Now we understand the appeal of Quartzsite

 Now we understand the appeal of Quartzsite

We never had much of a desire to visit Quartzsite, AZ. Maybe it was the pictures showing over 100,000 people camping on every available bit of room on the BLM land surrounding the western Arizona town. Maybe it was the stories we heard of congestion, limited amenities and facilities and RV traffic jams. But in our eight years of RVing, Quartzsite never made it on our bucket list.

But last week, when we suddenly had a free week, we decided to finally visit. Many people over the years have asked our opinions of the place so we thought, why not… it was time to check out Quartzsite so we could answer with an informed opinion, based on first hand experience.

So we cashed in some frequent flyer miles, got airline tickets to Phoenix, borrowed a friend's Class C RV, stocked it up at a Wal-Mart and headed straight west to Quartzsite.

We were glad it was last week. Just the week before, the Big Tent RV Show and the town's annual gem and mineral show both came to an end and the BLM camping land (good for 14 day stays and absolutely free) had greatly thinned out.

The spot where we boondocked, sent to us as GPS coordinates by a friend, was about seven miles south and west of the town. There were still a lot of RVers there, but the desert is huge and our closest neighbor was about a quarter mile away.

We enjoyed the peace and quiet of the wide open spaces, the star-studded night skies, the 75 degree daytime temps, the eclectic stuff sold at the various open air markets,  the hikes we took through the desert and our climb to the top of Quartzsite Mountain.

Naturally, we did a video on our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel on the experience.

f you are wondering just where we boondocked there, here's a map showing the exact spot: It's about 7 1/2 miles south and a tad west of Quartzsite off US95. There are lots of other BLM locations, such as Dome Rock which is arguably a bit more scenic, but most others like Dome Rock Hi Jolly, Plomosa Road, etc are considerably busier. And remember, the best time to camp out there weather-wise is late November -early April. Busiest and most crowded is January, when 100,000 plus folks crowd in and around this little town of 3,000. We show this video on February 1.

Bottom line: We absolutely loved Quartzsite. We will be back. Soon!

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • We have stayed there four times before, during and after the RV & Gem shows. While lots and lots of RVs, there is still lots of room and you never have to camp in a crowded area unless you choose to. We have been there for rallies and just to be there. There is always lots to see and do. Not many places to shop and wifi is very spotty so you have to be prepared. There are dump stations, and places to fill up your water, etc.
    Would still go back again. You just have to be prepared as always while boon docking.There are quite a few RV parks if you choose, but fill up quickly during the RV show

  • I asked the question on another post and someone else answered but their information said quartzite was in Washington state. Can you tell me how long it took to climb the mountain and if there is a trail. Google did not give me the answers I wanted

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