1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

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TheGreyingDuke
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1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:37 am

I am renting a basic camper in Phoenix and taking a week to get to El Paso (where I meet a friend and head down to Big Bend). I will be looking for decent hiking, some interesting food experiences, and having some interactions with residents.

Does anyone have some ideas of where to stop along the way? I can do roadside camping, the van does not connect to water/sewer/electricity.

https://www.escapecampervans.com/
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JPH
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by JPH » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:08 am

If you have any interest in taking a rowboat ride from Big Bend National Park to the small village of Boquillas, Mexico, don't forget to take your passport. It would involve a short ride on a burro or in the back of a pickup truck.
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msheald
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by msheald » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:24 am

Hello! White Sands is unique and east of Las Cruces, NM, though it may be a little out of your way depending on how you are getting to El Paso through New Mexico. Best regards.

Mike

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by Grasshopper » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:47 am

On the way from El Paso to PHX stop at the Chiricahua Mountains. This my home PM for additional info.

http://www.friendsofcavecreekcanyon.com/area-overview/

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronad ... ecid=77511

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WoodSpinner
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by WoodSpinner » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:43 am

OP,

When are you going?

I do recommend Mi Nidito for great Mexican food in Tucson.



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FrugalInvestor
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:55 am

I know it's not exactly camping but if you're near Las Cruces, NM stop in La Posta de Mesilla for some great Mexican food along with a generous helping of ambiance and history.

https://www.laposta-de-mesilla.com/index.php?lang=en
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:17 am

Thanks for the replies, keep them coming.

I will be leaving Phoenix on November 7 and getting to ElPaso on the 14th. Any suggestions for a camping sot an hour or two east of Phoenix??
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Grasshopper
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by Grasshopper » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:56 pm

This is a great place to camp, the route selected is 10 miles longer than I-10 to Tucson, but a nicer drive.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... izona.html

1 h 56 min (118 miles)
via US-60 E/Superstition Fwy and AZ-79 S
Phoenix
Arizona

Get on I-10 E from W Jefferson St
7 min (2.5 mi)

Drive from US-60 E/Superstition Fwy and AZ-79 S to Oro Valley
1 h 52 min (115 mi)

Turn left
41 s (0.1 mi)
Catalina State Park
11570 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85737

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by Random Poster » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:04 pm

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:55 am
I know it's not exactly camping but if you're near Las Cruces, NM stop in La Posta de Mesilla for some great Mexican food along with a generous helping of ambiance and history.

https://www.laposta-de-mesilla.com/index.php?lang=en
Or, alternatively, avoid the tourist hype and eat at Habeneros instead. Near downtown Las Cruces. Excellent Mexican food. Perhaps a meal at each would be worth it, but i stopped going to La Posta years ago.

Have dessert at Caliches at the North Roadrunner location. If you have a dog, ask for a poochy cone so that the canine can enjoy dessert with you. They also have a location in Alamogordo, for whatever it is worth.

Stop by COAS if you want to pick up a book. Prices are a bit high, but you might find something you’ve been looking for.

The downtown farmer’s market on Saturday is (or was, when I was there last a few weeks ago) only about 20% produce and 80% crafts, but it is worth about an hour of your time. Some of the crafts are unique, and one of the bakery tables (name escapes me, but they had a religious bent to it and were from about an hour or two from Las Cruces) has spectacular offerings.

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by MJS » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:18 pm

For the weekends and Veteran's Day holiday, I recommend making a reservation at SW state & national parks. Winter is the prime camping season in the desert southwest.

+1 for Catalina State Park: https://azstateparks.com/reserve/catalina/camping/ ... But also Gilbert Ray, especially if you plan to visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum - which I strongly recommend!

Take a look at the Arizona State Parks for some other low desert camp grounds: https://azstateparks.com/ Karchner Caverns & Roper Lake State Park (hot springs, very relaxing) plus +++Chiricahua National Monument.

I like the Amerind Museum near Dragoon. Wineries & breweries in the same area.

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fortfun
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by fortfun » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:43 pm

I'd hit White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns. Both have free BLM camping nearby, if you are okay with that.

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frugalNOTcheap
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by frugalNOTcheap » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:11 pm

City of Rocks state park, 28 miles North of Deming NM. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/cityof ... epark.html
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TxAg
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by TxAg » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:20 pm

Guadalupe Mountains Natl Park isn't too far from El Paso. Worth spending a day there before you head to Big Bend.

Marfa is cool, too

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:35 pm

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:37 am
I am renting a basic camper in Phoenix and taking a week to get to El Paso (where I meet a friend and head down to Big Bend). I will be looking for decent hiking, some interesting food experiences, and having some interactions with residents.

