A very easy and natural boondocking spot ~6 miles west of Quartzsite in east-central AZ
Location: Dome Rock, Quartzsite, AZ (info on camping HERE)
Coordinates: 33.64203N, -114.31374W. Link to map location HERE
Cost: FREE (2 week stay limit -> free pass provided by camp-host)
How We Found It: I initially heard about Quartzsite several years ago on the RV forums and found more detailed info on the individual camping areas from the web (links at bottom).
Nearest Dump/Water: Water and RV tank dump are all available in nearby Quartzsite. Household trash can be dumped for free at the Refuse Transfer Station north of Quartzsite just past mile marker 115 on Highway 95 (open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday).
- Access – 4.5/5
Very easy access here although a little extra effort is needed to access the best spots. The Dome Rock BLM area is a large, open spot on the south side of Hwy 10 just west of Quartzsite. You enter the BLM from either side of Dome Rock Road which parallels Hwy 10 (west entrance is at exit 11, east entrance exit 17). Dome Rock is paved and easily drivable and you can boondock anywhere off the pavement on either side. Towards the Quartzsite side (east) the boonocking area is large and flat with super-easy sites even for a large group of rigs. Towards the back (west) it gets more hilly with many dirt roads leading off in various directions towards the hills. If you want to stay in the hills, which I would consider the prettiest, be prepared to scope out the area before you bring in your big-rig. All dirt roads/spots are super-firm with space and support for any sized-rig and lots of choices of spots. Only minor ding is that if you want to get really back and remote in the hills the dirt roads can become rather narrow and uneven/bumpy.
- Nature – 5/5
Lovely nature here. Up on the west end by the hills you have sweeping vistas of Quartzsite in the valley together with pretty views of the surrounding hills. Days worth of hiking and exploring in the hills as well as the prospecting mines hidden therein.
- Isolation – 4/5
Very good isolation with a few minor dings. The hills provide lots of open knolls and “hidden” boondocking spots so you can easily find a site with good privacy and no neighbours in sight. The BLM area also seems one of the lesser-used in Quartzsite so generally very few rigs around. The only minor ding is that you are ~1-1.5 miles from Hwy 10 so unless you are well back in the hills you will hear some noise from the freeway. Plus you will occasionally get locals coming to do some ATVing in the area. We found neither to be bothersome, but if you’re looking for perfect quiet this may not be the spot.
- Pet Friendliness – 5/5
Fabulous pet spot. You have days-worth of hiking and exploring in the surrounding hills, plus lots of space to hang out in camp. Also this is mostly “scrub” desert so not too much cactus around which is a big positive for paws on the ground.
Overall Rating = 4.6
Summary: Dome Rock is one of 5 “designated” limited-stay boondocking sites around Quartzsite (see below for info on the others) and is probably our favorite in the area. It’s super-easy to access off paved Dome Rock Road (which parallels highway 10 for ~6 miles west of town) and has the attraction of being somewhat higher than the town and right “in the hills” giving lovely sweeping views of both Quartzsite and the surrounding area. Free Boondocking is allowed on either side of the paved road and accessed by firm, dirt roads that run back in all directions into the hills. The far east side of the BLM is flat and open, but the far prettier section is towards the west side in the hills. Lots of knolls and gently hilly sites with good privacy, yet enough areas firm and flat enough for small multi-rig groups. It’s easy to find a site and you’ll see plenty of fire-rings from previously used locations all around the area. The only dings we can give this place are that it does get some noise from Hwy 10, plus it is sometimes used by ATVers. However neither bothered us and if you’re adventurous you can drive far enough back into the hills that neither will be a problem. A lovely spot and we will most definitely come back.
Extra Info: No water or facilities (nearest facilities in Quartzsite). There is an on-site camphost (near exit 17) where you can check-in and get your free 14-day pass. FULL Verizon 3G signal so great data & voice access.
Extra, Extra Info – OTHER BOONDOCKING? There are 4 other “designated” limited-stay boondocking sites in and around Quartzsite (Hi Jolly, Plomosa Rd, Scaddon Wash and Roadrunner) as well as long-term (LVTA) sites in La Posa. Dispersed camping is also allows on BLM land outside these areas unless otherwise posted. Detailed info and directions to all sites in these links:
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