Rainbow Campground

Area Status: Open

Rainbow is the largest campground in the Big Lake Recreation Area in eastern Arizona. Rainbow is a favorite for families because of its proximity to the lake, size and the many amenities it offers. Popular activities include hiking, horseback riding and fishing.

Natural Features:

Rainbow Campground sits at an elevation of 9,000 feet in the White Mountains. It is a very scenic area, forested with ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, spruce and aspen trees, which provide ample shade. Summer temperatures are pleasant and cool, a nice respite from the heat of the lower desert. Visitors should come prepared for cool nighttime temperatures and occasional summer thunderstorms.


The campground is adjacent to 450-acre Big Lake, one of Arizona's top fishing lakes. The lake is known for its trout fishing, with rainbow, cutthroat, brook and Apache being the most sought-after species. The recreation area is also popular for hiking, mountain biking, birding and wildlife viewing.


The facility boasts 165 campsites organized into six loops. Four double sites are available for up to 16 people each, which is convenient for larger families, and two single unit accessible sites are also available. A small store nearby sells gas, food, boat rentals and firewood. A campground host is available on-site for visitor assistance.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Water available. Showers and restrooms open. 
Reservations: Make a reservation at Recreation.gov.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water
Fees: Standard Family Sites per night $20 - $22
Group Sites are not eligible for Interagency/ Senior Pass Discounts

Mini Group Sites (2, 47, 80) per night $22 - $80 
(reservation fee not included)

EZ Camping Tent Sites Tent Package per night $55.00
Reservation Fee $10.00​
Usage: Light
Best Season: Mid-May through September.
Closest Towns: Springerville, AZ
Water: Potable Water, Showers
Restroom: Flush Toilets
Operated By: Concessionaire
Information Center: Springerville Ranger District
(928) 333-6200
TTY: (928) 333-5397

General Information


Rainbow Campground is located in the Big Lake Recreational Area.

From Eagar: Go 5 miles west on State Route 260 turn south on State Route 261 go 29 miles to Sate Route 273, turn west go about 3 miles, Big Lake Recreational Area will be on the west side.

From Show Low, Arizona: take Highway 260 east for 42 miles to Highway 273. Take Highway 273 south for 30 miles Big Lake Recreational Area will be on the west side.

General Notes:
  • Supplies available from concessionaire.
  • Deer, skunks and bear are common campground visitors.
  • A variety of hummingbirds
  • Be prepared for rain, often heavy through July and August.
  • Because of the high elevation be prepared for cool night time temperatures.
  • Campground hosts
  • Fire rings, grills, picnic tables
  • Dump station
  • Paved roads
  • Showers
  • Campsites 130 thru 152 (loop F) are available on a first come first serve bases
  • Electric hookups are not available
  • Pets must be restrained or on a leash 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

A spur trail in Loop D connects the campground with the Indian Springs hiking and biking trail. 

Campground Camping

156 camp sites, including 4 double sites (up to 16 people) in a dense pine and aspen forest. 

RV Camping


Motorhomes up to 32 feet. 

Lake and Pond Fishing

Excellent trout fishing in lake. 

Day Hiking

A spur trail in Loop D connects the campground with the Indian Springs hiking and biking trail.

Viewing Scenery


Camping trailer: Yes
Picnic tables: Yes
Tent camping: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Boat ramp: Yes
Drinking water: Yes

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
9,100 feet