Dankworth Pond State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Dankworth Pond State Park, located in eastern Arizona, is a day-use park that is a sub-unit of Roper Lake State Park. People who want to camp may stay at Roper Lake State Park and use the daytime facilities at Dankworth Pond State Park. The two parks are three miles apart, and guests pay one entry fee for both parks. With a valid entry ticket, visitors may go between both parks.

Dankworth Pond is located in an area of Arizona that has a cold, semi-arid climate. The weather is warm, but not as hot as some of the other desert regions of Arizona, making the park enjoyable year-round. The park is flanked by geographical interests such as Artesian mineral wells, sand dunes, and the Pinaleno Mountains. Mount Graham, the highest peak in the Pinaleno Mountains, has an elevation of 10,717 feet at the summit, and the landscape transitions from desert to mountain forest. Mount Graham is a popular destination in Eastern Arizona because the telescope at the Mt. Graham International Observatory, a division of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, is responsible for helping astronomers discover some of the most important space discoveries to date.

RVers, campers, and other recreation seekers will have an abundance of things to see and do in Eastern Arizona when they visit Dankworth Pond State Park, an area of Arizona that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

RV Rentals in Dankworth Pond State Park

Transportation in Dankworth Pond State Park

Driving

Dankworth Pond State Park is located 174 miles southeast of Phoenix and 121 miles northeast of Tucson, Arizona. The closest town, Safford, is 8.2 miles away.

Dankworth Pond State Park operates year round, and the park gates are open daily from 6:00 am through 10:00 pm. The park assesses an entrance fee. Fees vary depending on the number of adults inside the vehicle. The daily entrance fee covers entry into Dankworth Pond State Park as well as Roper Lake State Park, located three miles north. Please note that no vehicles are permitted entry once the gates have closed for the night.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Dankworth Pond State Park

Campsites in Dankworth Pond State Park

Reservations camping

Hacienda Campground

Dankworth Pond State Park does not have camping facilities, but RVers may stay at the sister park, Roper Lake State Park, located three miles from Dankworth Pond. The Hacienda Campground in Roper Lake provides each site with electric, 20 and 30 amp, as well as water hookups. Most spaces will accommodate a vehicle length of up to 45 feet, with some sites as large as 70 feet, and they are a mix of paved, pull-through and back-in driveways. Each site includes a fire ring and a picnic table, and the campground has restrooms with hot showers near the entrance. Generators are allowed as long as they are silenced during the posted quiet hours between 10:00 pm through 6:00 am.

Cottonwood Campground

Dankworth Pond State Park does not have camping facilities, but RVers may stay at the sister park, Roper Lake State Park, located three miles from Dankworth Pond. The Cottonwood Campground in Roper Lake has water and electrical hookups, 20 through 50 amp, and each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and a shade ramada. The campground has restrooms with hot showers. The sites have paved, back-in driveways and accommodate a vehicle length up to 68 feet. Generators are allowed as long as they are silenced during the posted quiet hours between 10:00 pm through 6:00 am.

Gila Campground

Dankworth Pond State Park does not have camping facilities, but RVers may stay at the sister park, Roper Lake State Park, located three miles from Dankworth Pond. The Gila Campground in Roper Lake has cabins and group campsites, and the RV spaces are non-electric with water at most sites. Each space has a fire ring and a picnic table, and the paved, back-in driveways accommodate RVs and trailers up to 63 feet in length. The Gila Campground is the closest camping area to the dump station. Generators are allowed as long as they are silenced during the posted quiet hours between 10:00 pm through 6:00 am.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Dankworth Pond State Park

In-Season

Trails

The Dankworth Pond State Park trail, the Dos Arroyos Trail, is a multifaceted interpretive trail. Hike the 1.75-mile path through an Indian village containing replicas of the homes, tools, and artifacts that many of the southwestern Indian tribes used to eat, live, and survive. The hike teaches about the changing lifestyles of the Paleo-Indians through the Mogollon Indian tribes, and the information, presented by a partnership between the Arizona State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management, is used to educate school groups about Native American History and entertain park guests. The Dos Arroyos Trail is a loop, and the trailhead begins near the east end of the pond. The park also has two smaller trails, the Dankworth Village Trail and the Far Loop Trail, both less than a half a mile long.

Park Day Use Areas

Visitors staying at Dankworth Pond State Park may use the facilities here as well as at Roper Lake State Park, located three miles away. Pay one entrance fee and use both park’s facilities almost interchangeably. The Roper Lake State Park facility houses the Visitor Center, so guests who want to learn about the Junior Ranger Programs or wander through a gift shop should head north to see what else Roper Lake has available. If you're going to use the day use facilities at Dankworth Pond, there are shaded picnic areas with a ramada and a grill available near the fishing area.

Fishing

Anglers who like fishing from a pier, the shoreline, or a small boat without a motor should bring their fishing tackle and poles and spend the day on the water. Dankworth Pond, once a fish hatchery, has trout, catfish, bass, and bluegill, and anglers are permitted to catch the park’s limit for each fish. The fishing pier is located near the park entrance near the picnic and day use area. Don’t forget your license! In Arizona, a valid fishing license is required for all anglers ten years of age and older.

Off-Season

Boating

Bring your small boats with you on your next vacation and spend the day on the water. Dankworth Pond, a 15-acre pond fed by an artesian spring, is warm and clear, and it is ideal for paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes. The pond doesn’t have a boat launch, so only small boats that can trailer into the water will be able to access the water. Because of the small surface area, no motorized boats are permitted on the water.

Birdwatching

Bodies of water generally create the ideal habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and other animal species, and Dankworth Pond State Park is no exception. The wildlife viewing opportunities, especially the birdwatching is excellent here. Bring your bird guides, and ask the park staff where the best bird viewing areas are located. Look for mergansers, egrets, herons, grebes, mallard ducks, great horned owls, cardinals, Gambel’s quail, and more. Because of the milder desert temperatures, every season is a good season for birding.

Kartchner Caverns

If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly activity, and don’t mind a bit of a day trip, park your RV and visit Kartchner Caverns State Park, located only 86 miles away. Kartchner Caverns is one of Arizona’s most exciting places to explore. The caverns contain cave formations unlike any other caves in the world, making the park a must-see for any cave enthusiast. Plan your visit by calling the park ahead. Schedule a cave tour, and prepare for a few hours underground!

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