Campsite Review – Cattle Rest Saloon & RV Park, Wilcox, AZ

The Particulars

  • $0/night with Harvest Hosts membership
  • Overnighter
  • Easy access
  • Dry Camping with FHU available for a price
  • Level, gravel and dirt parking lot
  • Sound level low: some road traffic noise and distant train rumble
  • Full beverage and limited meal service
  • AT&T 2 bars LTE
  • Dog friendly (except inside the saloon)

The Details

Cattle Rest Saloon and RV Park, makes for a perfect overnighter along I-10 through SE Arizona. We stayed at Cattle Rest utilizing our Harvest Host membership which means that we dry camped for free with the expectation of being customers. Huge flat parking lot with lots of room for multiple rigs, big and small.  Plenty of room to turn around, etc.  The parking lot is near the road but there isn’t much traffic and what there was died down after 5 pm.  There are train tracks somewhere nearby, but it was more a pleasant rumbling in the distance than a disturbance. We were practically level without having to drop the trailer or utilize our leveling system. The saloon also hosts a small tidy campground behind the building with full hookups at a price.  This Harvest Host location is open every day, whereas the other hosts in the area (mostly wineries) are only open around the weekends.

There is excellent sun coverage here for solar panels and again, plenty of room to maneuver your rig for optimal exposure. We only had AT&T 2 bars LTE, but it worked well enough for me to access email, research rockhounding areas near our next stop and even watch some YouTube videos.

The saloon itself is just that, a saloon – albeit an attractive one, with few food selections.  However, we were fortunate enough to arrive on “Taco Monday”! No, that isn’t a typo, it was Taco Monday with $1.50 beef tacos and all the fixins.  We enjoyed a frosty mug of draft beer, three tacos apiece and an overnight stay for less than $25. You really can’t beat that!

Upon our arrival, the regulars seated on the sunny patio directed us inside where the friendly bartendress checked us in and answered all our questions.  She was quite knowledgeable about the area and shared her favorite hiking spots. There are views of Dos Cabezas to the southeast and we awoke to the song of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead.

Wilcox is one of Arizona’s prime winegrowing regions, home to several quality wineries. It also has all the amenities including a large grocery store, gas stations, restaurants, and coffee shops. The Wilcox Playa Wildlife Area is a famous winter destination for birders. It sees as many as 20,000 Sandhill Cranes flock here October through February, celebrated by the annual Wings over Wilcox festival each January.

This location is just off Interstate 10, within forty miles of Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie, and Cochise’s Stronghold and fifty-eight miles from Tombstone.  Having visited all four in the past (all great outings), we’ve car camped at Chiricahua and highly recommend a visit, even if just for a day.

Loop Excursion to Cochise Stronghold, Gleeson Ghost Town & Tombstone… a real historical trip back to the old west.
Loop Excursion to Fort Bowie and Chiricahua National Monument

For my fellow rockhounds, this location is only sixty-eight miles from Black Hills Rockhound Area, one hundred twelve from Round Mountain Rockhound Area and only fifty-three miles from Gleeson Ghost Town (Courtland-Gleeson Mining District), an area once famous for its Turquoise (detailed posts on all three locations to be posted within the week).

Multi-day Loop Excursion for the Rockhound