All the Best Camping in Quartzsite, Arizona

Nov 26, 2019 |

All the Best Camping in Quartzsite, Arizona

By Sara Sheehy

Situated in the Sonoran Desert, daytime temperatures from December through March hover around 70 degrees in Quartzsite. If warm desert sunshine isn’t enough to bring you in, Quartzsite also offers all the services you’ll need to camp comfortably in a tent or an RV.

For many people, the main draw of Quartzsite is the annual RV Show in January. That’s when three-quarters of a million people, mostly in RV’s, converge on the town for what could be the largest gathering of RV’ers in the world. In addition to the Sports, Vacation, and RV Show, which is set to run as scheduled in 2021 (with COVID-19 precautions), nine major gem and mineral shows and 15 general flea market events (TBD in 2021) offer up a stunning array. In case you hadn’t guessed, January is a busy time in Quartzsite.

With that many people descending on the area around Quartzsite every winter, you can count on two things: plenty of places to camp and very little solitude. If you crave a quiet place to bask in the winter sun, Quartzsite won’t be for you. But, if you’re looking for a neighborhood community feel, plenty of shopping, and all the RV services, you should put this winter destination on your list. Here are a few of the Campendium community’s favorite spots to set up for the winter.

Quartzsite Boondocking – Drive-Thru Playlist

Free Camping Near Quartzsite

Surrounded by Bureau of Land Management land, Quartzsite is well suited to dry camping. Flat gravelly camping areas, smooth dirt access roads, and an abundance of sunshine make off-grid camping a breeze. Most BLM areas around Quartzsite offer free 14-day camping access, and the BLM is pretty strict about it. Pull onto any of the roads with free camping, and you’ll see a volunteer camp set up. You’ll have to register your vehicle with the volunteer on duty and get your camping pass for the area. 

Come prepared as there aren’t any services or bathrooms in the free camping areas. There are, however, dump stations and water in the town of Quartzsite and over the hill in Bouse.

Plomosa Road Camping Area, just north of Quartzsite on Highway 95, is a wide-open camping zone off of a paved road, with ample room for any size RV and good cell coverage. All that space means you won’t need to be jammed in next to your neighbors, and even at the busiest times of the year, you should be able to carve out a bit of space for yourself. 

The surrounding desert is crisscrossed by dirt roads, making it a center for the off-road driving crowd. For a bit less noise and smaller groups, continue out Plomosa Road towards the town of Bouse, where you will find more BLM sites and fewer people. 

Other nearby free camping areas include Dome Rock Mountain Camping Area, which offers more scenery and access to hiking routes and Scaddan Wash Camping Area, which provides the easiest access to town. South of Quartzsite, check out Palm Canyon for beautiful desert views and proximity to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (high clearance recommended).

Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) Camping Near Quartzsite

Thinking of spending the entire winter in Quartzsite? Check out the super affordable Long Term Visitor Areas, called LTVAs. In these areas, you’ll be able to set up camp and settle in without having to worry about moving every 14 days. You’ll also get some services that you won’t find in the free camping areas around Quartzite, including (depending on the unit) bathrooms, water fillups, and dump stations.

La Posa Long Term Visitor Area has four separate units, all of which will be open in the winter of 2020-2021: La Posa North, La Posa Tyson Wash, La Posa West, and La Posa South. For $180, you’ll have a spot from September 15 – April 15. Campendium users prefer La Posa South LTVA because it is the only area in Quartzsite with water and a dump station. These areas get plenty of campers who return every year, so expect a pleasant community atmosphere and plenty of social events.

RV Parks near Quartzsite

If you don’t have your solar system hooked up yet, need to run your AC consistently, or want a few more of the comforts of home, there is no shortage of full-service RV parks in Quartzsite.

Shady Lane RV Park is a Campendium user favorite. At $20 to $25 a night, this full hookup RV park is a steal. You’ll get fast WiFi, clean bathrooms, hard-packed and level sites, and access to onsite washers and dryers. Not to mention that Shady Lane is only a ten-minute walk from the flea markets and swap meets, which means you won’t have to fight for parking to check out the big shows.

If staying within walking distance of the big events is a must, also check out The Scenic Road RV Park or Quail Run Rv Park, which are both right in town.

Quartzsite has its own vibe — there’s nothing quite like a town made up almost entirely of travelers. Even if the festival atmosphere, neighborhood feel, and endless miles of flea market goods aren’t your cup of tea, there is plenty of sun and easy camping to keep you happy. It’s a spot worth checking out when warmth is what you crave in the dead of winter.

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