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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Burro Creek Campground, Arizona

In July of 2009 I accompanied my brother to Scottsdale, Arizona (yea I know, what a time to go!)  He was having surgery for nerve pain in his neck caused by a bulging disc. (It was very successful).  I saw alongside the highway, this wonderful display of Saguaro and boulders, and wanted to come back in the early spring to photograph.  I wondered about a place to camp with my little T@B trailer, and on the way home saw the sign for Burro Creek and noted the mile marker. (of course I forgot it by spring, but found the BLM website)

As the brats are now in school, I had to go during Spring Break.  Unfortunately this spring was very rainy and cold, so I waited a few days for the weather to clear up.  Then we headed out on the morning of my birthday, again it was unfortunate that I woke up that morning sick.  But away we went a little over 300 miles and arrived that evening and secured our campsite.   By the way, the cost is $12.00 per night, not the $10.00 stated on the website.

The campground is nearly perfect for my little trailer, no hook-ups, but flush toilets and water is available.  The sites are all clean with a fine gravel, not dirt!  The kids had fun making piles of gravel, digging in the deep gravel under the tables, and making friends.

Each site has a ramada shade over the table, and the tables are made to easily accept a stove or barbecue on the end where you can stand without reaching over the bench.  There are fire rings at each fairly level site, and groups of trash cans near each group.  No reservations are accepted for individual sites, you drive in find an unoccupied site, then register as with most Forest Service and BLM campgrounds.  We were able to find a site not far from the restrooms but not along the creek.  The creek is actually quite a ways downhill in a creek bed from the campground, but a trail from the campground makes it convenient to get there (you do have to do a little bounder hopping).  Another access is near a bridge just outside the campground, but because of so much recent rain, this area was just too muddy.

I had researched the area during my planning stage, and was excited to explore The Upper Burro Creek Wilderness area while we were there.  I knew I wouldn't be able to do very much exploring with the little ones, but it looked like we could explore a little further upstream from the campground.  However, because of the recent rains I was afraid of getting stuck, guess that means I need to plan another trip, maybe in the late fall.  Or possibly I could spend a night in Kingman or Wickiup with hook-ups to power the A/C, during the hotter summer months.

We did go back to the highway to photograph the cactus and boulders I had seen, and to stop and take a picture of Nothing population 4.  As I had known nothing about Nothing before seeing it while we were on our way to photograph and explore, I missed visiting Kaiser Warm Spring, so I'd like to go back there also.

The kids had so much fun climbing on the boulders and exploring the washes. I didn't get all of the pictures I wanted, I just didn't feel well, another reason to go back.

I was somewhat disappointed that the cold spring had delayed the wildflowers, but I had to go when I went, and we did have a good time.  The kids especially had fun, I was pretty sick, so I ended up just being there to let them have fun.  We did go down to the creek bed looking for rocks, another woman told me about a huge beautiful blue agate, she had broken a few pieces off.  I tried with another rock, but couldn't get but a few flakes.  The kids had made friends with another little girl camping nearby, I told her father about it.  He had rock collecting gear and was able to get two good pieces
off, and he offered one to me.  I didn't take it, I knew it was a lot of work to break them off, it was beautiful and I hope to go back and do some rock hounding also.  We saw an abundance of Apache tears and other rocks, the kids picked up buckets full, but gave them away or left them at the camp site.

The days warmed up nicely a day or so after we got there, but the nights were still cold in the second week of March.  By the day we left the days were actually uncomfortably warm, I was glad I had brought along the tent/awning/shelter that attaches to the trailer.  It made for a nice wind break from the cool breeze when the days were colder, and made more shade and a nice place for the kids and their friends to play. 

Kali was invited to have dinner with the family of her new friend, and Dagon went to have hamburgers with two boys he had met who were tent camping with their dad.  This was our last night, and I took advantage of the time not having to supervise and cook to take down the tent.  When Kali came back she said "Grandma I don't want to leave!"  She was pretty upset to realize we would soon be going since the tent was gone.  She said she wanted to stay 5 more nights. 

Camping is such a great way to let kids be outside, to see new things, have new experiences, and go to new places, make friends and explore.


How to Get There and Site Suggestions and Information:

Burro Creek Campground is located just off of Highway 93 about 53 miles southeast of Kingman, Arizona, and 60 miles north of Wickenburg, Arizona.  If coming from the north, watch for the sign after crossing the magnificent Burro Creek Bridge.  If coming from the south be aware that you must cross the median and turn left almost immediately after the sign.  You will descend from the highway on a narrow but paved road about 1.5 miles.

There is a camp host as you enter, but drive around the campground and find a site you like, then go back to register.  If the camp host is there he or she may be able to direct you so you won't have to drag a trailer too much. 

 There are nice, level, open tent sites available within a short distance to the restrooms, other more rocky sites on the hillsides are more suitable for fully contained RVs.  There are also a few sites on the edge overlooking the creek, but most are small.  Some of the small dirt roads can be tricky in the campground with wash outs and rocks.

My Verizon cell phone did not have service in the campground, but I could get service up by the highway in certain areas.

I recommend visiting here in early spring or late fall as the summer temperatures are extreme and the only shade is the ramadas over the tables


*Restrooms with flush toilets and sinks  No showers

*Water available at the restrooms

*Some spigots sprinkled throughout the campground

*Central areas with trash cans

*RV dump free for those staying in the campground

*Fairly level sites

*Each site has a table with shade

*Each site has parking area

*Each site has a fire ring, wood gathering is permitted, but sparse, usually some wood scattered below along the creek bed

*One handicap site near handicap accessible restroom

*One group site and picnic area with separate restroom

*Information and map exhibit

*Cactus garden with trail and information brochure

Things To Do Here and Nearby:

*Rock hounding is very popular all along the creek banks

*There is free parking for vehicles for back packers and day hikers even if not camping here

*Explore upstream from the campground and relax in blue pools beside waterfalls

*Check out  Kaiser Canyon and warm spring

*Trailheads for upstream wilderness areas

*Photography especially March-May wildflower season

*Become familiar with area flora and fauna

*Explore and learn in the Desert Garden in the campground

*Take a day trip and visit great museums in Wickenburg 60 miles south

*Take an overnight trip to Alamo Lake State Park about 100 miles from Wickenburg on good paved roads

*Day trip to Alamo Lake on rough dirt road


Camping............$12.00 per site per night

Group Camping...$30.00 per site per night

Group Reservation Fee......$5.00 per reservation

Dump Station Fee............$ for those camping at the campground

Desert Garden Brochure........$.25

I advise you to call if you have any concerns as fees, etc do change

Reservations for the group site are accepted the first Monday in August 7:30 AM mountain time
All individual sites are first come first serve
The Group Campsite does not honor the Golden Age Discount

 Burro Creek Campground is administered by the BLM Kingman Field Office
(928) 718-3700
You can call for futher information such as weather conditions, site availability, regulations, and activities

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