The picturesque landscape around Prescott, along with the enormous pine trees and surrounding granite mountains, make this area a beautiful place for camping. Whether you stay in tents or in an RV, you won’t be disappointed with these campsites. Many are just minutes outside of Prescott but still have a sense of remoteness. If you want something a little more urban, visit Watson Lake Campground, just a short walk from beautiful Watson Lake.
All campgrounds listed below, except Watson Lake Campground and Point of Rocks RV Campground, are Forest Service Sites and reservations can be made up to six months in advance and no less than two days in advance. Prescott is proud of the fact that it has four seasons and even sees snow in the winter. You’ll want to take this into account when planning your camping trip.
Read also: Best campings in Big Bend National Park
1 Lynx Campground
This beautiful campground on the east side of Prescott is just minutes from town, but feels like it’s deep in a forest, far from civilization. The large pine trees are a welcome change if you come from the nearby lowland areas. Located at an elevation of 5,600 feet, the campground sits above Lynx Lake, a popular recreation area. There are many birds in the area and there is a walking path across the lake. Trails lead from some loops to the coastline. You will also find mountain bike trails in the area. Campsites generally offer a lot of privacy and are spread over seven loops. Tent sites are level and all campsites are well maintained, clean and raked. Facilities include toilets, but no showers or hookups.
2 Hilltop Campground
Located steps from Lynx Campground, Hilltop Campground is picturesque amid rolling hills. The campsites overlook gullies and hills. The campground has 38 sites, but they are well distributed over three loops and most sites have no neighbors. Some sites are built on small terraces on a hill that support the tent pad area and a picnic table. You’ll also find some pull-through sites. Like Lynx, this site is also blessed with tall pines and a scattering of low level shrubs and shrubs. It is also popular with campers interested in pursuing the area’s recreational activities, from hiking and ATV trips to simply enjoying the lake. You will only find vault toilets here and no connections.
3 White Spruce Campground
Immediately south of Prescott, off Highway 89, White Spar Campground is located about 10 minutes from downtown and at an elevation of approximately 5,600 feet. While this campground doesn’t have the same recreational offerings as those around Lynx Lake, it is just as beautiful and has hiking and mountain biking trails nearby. The picnic tables here look like little dollhouse furniture under the pine trees that tower above. The pitches are very large and there are gray boulders on the site. Many of the campsites overlook a tree-covered hill. You will find a large number of campsites, large and small, some with paved parking lots and others without. Facilities are limited to vault toilets.
4 Yavapai Campground at Granite Basin
This campground is located on the northwest side of Prescott and is very different from the ones mentioned above, on the south and east sides of town. Trees are much smaller here and the sites receive much more sunlight. However, the views here overlook the boulder-covered mountainside and ridge. Recreational opportunities are still plentiful here, with some beautiful hiking trails and even fishing in the Small Granite Basin Lake. The campsites are very private, with many small trees and low vegetation and locations that are far apart from each other. Sites have paved parking and the only facilities are composting toilets.
5 Lower Wolf Creek Campground
This beautiful campground south of Prescott certainly feels remote, though it’s still within easy reach of the city. The road to the campsite is unpaved for a while, but is usually in reasonably good condition. Located in an area of tall pines at the foot of a hill, the campsites here are large and well spaced, but privacy is limited. The area is completely forested and home to some popular hiking trails. Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, some of the sites and picnic tables feature beautiful stonework. The campsite has no water and facilities are simple vault toilets. Upper Wolf Creek Campground, at the top of the hill, is a group campground.
6 Watson Lake Campground
If you want easy access to scenic Watson Lake, a popular area for kayaking and canoeing, fishing, hiking and mountain biking, camping at Watson Lake Campground in Watson Lake Park is a great option. Located behind a hill from the lake, and just off a main road into Prescott, the campground is very open, offering essentially no privacy between sites. The area is mostly a large parking lot with 35 sites and a scattering of trees, and it comes up against a large rock ridge.
This campsite is only open from the beginning of April to the end of October. You can reserve 19 of the campsites, the other 15 are first come, first served. Facilities include toilets and hot showers.
Official site: https://www.prescott-az.gov/recreation-events/recreation-services/facility-rentals/campsite-rentals/
7 Point of Rocks RV Campground
Ideally located near beautiful Watson Lake, Point of Rocks RV Campground has everything you need if you want to be close to town but just far enough away for beautiful scenery and tranquility. The park is actually located in the heart of the beautiful Granite Dells, a unique rock formation that Prescott is famous for. Sites have all the amenities of a typical RV park, including 30/50 AMP service, Wi-Fi, water, sewer, and picnic tables, and can accommodate torches up to 50 feet. If you enjoy hiking, the Watson Lake trails are a 10-minute walk away and the Constellation Trails are just a short drive away and also worth checking out. Prescott’s tourist attractions and restaurants are a 10-minute drive away. The Phippen Museum is also just down the road and well worth a visit.
Official site: https://pointofrocksrvcampground.com/
Where to stay in Prescott if you are unable to camp
If you’re not camping, you might as well stay in downtown Prescott. From here you can walk to restaurants and nightlife, see the historic Courthouse Plaza and other sights and you’re still just a short drive from hiking trails and nature reserves. Prescott is known for hosting all kinds of weekend events, so prices are generally significantly higher on weekends.
- Mid-range hotels: In a great location, directly across from the old Courthouse in downtown Prescott, lies the Grand Highland Hotel. Exposed brick walls and individually decorated rooms create a picturesque atmosphere. A few blocks away in a little quieter location is the historic Vendome Hotel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Dating back to 1917, this luxury boutique hotel has taken steps to retain its old-world charm, with attention to detail in its furnishings. It is also rumored to be haunted. Another interesting property in Prescott is The Motor Lodge. The owners bought this traditional motel-style property, a remnant of the early glory days of road tripping in America, when carports were a standard luxury, and turned it into a cool retro classic. It should be seen as fully appreciated, but it is more than comfortable, and the management takes all kinds of steps to ensure you are happy here. It is also just a short walk from the city center. Another classic hotel that cannot be missed is the Hassayampa Inn in the historic center. Like the Vendome, this hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also considered haunted by some. The rooms are comfortably modern, but you get a sense of the grandeur and history of this hotel as soon as you step into the lobby.
- Budget Hotels: Budget hotels are hard to find in Prescott. You can usually find decent prices at the Heritage House Motel, where you will find simple but clean and comfortable rooms. Another option is the Apache Lodge in an Adobe-style building. Rooms are clean and simple, and pets are welcome. Both accommodations are located a short distance outside the city center, but are still easy to reach.
Discover more of Arizona’s outdoors
- Camping: If temperatures are cool in Prescott, you may want to head to the desert to set up camp. You’ll find excellent campsites around Tucson, and even warmer areas for camping near Phoenix. For more camping among the pines in the high country, although slightly different from Prescott, see our article on the best campsites around Payson. And for some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, consider the campgrounds around Sedona. If you’re still in the early planning stages of your Arizona trip and looking for ideas, you can find inspiration and destinations you may not have considered in our article on the best places to camp in Arizona.
- to walk: To really appreciate the scenery around Prescott, put on your walking boots and wander around the lakes and forest. Here is our list of the best hikes in Prescott. If you like what you see here, you might also want to take a quick trip and hit the hiking trails in Sedona. For more ideas on hiking around the state, see our piece on the best hikes in Arizona.