The Gilbert Ray Campground is located in the Tuscon Mountain Park, just 13 miles west of the city and even closer to the Saguaro National Park, just west of it. Sites tend to be open and are perhaps more conducive to RV camping but there are some good for tenting. RV spots with electrical hook up are $20 and simple tent camping is $10.
That best thing is you are camping right amongst the Saguaros, in the middle of the desert so you can wake up early and enjoy the best part of the day. It is a serene place and when the air is cool a most enjoyable one. It's great for getting good photos of birds as that is when they are most active. Though Gilbert Ray did not have showers, the rangers at the Visitor Center gave us a list of public pools where you could grab a shower as well as take a dip and they were just a short drive away from Gilbert Ray and convenient to stores to restock, off Ajo Highway heading towards Tuscon city center.
There are no accommodations available within Saguaro National Park itself, except for backcountry campsites for back packers that must registered for at the visitor centers. An option for campers who are not planning on backpacking is Gilbert Ray, which is located in the Tucson Mountain Park, which is nestled in the heart of a beautiful Sonora cactus desert, and near Saguaro National Park West. The only sign of Tucson that you can see from here is the glow of the city lights at night, yet is located only 13 miles from town. This campground has 140 RV sits with 30-amp electrical hook-ups. It has centrally located water, modern rest rooms, and an RV dumping station. Although wood fires are prohibited, charcoal fires confined to the provided grills are permitted. Everywhere you look around you, you will see the wilderness of the desert. Reservations are not accepted at this campground, rather it is filled on a first come, first served basis, and there is a seven-day limit to your stay. In 2003 the price was $10 per night for tents or non-electric hookups, and $20 per night for trailers or RVs with electric hookup.
Located Near Saguaro National Park West, and in Tucson Mountain Park, a 20,000 acre Sonoran Desert Natural Preserve, you will have many opportunities for hiking and bird watching. The Tucson Mountain Park hours are 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 P.M. This campground is also located close to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a must while in the area.
There are no hotels/motels in Saguaro National Park.
But there is possibility of overnight camping but it's restricted to six designated campgrounds and requires a permit.
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