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Camping at Burnt Corral Campground

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Location and Access

Burnt Corral Campground is situated in Arizona's Tonto National Forest along the shores of Apache Lake. To access the campground, visitors typically travel on the Apache Trail (State Route 88), which is a scenic mountain road. However, the route can be rough in parts and may be challenging for larger vehicles or those pulling trailers. It's important to check road conditions prior to your trip as the Apache Trail has been subject to closures and damage, especially after severe weather events.

Facilities and Amenities

The campground offers basic amenities, which typically include:

  • Individual campsites with picnic tables and grills
  • Restrooms (these may be vault toilets)
  • Drinking water access (but always confirm availability before arrival)
  • Boat ramp near the campground for easy lake access

However, there are no hook-ups for RVs and electrical connections available on-site. Some sites may have shade structures or trees offering partial shade.

Activities

Burnt Corral Campground is popular among those who enjoy water activities and offers ample opportunities for:

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Swimming (though do so at your own risk as there are no lifeguards)

Aside from water-based activities, the surrounding Tonto National Forest offers trails for hiking, wildlife viewing, and excellent landscape photography.

Camping Fees and Reservations

Camping fees are required to stay at the campground, and because rates can change, it is wise to consult the current fee schedule through the Tonto National Forest's official website or by calling their offices. Some sites may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, while others can be reserved ahead of time through the recreation.gov website or app.

Weather and Best Times to Visit

The campground operates year-round, although the best times to visit are typically during the spring and fall when temperatures are more moderate. Summers can be extremely hot, which may be uncomfortable for camping unless you plan to spend a lot of time in the water. Winter temperatures can be chilly, so if you're camping during the cooler months, ensure you bring suitable gear.

Regulations and Safety

Fire restrictions are often in place, especially during the dry season or throughout periods of high fire danger. It's vital to check these before you visit and to always practice Leave No Trace principles to maintain the area's natural beauty.

As with any outdoor activity, ensure you're prepared with enough water, food, and gear for changing weather conditions. If you're hiking or exploring, be aware of potential wildlife such as snakes or larger animals.

Local Attractions

While at Burnt Corral Campground, visitors might explore other nearby attractions in the Tonto National Forest, including:

  • Other recreation sites along the Salt River
  • The historic Roosevelt Dam
  • The Tonto National Monument, which offers a glimpse at ancient cliff dwellings

Conclusion

Burnt Corral Campground in Tonto National Forest is an excellent spot for campers who enjoy lakeside activities and the natural beauty of the Arizona wilderness. Always plan ahead, follow local regulations, and confirm the status of facilities and roads before setting out to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Location of Burnt Corral Campground
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