SP Campground Review – Picacho Peak State Park, Eloy AZ
A lovely state park just ~40 mins north of Tucson in south-central Arizona.
- Site Quality = 4.5/5
Extremely nice sites here with just a minor ding. The campground is arranged in 3 main circular loops (A, B, C). A-loop seems slightly newer than B/C loop and has some nicer pavement, perhaps a bit more “desert green” (C loop seems the “barest”) and several covered sitting areas, but otherwise all 3 loops are very similar. All sites are paved, either back-in or pull-through and offer electric 20/30/50 Amp only (NO water, NO sewer). Sitting areas are large cleared-out spaces in the desert, nicely bounded with rocks that contain picnic table and fire-pit and they are either right next to your site or behind it (depending on the site). Sites themselves are extremely spacious (especially the back-in sites which are almost all double-width in size -> we could easily have fit 2 “beasts” side-by-side in ours!) and they all have excellent separation and lovely views of the desert and mountains. Only minor ding is that all 3 loops are built on a long slope so pull-through sites are rather uneven and more difficult to level. However back-in sites are almost all nicely level. If given the choice, I recommend a back-in. Also I do think sites on the outside of the loops are somewhat nicer than sites on the inside since you have no-one behind you to mar the view. However all sites are really quite lovely and you’d be hard pressed to go wrong here.
Note/ The campground also has 2 group areas, reservable separately from the A/B/C main loops.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Good facilities here. There are 2 large facility buildings in the campground with bathrooms & showers. Bathrooms are large and kept nicely clean. Showers are large individual rooms with separate bench area and good water pressure and temperature. Only ding is they have those annoying spray heads, but otherwise they are quite nice. There is also on-site dump station, potable water and small book-swap.
- Location = 3.5/5
This is a bit of an “out there” location. Picacho Peak has lovely trails and views, but there is really not much else out here. Casa Grande is ~30 miles north and Tucson is a good ~40 miles south so it’s best to stock-up before you come and plan to stay here for the duration of your stay. Also you are *somewhat* close to the I-10 here so you do hear *some* road traffic from your campsite. It’s not a ton, but it is there.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Another fabulous pooch park. Lots of space to hang out in camp plus plenty of dog-friendly trails (the only trails you can’t really do with doggie are the ones up the front face of Picacho Peak that require cables). Also not much cholla around, so pretty decent for paws on the ground.
Overall Rating = 4.1
BONUS ALERT = Camp will full view of gorgeous Picacho Peak!
Summary: We chose this park for a 2-day stop-over on Valentine’s weekend and it worked out great. Picacho Peak is a bit “out there” lying ~30 miles south of Casa Grande and ~40 miles north of Tucson, but it’s easily accessed off the I-10 and offers some lovely views & hiking trails in a pretty desert environment. Sites are arranged in 3 circular loops (A, B, C) and are electric only (50 Amp), but they are all extremely spacious, have lovely “sitting areas” and offer excellent separation (even when the park is full you will not feel cramped here). You have *some* road-noise from I-10, but otherwise the park is peaceful and since the loops are built on a slope almost every site has superb views of both Picacho Peak and the surrounding area. The park also seems to be very popular, so if coming in winter I would definitely recommend reservations! Lots of fabulous hiking trails around Picacho Peak including some trails that require cables for those brave enough to do them. Not much else to visit in the immediate area, but it’s a good spot to just veg and hang. We enjoyed our short stay and would certainly come back to “hang out” if we were passing through the area again.
Extra Info: Good cell signal (3 bars ATT LTE, 3 bars Verizon LTE). There is also on-site WiFi, but you need to pay for it ($3,95/day, $14.95/week -> we didn’t try it). 85 reservable sites with electric only. Sites cost $30/night in main loops (there is also a separate group area). On-site dump station and potable water.