This morning we received an e-mail from a reader about our recent 35 day truck camping trip around Utah, Arizona and Nevada. They are planning a trip of their own and would like to know more about the highlights and low points of some of the spots we hit up around the Southwest. I thought I would share my response here for anyone else that may be looking to camp and/or recreate in this beautiful part of the country.
The six camp sites from our trip that we highly recommend (as seen on the map above):
A. Valley of Fire State Park. $20/night for sites without hookups. $30/night with power & water hookups. First come, first served. Wonderful hiking opportunities and incredible scenery.
B. Willow Beach Campground. $35/night + Lake Mead National Recreation Area entrance fee. Full hookup sites include water, sewer and power. Willow Beach Campground is not located on the water and only some sites have a small water view. If you enjoy paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing there is a drop-in area just a short drive from the campground where you can paddle and enjoy the rugged views of Black Canyon. Call 928-767-4747 for reservations.
C. Lake Mohave Dry Camping. Free. Not recommended for vehicles towing trailers. From Highway 93, Cottonwood Road takes you almost 20 miles before reaching the water’s edge where various primitive camp sites are available. The first 3/4 of this dirt road is graded and well-maintained but the last stretch has seen better days. There are washed out areas so a high clearance vehicle is recommended. There are no amenities of any kind and the nearest services are almost an hour away. If you’re looking to enjoy Lake Mohave but with more amenities/services, Cottonwood Cove on the west side of the lake may be a better bet.
D. Lake Havasu State Park. $30/night for non-waterfront sites, $35/night for waterfront sites. Make reservations in advance to secure a waterfront site for the best views and easy access if you have a paddleboard, kayak or canoe. Includes water and electricity hook-ups.
E. Lake Powell Dry Camping. $10/night. This area of Lake Powell called Lone Rock Beach is open to RV camping right on the beach. This is primitive camping on a sandy beach. It is recommended that you remain on already established vehicle paths as getting stuck in the sand is a hazard. This was intended to be a stop during our trip but due to high winds we decided to pass. We’ve heard great things about this beach and hope to camp there soon.
F. Valley of the Gods Dry Camping. Free. Similar to Monument Valley but without the crowds or fees. Not recommended for large rigs. Primitive camp sites and no amenities or services in the area. If you enjoy solitude, star-gazing and interesting red rock formations, come prepared because you won’t want to leave.
Scenic drive worth doing: North Shore Road in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This is a great way to get from Valley of Fire State Park (A) to Willow Beach (B) without having to deal with the nearby hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.
The most fun you can have with $150: If you camp in Lake Havasu, contact Rebel at Ultralight Dreamcatchers for the ride of your life!
Head’s up: We’ve found some of these areas, such as Lake Havasu State Park, to be a popular destination for the spring breakers from mid-March to mid-April. Reservations are recommended.
Not worth the stop: The only negative worth noting from our trip would be the Crawdad Cove dry camping area at Lake Mead. We found the amount of trash in this area to be incredibly disappointing and assume it relates to how accessible this area is to Las Vegas. If you’re looking to dry camp around Lake Mead try further removed areas such as Stewart’s Point which is further North up Northshore Road.
Find more camp sites: Campendium.com is an invaluable resource for finding camp sites and planning your next trip.
To our reader-we hope this helps you in your trip planning process. We hope you and your wife have a wonderful time!