Many campgrounds across northern Arizona are reporting stronger reservations and occupancies than last summer, and most expect the trend to continue through Labor Day. “We’ve been filling up the park almost every night,” said Jo Ann Mickelson, who is co-owner of J&H RV Park in Flagstaff and executive director of the Arizona Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds, which hosts GoCampingInArizona.com, the travel planning website.
“Over July 4th weekend, I’m booked solid,” Mickelson said in a written announcement from the state association. “I don’t have any spaces left.”
Dev Bacchi, office manager of the 200-site Flagstaff/Grand Canyon KOA, said her park is also sold out for the July 4 weekend and she anticipates stronger business than last summer. “So far, we’ve been way busier than last year,” she said. Bacchi added that most of her park model cabin rentals are sold out on weekends until September.
Kaibab Camper Village, which is located off Highway 67 near Jacob Lake, roughly 45 miles from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, is also seeing stronger business levels than last year. “It’s looking better than last summer at this point,” said park owner Joy Staveley. “We opened up on May 14th and we’ve only been open for a little over a month. But it is starting off to be a better season than last year.” Staveley added that people who stay at her campground are also visiting other sites across northern Arizona and southern Utah, including Bryce and Zion national parks and Four Corners.
Located at the 7,500-foot level, Kaibab Camper Village has 86 RV and tent sites as well as one cabin style room for rent. The park has made many im-provements in recent years, such as upgrading its electrical hookups and in-stalling showers and a laundry facility.
The number of travelers staying at OK RV Park in Holbrook in northeastern Arizona, roughly 34 miles east of Winslow, are consistent with last year’s figures, but people are staying longer. “People are staying for sometimes two or three nights instead of one night,” said Cheryl Wood, the park’s assistant manager. She said people are staying longer because the park is doing more to market nearby attractions, which include the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest National Park, the historic Navajo County Courthouse in Holbrook, Hidden Cove Petroglyph & Ranch Ruins Park, and Rock Art Canyon Ranch, a private ranch with access to a canyon filled with Anasazi petroglyphs.
Further south, Munds Park RV Resort in Munds Park, roughly 20 miles south of Flagstaff, is also reporting stronger business levels this summer. “We’re pretty full for the summer,” said Donna Malnar, the park’s assistant manager. “Our weekends are full all the way through the end of August and our seasonal spots are all taken.”
Many southern Arizona residents like to rent seasonal campsites at northern Arizona campgrounds for the summer. “When it’s 110 degrees in Phoenix they will come out of there like you wouldn’t believe,” said Mickelson of the 51-site park in Flagstaff. “In July, a lot of people will come up and stay for four weeks or longer just to get out of the heat. They love to hike in the mountains. They go out to dinner. They go out to the casino at Twin Arrows. They bring a lot to the economy.”
And there is a lot to see and do in the Flagstaff area during the summer months. For example, the Museum of Northern Arizona has Hopi and Navajo arts and cultural festivals, from July 5-6 and Aug. 2-3, respectively. There are also open-air concerts at the Pepsi Amphitheater at Fort Tuthill Park through the summer.
Many campgrounds also have their own on-site activities. “Here in our park we have an ice cream social and a potluck every Sunday night during the summer,” Mickelson said. “Last weekend we had 50 people at our potluck. They will all bring dishes and they sit and visit for hours. We introduce where everybody is from and we’ll have people from Oklahoma or California or Kentucky or New York. It’s a very friendly group of people.”