2017 Fleetwood Jamboree
2017 Fleetwood Jamboree
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Situated within the Gila River Valley, four miles south of the town of Safford, is Roper Lake State Park. With the 32-acre Roper Lake as its border, the zone was developed into a recreation area back in the '60s. Today, the park is a perfect place to unwind and camp in an RV near Safford.
Explore the wild and untamed nature of Arizona and learn more about the flora that inhabits this area. The landscape is a combination of horticultural terrain and desert scrub, and most of the wildlife comes from the Chihuahuan Desert.
Since the park is also quite close to the towns of Thatcher (ten miles), and Pima (15 miles), seize this opportunity to expand your adventure and visit some of the more unique places outside the park as well. Of course, RV camping at state parks is hardly possible without a reliable and comfortable camper. If you don't have your own rig, look for an affordable RV rental near Roper Lake State Park, or search for an RV in Graham County.
Roper Lake is undoubtedly the star of the park. Thousands of visitors flock to the shores to enjoy the view and survey the local wildlife. If you're a birding enthusiasts, you'll love it here, as spotting mergansers, flycatchers, cardinals, ruddy ducks, kingfisher, and other avian species won’t be too difficult. Look closely and you might even catch a glimpse of mammals such as coyotes, squirrels, and bobcats.
The lake is also teeming with fish. Pack your fishing gear and try your luck catching crappie, rainbow trout, and largemouth bass. If your ideal vacation by the lake doesn't include fishing, simply dip into the lake's cool water to beat the desert heat, or take a relaxing stroll along the beautiful sandy coast. You can even turn up the heat at Roper Lake in the park's very own hot springs.
To make your stay even more eventful, bring a boat with you for some serene paddling across the lake. Both motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed, but only kayaks can be rented here.
For those eager to explore all the nooks and crannies of Roper Lake State Park, there are five miles of hiking trails that provide magnificent views of the park's scenery.
Three RV campgrounds at Roper Lake State Park are available to visitors. These include Gila Campground, Cottonwood Campground, and Hacienda Campground. All sites are pet-friendly, can accommodate vehicles up to 45 feet long, and can be reserved a year in advance.
Cottonwood Campground is the park's largest camping area, featuring 25 sites with water and electric hookups (20, 30, and 50-amp). Amenities include fire rings, picnic tables, as well as nearby bathrooms with hot showers.
Hacienda Campground is the second-largest section, featuring 20 sites with water and electric hookups (20 and 30 amp). Guests love this site because located on the lakeside; however, the campground enforces quiet hours, so make sure your generator is turned off at that time.
Lastly, there's the Gila Campground, which boasts five sites that feature water hookups and a nearby dump station. This campground is also located on the lakeside, and visitors will have access to fire rings and picnic tables.
When exploring the area around the park, take your time and pay a visit to the Eastern Arizona Museum & Historical Society in Pima, AZ. Explore the museum and learn about the early history of Arizona through a wide range of artifacts, such as hand tools, Arizona history books, photographs, weapons from the Old West, and much more.
Gaze into the stars and channel your inner astronomer by visiting the Mount Graham International Observatory in Safford. Here, Safford campers will not only have an amazing opportunity to expand their knowledge about the universe, but also about the history and wildlife of this region too.
Another popular attraction in Graham County is the abundance of hot springs scattered around the area. Though Roper Lake State Park is home to one of the county's hot springs, you'll find more thermal baths at Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area and Kachina Hot Springs and Mineral Baths. The Kachina bath is just five minutes from the state park, while the recreation is a little further afield at an hour south.
To treat yourself to a great meal, Safford is home to a variety of restaurants which are bound to suit your tastes. Fortunately, you'll have plenty of places to choose from, including a Mexican restaurant, Chinese food, and a number of traditional and fast-food restaurants. You'll also find a few gas stations here as well, which is convenient in case you need to purchase some supplies or gas up your RV rental.