Does anyone have some ideas of where to stop along the way? I can do roadside camping, the van does not connect to water/sewer/electricity.

https://www.escapecampervans.com/
Picacho Peak

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Both have great hiking.
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btenny
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by btenny » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:07 pm

Kitt peak observatory west of Tucson is great.
Tombstone is a fun western town and home to OK corral.
Copper Queen mine tour near Bisbee.
Kirchner caverns cave by Tucson.
Carlsbad caverns cave near El Paso.
Winery tours near Sonoita and Elgin
PIMA air and space museum near Tucson

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by not logged in » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:23 pm

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:17 am
Thanks for the replies, keep them coming.

I will be leaving Phoenix on November 7 and getting to ElPaso on the 14th. Any suggestions for a camping sot an hour or two east of Phoenix??
Lost Dutchman State Park, about 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix, is very nice. https://azstateparks.com/lost-dutchman

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by Mickey7 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:32 pm

Okay this will be excellent trip this time of year. I have done several camping trips from Houston to Phoenix and that are a lot of nice places to camp, but first a little research on your part is necessary. Have you driven with a camper before? I ask this because a the trip will take a little longer pulling that rig and also it might limit you in certain areas of some parks. You will need to get a good map and get on the National Parks website (nps.gov) to spot out best accommodations.
You said that you are taking a week off and will be going to Big Bend so this probably means that you are planning about 6-7 days there and the balance driving. You will need to factor in your drive times with the fact that most parks are not set up after 6 PM unless you have set a reservation.
From Phoenix you should be able to make either White Sands, Carlsbad or Guadalupe National Parks, if you are going straight shot and not spending time at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest or El Morro along the way. From each one of the three first mentioned it will be basically straight on to Big Bend bypassing El Paso. The only inherently difficulty with that is the road is heavily traveled with oil field supply trucks. If for some reason the trip is taking longer than you thought, you either curtail part of your day's travel or hit a motel. If you are making really great time, Look into Indian Lodge Tx State Park near Fort Davis or Balmoreal State Park going through El Paso.
Going back take I-10 and try to make Chiricahua NP in Arizona.
Your driving time is what matters, but don't push it since you are pulling a camper.
Btw where are you camping at in Big Bend? It is a big park! While I have camped there at all the major grounds, I prefer the Chisos Basin.
I should be there in November.
Enjoy.

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:21 am

Lots of great ideas, thanks>

I am driving a small van, Ford Econoline size so no worries about adjusting to pulling or maneuvering any big rig!
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by livesoft » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:12 am

Will you actually do any camping or will you be sleeping in your van? Do you want to be at a spot with running water in a restroom or will you be happy to park at a trail head and do primitive camping? Do you need to have paid-for spot in a state or national park?

You can go to Big Bend and the Chisos basin campground and do day hikes, but it is 5 hours drive southeast of El Paso. Guadalupe Mountains NP is 2 hours north of El Paso. Superstition Wilderness is an hour east of Phoenix, but it is primitive camping / backpacking. There has been a fire around there, so lots is burned off. Gila Wilderness near Silver City, NM is also primitive camping, but I guess there are commercial RV parks / KOA style places.

In your 1 week camping tour, you have already described 24 solid hours of driving leaving you with 2 days of hiking.
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by p14175 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:15 pm

Mount Graham (one of the taller mountains in AZ at 10,700 ft.) and the Mount Graham International Observatory. The Vatican also has a telescope up there. The road going to the top is just outside Safford, AZ. There are established and primitive campgrounds along the road.

Food? The last Waffle House in AZ going east on I10 is on the south side of Tucson.

If you are doing this trip in the next week or so, Apple Annies Produce and Orchards in Willcox are open until the end of October.

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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:44 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:12 am
Will you actually do any camping or will you be sleeping in your van? Do you want to be at a spot with running water in a restroom or will you be happy to park at a trail head and do primitive camping? Do you need to have paid-for spot in a state or national park?

You can go to Big Bend and the Chisos basin campground and do day hikes, but it is 5 hours drive southeast of El Paso. Guadalupe Mountains NP is 2 hours north of El Paso. Superstition Wilderness is an hour east of Phoenix, but it is primitive camping / backpacking. There has been a fire around there, so lots is burned off. Gila Wilderness near Silver City, NM is also primitive camping, but I guess there are commercial RV parks / KOA style places.

In your 1 week camping tour, you have already described 24 solid hours of driving leaving you with 2 days of hiking.
Lack of clarity on my part, the 1 wee is to get me from Phoenix to El Paso, then I have another 10 days in Big Bend and a straight shot back to El Paso. I am also not looking for tips on Big Bend, I will be accompanied by a seasoned Big Bend hiker.

Primitive camping is best, as you can see in the link to the van in an earlier post, no hookups, water, electricity on this rig.

Superstition Wilderness is my first night chosen spot.
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Re: 1 week camping tour, Phoenix-El Paso, suggestions?

Post by livesoft » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:35 am

Sup Wilderness: A common dayhike is start at Peralta trailhead and hike up to Fremont Saddle.

I'd like at least a PM later of your Big Bend experience since it's a place I backpack in often.
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