is the Federal Government “Gateway for Discovering the Great Outdoors”. You can peruse it without joining or you can register and set up an account. If you want to actually reserve a Campground site you will need to register. Many of these campgrounds are listed on HAZ under the MapDex under camping, but Recreation.gov has much more information and is where you can actually reserve campsites.
Recreation.gov is more for car campers and people who want to camp and dayhike from a fixed base. Backpackers on HAZ backpack to Dispersed Camping sites or wilderness sites that are not covered by Recreation.gov. If you are new to camping this is a great place to start. If you are unfamiliar with an area, this is a great place to start. You can discover the developed Federal Campgrounds in the area that interests you and book reservations.
You need to learn how to interpret the presentation. A campsite might have 72 campgrounds but only 12 reservable. This means that the other 60 are “first come – first served” (FCFS). In some areas, like Oak Creek Canyon, if you don’t reserve a campground well in advance, you are unlikely to luck into a campground on FCFS basis. In other areas, you will often get a campground on a FCFS basis.
Backpackers in the Grand Canyon Backcountry and some special NPS sites need special permits
Under the Books Section on HAZ under the Campground Section are Books and Book Reviews on camping.http://hikearizona.com/books.php?sort=&cat=17&STu=3
And here is an inside tip you will only get on HAZ. I will often call the Ranger District for the campground. I'll schmooze and get them to like me ( yeah I can be charming when I have to) and I will inquire about current conditions. I will also ask which campsite is the best. You can't really tell from the site maps. Sometimes the Ranger will just say "Oh they are all good" but occasionally a Ranger will say " Campsite X is the highest with eastern exposure and gets get sunrises". So if you want a photo of a great sunrise, book Campsite X and if you want to sleep in don't book CAmpsite X