After a brief three day stopover in Quartzsite to meet up with RVer friends we headed the few hours drive southeast to Ajo, Arizona. The Ajo area is a favorite with us with this being our third visit. The two previous times we boondocked at Gunsite Wash BLM and made the short trek south to camp in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
We fell madly in love with the region’s photographic scenery and fantastic hiking opportunities! This is the Sonoran desert (aka. the Green Desert) known for its lush landscapes and cactus variety, with the star being the funky looking Organ Pipe. The topography is rugged dotted with jagged rocky hillsides, reddish-brown mountains and covered in sprawling washes. The views are epic!
Darby Wells BLM
Last time down we heard about another free BLM camping area close to the town of Ajo called Darby Wells. Judging from the picturesque images, I found online it looked like a place right up our alley. In fact, the road we found a campsite on is called Alley Rd.
Locating the Darby Wells BLM was easy thanks to my new Garmin RV 760LMT GPS unit that I’ve loaded up with custom POIs downloaded from UltimateCampgrounds.com. I did do a bit of extra research to confirm it was safe to take our trailer down the gravel access road. Better safe than sorry.
It turns out the gravel road is plenty wide enough for two vehicles to pass. A few miles in we started to see RVs dotting the landscape and began to look for a spot. Unfortunately, most of the larger sized campsites were taken up. Being it was just a week or so after the big RV show in Quartzsite ended I imagine a lot of rigs headed this way.
Coming to a fork in the road and unsure of which way was best we got out and asked some fellow boondockers camped nearby. They informed us one road became quite lumpy and rough but the other led to more RV suitable campsites as it looped it’s way back to town. It’s part of the Ajo Scenic Loop Drive and well maintained as a tourist attraction.
Luckily we came upon a smallish flat area to shoehorn the Cougar fifth wheel into just before road dropped into a dip and some tight turns. My advice is to approach the area from off HWY 85 south of town if you’re rig is long. The last few miles of the loop drive just before it enters Ajo has several tight turns, dips, and humps.
Hiking and Photography along the Ajo Scenic Loop
The photography subject matter on the Ajo Scenic loop rivals that found inside the Organ Pipe National Monument with the bonus of free RV dry camping with much more elbow room, peace, and quiet. The Twin Peaks Campground is nice and all but spacing is tight, and the drone of generators takes place twice a day for a few hours.
I actually liked the hiking better here due to the abundant spur roads and ATV trails to follow making access to the backcountry easier. Furthermore, being BLM land, our little hound dog Angie is allowed to accompany us. She was most pleased.
Dog tip: Beware the cholla cactus needles. Carry a comb for removal
Ajo Scenic Loop Drive Photo Gallery
My photos are captured using a Sony Mirrorless Camera – Ray
We enjoyed camping along the Ajo Scenic Loop immensely, and it will be a no-brainer for our most beautiful campsite list of 2017. Early morning dog walks, afternoon siestas, sunset photography hikes and happy hours spent listening to the abundant bird life chatting up a storm. Can’t get much better than that!
Video Overview of Our Ajo Boondocking Site
Boondockers Tip – If heading down to Ajo from the north, off Interstate 8, there is a free RV sewer dump and fresh potable water fill behind the Holt’s Shell Station truck stop in Gila Bend. Great spot to refresh things at plus free overnight parking and WiFi.