Howdy folks, thanks for stopping by. This will be an ongoing effort to keep an up to date listing of places I have stopped for overnights. In order to make it more usable, I will be using labels for the posts and will enable searching by label. Labels I intend to use are for: State, County, Vault(if it has), Primitive (if no facilities at all), Water (if near enough to walk to), Noise level, Pet friendly, Fishing, Hiking, Road condition. If I think of more that are needed, will add them at that time :)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Quartzsite Az, Off Gold Nugget Rd.

Howdy folks, thought I'd share a nice little spot for those that might winter in the Quartzsite, Az area, though I admit that I'm hesitant! I'd like to keep it for myself, but since I'm there for so little time thats not really fair. :)

As you can see from the map below, it's NOT on BLM land as so much of the area is, but State Trust land.   so make sure you have your permit before you head out unless your willing to claim you thought you were on BLM land if you should happen to be asked to proved your right to access.
As you can see from the map, it's not far off of the Highway, the road there is pretty easy to follow and smooth when I was there.
  It DOES follow the bottom of a wash for a short distance, so you have to keep that in mind during storm season.

You can see from these photos that the "Parking Area" is actually pretty good sized, the road passes through it cutting it in half, on the days I was out there I never had any issues with traffic or had to worry about keeping Tori on lead to keep her safe.  

Downsides about the camp..  well.. a road runs through it :)   but as I said, no traffic to speak of, I think I saw 2 jeeps..  the larger issue if you have dogs or kids is that there are Cholla Cactus in the area, and if your not careful you may end up having needles to pull!  it wasn't bad and Tori and I would take our walks with no issue, but she's learned how to avoid them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New campsite discovered East of Payson, Az

for me that is

just to the east of Payson,Az on Highway 260 there is a road that drops south about a half a mile, get back in there and you can pull right up near a retention pond for the animals, is room for 4 or 5 vehicles if they like each other or other turns of the road you could take to get more solitude, spent the past 4 days there in the company of some other Vandwellers, and had a really nice stay just taking life easy and gathering around the fire every morning.

some good walking both in the woods and on the trails in the area, as well as some great potential spots to hike into!  Since I'm working my way toward backpacking, I intend to do just that before winter hits, and I wont be at all surprised if I tent camp at this site again.

Now, downside.. sadly some folks (I'm assuming from Payson) have come out here and illegally dumped yard waste in the area.. I've decided that each time I go there I have a mission to clean it up!!  As long as fire restrictions are NOT in place, when I visit, I will be burning all the crap that comes with civilization and trying to help restore the beauty that should be there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Revisiting an old and Favorite area near Rye, Az

Barnhardt trailhead area.. Has to be one of my favorite late winter, early spring camping areas..

I love how open it is, and how peaceful it can be.. This time, I went to an area that is further up the access road than in prior visits, since I was in a smaller truck with 4wd just in case it got muddy..

Wildflowers hadnt yet started blooming there, but I do enjoyed just being there in the quiet and wide open desert!!  As you can see, I've begun tent camping now.  I found the small truck to be to cramped with my gear, Me, and Tori... so decided that I needed more space.. the bad thing about the box truck was that I got used to having everything with me, and I'm still learning how to break that habit!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Arizona State Trust land, Facts and the reality(updated4-1-15)

Mornin folks Winking smile just wanted to do a general post to answer some folks questions on Arizona State trust land, camping thereon, and limitations that you might encounter.
Az State trust land is located throughout the state, some of the areas are very popular, others you are unlikely to see a soul.. that fact is critical in your decision to use the land without hassles.  Technically, in order to use state trust land for ANY use you must get a permit in advance of your stay, the following is excerpted from the AZ Land department site.
Arizona Trust Land is land managed by the State Land Department
Trust Land is not public land!
A recreation permit is required to camp, hike or travel on Trust Land that is designated as open for recreation
A recreation permit is an agreement between you (the responsible casual user) and the Department, to allow limited recreational activities conditional on your continued responsible behavior (see terms and conditions)
Types of Recreational Permits/ Terms/ Fee  Fees havent changed as of 4/1/15, wanted to double check that inflation hadnt hit. :)
For more information about the types of permits click the text links below or select What Type of Permit do I need
Individual Permits
1 Year
Family Permits
1 Year
Non-Competitive/ Non-Commercial Group Permit * Less than 20 people
Less than 5 Days
Event Special Land Use Permit **
2 / 5 Years
Fee Schedule
Now, to the reality of things.. IF you are in a high traffic area, there is a distinct possibility that you will be approached to show a permit, if you are out there.. well, who is gonna know?   I have spent many weeks on state trust land, some of which within 100yds of the main (dirt) road going from pavement to a trailhead.. and only once have I been approached.. that camp had me on the top of a hill, with a huge panoramic vista before me..and with a white box truck I stood out like a billboard!!  The ranger that came up to me asked about the permit, I admitted I didn’t have one, said I was just camping for a day or two waiting to go to the renaissance festival which was coming up that weekend, he was pleasant and friendly, didn’t run me off, but since I told him I would leave after that, I didn’t push it beyond that weekend.  Had I been down one of the roads that wound off, I doubt I would have been noticed at all.
There are areas that are state trust land that I think would be fine for long term parking, and doubt that you would ever see anyone! Let alone an employee of a state that is having major budget issues.  Case in point, there is state trust land that is within 2 miles of my property in northern Az.. it’s 5 miles off the pavement down a year round graded road in the middle of nowhere.. it’s rare that I see anyone in that area, which is perfect for being left alone..
there is an online tool available to find parcels of State trust lands HERE, but my normal source is through Arizona Atlas & Gazetteer .  I tend to like to carry the paper maps just in case I’m in an area with no wireless signal, or running low on power.
So far, I haven't found a reason to actually get a permit.. maybe one day I’ll see the need, but as long as I can find a quiet spot without having to get it, I will continue to skirt the edges of the system.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

