dapples of shade
Located adjacent to the west fork of the Black River in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, this would be a quiet camping area if your primary goal is to fish for native Apache trout. At an elevation of 7,740 feet, one could quite comfortably “beat the heat” of Arizona’s lower-altitude regions.
Open between May and October, there are no formal, designated campsites (all free with a 14-day stay limit). But there are about a dozen obvious “sites” that folks have used in the past (i.e. fire rings and cleared, flat areas). Note that while the “sites” aren’t crowding each other, there wouldn’t be much privacy as there is no undergrowth below the tall pines. However, all the sites offered dappled shade.
There is one pit toilet (two stalls) in service, but no water or facilities of any kind (including trash removal). At present, no fires (including charcoal) are allowed and smoking is banned. Please check with the Forest Service for current fire restrictions before leaving home. Also of note, all dogs must be in a leash (presumably because of the presence of black bear).
If you’re not wanting to have to drive the Forest Service roads looking for a dispersed campsite and/or want the convenience of a toilet, then this would be an acceptable place to camp. We would particularly recommend this campground if you have a few kids, want super-easy access to fishing that is, generally, above-the-ankle in depth, and want/need an open area for the kids to run around and burn off energy. However, the views aren’t all that great and prettier locations can be found within a few miles.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.