Apache Lake Campground is a dispersed campground located on the shores of Apache Lake in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. The campground is largely situated on an outcropping between the Apache Lake Marina and Resort restaurant and the marina docks. Apache Lake Campground like the nearby Crabtree Wash Campground is one of the few places in Arizona where you can camp on a beach. The campground is surrounded awesome looking cliffs, huge saguaro cactus, and the narrow Apache Lake.
There are not really designated spaces for camping at Apache Lake Campground, but there are a handful of spots where you will find picnic tables. There are no fire rings or other amenities specifically for the campground. Bathrooms and supplies can be found at the Apache Lake Marina restaurant and bar.
Apache Lake Campground Bottom Line
Like we said before, Apache Lake Campground offers beachfront camping, although it is on a gravel beach, it is still pretty cool. Beyond that coolness, Apache Lake Campground is somewhat odd, as it is actually located within the grounds of Apache Lake Marina and Resort, which has a restaurant, RV Camping (which is terrible), and small hotel, in addition to the marina. The restaurant and hotel are not much to look at either, hardly a resort in the most traditional sense, just a couple ramshackle buildings. However, the views from the campsites are pretty great. The valley that Apache Lake is located in is made up of some gorgeous cliffs, that have the slightest green tint overtop of the brown desert rocks.
Getting to Apache Lake Campground does not require a four-wheel drive vehicle, but you will need to drive for quite a while on a narrow, washboard dirt road. So we would recommend an SUV of some sort to get there, as the road is very rough and rutted at times.
Apache Lake Campground would not be our first choice for camping on Apache Lake. We would prefer going a few miles further up the road to either Upper Burnt Corral Campground or Lower Burnt Corral Campground.
Apache Lake Campground Features
|Number of Campsites:||N/A|
|Cost:||$6/day via Required Tonto Pass|
|Use Level:||Low – Medium|
|Drinking Water:||Available at the Restaurant|
|Toilets:||Available at the Restaurant|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||Open All Year|
|Geo Coordinates:||33.577103, -111.253683|
|Nearest City:||Roosevelt, Arizona|
|Location:||Central Arizona – Maricopa County, Arizona|
|Paved Road Access:||None|
|Proximity to Stores:||500 Feet|
|Directions:||Apache Lake Campground is 12 miles south of Roosevelt Dam on the south shoreline of Apache Lake.From Apache Junction: Drive north on AZ Hwy. 88 (Apache Trail) for 32 miles (the last 20 miles of AZ Hwy. 88 are unpaved) to FR 79. Turn left and continue to Apache Lake Marina; approximately 1 mile.From Mesa: Take AZ Hwy. 87 (Beeline Highway) north for approximately 60 miles to its junction with AZ Hwy. 188. Turn right onto AZ Hwy. 188 for 33 miles to its junction with AZ Hwy. 88 (Apache Trail). Turn right onto AZ Hwy. 88, and drive past Roosevelt Dam (unpaved) for 12 miles to FR 79. Turn right and continue to Apache Lake Marina; approximately 1 mile.From the Globe area: Take AZ Hwy. 188 west for 30 miles to its junction with AZ Hwy. 188. Turn left onto AZ Hwy. 88, and continue past Roosevelt Dam (unpaved) for 12 miles to FR 79. Turn right and continue to the Apache Lake Marina; approximately 1 mile.|
Apache Trail (AZ-88) is a narrow, winding, dirt mountain road, with a maximum vehicle length limit of 40 feet and is not recommended for trailers over 22 feet in length.
Tonto Passes are required for each vehicle and watercraft. Passes can be purchased in advance online or at retail outlets. The closest retail outlets to Apache Lake Campground are the Tonto Basin Ranger District office at Roosevelt Lake on AZ Highway 188.
|Phone:||(928) 467-3200 – Tonto Basin Ranger District||Facebook:|
|Web:||Tonto National Forest||Twitter:|
When To Go
Spring, Early Summer, Fall – Summer temperatures at Apache Lake Campground will exceed 100 degrees daily
Apache Lake Campground Pictures
Image Credits: Justin Wilson