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Top Ten Arizona Campgrounds 2010

Top Ten Campgrounds 2008
Top Ten Campgrounds 2009

This is our third season rating the top ten campgrounds.

The criteria for making the top ten list is as follows

Some of the things we considered were; scenic beauty, number of page requests on camparizona.com, some were based on how easy (or how difficult) it was to get there, proximity to recreational activities (i.e. boating, hiking, fishing, etc), amenities available (some were based on the lack of amenities). and a handful of other reasons

So, if you think there is a good reason to put a campground on this list for future reference, please take a minute and fill out the comment form at the bottom of the page (no log in necessary) and we will be glad to review all comments before next year's edition. Also, if you would like to place a comment on any individual campground, visit that campground's page and fill out the comment form at the bottom of the page. You can also rate campgrounds on the top right of each campground page according to various criteria.

So let the debate continue and who knows what will happen next year.

Happy camping to all, here is Camp Arizona's top 10 campgrounds in Arizona for 2010.

10 Manzanita On Oak Creek

Manzanita Campground is located just south of Slide Rock State Park in scenic Oak Creek Canyon. The campground is located right on Oak Creek. Reservations are now available for some of the 19 campsites at Manzanita. Come early and during the weekdays to have a chance at one of these prime campsites. The camp area is so small that there no room for RV's .

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Pine Flat Campground
 
9 Havasupai Campground

Havasupai went though a major flood in 2008 which reshaped the falls and some of the falls aren't even there anymore but several new falls have appeared including the temporarily named "Rock falls". Most of the campgrounds have changed and work still needs to be done to bring them back to the condition that they were in before the flood. One great improvement to the campground is the addition of new composting toilets that did not have any of the smell of the old toilets and they are 3 or 4 of them throughout the campground. no more walking all the way to the campground entrance to go. The trail to the campgrounds is easier than the trails into the Grand Canyon, Havasupai is an 11 mile hike from the trail head to some of the most impressive series of waterfalls in the United States.

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Havasu Falls
   
8 Mather Campground at the Grand Canyon

 

Mather Campground is pretty much right in the thick of things on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Within walking distance of the south rim, Mather boasts 317 campsites, a shower and laundry facility as well as a general store, restaurants, gift shops and a nice visitors center. With 4.5 million people visiting the Grand Canyon, reservations are almost a must and can be made five months in advance. Reservations during the winter months (December - March) are not taken and the campground is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Mather Campground
   
7 Cave Springs on Oak Creek north of Sedona

 

Cave Springs dropped a few notches for one reason only. As the year extends further into the summer, the skunks can be a nightly battle if you stay up long after the sun goes down. The camp hosts banned all sound devices including all radios and car stereos a couple years ago and this has virtually eliminated all of the late night noise complaints. I camp there at least once a year and after dark it is almost silent in the campground. This could be the reason there are more pesky skunks around.
Cave Springs Campground is located at the northern end of Sedona's famous Canyon, 11 miles from the 89A turnoff in Sedona. Cave Springs is located just a few miles north of Slide Rock State Park, a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the scenery. No glass containers or pets are allowed in Slide Rock State Park. Slide Rock was named one of Life Magazines top 10 swimming holes. There are 78 campsites underneath the thick ponderosa pines, of which 11 are located on Oak Creek.

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Cave Springs Campground
   
6 Sinkhole Campground at Willow Springs Lake

 

Sinkhole campground at Willow Springs Lake received a ton of page views this year and a nice overall rating by our readers. Willow Springs lake is a bit larger than its sister Woods Canyon Lake. Willow Spring boasts a boat ramp for your convenience and a 8 h.p. limit on boat motors. Frequently during the summer the shores will be speckled with those fishing possibly trying to catch the occasional lunker that the Arizona Game and Fish Department puts in this well stocked lake. 26 very clean and paved campsites dot this stretch of the rim which keeps the noise to a minimum.

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Sinkhole Campground
   
5 Canyon Point Campground

 

Canyon Point is making it's debut in our top ten list for a couple of reasons. First, Canyon Point was on of the cleanest campgrounds I have ever been to. Second campgrounds are not right on top of each other. Other contributing factors were Proximity to good outdoor adventure, Canyon Point is centrally located between the Rim Lakes and some great fishing at little known Canyon Creek. Showers are available at Canyon Point for a small fee. One overlooked note is how nice the camp hosts were. That can make or break a camping trip for a newer camper and Canyon Point's hosts were very polite and helpful every time I have been there.

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Canyon point Campground
   
4 Aspen Campground at Woods Canyon Lake

 

This is the big daddy when it comes to camping in Arizona. Woods Canyon Lake is the most popular camping area in the entire state. So much that overflow camping on a big weekend can send campers deep into the surrounding forest which is prepared for such days. There are many dispersed campgrounds in the area and Forest Road 300 boasts many of them. Aspen is still a camper favorite but make sure you get here early Thursday or Friday to get a spot or make reservations well ahead of time. I camp every year along the Mogollon Rim the week after the fourth of July and watched as cars formed a line all the way back to Star Valley.

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Woods Canyon Lake
   
3 Aspen Campground on the East Fork of the Black River

Aspen Campground has gone up a spot on this years list.

Quite simply put, If you like small campsites with a few basic amenities this is heaven! Camping is on a first come first served basis, with most of the campsites filling up on the weekends. Wildlife occasionally can be seen riverside, and the fishing is top notch. Most of the East Fork is fish able as an 11 pound 7 ounce rainbow was pulled from the river not far from the Aspen Campground in 2003. Make sure you clean up at nights as this is bear country.

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Aspen Campground
   
2 Christopher Creek

Easy come easy go for Christopher Creek as it retains the number two spot in our top ten list for the third time in a row. An outstanding campground in a superb setting. Set below the Mogollon Rim just off of S.R. 260, Christopher Creek Campground has 43 units that are on both sides of the creek. A group campsite holds 25 people and is by reservation only. The creek is stocked with rainbow trout early in the year as waters tend to recede throughout the summer months. Three swimming holes offer a way to cool off when the temperatures get a little high.

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Christopher Creek Campground
   
1 Apache Trout Campground at Big Lake

This should be the new standard for Forest Service campgrounds and remains number one in our top ten list. The campground is very clean and the shower facilities are part of the fee and you could used them whenever they were not occupied. At the end of each shower facility was a sink with running water and an area to bring your dishes for cleaning. . Campsites are paved with gravel and each had a picnic table, Grill and fire ring. Best of all, Big Lake site right in the middle of the White Mountains and there are so many places to visit you really can't go wrong. There are also electric hookups and a dump station for those camping with a Motorhome or RV. Nearby is the well stocked Big Lake General Store where you can also rent a boat. And when you land that big rainbow, there is a fish cleaning station which always seems busy each time I have the chance to drive by. The only downside is that some of the campsites are connected and you are parking right next to your neighbor.

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Apache Trout Campground
   

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