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The best family camping spots in the Southwest U.S.

Pull out your family fun bucket list, because these Southwestern campsites are among some of the most beautiful in the country. Camping in states like Arizona and New Mexico makes for the perfect summer getaway, whether you’re looking for a weeklong trek or a quick overnight trip.

But be warned: Once your kids get a load of the gorgeous scenery and start enjoying the great weather in the Southwest, they might not want to come home.

1. City of Rocks State Park

City of Rocks State Park
Image: John Fowler/Flickr

The rock formations at this park were formed of volcanic ash over 30 million years ago and sculpted by the wind and water over time to create a mini-city maze weaving through the boulders. This unique park is located in the desert region of southeastern New Mexico. City of Rocks State Park features numerous campsites, hiking trails, picnic areas and a desert botanical garden.

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2. Boulder Beach Campground

Boulder Beach Campground
Image: Marcin Wichary/Flickr

Located just over a mile from the Lake Mead marina, Boulder Beach Campground is a gorgeous camping destination full of large eucalyptus trees and lots of shade. Camping is best from October through April, when it’s not too hot. The campsites feature barbecue pits, picnic tables, bathrooms and other amenities. No full hookups are available in this national park campground, but water faucets are scattered plentiful.

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3. Cave Springs Campground

Coconino National Forest
Image: Coconino National Forest/Flickr

Located in Oak Creek Canyon in the Coconino National Forest, the Cave Springs Campground features camping, fishing, swimming, hiking and other fun family activities. Just 13 miles north of Sedona, Arizona, and 14 miles south of Flagstaff, Cave Springs is one of the most popular campgrounds in Arizona. Surrounded by red sandstone walls, Cave Springs offers over 80 campsites, but only a small number of those are reservable. The camps feature coin-operated showers, restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, barbecue grills and more. Come during the week if you can, because the weekends are very crowded.

Next up: Lynx Lake Recreation Area

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