all lined up behind the firing line.
If you enjoyed this post, check out more Free Camping posts.
19 thoughts on “Free Camping Tucson, Arizona – Bureau of Land Management”
Next time in the Tuscon area look into visiting the Titan Missile Museum just south a few miles (off of Hwy 10). We thought it was great.
We loved it too! It’s included in our Things to Do in Tucson article.
How can we be sure that people are camping on the BLM campsite and not private areas next to the CAP water line and homes? What are the boundaries ?
Hey Rosemary. The signs at this BLM camping area are very clear. You’ll be able to figure out the rules and boundaries.
Try coming to Georgia. People camp but just for a weekend. I am actually surprised at the little camping ANYTHING around here. I pay to park my RV at a storage facility or try to hustle a parking lot order deal here and there. I found out west is way more RV friendly.
I spent the whole day reading your blog. Very very interesting. We are new to RVing (just boought a Class C Winnebago) and we plan to boondock this winter. Since it will be our only vehicle, we will have to use it to go around and visit. Is there a way to indicate that you are using a camp site or do you have to find another site everytime you come back from a little visit in the area?
Hi Luc. Welcome to RV life! We have a tow car so we are able to leave our motorhome at the site. Some people will leave their chairs or a tent to indicate the site is taken, but you also take a chance on those items disappearing.
Another BLM area is Gunsight Wash, go south of Ajo and south of Why, AZ on Hwy 85 on the west side of the road just past the bridge is a large gravel lot. The BLM entrance is there. You will usually find a camp host. Sites are flat with plenty of space. You will be just north of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Near Why AZ is an RV park with a cheap dump.
Ray, thanks for sharing Gunsight Wash. We missed Organ Pipe this time, but would like to plan a visit the next time we’re in the area.
Oh and run over to Casino Del Sol since you are so close and look at their free camping area. No worry of ruts there.
We drove over there while we were in Tucson and checked it out. Looked like a nice, safe area to camp but we didn’t know if they would object to us spending 8 days there.
You mean “west” instead of east correct. Thanks for GPS coordinates, been by there several times and never knew that area was BLM open dispersed camping area.
Opps, yes we meant West (updated – thank you!). Your welcome re: the coordinates. Since it’s just that one area for camping, there’s really no indication that it’s BLM and easy to miss.