Larry Forbis Group Site

Area Status: Open
Larry Forbis Group Site sign

Larry Forbis Group Site

Tucked away amongst vibrant palo verde and iconic saguaro cactus on the banks of the Lower Salt River, the Larry Forbis Group Site offers a peaceful setting for groups and large gatherings throughout the year. October through March, this site is open to campers looking to take advantage of a unique opportunity to enjoy one of Arizona’s finest rivers under the stars. Campers can pitch a tent on the sandy shoreline and awaken to beautiful views of the surrounding Sonoran Desert. During summer months when the river is flowing and ambient temperatures are high, recreators can enjoy a day of kayaking, tubing, or fishing down the river before returning to their private ramada for a picnic.

There are 3 units available to reserve (Units A, B, or C). Each unit contains the following:

  • 2 large ramadas
  • 4 picnic tables
  • 4 pedestal grills
  • 3 fire rings
  • 10 designated parking stalls
  • Access to the tent camping loop trail (shared with adjacent units)
  • Access to two vault toilets (shared with adjacent units)

The Larry Forbis Group Site is located on the south end of the Pebble Beach Recreation Area and requires a reservation for use. Reservations can be made for one, two, or all three units. Any group exceeding 75 people will require a separate Special Use Authorization. Please contact the Mesa Ranger Station ahead of time for further details. Overnight camping is only permitted within the site from October 1st – March 31st.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Operational Hours: October 1 – March 31 (camping or day-use), April 1 – September 30 (day-use only)
Reservations: Reservations: Reservations must be made 7 days prior to arrival and units can be booked up to 6 months in advance. Reservations can only be made on or by calling the toll-free reservation line at (877) 444-6777.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Tent camping, Camping trailer, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking
Fees: Fees: $75.00 per unit
Closest Towns: Mesa, Arizona
Restroom: 2

General Information


All three units are available with accessible features, such as handicapped parking, concrete walkways and surfaces, and wheelchair-accessible picnic tables.


Directions: From the city of Mesa, Arizona, gain access to Bush Highway via Power Rd. or Usery Pass Rd. and head East. Proceed until you reach the Pebble Beach Recreation Site. Turn right into the recreation site. The Larry Forbis entrance will be located straight ahead on the southern end of the parking lot.

Coordinates: 33°33’09.67” N, 111°34’20.69” W

General Notes:

Natural Features: The stark contrast between the nearby Bulldog Cliffs and the adjacent Lower Salt River create a unique desert landscape for forest visitors to enjoy. The desert is spotted with saguaro and prickly pear cacti, wildflowers, and grasses which all provide habitat for "desert dwellers" such as rattlesnakes, horned lizards, coyotes and roadrunners. The riparian area provides for large cottonwoods on the shore and eel grass in the river. Bass, trout, great blue heron, and barn owls call the river home, while mule deer and bighorn sheep visit frequently to quench their thirst. Even with its close proximity to the Phoenix metro, the area can be harsh for travelers not equipped to meet nature on her own terms. Hot temperatures and little moisture are typical conditions in the summer. In winter, temperatures are often pleasant during the day, but can drop significantly at night. Visitors should come prepared for a variety of weather conditions, including occasional rain and lightning storms.

Nearby Attractions: Saguaro Lake is approximately 5 miles northeast on Bush Highway. Scenic views, fishing, boat rentals, tours, and a restaurant provide opportunities that can easily fill the day.


Each reservation includes 10 designated parking spaces. These spaces can be used at your discretion; however, you may not exceed 10 vehicles per reservation and you may not encroach on the roadway with any vehicle or piece of equipment. If you have a trailer or vehicle that exceeds the length of a single parking space, you are permitted to park across multiple parking stalls within your assigned area. The total parking area dimensions for each unit (A, B, or C) are approximately 20 feet deep by 100 feet wide. If you have more than 10 vehicles, additional cars may park in the Pebble Beach Recreation Site with a valid Interagency Pass or Tonto Daily Pass displayed. Tonto Daily Passes can be purchased at the Pebble Beach Recreation Site via the automated fee machine for $12.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Group Camping

General Info:


Area Amenities: accessible, picnic tables, vault toilets, fire rings, pedestal grills, ramadas

Water: None

Restrooms: 2 vault toilets

Closest Towns: Mesa, Arizona

Information Center: Mesa Ranger District - (480) 610-3300

Group Picnicking


Camping trailer:
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Tent camping:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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