Spencer Canyon Campground

Area Status: Open

Spencer Canyon Campground

This mountain campground is located at the head of a shallow, forested canyon a short distance off the Catalina Highway. Spencer Canyon faces the city of Tucson and the Santa Cruz Valley, both of which are visible as a distant panorama through openings in the forest canopy.

Spencer Canyon Campground has 66 sites. Each site has a concrete table, firepit, B-B-Q and bear box for food storage. A beautiful night view of Tucson can be seen from several sites. Spencer is rugged, rustic in layout and close to the hamlet of Summerhaven. Each camping area has clean, stocked vault toilets. Campground hosts live on site. Firewood may be purchased from the hosts.

The Catalina Highway is paved, but it can be snow covered in winter when chains and/or 4-wheel drive may be required.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Opening and Closing are weather dependent. Please be advised that this campground is operated  by a concessionaire and can close at any time in Oct. Please call 520-576-9198 for more info.
Operational Hours: Open April to October weather dependent. Campground is run by Recreation Resource Management, a concessionaire under permit with the Coronado National Forest. Check-out for camping is 1pm and check-in is 3pm. Day use ends at 3pm. Quiet time is 10pm to 6am.
Reservations: Spencer campground is at the highest elevation and has 68 first come first served sites. There are no RV hook-ups available. Fire pits, grills, and tables are available at the sites. All campgrounds have potable water and vault toilets.
Area Amenities: Tent camping, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: Camping fee is $26.00 per night for single sites. No more than 6 people per numbered site, including children and visitors. Double Family site is $42.00. Extra vehicle is $10.00 per night per site. No more than two vehicles per site. Vehicles (up to 6 people) are $10.00 per vehicle. Extra persons, walk-ins, and bicycles are $1.00 each. Firewood is $7.00 per bundle/bag. The Interagency Senior and Access Pass is good for a 50% discount on camping fee only. Payable with cash or check.
Open Season: April - October
Restrictions: No hook-ups. Tents, trailers to 22’, and small motor homes permitted. Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground. A large area of nearby Pusch Ridge Wilderness is closed to dogs from January to April for the protection of desert bighorn sheep. Though dogs are allowed in the campground, you are not allowed to take them on hikes into the Sheep Closure Area of the Pusch Ridge Wilderness from January to April.
Closest Towns: In the Santa Catalina Mountains northeast of Tucson, between mile posts 21 and 22 on the Catalina Highway.
Water: Drinking water is available.
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Concessionaire operation under special use permit from the Santa Catalina Ranger District
Information Center: Santa Catalina Ranger District 520-749-8700. The campground phone number is 520-576-1492.

General Information


From Tucson, E. on Tanque Verde. N. on Catalina Highway. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary (Mile Post 0), then continue 21.5 miles to Spencer Canyon Campground on the left (west) side of the road.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Cool forest setting. Mountain atmosphere. Views through the trees. Barrier-free access. Tents, trailers to 22 feet and small motor homes permitted. Tables and fire grills.

No. of Sites 2 barrier-free acces. 60 single units
No. of Accessible sites Accessible to persons with disabilities.


Picnic tables: Yes
Tent camping: Yes
Fee charged for some activities: Yes
Parking: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Drinking water: Yes

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
8,000 feet