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John Hands Campground

Contact Info
Douglas, AZ

Number of Sites:
6 Tent Sites
5600 feet
Reservations Not Accepted


A series of beautiful little cascades grace Cave Creek as it flows past John Hands Campground and Picnic Area, making this area popular for day use as well as camping. Tables and fire grills here are located in the shade of streamside trees well within view of the creek. This is not a large area and sites within it are relatively close together, clustered near the road that provides access to them. For that reason, camping at John Hands is limited to tents only.

This Cave Creek camp is a bit off the beaten path in this popular recreation area, but it is nevertheless close to a number of Forest trails and scenic drives. Birdwatching is good right in the campground, as well as along the creek both up and downstream. Coues white-tailed deer are plentiful in the area, too. The Southwestern Research Station of the American Museum of Natural History is located just downstream of John Hands Campground. The Center occasionally presents programs on natural history topics open to the public. Check at the Cave Creek Visitor Information Center for specific details on these programs.

Other recreation opportunities in the vicinity of John Hands include Greenhouse Trail, which provides the best views of spectacular Winn Falls. The Basin and Ash Spring trails offer relatively easy hikes in the vicinity of the campground.


Basic Amenities
  • Vault Toilets
Special Features
  • Cooking Grills
  • Picnic Tables


Year round
150 miles east of Tucson
6 miles southwest of Portal
52 miles northeast of Douglas.
5600 feet
Basic Info
Total Sites:
6 Tent Sites
More Site Details
RV Hookups:
Pet Policy
Pets must be restrained or on a leash. Cascading Stream
Riparian Setting
Birdwatching/Wildlife Watching
Nearby Forest Trails

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
From Tucson:
Take I-10 east 139 miles to US 80 (you win cross the New Mexico border to get to this intersection). Turn right (south) and drive 28 miles, then turn right (west) on the road to Portal, 7 miles.

From Douglas:
Take US 80 east approximately 50 miles to Rodeo, NM. Two miles past Rodeo, turn left (west) on Portal Road.

From Portal:
Drive west on Forest Road 42 approximately 5 miles, turn left (west) on FR 42A and continue 1 mile to the campground /picnic area.

Roads are paved (except for the last mile) and suitable for passenger vehicles.

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