Make sure to reach past the sign
Super quiet and easy to reach free camping
This was my second time to camp here.
When I went to dump my tanks at the end of my first week, I found a better way back to the campsites. If you're avoiding the weight limit bridge and have to go through town, the last paved road to the right before Trico road turns to dirt is called N Cocio Rd. That will take you up to Silverbell and to the north side of N Pump Station rd. Silverbell is rough, but it's so much better than the washboard.
We have only been to one other BLM site in Arizona prior to staying here. That one was near Tonopah. However, this site was so much better!! Better roads. Better sites. I loved that there were sites with campfire rings already set up. We were lucky enough to find a fairly large area with a campfire ring and plenty of space for both our vehicles. It was quiet even with others nearby. Pretty well maintained not a bunch of trash or anything. There were quite a few pieces of glass at our site. So please if you bring glass bottles or plates be careful... and clean up after yourself! I wanted to stay longer but unfortunately my hotspot wouldn’t stay connected so I could work. But we definitely intend on making our way back out here soon!
Loved our view of the plants and mountains. Surrounded by RVs but for the most part you can tuck yourself back from the road a little so that you feel more spaced out.
I just spent 2 weeks there, and I was surprised how many people were there for extended stays. Even when people were running their generators, the spots were so far apart that it was hard to hear them. This time of year, the night time lows were low enough that people trying to tent camp were generally packed up and gone before I woke up at sunrise. I have my bicycles with me, and while there aren't any singletrack trails, there were enough jeep roads that I was able to find a new route almost every day. If you can't find a spot at the Pump Station BLM icon on Google Maps, there are other roads up on Silverbell if you turn left and go past the dirt road that splits to the left with a stop sign. I'll add some coordinates of some of the nearby areas that I saw on my bicycle rides. The Weight-limited bridge others have mentioned is a single-lane wooden bridge with steel treads, and the weight limit is 6,000 gvwr. My Class C is well above that, but there were no signs indicating the weight limit until I was already heading north on Silverbell road, so I had to find a place to turn around towing my car. Coordinates of other spots: 32.462431, -111.358941 - A small road just west of the weight restricted bridge. 32.443983, -111.403700 - road heading north has several small pulloffs. The road is narrow, but if you're in a van or have a small trailer, it should be doable. 32.383054, -111.431034 - Old Stagecoach Stop seems to have several areas where you can camp. This road is also relatively easy if you take it slow. Some of the road isn't level, so you may want to walk it from W Avra Valley road (a bit south of the spot this review is for). There are 2 turn offs from the paved road, but the one farther east is relatively rough. The one farther west might be better, but I didn't ride my bicycle on that one.
Great spot to camp. It was harder to find places to take your trash and you had to drive into Tucson to find a laundromat. We never refilled water or dumped our tanks because it wasn't as convenient as other places. Make sure you take I 10 to W Marana Rd, exit 236. Then turn left on N Trico Rd and right on W El Tiro Rd. Then right on N Pump Station Rd. This will avoid roads with weight restrictions.
There's a bridge the gap takes you to that has a gross vehicle weight limit of 6000. My 144wb sprinter is 8500 gw, that's not including all my stuff.
With that aside, it's a perfect spot close enough to civilization for whatever you need, but far enough to feel like boondocking. People so far tend to keep their distance and be respectful. Liking it a lot! Woke up to watch a pack of coyotes with the sunrise.
Beautiful here, close to services, good Verizon... the paved road is worse than the dirt road but good access ...
The main road has been freshly graded. Passage thru here was EZPZ! Evidence of clay pidgeon practice in one spot. Previous camper left me their bag of trash, but it wasn't over packed. I don't mind taking it out with me. Serene! Definitely coming back here for peace and quiet.
if you’re coming from silverbell road, once you turn onto plumber (the dirt road) , continue for about a half mile and you will come across two dirt roads - one on your right, and one on your left. go down either of these dirt roads and you will find plenty of open spaces where you can park your rig or set up a tent. i stayed on a wednesday night and only ever saw two other campers in the area, was very quiet and calm. not much shade but there is foliage. also keep in mind there is coyotes in this area.
Be sure take Silverbell Road and not the other way on the map app. The dirt road that way is tough! Nice view of Avra Valley and North Tucson.
View of Tuscon lights at night, sunrise and sunset over beautiful mountains. Stayed two nights and can't complain
So I have been to all 3 of the blm areas and this is the best of the three. The other ironside is a parking lot and you might be able to drive a 4x4 back there I was not that interested.
The on further south is packed in like sardines. There are not many of the large 🌵 that I came to see. However, i am certain it is a great view.
This spot was really private, we didn't see many other rigs for the week we were there. It's a 20-30 minute drive into town depending on how fast you go on the dirt road. Most rigs will fit, there are some nice sized spots - one of the rigs we saw was a 40ft class A. The main issue I had with this site was all of the broken glass, I picked up what I could but it felt endless. If you're going out for a walk, be aware of all of the prickilies, I got a lot stuck in my socks/shoes. Other than that, it's a very peaceful spot to stay in the desert.