I was making the trip from Las Vegas, NV to Phoenix in early December 2016, and I considered an overnight stop somewhere in between. I got on the Free Campsites website to look for a place and found a listing for a spot on Highway 93 east just before Kingman. The listing didn’t say who administered the land. BLM? Forest Service? Department of Transportation? No clue.
I ended up getting an early start the morning I left Vegas. Even with a stop at the Taco Bell in Boulder City for coffee and breakfast burritos, I was still on target to hit Kingman early in the day. I decided I didn’t really want to boondock just for the sake of boondocking. Besides, I was wide awake from the coffee. I knew I could easily make it all the way to Phoenix well before dark.
However, since I was passing right by the free camping spot, I thought I’d stop there and see how it looked.
Just as I’d seen during my Google Maps research, there is a turn lane with giant arrows leading right to the camping area. It’s the only big turn lane with arrows I noticed that wasn’t either in a town or leading to some business. This turn lane must often make drivers wonder, Where the heck does this go?
When I pulled in, I saw a small sign saying the area is a Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund Project. I saw no signs saying people couldn’t camp there or park overnight.
According to the Arizona Heritage Alliance web page,
Formed in 1992, the Arizona Heritage Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is guided by a Board of Directors drawn from a broad base of outdoor sports, environmental conservation, and historic preservation organizations that helped pass the 1990 statewide voter initiative creating the Heritage Fund.
Our mission is to preserve and enhance Arizona’s historic, cultural and natural heritage. We accomplish our mission by actively:
- Protecting the integrity and voter intent of the Game and Fish Heritage Funds.
- Monitoring state legislative and agency activity.
- Pursuing sustainable and dedicated funding sources for Arizona’s historic, cultural and natural initiatives, programs and activities.
- Educating people of Arizona about the benefits of Arizona’s wildlife, open space, parks and historic and cultural resources.
The area does have a pit toilet in one of those Forest Service style buildings (known as a CXT in the pit toilet business), but I didn’t get out of the van to check on cleanliness and toilet paper availability.
There are no actual campsites in this area. There’s a strip of road to drive on, and it seems people can park their rigs anywhere off the roadway. When I passed through, there was one camper parked to the side of the roadway near the entrance, so yes, people do boondock there.
I don’t remember seeing a water spigot or a trashcan in the area. If I were going to stay in this spot, I would plan to bring water and pack out trash.
The area is not super beautiful, but it’s pretty for a desert region right off a highway. Because it is a desert, there aren’t many trees, which means not much shade. This spot would probably be nice in winter, but hot as hell in the summer.
This spot would be good for boondocking if a driver wanted to stop overnight on a trip between Vegas and Phoenix or if someone wanted to explore the Kingman area.
I thought maybe next time I traveled on Highway 93, I’d actually spend the night in this area, but an April 2017 review on the Free Campsites webpage says it is “is soon to be made into day use only.” I’ll check it out next time I pass by, then issue a full report.
I took all the photos in this post.
I passed by this spot in early November of 2017. Folks in RVs were camped in the area, and I saw no signs prohibiting camping or overnight parking.
It is posted as a trailhead and day use area. There is no camping here put people continue to do it. It is not equipped for camping and people should at least take their trash with them. Town and gas stations are 3 minutes away.
Thanks for this update, Rob. I appreciate your input.
Yes, people should ALWAYS take their trash with them if there are no trash cans or dumpsters available. “Pack it in, pack it out” should be the credo for boondockers and backpackers alike.
Have you actually camped in this area? Are no law enforcement folks running campers out?
I believe there is a pit toilet at this location. Is it unlocked and usable?