RV Rental Coronado National Forest, AZ

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Coronado National Forest in Arizona was officially established in 1902 by President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt. He felt that protecting the natural beauty of the West was critical and successfully lobbied for several regions to become national forests and national parks. Coronado National Forest is a unique park in that it consists of a handful of “sky islands,” which are mountainous regions that rise abruptly from a flat desert or plain terrain. Though Coronado National Forest is mostly in Arizona, a small portion sprawls across the Arizona-New Mexico border. Coronado National Forest is a classic example of southwestern landscape with rugged buttes rising from the desert, red desert sprawling for miles around, and cacti aplenty.

Tucson, AZ, is 50 miles to the northwest, give or take a few miles depending on which sky island an adventurer chooses to explore. Tucson is a bustling city of around a million residents. In 2017, UNESCO designated the city as a “city of gastronomy” thanks to its abundance of restaurants with a delicious, mouthwatering fare. It’s also well-known for its annual Gem and Mineral Show, which is one of the largest gem and mineral shows in the world. The event, typically held in February, lasts two weeks. Search for an RV in Pima County to jumpstart the perfect southwestern RV camping adventure.

Discover Coronado National Forest

Getting Outdoors

With around 1.8 million acres of wilderness to explore, there’s something for everyone. Although Arizona isn’t known for its snow scene, the northernmost sky island, Catalina Range, gets a few inches of snow most winters. As a result, the southernmost ski resort in the lower-48 can be found perched atop Mount Lemmon. Adventurers can also bring or rent snowmobiles and hit the trails.

Elsewhere, there are several hundred miles of hiking trails that wind and weave through a variety of terrains, including high-elevation alpine mountaintops, cacti-clad deserts, and woodlands in between. One thing that these terrains have in common is they all tend to be arid. Sources of freshwater are scarce, and all hikers are advised to be prepared for extreme temperature changes as well as to bring extra water.

Photographers and nature lovers, take note. At first glance, the arid mountains and desert floors might seem barren of animal life. On the contrary, a few hundred species of mammals, reptiles, and birds make their home in this region. With a little patience and quiet, these critters will emerge - usually at dusk or dawn - to go hunting or foraging for food. They have adapted to the extreme heat by becoming nocturnal. A shortlist of wildlife includes whiskered screech owls, black bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes.

Camping at Coronado National Forest

Rent an RV to gain a traditional camping experience without sacrificing comfort. There’s no need to shiver or endure sand fleas nibbling all night long. Coronado National Forest RV campgrounds range in size and amenities, although one thing they all have in common is there are no hookups.

RV camp near Green Valley, AZ, at Bog Springs Campground, which boasts a lush green forest - a rarity in this part of Arizona. The campground has drinking water and restrooms with flush toilets available for its guests

Alternatively, consider White Rock RV campground, which is a smaller campground. Due to its proximity to Pena Blanca Lake, sites at this campground tend to fill up quickly even though there is no running water. Note that due to the tight turns, RVs and trailers longer than 22 feet are not recommended.

Exploring the Area

Hop into a motorhome rental and hit the road. There are several ghost towns and long-lost settlements waiting to be rediscovered. Or for the impatient, head over to the Courtland Ghost Town in Elfrida, AZ. The town was originally established at the turn of the century during the height of the copper and gold mining boom. Several homes, businesses, and other structures were quickly erected to house an onslaught of newcomers and just as quickly abandoned when the mines dried up. In Tombstone, Good Enough Mine Tour gives visitors a glimpse into life as a silver miner in the late 1800s.

Head into Tucson, which is a vibrant town with a bustling downtown scene ranging from world-class art museums to theaters and shopping to restaurants. The Reid Park Zoo, found in the heart of Tucson, has a wide range of habitats that houses a variety of animals including rhinos, tigers, and flamingos. Visitors can also opt to tag along with zookeepers on their daily routines or to have an up-close-and-personal encounter with one of the resident animals.

At the end of a long day of hiking, exploring, and driving in an Airstream rental from town to town, retreat into the comforts of your temporary home. Enjoy the sounds of nature from the safety of an RV rental. Find your perfect RV camping adventure in southern Arizona.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Bassett Peak Trail, AZBenson, AZ
  • Kennedy Peak, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ
  • Powers Garden via Sycamore Trail, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ
  • Redington Road, AZBenson, AZ
  • Ladybug Peak via Bear Canyon Trail #299, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ
  • Chimney Rock, AZBenson, AZ
  • Grant Hill Trail, AZWillcox, AZ
  • Hospital Flat Nature Trail, AZWillcox, AZ
  • Mount Graham Trail, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ
  • Grant Goudy Ridge Trail, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ

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