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'Warm(er)' boondocking/'mild' 4WD roads and fun areas in the SW?

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#1 Durango1


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Posted 08 January 2021 - 05:30 PM

We just gotta get out of the Colorado cold next week for 10-12 days with an 'extremely socially distanced' road trip. (The ONLY places we will go to are gas pumps and trash disposal. We'll carry ALL food and water.)


Suggestions on warm SW areas for wildlife viewing, isolated and scenic boondocking spots and 'fun' backroads (they don't have to be 4WD) would be super appreciated!


NOTE: We're thinking southern NM, AZ, edging into CA or possibly even south TX. (Don't want to do killer days driving and we'll have lay-over days between)


Thanks in advance!


Edited by Durango1, 08 January 2021 - 05:35 PM.

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#2 DavidGraves


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Posted 09 January 2021 - 06:08 AM

Remember....to get warmer you not only must travel south but also loose altitude.


Look at the best 10 day weather report you can trust and travel accordingly.


Or stay home and stoke the fire.

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#3 Cottonww



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Posted 09 January 2021 - 02:27 PM

We are snowbirds from Fort Collins, CO living north of Tucson. Altitude, altitude, altitude. The lower the better. 


Near us follow Golder Ranch Rd out of Catalina on Hwy 77. Cross cattleguard and go straight. There are a number of boondock sites to the left but usually full. Going south, do not turn left into neighborhood but go straight in a wavy road but not rocks. At the end is a large area of mesquite trees good for boondocking. Lots of hiking options out of there. 


 Further southwest there are a number of boondocking sites not far from the border. Then there is Organ Pipe Cactus National Park generally not full. Check in and try to get a site at Alamo Canyon. Before entering the NP there is boondocking along a wash just south of Why. 


Further west near CA and north of Yuma there are a number of boondocking sites as well as chock-a block developed sites. 

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#4 searching for nowhere

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Posted 09 January 2021 - 03:55 PM

Another idea is to visit the area around St. George, Utah.  It might not have as many RV snowbirds as AZ.  Also know that the Navajo Nation is in Stay At Home mode with their roads (not county and state roads) closed to visitors.  

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Camping with a small trailer.  Everyday is a good day to go camping.





#5 larryqp


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Posted 09 January 2021 - 03:56 PM

If you can get a vehicle backcountry campsite permit for Big Bend National Park, you should find warmer temps, many of the gravel roads only require high clearance. Same goes for Big Bend Ranch State Park, but more of those require 4WD. Can all be done online.

Good luck. I'm heading there next Sunday. Look for a f150/hawk combo if you make it. Good luck

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2016 F150, FX4, XLT super cab

2019 FWC Hawk Shell

2009 Ford Ranger 4x4, XLT, Supercab total loss on 7/30/19

2014 FWC Shell total loss on 7/30/19

Towed behind our home which is a 2005 Kountry Star Diesel Pusher

#6 anthonym



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Posted 12 January 2021 - 10:55 PM

St. George area has quite a lot and looks pretty warm right now. Good jumping off point for Zion, lots of dispersed camping with excellent views in the general area of Hurricane (particularly on the roads near the Guacamole and Gooseberry Mesa trailheads). Plenty of beautiful country outside of Zion National Park that tends to be quiet (check out the trail to Eagle Crags, definitely 4wd road to get there).


We recently escaped the terrible Salt Lake ski season so far with a trip to Sedona, AZ. Town was slammed but forest roads outside of town (e.g. near Robber's Roost, on the way to Dogie Trail) had room to spread out with lovely views of the red rocks. Popular trails near town were crowded (bring a mask) but out of the way stuff was not, even over the New Year's holiday.


[Edit] Forgot to add: all the Native American reservations are closed right now, so some of UT/AZ border area stuff is a no go. That said, once you get to Page there are more options. If you're headed that way, check out Lone Rock Beach in Page, UT. Just upstream of Glen Canyon Dam, you can camp on the shore of Lake Powell. Very beautiful, and only a few minutes off the highway. Slammed in the summer, but pretty quiet in the winter (6 parties along a 1.5 mi stretch of beach a few weeks ago).

Edited by anthonym, 12 January 2021 - 10:59 PM.

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#7 Durango1


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 06:19 AM

Great ideas, folks. Hadn't thought about St. George. 


Will do a trip report when we get back!


Thanks again,


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