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I know the Ehrenberg, Cottonwood, Flagstaff corridor is popular with the tribe, but anyone hang out in the Sonoran Desert?
I was doing some reading on another site that said the Sonoran is a lot greener, and more bio-diverse than the Mojave of California. I"m looking at Google maps and it's just so stunningly beautiful. Elevation is higher too. Tucson sits at 2500 feet, but Bisbee sits at 5500 feet and it's less than 10 miles from the Mexican border.

Now, I hate to have to ask this, but being that it is a lot closer to the border, is it generally safe to boondock in the area? Say, south of Tucson, west to Organ Pipe NM, east to the New Mexican border?

I am smitten, for sure. It's gotten to where I'm drooling over the menu at El Charro and dreaming of carne seca!
The numbers say that you're likely to be pretty safe.  Plenty do camp in the desert in the winter.  . But knowing your risks vs actually hanging out, camping here, depends on your potential anxiety tolerance. I've lived in the Phoenix/Tucson area since 1993 and prior to that, spent a lot of time in Ajo from the 70's on.  We will likely do some camping in the Chiricahuas and Ajo areas during the appropriate seasons once we're full-timing. Since we've only part-timed or traveled on holiday until now, lately, we usually camp down in developed campgrounds in places like Organ Pipe or Lake Patagonia.

My main concern is not the immigrants, but the drug runners.  They pose the greatest risk.  If you decide to do much camping at large by yourself, you might want to consider carrying.  Arizona reciprocates, or I think you can get a CCW without being a resident.  It may or may not prove to be any help in an emergency, but may make you feel more comfortable.

In the summer, you'll need to be at elevation (7000' or higher) to stay comfortable). When living in Phoenix/New River, we would go to the Flagstaff area or the higher elevations of the Mogollon Rim. Now that we live in Tucson, we go to the Catalinas mostly because it's close and easy to get there. Plenty of camping at large is permitted in the National Forests. In the desert, the "National Forest" designation is only that, because in the lower elevations, it's desert with nary a pine tree. You can also get an annual permit to camp on state land. I don't remember how much it cost, but it was pretty cheap for a family pass.
Ted
actually Ehrenberg is in the Sonoran Desert. the Mojave is the high desert the Sonoran is the low desert. in general you are correct about it being more bio-diverse in some areas, but it's still a desert. elevation is not higher than the Mojave, the part of the Sonoran in California is very low elevation for the most part as is the Colorado River valley. Joshua Tree NP sits on the transition zone between the 2 deserts. the high desert also includes the Great Basin Desert. highdesertranger
It's desert. It's hot in summer. Personally, I wouldn't go off alone right away. Hang with some other campers and chat; some areas are going to be more iffy than others.
WalkaboutTed,
Yeah, it's the drug runners that concern me. I love the Mexican people and I adore Mexican culture. That's been the hardest thing about living in Washington next to the rain, the absence of real Mexican culture. I just want to live in peace and stay safe and cause no problems.
I sold my firearms, didn't want problems with border crossing or Border Patrol in general. I have a menacing looking ice axe though. I'm sure I'll get plenty of giggles at RTR over why I'm carrying an ice axe in Arizona. Hey, it does snow on Mt Lemmon right?
From what I've read, this is a place for the more ADVENTURIST minded members.  There is much info on it over on Expedition Portal.  See:

https://expeditionportal.com/tortolita-mountains/

https://expeditionportal.com/on-the-devils-doorstep/

https://expeditionportal.com/overland-ro...el-diablo/
The reason most of us hang out in the Ehrenberg/Quartzite/Yuma area in the winter is because it's at sea level. El Centro CA is actually below sea level.

It's warmer there. Drop 4 degrees F for every 1,000 feet in altitude and Bisbee becomes downright cold in the winter time.

Even at sea level, winter can have us warm blooded folk headed for winter coats in the evenings and using the heaters to adjust the temp in the van.

If you happen to be camped right on a migration route the Border Patrol will let you know that you might want to move on for your own safety. Other than that, don't worry about it. Thousands of us winter on BLM land all over the southwest without a problem.
(07-12-2017, 01:00 PM)Almost There Wrote: [ -> ]The reason most of us hang out in the Ehrenberg/Quartzite/Yuma area in the winter is because it's at sea level. El Centro CA is actually below sea level.

It's warmer there. Drop 4 degrees F for every 1,000 feet in altitude and Bisbee becomes downright cold in the winter time.

One of my on going projects is monitoring the temps around Arizona, Nevada, Oregon to see trends based on time of year and elevation. I've look at a US temperature map in January and you pretty much have to get as farthest south, and as lowest elevation as you can get to be warm. When I see people in hats and jackets at RTR, I believe them.

Mostly what, late November to mid-February for Ehrenberg/Quartzite, then February, March, maybe April go east to southern Arizona. Maybe the elevation changes will help make it survivable towards summer.

If that Coyote Howling place in Ajo can give me a 100% legal address that I can use to register my van and get a driver's license, for the $600 a year, then I have three words. Sign. Me. Up. I"ll just tell them I take a lot of road trips throughout the year, and keep my spot.
(07-12-2017, 10:59 AM)TrainChaser Wrote: [ -> ]It's desert.  It's hot in summer.  Personally, I wouldn't go off alone right away.  Hang with some other campers and chat; some areas are going to be more iffy than others.

The South Pole is a desert.
Waldenbound: "I'm sure I'll get plenty of giggles at RTR over why I'm carrying an ice axe in Arizona."  

It's for trimming down the ice to fit in the cooler.

AlmostThere:  "The South Pole is a desert."

Not as warm, though.  And probably fewer drug runners, but I'm kind of assuming here...
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