Saddle Mountain, Tonopah

RV boondocking on the southeast side of Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain is a prominent feature of the Sonoran Desert landscape. It is located about 5 miles southwest of Tonopah, Arizona. It’s a great place for photography, hiking, mountain biking, wildlife watching, and of course camping! The mountain is easily visible from I-10 and is only 50 miles west of the Phoenix area. It is situated on an “island” of BLM land surrounded by private holdings. It feels very remote, which is surprising being so close to such a large city.

Because of its natural beauty, wildlife, and volcanic geology many residents are asking the BLM to designate Saddle Mountain as a Wilderness Area. The scenery here is magnificent and there are several jeep roads that snake around the mountain for further exploration of this awesome landscape.

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Where in The World?

Free RV camping and tent camping sites can be found off Courthouse Road to the north of Saddle Mountain (easier access, more popular, and more campsites) and West Dobbins Road to the south (more difficult to access, less popular, and fewer campsites). Most of the unpaved roads south of the mountain are rough and a high clearance vehicle is recommended.

Saddle Mountain Camping: South

The two campsites mentioned below are southeast of the mountain and accessed from West Dobbins Road. This area is less popular and there are fewer campsites.

Camping Elevation: 1,000 feet

Campsite #1 GPS Coordinates: N 33 20.719′ W 112 59.008′

Campsite #2 GPS Coordinates: N 33 22.169′ W 112 59.590′

Directions to Campsites: Both campsites are southeast of Saddle Mountain. Campsite #1 is just southwest of the intersection of West Elliot Road and 435th Avenue. There’s plenty of room here, even for large RVs. Campsite #2 is just northwest of where West Dobbins Road meets South 435th Avenue and off a jeep road – this road is a bit rough so it’s best for small RVs. I managed it with my 25 foot 5th wheel travel trailer, but would hesitate with anything larger.

Camping Area Map (South)

This is the location of Campsite #1 mentioned above.

Saddle Mountain Camping: North

This is the more popular camping area to the north of Saddle Mountain. There are several excellent campsites here.

Saddle Mountain RV Camping Journal

March 23, 2010

I arrived in this area on March 13th and today is my 10th day here. I was camped just off West Elliot Road (Campsite #1) and moved to my current spot (Campsite #2) last week. It’s a great campsite, and it’s closer to Saddle Mountain.

It’s a 1 hour bike ride on a jeep road to the base of Saddle Mountain from my campsite. I’m off a jeep road that sees very little traffic (none since I’ve been here) and the main road (West Dobbins Road) has very little traffic as well, especially on weekends.

The weather has been very nice with plenty of sunshine and little wind. There are washes to explore and Saddle Mountain itself is fun to hike or bike to. There are jeep roads around the mountain that make exploring easy.

Saddle Mountain Video Slideshow

RV boondocking on the southeast side of Saddle Mountain

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