Area Status: Open

Reef Townsite Campground This high mountain campground, once the mining town of Reef, offers 16 campsites, as well as a reservable group site. That remote outpost got its name from the nearby Carr Reef, a tall band of quartzite-bearing cliffs that form the Huachuca Mountains’ dramatic eastern front. Mining activity along the Reef began during the last few years of the nineteenth century and proceeded in fits and starts all the way into the 1950s.
The property occupied by the mines and the town was returned to public ownership in 1970, and in 1988, the Forest Service constructed a campground on the townsite. A number of picnic tables and tent pads were placed within the visible outlines of old cabin foundations.
Many relics of Reef’s mining history, including the remains of the town’s old water system and miscellaneous features, are still visible in and around the campground. Evidence of old mining digs and foundations for an ore mill provide points of interest along a three-quarter-mile interpretive trail which begins and ends at the northeastern end of the campground.
Garbage bins available. Black bears in area.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: April through November. Seasonal closure December 15 - March 15.
Reservations: Single sites are first-come, first-served.  Reservations are not accepted. Reservations for the Reef Townsite Group Area can be made at
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking
Fees: Single site: $15. With Golden Age/Access or Interagency Senior/Access pass $7.50. Payable with cash or check. 
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Trailers limited to 12 feet and less. Longer trailers and motor homes cannot negotiate the switchbacks on Carr Canyon Road. No utility hookups. Pets need to beon a leash at all times. Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground or picnic area. Properly licensed motorbikes may be used only for entering or leaving campgrounds. Limit 2 vehicles and 10 persons per site. 14 day stay limit.
Closest Towns: Around 15 miles from Sierra Vista.
Water: No drinking water available
Operated By: Sierra Vista Ranger District
Information Center: Sierra Vista Ranger District 520-378-0311

General Information


From Tucson, Arizona: drive east on I-10 to exit 302 to State Route 90. Drive south 25 miles through Sierra Vista. Proceed 8 miles south of Sierra Vista on State Route 92 and turn west onto Carr Canyon Road/Forest Road 368.

General Notes:

Natural Features:

This site rests on the "Reef" rock formations in the in the Huachuca Mountains. At an elevation of 7,200 feet, it provides a cool respite from the heat of surrounding lower deserts in summer.

The Coronado National Forest covers 1.78 million acres of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Elevations range from 3,000 to 10,720 feet in 12 widely scattered mountain ranges, or "sky islands," that rise dramatically from the desert floor, supporting biologically diverse plant communities.


Reef Townsite Loop Trail, an interpretive trail that highlights the mining history of this area and showcases beautiful views, begins and ends at the northeastern edge of the campground.

The national forest has a variety of hiking and mountain biking trails for those who wish to leave the facility for a day trip.


Reef Townsite Group Site can accommodate one group of up to 50 people at a time. Facilities include a picnic shelter that contains six picnic tables, two large group barbecue grills and two food preparation tables, as well as toilets, a parking area and a large shaded area for tents.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Trailer Camping is 12 feet and less. Longer trailers and motor homes cannot negotiate the switchbacks on Carr Canyon Road

Cool mountain setting. Shaded sites. Interpretive history trail. Hiking and horseback trails. Campground host. Watchable wildlife. Tent pads. Some sites are barrier-free.

No. of Sites 14
Reservation Info Reservation Required for Day-use group site only. The day-use group site must be reserved in advance. (It is locked when not in use). Make reservations online at
Fire Information Tables and fire rings
No. of Accessible sites Accessible to persons with disabilities.

Group Camping

Group site with ramada.

No. of Sites 1
Reservation Info
Group Cooking Facilities 6 tables, 2 grills and food prep tables.
Hookups - Electric No utility hookups.


Interpretive Site: Yes
Camping trailer: Yes
Picnic tables: Yes
Tent camping: Yes
Fee charged for some activities: Yes
Toilets: Vault toilets
Parking: Yes

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
7,200 feet