Monday, April 11, 2016

Campground Review: Indian Bread Rocks Recreation Area Bowie, AZ

If you are driving along west on I-10 and take the Bowie, AZ exit and then proceed south on Apache Pass Point Rd for about seven miles you would come upon Happy Camp Canyon Rd.  Turn onto it and after about four miles of road that is marked by signs like this:

The road wasn't as bad as this sign makes you think.
You cross four cattle guards and come to the Indian Bread Rocks Recreation Area which is administered by the BLM.

Elevations from 4000 to 7500 feet.
As you enter the recreation area there is a small picnic area on your left underneath a giant (and the area's sole) live oak tree.

This is the only "real" tree in the whole rec area.
Because Indian Bread Rocks (I have no idea what the name refers to) is BLM land you are allowed to camp for free for up to 14 days out of each 30 day period, which is why I drove there.

The Tank's campsite at the very end of the access road.
I drove down a two-track dirt/rock access road for about two miles, stopping to reconnoiter some potential sites (they are marked by stone fire rings)  until it ended and I lucked into what I consider the best boondock site in the whole area.  The site was secluded and there were no other campers within sight of my camp and zero traffic along the access road.  Here's the campground data sheet:


Hookups:                                             None
Fire ring:                                              Yes
Water Access:                                     No
Fresh Water:                                        No
Trash Service:                                      No (pack in, pack out)
Toilets:                                                Yes – by the picnic area
Showers:                                             No
Dump station:                                      No
WiFi:                                                   No
Level sites:                                          No
Laundry:                                              No
Store:                                                  No
Pool:                                                   No
Shade:                                                No
Verizon reception:                               4G – 3 bars
Internet reception:                               3 bars
Cost:                                                  Free up to 14 days

Indian Bread Rocks Rec Area is the access point to the Dos Cabezas Mountains Wilderness area which covers 11,700 acres in Cochise County, AZ.  Beyond the beautiful desert environment the main attraction of the rec area is.....rocks!

One of the climbable rock formations in the rec area.
This looked like one the bad guys rolled in front of the stagecoach to rob it.
You have to look where you're stepping because, like a lot of BLM land, the rec area hosts free range cattle who happen to leave little "surprises" (and some NOT so little) behind wherever the graze.

Grazing cattle, they stayed well clear of my camp.
  I never saw any water tanks and there was zero standing or running water in the area so I was never able to figure out how the cattle drank but I did run across salt licks.

Note the tongue impressions from the cattle licking the salt.
I was only able to stay at Indian Bread Rocks for a week because I had to file my taxes which entailed needing to print out some documentation (the Tank doesn't carry a printer) and I actually considered driving into Wilcox, AZ (Bowie is extremely tiny, make sure you stock up at Wilcox or another decent sized city because there is nothing in Bowie.) and coming back but plans changed so I had to mark it down as a "will definitely return" location.  On my way out of the area I ran across this little guy by one of the cattle guards:

He was either lost or wild, I think he was wild.
Indian Bread Rocks Recreation Area might have a strange name but it is an outstanding boondock location that is especially great in Spring, (I would guess it might be too hot in the summer) or Fall.  I fully recommend it, just remember to bring everything you're going to require!

Thanks for reading!