Lake Havasu City, Boondocking
Lake Havasu City is a popular spot for campers. Camping, hiking, and water activities are favorites here. We didn’t stay long as we were on our way through but I did some research I thought I’d pass along. Arizona public land is generally BLM land or Arizona Trust land. In order to use Arizona Trust land, you must purchase a permit and display it during your stay. Permits can be purchased here. My pass was $15 (individual) and is good for one year. At this time, family passes are $20.
Finding Your Perfect Site
My go-to site for researching camping is Campendium.com so I headed over there and started sifting through the options. I like to find the closest city/town to where I want to camp, filter by $0 cost, then zoom in to include the area I’m interested in. Then I check out what each site has to offer. I always read as many reviews as possible. They are full of tidbits of information about things like, where to get water and dump tanks, the best places to visit in the area, safety issues, etc.
I check out the pictures too. You can get a really good sense of the place from the photos. The more I use Campendium, the more I love it. After doing my research there were three different BLM locations I was interested in checking out. All three were north of the city. At the time I camped here, I didn’t know about Arizona Trust land.
My first pick was Lone Tree BLM. As you can see it’s right off a busy highway and it was already packed with campers. It had a parking lot feel and I’m not a fan of that unless I’m doing a quick overnight stop. Looking at the ariel shots of campgrounds can give you the impression that a place is flat and easy to maneuver but don’t assume that is the case. These places are generally pretty rutted and have some deep dips to cross. Lone Tree was no exception.
Craggy Wash BLM
Because Lone Tree was so busy, I decided to check out Craggy Wash. I was fairly crowded too but I spoke to a man on a bike who said some of his neighbors left that morning and there was space near where he was camped. I headed up that way and sure enough, there was room for us so we settled in.
Craggy wash road conditions
The road in is not bad or difficult if you use caution. My site wasn’t more than a mile from the main highway. I wouldn’t feel comfortable going in any further without scouting unhitched first.
blankenship wash blm
Just before Craggy Wash on the other side of the highway sits Blankenship Wash BLM. I did not drive into the area but could see it well as I drove by. It has great potential and is far less crowded than Craggy Wash.
Things to do in and around Lake Havasu City
- Visit the Lake
- See London Bridge
- Lake Havasu State Park
- Lake Havasu Lighthouse
- Bill Williams River Wildlife Refuge
- Take a sunset cruise on the lake
- So many hiking options! – Click to see a list of hikes with the degree of difficulty
Day Trips from lake havasu city
- Havasu Falls – Hiking or Helicopter tours
- Blythe Intaglois – ancient giant figures carved into the ground
- Desert Bar – A bar out in the desert accessible by dirt road and housed in an old saloon.
- Diamond Creek Road to the Colorado River – Drive on old Route 66 down into the Grand Canyon.
- Find more day trips here.
Lake Havasu City was much larger than I expected. Everything you’d need was available. The reason I wanted to stop in LHC was that I needed things only civilization can offer like groceries and prescription refills.
I did not need water or to dump my tanks as I had done that in Quartzsite that morning but there is a dump station at Lake Havasu State Park.
This won’t be a popular sentiment but didn’t love camping there. It was crowded and I love isolation. There was a lot of trash, and what looked like some long-term encampments so I decided to spend the night and leave the next morning. While the picture above doesn’t look crowded, there are several other rigs in very close proximity.
I’m sure I’ll go back one day, but I’ll stay south of town because I saw some dispersed camping there and there was a lot more space. It was Arizona Trust land for the most part.
You might also like, Your Complete Arizona Camping and Boondocking Guide.
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3 thoughts on “Lake Havasu City, Arizona Free Camping Guide”
Am very excited this year. I haven’t traveled in years. I used to love school vacations, just so u could take my kids on vacation. I always have driven, and I was just Blessed with a camper, and my kids are all grown up, but my four-legged kids are soon learn Abt vacations, lol. Loved reading all the info.
Thanks, April L Boestler
I’m so excited for you to get out there and travel again. Let me know how it goes.
There are some nice rv places, try by the lake. Its amazingly beautiful ?