RV Park Review – Escapees North Ranch, Congress, AZ
A basic, but very peaceful Escapees (SKP) park in a great location to explore Congress/Wickenburg in central-northwest AZ. Open to both SKP and non-SKP members.
- Site quality = 3/5
Escapees North Ranch is a huge park, most of which is dedicated to established homes & owned lots. Only the front ~1/10 or so of the park (near the entrance) is the “RV Park” area where members or non-members can stop and stay. This section of the park is very basic and consists of two big dirt lots (one on north side of main street and one on south side) with ~111 hookup sites (30amp/water/sewer only) and a smaller dry camping area. Sites are just dirt back-ins (there are a few pull-throughs), arranged side-by-side in three long rows with no separation or privacy. Spacing is decent and sites are all long and flat, plus each site has a picnic table, but otherwise there is nothing to separate one site from the other. Front row sites (#7-36) do have some trees behind them which provide afternoon shade, but middle and back rows are mostly open/bare. When the park is empty there is plenty of space, but when full I could see it feeling a tad cramped.
Note/ Posted signs say NO generators allowed at any time (and I assume this includes the dry camping area)
- Facilities = 2.5/5
There are two areas with flush toilets, in the main office/clubhouse and the activity center both of which were nicely clean and spacious. Only one shower facility in main office/clubhouse, but it was closed while I was there so I was unable to see or review it. The ding in the facilities rating reflects this.
- Amenities = 4/5
The amenities here are quite nice and available to anyone who comes (owners or RV park visitors). There is a clubhouse by the main entrance with nice laundry room ($1.25 for wash and dry), library (lots of books), games/puzzles and free WiFi (inside the clubhouse only). There is also a large, separate activity center with a 2nd laundry room and a huge indoor space where the park runs various on-going activities such as beading, tai chi and music. There are also plenty of “socials” such as ice cream socials, so lots of opportunity to mingle and meet as well as a pickleball court in the barn. Main “dings” are no pool or exercise room (there are some stationary bikes outside the back of the clubhouse, but they didn’t seem to be in great shape) and no free WiFi outside the clubhouse (there is paid on-site Tengonet but we did not try it). On-site dump station and propane.
Note/ North Ranch is also one of only 3 SKP locations that offers the Smart Weigh program where you can get an accurate, 4-corner weigh of your RV. This is something everyone should get done for their rig once in their RVing lives. It’s not free, but for $45 it’s a great deal.
- Location = 5/5
This is a nice location to explore Congress & Wickenberg area, being short drives from both. It’s easy access from the main road and surrounded by many miles of ATV-friendly desert which you can access thro’ a gate in the SE corner of the park (if you like ATV’ing, jeeping or dirt-biking, this is the park for you). Congress has a few small eateries & a cool ghost town area, while Wickenberg has a larger grocery, a museum, interesting street sculptures and even more eateries. Lots of additional towns and sights to visit within a few hours drive.
- Pet friendliness = 5/5
This is a great area for doggie. There is a small fenced-in dog run (off-leash) near the entrance and a nice long “dog walk” that goes around the first row of the park (leashed only). For more extensive walking there is access to miles of open desert and “free hiking” on BLM land through a gate in the back SE corner of the park. Lots of bunnies and coyotes around so if you’re off-leash on BLM land, just make sure doggie knows how to stay close.
Overall rating = 3.9
BONUS ALERT: Camp within walking distance of MILES of open BLM land!
Summary: We have friends who own a house at this park so we decided to try it out for a few nights on our trip south. The park is quite large and mostly composed of owned lots & houses. Only the front 1/10 or so area is the “RV park” which basically just consists of two large dirt lots with ~111 hookup sites (plus a few dry camping sites) arranged in three long rows one right next to the other. The sites are flat and long, decently separated but only offer 30amp/water/sewer (no 50amp) and don’t really offer anything in the way of privacy. It’s just a big ‘ol parking area. On the bonus side the park is very welcoming, has a lovely clubhouse with books/puzzles/laundry, lots of social activities (which anyone can attend) and feels very quiet and peaceful. For doggies there is a nice doggie-walk behind the first row of the park, an off-leash dog run in the front and miles (and miles and miles) of fully open BLM walking out the gate in the back SE corner of the park. This same SE corner gate is open to ATV’s (and dirt-bikes, and jeeps), and dirt-roading is a popular pass-time here since all the surrounding BLM land allows it. Town-wise you are less than 5 miles to the cute little town of Congress and only ~12 miles to the larger (very cute) western town of Wickenberg, plus there are lots of other towns to see within a few hours drive of the area. During our stay here the RV parking spots were mostly empty (we had no-one behind us, nor in the 6 sites to left of us) so we had a lovely view of the mountains and found the park very peaceful, but I’d probably find it a tad cramped if all the sites were full. Still, the location is great and the hookup price is right especially for SKP members (you don’t have to be an Escapees member to stay here, but it makes it cheaper). I’d say this park is a good base to explore the area and if we wanted hookups (i.e. we weren’t boondocking), we’d certainly stay here again.
Extra Info: Paid WiFi (Tengonet), but we did not try it. Decent Verizon signal (3 bars of 4G LTE unboosted), but weaker ATT signal (3 bars 3G only, NO 4G). 111 total sites. Dry-camping sites cost $5/night (Escapees members) or $12/night (non-Escapees) with 21-day limit. Hookups sites cost $19/night (Escapees members) or $26.50 (non-Escapees). Deeply discounted weekly and monthly rates available HERE. All rates include access to clubhouse and activities. On-site dump station and propane, but no free WiFi except at the clubhouse.
Extra, Extra Info – BOONDOCKING: There is actually quite a bit of boondocking on BLM land around here, depending on your size and where you want to be. We’ve boondocked near Congress, but there is also land just south of the North Ranch Park and a large boondocking area by Vulture Peak in Wickenberg. All these areas are free and have 14-day camping limits.