This is not a campground per se. It is a boon dock area. Belle does not charge, but much appreciates a donations of money, or help on the ranch. You need to be self-contained, but it is an experience you will not soon forget. You will LOVE Belle. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This little 40 acre ranch is a step back to days of old: old wood on the Belle Starr cabin, old fashioned campfire at night, old school attitude about hard work and pride. We stumbled upon a listing for the ranch during a search for ‘free campgrounds’, and decided to check it out. When we arrived, the gate was closed and there were a couple of campers on site within view of the highway, so we let ourselves through the gate and approached the house. A little western lady rolled up to the door who turned out to be Ms Belle Starr herself. She directed us to camp wherever we wanted, and she would talk with us the next morning about what ranch chores there were to do (which we asked for). The ranch is situated about 6 air miles from the Mexico border, and has seen illegals crossing the land in years past- although Belle reports it’s been a couple of years since she’s seen any unwelcome visitors. Maybe they’re not coming anymore because of the heavy Border Patrol presence? Along the roadway, the BP comes along about every 8th vehicle- whether it’s vans, tahoes, pickups, 4 wheelers or aircraft- they are every very active in this area. At night, we were treated to no less than 2 close by flyovers as the BP studied every inch of the land surrounding the Silverado Ranch (it seemed). Looked like the Close Encounters of the Third Kind scene when the spaceship lands with all of the spotlights and dramatic noise and flashing lights- it leaves an impression of power when they fly over and take a look at you. We didn’t see anyone crouched in the median or running across the highway, but I’ll guess that it happens. So that being said, and reading reports of the history of border issues, safety would be a consideration to think about when visiting. Belle calls her land a safe place to say, and she’s been here for 18 years, so I guess she knows best. The morning after we arrived, Belle laid out some projects that needed doing, and since it was only her, and us on the property (the campers were empty)- we had the esteemed privilege of haying the horses and clearing the yard and cleaning up the campfire ring and building a fountain… Those were exactly what kind of projects we hoped to be able to take part in when we arrived! Our timing was in step with her helper being out of town, so the horses did get fed. With Belle in a wheelchair following her unfortunate fall and hip injury a year ago, she isn’t physically able to throw the hay herself any longer (so she would appreciate you stopping by). It sounds like she does have help lined up when no one is camping and volunteering, so you could just pull in and sit in a chair, but why? This is really a great chance to get involved and make a contribution. No horse experience necessary (but it would be helpful). Speaking of horses, Belle has a beautiful Clydesdale that can pull her modern stagecoach- if you know how to hitch it and drive him. There’s a stable of miniature donkeys, and a collection of healthy horses that enjoy carrots more than conversation with visitors, but will put up with you if that’s what it takes to eat the orange treats. Throw in the pair of peacocks, chickens (including early rising roosters), and gentle dogs- and you’ve got a nice collection of ranch animals just waiting for you to stop by. Remember, we visited with our 7 children, and every one of them enjoyed the time here immensely. The unsupervised, close up contact with these animals is unlike any other stop we’ve made and places the responsibility for handling the animals properly, on YOU. Study up! Belle has all of the answers if you ask her on one of her ventures outside the house on her electric scooter, but she’s not always right there to chat with. Make a point to change your ranch schedule when you see her, and listen to her rich stories about this place, her grand plans, and her colorful history. She’s ‘sailed with the jet set’, managed Nashville acts, written #1 C&W songs, married into the mafia (briefly) and left it all when she found this little slice of desert that called her 18 years ago. Belle is a generous woman, to the point of suffering herself to give to others. She raves about the relationships she’s made meeting campers here from around the world- who stay anywhere from one night to several weeks or months. She welcomes anyone to visit, but has realized that she can’t give everything away forever, and it looks like she’s setting some guidelines for visitors to know what to expect when they get here. It will still be free to visit for a few days, but with upgrades to sewer and water, she would appreciate a donation to help offset the cost of those projects. Check before you visit for the current status of this free camping opportunity. For