McNary Rd, near Apache Sunrise

Apache Sunrise area

Visually, I think this has been my favorite for a forest camp.IMG_0646

from the first Show low camp, I went through the town of Mcnary on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and then out the east side of it near the town of Greer, the forest was totally different than that around Show Low, even though it wasn't all that far away in miles.

IMG_0648 The trees were much larger, the woods felt more majestic, and there were open grasslands interspersed in the area. When I pulled off the main road I was greeted by a sign stating that I was now in an Active wolf recovery area (which thrilled me).

it was primitive camping at it's best, no facilities, there were springs nearby, and plenty of space to breath.. it was colder than Show Low, and the only real downside is that I had to deal with mice for the first time! he was a cute little bugger, but frustrated me to no end, and because of him I ended up leaving much sooner than I would have liked to.

I also for the first time heard an Owl during the night, and I would just lay there smiling while he called and hunted.
I will go back once I seal the truck a bit better! there are so many gaps he could get in that it's not feasible for me to keep a mouse out for now. :)   This area is great for walking and looking in the woods, I haven't made it back there as yet, but it’s on my list of favorites Smile

Posted by Steven Ballee' at 8:59 AM

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Concerns about Forest Service Ticketing campers.


Recently, on a friends blog, he posted about the Forest Service ticketing people for “Living in the forest”  and I find myself quite upset by it.. feel free to visit the original post HERE.  In fact, I recommend it as a read for everyone.

What it seems to be in my opinion is an attack on those campers that are trying to make due with less.  I highly doubt that they are going after the 100k rv’s or 5th wheels that are out there used by full timers.. OR that they will bother a soul if you go and spend your time in the paid campgrounds.. but if you live in full compliance with the rules, if you practice “leave no trace” camping and move when you are supposed to, they still want to penalize you for not having a set address.

in one of the linked articles in the original post, it talked about a couple that is full time in a Class A, and because they had a sticker in their window from an LFTV(Long term visitors area, like those around Yuma, or Quartzsite Az) they were cited because obviously they lived in their RV.. It had nothing to do with the 14 day limit, nothing to do with whether or not they were abusing the forest in the area they were camped.   Personally, I think that’s an abuse of power by the NFS.

Wanted to put the word out for folks to be aware.. if wishes come true, it will get folks irked enough to put in a call to complain to the NFS.

Thank you for your time.

Western Arizona, Vicksburg Rd exit off I-10


Ok, have to be honest.. this isnt so much a camp as a place where you can go park for weeks in the winter and pretty much be left alone Smile  and sometimes, that’s just what you need!     View Larger Map


What I did was simple enough, Get off of I-10 at the Vicksburg Rd Exit, and head south into the hardpan desert in the surrounding area.. Once you go over the Cattle guard, your on BLM land.   If you follow that road south, you will come to KOFA NWR, but I didn’t bother to go that far.

Immediately after the Cattle guard there is a left turn into a large flat area of desert, where the surface is hard packed enough to support campers, trailers 18 wheelers.. whatever.. I drove back on that hard surface a ways to be farther from I-10, and parked.  for my walks I would head west into the desert, but I was alone out there, close enough to walk up to the truck stop at the exit if I chose (about a mile) and I was left there alone with one exception, and that was the mechanic from the truck stop coming out after 10 days to make sure I hadn't broke down.. had I wished, I could have followed trails back further away from that area so that I probably wouldn’t have been noticed at all, even with something as big as a box truck.


I came to this spot after being “run out” of the BLM near Quartzsite Az.. and since when you move you have to go at least 25 miles, this suited me well as I think it was 26 <grin> and once here, I never saw any signs of a ranger or enforcement official.  If your looking to be entertained by the surrounding area, or things going on, this wont do it for ya.. but if you are seeking a quiet spot to just let yourself be for a bit.. this is about perfect Smile