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Saddle Mountain BLM | Phoenix Boondocking Part 2

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

We stayed at several locations on the west side of Phoenix. This is part two of four location reviews. We hopped around between these four sites, then side trips out of state to other areas on John's stretches off and back again to the same locations during our three month contract. John worked at Banner Del E Webb Medical Center in Surprise, AZ so we tried to stay north and west of the city.


Saddle Mountain BLM in Tonapah, AZ

This was our next location after Thanksgiving. We landed here because we were invited to join a Fulltime Families Boondocking Branch meet up. It was a great experience to get to see how other "seasoned" dry campers did things. This location is probably in our top five favorites for the space and beauty but because it was so far from John's

work we stayed our 14 days (ok maybe more shhhhh) and then moved on. Here's the thing, yes the limit is 14 days. It's to keep people from living there forever and spreading out all their stuff everywhere. We never once saw anyone come and check and there were families who had been there upwards of 6 weeks. I'm not saying go do that what you gotta do.

In the winter this place was the perfect temperature and there is seriously so much space! We had about 9 families and there was still an abundance of room all around.


Length We Stayed: 3 or 4 weeks

Terrain: Mostly flat, dirt/gravel road. There are lots of pull outs and open spaces

Solitude: Many people stay here so likely have neighbors but very spacious

Distance to John's Work: 1 hour

Services: None - more info on closest dump and water here - Free Campsites

T-Mobile Coverage: Decent

Time of year we stayed: December

Location Notes:

While this was a beautiful area and it was fun to meet other families, it was difficult to be so far from John's work. There isn't much close by in the way of groceries either. It's about a 30 min drive to Buckeye to a Walmart and other services like gas and laundry. Because John's work passed near Orangewood RV he would take the shwagon with him to dump and the water bladder to refill our water tank. This isn't ideal for someone not driving in that direction though. Another small downside was that there were many flies. That may just be a desert thing though. All in all, we really liked this location. We just wished it was closer.





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