what we took away from the Silverado Ranch, we’d have paid up front, and still do the chores for the life experience that cannot normally be bought. Thanks Belle! We love your ranch, and will tell our friends to visit. Belle Starr’s Silverado Ranch is located on Highway 80 right at mile marker 353. It’s just 12 miles from Douglas, about halfway between Douglas and Bisbee, Arizona. On site, there is well water, sewer dumping but no electric service or trash collection. She’s working the bugs out of the WiFi, but hopes to offer that to visitors. Expect to stay for a few days for free if you help out with ranch chores, or make a donation to her and help feed the animals. Someone posted a suggested donation sign that lists a day at 10., a week stay at 50. and a month at 150. I’ve heard of people that stayed a few days and left a hundred dollars. If you’re a cowboy or know ranch life well enough to do it (and not just talk about it), Belle would like to talk with you about an opportunity that may never cross your path again. We posted several photos on our trip blog: www.ourBigtrip.us In the end, we left a couple of hundred dollars and bought some ranch supplies, but you wouldn't have to. Belle was good with accepting 'thanks' and a hand with chores, or a few dollars a night- just don't take advantage of this little lady. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is basically a large paved parking lot that backs up to the county fair grounds horse racing track, and looks out on to the golf course. They only have 30 amp electric at the sites. The showers are dated but clean, with great pressure and lots of hot water. There were a number of snowbirds here, but the sites were not cluttered. We paid $16.49 for the one night we were here. There's a bar on site but the restaurant was going to close a few days after we left. They have some pretty fast WiFi, and Verizon and MiFi works fine here. If you're in Douglas, this looks nicer than some of the other parks in the area. We'd stay here again if we're in the area. The shade trees are on the west side of the parking area and looked mainly to be long term sites. Their weekly and monthly rates were pretty reasonable. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This RV park is a paved area at the public golf course. There are no amenities other than the golf course and restaurant. The sites are level side by side except for the back-in that are reserved for long term. It is situated about a mile from city center and the Mexico border. The city police patrol at regular intervals so even being on the border there are no issues. If you are looking for a base camp to explore south east Arizona this is a good bet. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The Cochise County Fairground is a great park with level sites, water, 30A electric and an on-site dump. (This is NOT the City of Douglas RV Park by the golf course.) This CG is along Leslie Canyon Road and is protected from the road by a 6ft rock wall. It's nothing fancy but is a good staging point from which to explore the area. The staff are friendly and very helpful. If you stay 4-6 days, it's better to pay the $50 weekly rate. We stayed for 3 days after photographing sandhill cranes at Whitewater Draw. It has bathrooms and showers but we didn't use either because they are about 100 yards from the RV sites. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This appears to be mostly a trailer park for long term residents, such as local workers and snow birders. It is reasonably clean, inexpensive, and quiet. Sites are gravel/dirt and level, and dusty. Wireless internet is now available at $1/day. There are limited amenities, but there isn't much RV park choice in this area, and this is about as good as it gets. Be advised that the nearest 'anything' is about 10-12 miles in either direction so plan your gas, propane, and grocery needs accordingly. As mentioned there is a very friendly late afternoon get together where you can find out just about anything you want to know about the local area. My Verizon air card and my satellite TV worked fine. All in all, this park is adequate, inexpensive, and conveniently located for exploring the local area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
What a friendly bunch of folks here; we'd be glad to stay here again. Good location to head to either Douglas, or Bisbee. Several 'long term' campers here, and everyone seems to get along really well. There's a little get together in the evenings to get to know one another. Not much in the way of amenities, but the price is right, and the folks are friendly. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This park is very basic. Gravel and dirt roads. A few trees. Good location. 12 miles from Bisbee AZ to tour the copper mines and 12 miles to Douglas AZ for Wal-Mart. The folks who run this park are very friendly and make you feel very welcome. Laundry is very limited. OK for a short stop. Extra charge for electricity. We camped here in a Motorhome.