Campground Review: KOA Picacho / Tucson NW, Picacho, AZ

IMG_3294Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Picacho / Tucson NW KOA
  • Dates of stay: March 6 – 12, 2018
  • Location: 18428 S Picacho Hwy, Picacho, AZ 85141 (Exit 212, I-10)
  • Type of campground: KOA
  • Cost:  $42/night, with KOA card discount for FHU pull through
  • Additional fees: none
  • Stay limit: Campground season Oct 1 – June 1
  • Accepts mail / packages: did not ask
  • Cell reception: ATT good
  • Website: koa.com/campgrounds/picacho-tucson-nw/
  • Pros: close to interstate, large pull through sites, friendly staff, decent restaurant
  • Cons: It’s a drive to either Phoenix or Tucson

Full Review

We originally intended to stay in Phoenix. But as we searched for a suitable campground, we came up empty handed. There seem to be a million campground listings in Phoenix, however, many are mobile home parks with a few RV sites sandwiched in, unsuitable for big rigs like ours. Others were in bad neighborhoods or had terrible reviews. The few that looked good for us were booked up, since this is high season. So we ended up half-way between Phoenix and Tucson at this very nice KOA. As a result, both Phoenix and Tucson were accessible within an hour or so drive, but nothing we wanted to do was close by.

The campground is located right off of I-10, which makes traffic noise noticeable, but not intrusive. The campground is open seasonally only, from Oct to June each year. This prevents the “permanent resident” issue that I see at many campgrounds these days.

IMG_3293Our long pull through site was the usual full hook up site with 50/30 amp electric, water and sewer. We found the water pressure to be quite high and had to adjust our water pressure regulator way down. The sewer connection was raised about 6 inches off the ground, which made it a bit more work to empty our tanks. But the roads and sites are firmly-packed gravel and nicely wide. The site was also equipped with a picnic table and fire ring, giving us the opportunity to enjoy a campfire for the first time in months. (Cold weather and/or fire bans inhibited our campfire enjoyment for quite some time).

We managed to park the rig so that the trunk of our single shade tree was precisely where our satellite dish needed to aim. However, we were able to reach more than 20 over the air Phoenix channels, so doing without satellite TV for a few days was no great hardship. Had we planned to stay for several weeks, we may have gone to the trouble of re-positioning. Our AT&T coverage was excellent, and our associated internet access worked fine. The campground offered a hotspot near the office, but we didn’t need that.

IMG_3295The campground is equipped with a heated pool, laundry facility, bath house, playground, and lounge area. It also boasts a seasonal onsite steak house which is quite the local favorite. We ate there one evening and thought it was decent food at a moderate price. And you can’t beat the convenience! The restaurant is only open for a few months: Dec 1 to about May. A few weekly scheduled events includes potlucks and karaoke night, but the timing didn’t work out for us to be able to participate.

Bottom Line: Nice KOA that is convenient to I-10, great for a stop if you’re passing through. Not as convenient if you want to be close to the amenities and attractions of Phoenix or Tucson.

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