Gibraltar Mountain, Parker, Arizona | Camping

Warm glow of sunrise at RV campsite in the desert

What a great campsite with Gibraltar Mountain Wilderness to the northwest and Cactus Plain Wilderness to the south. The prior wilderness has mountains, the latter has sand dunes. It feels as though you’ve stepped into a Middle Eastern country. The desert scenery is vast and surreal. Even though this area east of Parker, Arizona is popular for RV camping, it’s a very big desert and solitude is easy to find.

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Where in The World?

Camping Elevation: 1,023 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 34 07.308’ W 114 03.526’

Directions to Camping Area: From Parker, Arizona drive south on Highway 95 and turn left (east) on Shea Road. Take Shea Road about 14 miles and turn right (south) on Swansea Mine Road. Drive a little over 1/2 mile on Swansea Mine Road to the first side road on the left. You will find some campsites along this primitive BLM road.

More Camping: There are many places to camp along Shea Road. Most camping can be found close to the road – it takes a little more work to find campsites further out. I didn’t find much more camping along Swansea Mine Road between here and the canal to the east – however, there are several excellent RV campsites off Swansea Mine Road closer to Shea Road.

Gibraltar Mountain Camping Area Map

Gibraltar Mountain RV Camping Journal

December 20, 2011

There are a few campers on this road (Swansea Mine Road) and more on Shea Road. There is an abandoned mine near the end of this road. It’s mostly quiet; I only see the occasional car or group of ATVs or dirt bikes – more so on the weekends.

I did have one of those off-road stadium trucks drive by here in the wash I’m camped next to. It was loud and sounded very powerful. There is an off-road race for these trucks every winter (the Parker 425) in the desert east of Parker.

Hiking: Hiking is pretty easy and there is plenty to explore. The sand dunes to the south are fascinating and so is Gibraltar Mountain to the northwest.

Weather: It’s mid December and it can get rather windy here; most days I’ve had a fair amount of wind. When it blows out of the north it can be quite chilly! I had a few days in the 70s when I first arrived, but now highs are around 60 with lows in the mid to high 30s. It got down to freezing on a couple nights and I awoke to frost covering my truck. It’s been mostly sunny with a few partly cloudy and all cloudy days. I had one day and night with a lot of rain, otherwise just a few sprinkles; no heavy downpours and no thunderstorms.

Wildlife: I’ve seen a variety of birds, even a hummingbird today – first time for that! I also saw road runners, gambel’s quail, owl, ravens, jack rabbits, cottontail rabbits, small lizards, a couple chipmunks or ground squirrels, and a coyote (that was right next to my RV when I stepped out after dark – by the time I got my flashlight it was gone). I never saw any deer or larger mammals.

Insects: No problems here, I haven’t see too many insects.

Cell Signal: No problem making calls with my Verizon cell phone. Verizon mobile broadband internet has worked fairly well, though it’s not real fast and sometimes all I get is National Access. I could probably find better service elsewhere along Shea Road.

RV Solar: I tilted my solar panel soon after arriving and it was time – my batteries get charged much faster now, usually by noon with full sun.

Gibraltar Mountain Video Slideshow

Warm glow of sunrise at RV campsite in the desert

Parker 425 Off-Road Car Race Video

Racing buggy kicking up sand on the race course

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