Monday, November 5, 2012

Quartzsite, Arizona

Quartzsite, Arizona  -- with a year-round population of just under 4,000 people -- looks like a huge RV parking lot.  RV parks are everywhere.  In the winter they are filled with “snowbirds,” most of whom come to Quartzsite in their fifth wheels RVs and motor homes.  In fact, an estimated two million people come to Quartzsite for the winter and/or to attend huge gem and mineral shows, swap meets, and RV shows.  Per the Quartzsite visitors' guide, the town has 70 RV and mobile park homes, plus camping on 11,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management property.  You can camp for free on most of the BLM for up to two weeks with a permit; for BLM land closer to town it costs $40 for 14-day permits which you can extend for up to seven months.  We’re staying where it’s free and are only a couple of miles out of town.

Today we briefly explored the town and then came back to the rig, enjoyed the scenery here at our campsite, and I read the tourist literature we picked up.  I should have read it in the car, because next time I want to see these three things:

The Great Tree:  Near the Quartzsite Town Hall is an ironwood tree that’s supposedly over a thousand years old.

World’s largest saguaro cactus:  I do love the saguaros.  And near Castle Dome Peak south of Quartzsite is what’s claimed to be the world’s biggest, with 47 “arms.”

The Hi Jolly Monument: The US Army once brought camels and their drivers from the Middle East in an attempt to introduce camels to the American Southwest.  The experiment failed and the drivers left except for one man named Hadji Ali.  Locally known as Hi Jolly, he became a prospector.  A memorial at the local cemetery pays tribute to him.

A pretty typical view near downtown Quartzsite, Arizona. 


  1. $0.00 per night. That is a pretty good price.

  2. The only place that's less expensive is your B and B, which came with gourmet meals.