AZ - Rainbow Campground (Big Lake Rec Area)

Discussion in 'National Parks, Forests and ACOE Campgrounds' started by jbarz73, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. jbarz73

    jbarz73 New Member

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Gilbert, AZ
    We stayed at Rainbow Campground on July 6-10, 2010. The campground is in the Big Lake Recreation Area in the White Mountains of Arizona. It is in the eastern part of state, about 20 miles south of Springerville. The campground is large, with large, wooded sites (pine, aspen, fir). Each site is either a pull-through or back-in site. There are flush toilets spread throughout the campground as well as watering spigots throughout.

    The are lots of things to do in the area, such as boating, fishing, hiking, visitor center activities, picnicking, etc. The campground is around 9000 ft in elevation, so the days were comfortable (70-80) and the nights were in the 50's. The days started out warm and sunny. Clouds would pass through in the afternoon along with some scattered rain which would make the afternoons/evenings nice and cool; perfect for a nice campfire.

    We had a great time and will definitely be heading back again.

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  2. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2010
    so good, thank you for sharing. I am planning to go camping in Big Lake area too. Love the petty region very much.
     
  3. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Great post! We tent camped in Greer in the late 70's. Must camp there with our PUP.
     
  4. Geardo

    Geardo Life is at its best when your with nature...

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    Nov 10, 2009
    jbarz73,

    Where exactly is this area? I go to/near the area a lot but generally camp down by the east fork of the black river (30 min past Big Lake) and have never seen nor been to this spot. Looks really nice sine the wife likes to have certain amenities. Let me know OK?
     
  5. bradnailer

    bradnailer New Member

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Wow, really nice! Looks like a great place to camp.
     
  6. CampingGators

    CampingGators Awaiting the day...

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    Aug 21, 2010
    Makes me want to go camping! It is such a beautiful site. I love sites that are large. Don't like to be squeezed next to the guy next door. We live in the country and are used to our own space. Looking forward to getting our nex pup - hopefully by the first of the year. My brother lives in Pheonix, so if we ever make it out there by car, will need to see about camping at this campground. Thanks for sharing. [:)C]
     
  7. barbjmj

    barbjmj Member

    Thanks for the review and great pictures. I've now added this campground to our wish list. [8D]
     
  8. jbarz73

    jbarz73 New Member

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Gilbert, AZ
    Geardo,

    This campground is within the Big Lake Recreation area. There are several campgrounds within the recreation area. We took Hwy 261 south just outside of Springerville, then south on Hwy 273 to Big Lake Rec Area.

    We drove by the campgrounds on the East Fork (FR276). That is more of our style, but after driving 5+ hours, we like knowing that we have a reserved site.

    We love that area of the state and can't wait to go back.
     
  9. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Can any of you AZ folks give me recommendations for the general Sedona area? I might be going through there sometime next month. I don't need hook-ups.
     
  10. Dave in Az

    Dave in Az Member

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    Mar 20, 2010
  11. Dust Devil

    Dust Devil Member

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    Jun 17, 2010
    Can't recommend anything from personal experience, but there is a thread on here about the Mingus Mountain campground: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott/recreation/camping-day-use-ohv/mingus-mountain-cg-and-day-use.shtml. I intend to check it out myself sometime and it's not far from Sedona.
     
  12. barbjmj

    barbjmj Member

    We spent Labor Day weekend here a year ago. Nice campground. Privately owned. Bathrooms were not cared for but the grounds were in good shape. Excellent scenery!!

    Lo Lo Mai Springs http://www.lolomai.com/
     
  13. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    14,372
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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Thanks to all!
     
  14. jbarz73

    jbarz73 New Member

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    Jun 24, 2009
    Gilbert, AZ
  15. StarCamper

    StarCamper Member

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    Jul 6, 2010
    These past 2 Labor Day weekends we stayed at Rancho Sedona, a private and a bit pricey ($38-$50 for 2 people, depending on the area) CG with full hook-ups at every site including cable tv and wifi throughout. They have lots of rules like you have to be in your pup by 10pm (the CG police come around to make sure you are in), no wood fires although we bring our propane pit, and no screen houses but you can have a shade tent (there really aren't any annoying bugs to speak of anyway). That being said, we'll probably return again next year because of the peace and quiet, out-of-the-way location, lots of shade, a very short walk to Oak Creek, the bathrooms & showers are extremely clean and they have a laundry room and it's a short bike ride to uptown if you are in good shape. Since we've done the tourist thing in Sedona before much of the day we spend walking the creek in both directions, lots of fun and keeps us cool. It's worth checking out!
     
  16. jjsul

    jjsul New Member

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Sedona is one of my favorite spots in the South West. I'd also check out the town of Jerome, it's an old mining town halfway up the mountain. Unless you're planning to cross over and head towards the Prescott area I would not to my vehicle up the mountain. Jerome is a one street named street except it is punctuated by hairpin turns. Lots of history, good lunch at the mile high inn (a former house of ill repute). The town is now an artist colony with lots of shops and super history. If you have time check out Paul and Jerry's saloon which has been in the same family for decades as a super looking Western bar original tin ceiling, and well worn wooden floors. The lunch menu there looks great also.

    Depending on your routing and your next destination I'd recommend finding a place for in the Cottonwood area as it's easy to get into Sedona (very pretty road scenery unlike the other roads into town). The Cottonwood area has easy routes South and West also.

    have a great trip,

    Jerry
     
  17. teejaywhy

    teejaywhy Active Member

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Just an update from this info... Big Lake and its campgrounds were spared damage from the Wallow Fire. Open for business and a great spot to visit for fall color.
     
  18. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2010
    I'll be in Rainbow campground this coming weekend. Wish could see those Aspens change color in time!
     

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