Rustler Park is a wildflower-carpeted meadow high in the Chiricahuas. Around the turn of the century, rustlers concealed stolen stock there while altered brands healed and pursuit cooled. Today, the meadow provides a cool mountain respite from the deserts below. Rimmed with Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine, the meadow is sprinkled with seasonal wildflowers.
Campsites at Rustler Park are scattered along access roads that have been purposefully kept out of the meadow to avoid damaging fragile plants and soils. Since the Horseshoe II fire in 2011, the campground has been rebuilt and some campsites now have canopies to give visitors shade.
Rustler Park is an excellent place to pursue birdwatching. Larger animals, including black bear, are frequently spotted here, too. Trails lead from the campground into the Chiricahua Wilderness and to other places of interest.
Note: Black bears in area. Use Bear boxes provided.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||Currently open. Closed annually due to anticipated winter weather from October to April.|
|Operational Hours:||Rustler Park opens around April 1st of each year. It closes October 31st for the winter. FR42D, leading up to Rustler Park is open until the first snow.|
|Area Amenities:||Tent camping,Camping trailer,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking|
Day-use: $8 per vehicle
Weekly: $10 per vehicleBuy a pass online, or purchase a pass on-site with cash or check. Proof of payment, or a valid Coronado National Forest Annual Pass or Interagency (America the Beautiful) Pass, including the Annual, Senior, Access, or Military Pass, must be displayed on the driver's side of the vehicle dashboard. Learn more about accepted passes.
|Open Season:||April 1 - October|
|Restrictions:||RV Camping is 22 feet and less. No hook-ups. Trailers limited to 22 feet. Pack it in, pack it out. Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.|
|Closest Towns:||Portal is 18 miles away, Sunizona is 17 miles away.|
|Water:||No drinking water is available|
|Operated By:||Douglas Ranger District|
|Information Center:||Douglas Ranger District 520-364-3468|
General InformationDirections: 120 miles east of Tucson, 18 miles west of Portal. Access: From Tucson, take I-10 east 81 miles. Turn right (south) on AZ 186 and continue for 23 miles. Turn left (east) on AZ 181 toward Chiricahua National Monument and drive 3 miles, then turn right (south) on Forest Road 42. From Douglas, take US 80 two miles west to US 191. Go north on US 19135 miles to Sunizona. Take AZ 181 east, then north, for approximately 28 miles (stay on paved road) to FR 42. Continue up FR 42 (Pinery Canyon) 12 miles to Forest Road 42D. Turn right at Onion Saddle and drive approximately 2.5 miles to Rustler Park Campground. Forest Roads 42 and 42D are gravel roads suitable for two-wheel drive passenger vehicles, though high-clearance vehicles such as pickup trucks or SUVs are recommended.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Mountain meadow setting, Forested sites, Birdwatching/wildlife watching and Forest trails. When hiking, pack it in, pack it out.
|Fee charged for some activities:||Yes|