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One Tank Trip for Arizona Camping
Traveling through Arizona, it's hard not to try and imagine what it would have been like when Native Americans roamed this land, and the likes of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp etched out their place in history. Luckily for visitors to this beautiful state, Arizona manages to hold on to its "Wild West" history while adding a modern flair that allows the past and the present to stand side-by-side, each one unique and intriguing. Whether you're hot on the trail of a gunslinger named Billy the Kid, looking to stand breathlessly on the edge of the Grand Canyon, or search for modern creature comforts like world-class golf, Arizona has something for you.
To start our one tank trip, we begin in Quartzsite, a sleepy little desert town where not much happens for most of the year, but every January thru February this tiny town swells with over a million visitors. Why? Since the 60s, Quartzsite has been known to many RVers as a rock hound's paradise. Eight major gem and mineral shows, as well as vendors of raw and handcrafted merchandise, peddle their wares to collectors and enthusiasts who flock from all over the country. If rocks just aren't your thing, Quartzsite has plenty of other great events to keep you busy, including an RV show, arts & crafts fairs and a pow wow that are all within the same time frame.
Heading north on AZ-95 will bring you to our next Arizona RV camping destination, beautiful Lake Havasu City. This city has a reputation as a popular destination for college kids on Spring Break, but it's also a thriving tourist town with more than 400 miles of coastline and enough water sports, hiking, off-roading and fishing to keep you busy for more than a little while. But, the one thing any traveler should see while visiting this beautiful city is the London Bridge. That's right, the actual London Bridge. Built in 1831, it was purchased by an enterprising man who had the entire bridge dismantled, numbered, then moved 7,000 miles from London and rebuilt in its present location in Lake Havasu City in 1972. Today, the bridge is a huge tourist draw, and under the bridge is English Village, with plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy for hours.
Taking AZ-95 N out of Lake Havasu City, merge onto I-40 W, and after several miles we’ll arrive at our next one tank trip destination, Bull Head City. Covering 46 miles along the Arizona/Nevada border, Bull Head City's desert climate makes it one of the hottest cities in the US, with summer temperatures sometimes exceeding 125 degrees. Steer clear of the heat by paying a visit to the Colorado River Museum, and explore the incredible history of the steamboats that traveled the Colorado River, the gold and silver mines, ranching, and local Native American history. Despite the heat, more than 5 million travelers make their way through Bull Head City annually for its year-round sun, and the vast water recreation opportunities.
Making our way out of Bull Head City, via AZ-68 E, we make our way to the last destination of our Arizona RV camping trip, Kingman. Beautiful Kingman is the heart of Historic Route 66, and one of the true treasures of Arizona. There is so much to see and do, where do we start? How about exploring the Historic Route 66 Museum, located on the longest remaining stretch of The Mother Road? The museum offers the evolution of Route 66 with photos, murals and dioramas. Make sure to visit the Mohave Museum of History and Arts. Founded in 1961, the museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage of the area through its collection of documents, maps, photos and manuscripts. Before you leave the Museum of History and Arts, make sure you grab a map for a walking tour of the 60 buildings Kingman has on the historic register. And of course, no trip to this town would be complete without visiting good old Engine No. 3759 at the Locomotive Park. Built in 1928, the engine is a coal burning steam locomotive that ran passengers between Los Angeles and Kansas City. It was retired after 20 years, but had run over 2.5 million miles in the course of its service. A popular relaxation spot for both tourists and locals who can sit back and relax in the shade of the park, or get up close and examine the marvel of the early locomotive.
Arizona is itself a natural wonder, a true jewel of the West, and one which has intrigued and delighted visitors with its rich history and beauty for centuries. Spend just a little time here, and you'll soon discover why so many people make their way back time and again.
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Woodall's Recommended Arizona RV Campgrounds