Horse Springs Campground0
Location: West of Alpine, Arizona.
Elevation: 7,610 feet
Season: May through October
Access: Dirt road
Fee: $14.00 per camp unit per night
Reservations: No reservations. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Usage: Medium / High
Days Limit: 14 days
Amenities: 27 single unit sites, tent camping, trailer camping, trailers and motorhomes up to 32 foot, no hookups, picnic tables (at each campsite), rock fire rings, potable water faucets, vault toilets, pets must be restrained or on a leash, concessionaire operated
Information: Alpine Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, (928) 339-5000 or www.fs.usda.gov/asnf
Directions: From Alpine, drive two miles north on US Highway 191 to Forest Road 249 (Three Forks Rd). Turn west and follow this paved forest road 5 miles to Forest Road 276 (graded dirt road). Turn south and follow Forest Road 276 for 10.5 miles.
Horse Springs Campground is the largest campground on the East Fork of Black River. With recently upgraded facilities, including a group ramada and a picnic area, this makes for a real nice camping experience.
The campground consists of two loops, Porcupine loop with campsites 1-15, and Pole Cat loop with campsites 16-27.
Host resides at campsite #6. He takes care of four campgrounds, and a total of 60 campsites, therefore he will be busy and gone most of the time.
On the Porcupine loop, where I stayed for two nights, you can select campsites closer to the road and a hill protecting you from west wind, or if you prefer to camp as close to the river as possible, you can select sites 12-14 which are literally 50 steps from the river.
Two of the campsites are wheelchair friendly.
All sites have a metal picnic table and fire ring or grill. Firewood is available for purchase from the host.
There are two faucets with potable water, and two well maintained vault toilets.
Porcupine loop also has a separate picnic area with 10 parking spaces and a couple of tables and fire pits.
Pole Cat loop is located few hundred yards down the road, and consists of 12 campsites. Few of them are really close to the river. There is also a separate Ramada with parking for several cars and close by toilets.
The river is not too deep along the campground, and mostly fast flowing, however you will find few deeper spots where you might catch Rainbow, Cutthroat, Brook or Brown Trout. Some of the deepest pools on the river at this campground are next to the picnic area, however the river might change every year.
Black River is beautiful and absolutely worth exploring. Pine forest is dense, however you will see plenty of reminders of the Wallow Fire in 2011, especially on the east hill beyond the river.
This is bear country, so be vigilant and keep all your food properly stored. You might see some deer, elk and bighorn sheep during the day. At night you might hear grey wolves howling in the distance.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these camping guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!