What’s so great about RVing in the west? There are tons of places to boondock. Apache Junction in Arizona was never on our radar, but I have to say it was a pretty good place to hang out for a week despite a few of the bad reviews on Campendium. Read on for the details of our Apache Trail boondocking experience.
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After we spent a while in and around the Las Vegas area, we needed to head east again. We had originally arranged a one night stay outside of Phoenix, AZ at a Boondocker’s Welcome location that seemed perfect for our needs. But as it turned out, our group of friends from Saddle Mountain were boondocking just on the other side of Phoenix in the Apache Junction area. So we changed our plans and headed to Apache Trail.
Apache Trail Boondocking: Location
Apache Trail boondocking can be found east of Phoenix near the town of Apache Junction. Take AZ 88 towards Lost Dutchman State Park and go about 2 miles into Tonto National Forest. It’ll be on your right. It is a large, wide-open area at the base of a trailhead for horseback riding with beautiful views of the Superstition Mountains.
Apache Trail Boondocking: Fees and Campsites
Boondocking here is FREE and you can stay for up to 14 days. It’s not a huge area, so camping can get crowded. Luckily we were surrounded by friends, so it wasn’t too bad being so close to our neighbors.
Sites are very unlevel, so while larger RVs CAN find spots here, smaller RVs and tent campers will have an easier go of it. It’s very difficult to navigate at night, so be sure you are coming to the area during the day. Also, this is a hot spot for horse trailers who come and go early in the morning until mid-afternoon. If you have a larger RV, you’re better off trying to arrive mid-afternoon to about 6 PM.
There are no electric, water, or sewer hookups. Lost Dutchman State Park is just 2 miles down the road and you can pay for water and dump there should you need it. Our friends also found a nearby gas station where they could fill water bladders with no problems.
If you need an internet signal to work during the day, we found that both AT&T and Verizon cell signals were ok. It’s not the best cell signal we’ve had, but not the worst either.
Apache Trail Boondocking: Things To Do
As I said, this boondocking location is at the trailhead for horseback riding. We ended up taking a short walk along one of the horse trails. I’m not sure how long the trails are, but you could ask one of the local cowboys and I’m sure they’d be able to give you more information.
The scenery here is amazing! Take some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of this area. It’s even better with friends!
If you’re adventurous, you could continue further into Tonto National Forest and take the Apache Trail scenic drive towards Theodore Roosevelt Lake. We didn’t end up doing this while we were there but I’d love to go back just for this. I hear it’s one of the most epic drives in Arizona.
Just down the road is the Superstition Mountains Lost Dutchman Museum. Walking the grounds is free. It’s a $5 per adult fee to get into the museum and kids under 17 are FREE!!
Overall, our stay here was very nice. It’s definitely worth considering if you just need to stop in for one night, but we enjoyed the 5 nights we stayed there. I’m not sure I’d stay here during the Arizona summer, but it was perfect for a late February stay.