If you and your pooch are looking for a place to pitch your tent in Arizona’s Big Lake region, consider camping at Rainbow Campground! The facilities might be a little primitive -- you won’t find any RV hookups, electricity or showers on-site -- but the furrific location might be well worth sacrificing your creature comforts for! Situated in the scenic Apache-Sitgreaves national forest, the campground sits at a cool 9,000 feet of elevation, and it’s well-shaded by gorgeous ponderosa pine, aspen and spruce trees, so you and your pup can keep cool even in the desert heat. Be sure to wrap up warm at night! The campsite is pretty pawpular during the high season, so it’s best to make your reservation early, particularly if you’ll need to stay at one of Rainbow’s accessible sites. There’s also a small grocery store nearby, so there’s no need to waste precious backpack space on provisions!
If casting a line is your idea of a good time, you’ll be glad to know that Rainbow Campground is very close to Big Lake itself, which offers some of the best trout fishing in the state. Avid birders might enjoy just sitting back at one of the campground's picnic tables and watching the hummingbirds flutter by. You might even see some elk! The area has plenty to offer to hound-dog hikers, too -- you and your doggo can learn more about the flora and fauna in the area by taking a quick stroll on the half-mile-long Big Lake Nature Trail, or have a longer walk on the 2-mile out-and-back Indian Springs trail, which leads to a lookout point over the lake and is moderately difficult. If you’d like to explore fur-ther afield, you can visit the nearby Lee Valley Recreation Area, which has plenty more routes to chose from.
Campfires are permitted, but only in designated rings, and fire regulations can change with the weather due to the desert location. You’ll find drinking water on-site, so be sure to fill up those bottles if you’re heading up for a hike! The campground doesn’t have wifi, and cellular coverage ranges from spotty to non-existent, so this is not a great option for those who need to be constantly contactable. Remember to bring waste bags for your furry friend, and have a pawesome trip!