Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Campground Review: Triangle T Historic Guest Ranch, Dragoon, AZ

Dragoon is a tiny town a couple miles off I-10 between Benson and Willcox, AZ. We spent a week at the Triangle T Historic Ranch, which sits half a mile off I-10, on the road to Dragoon, nestled in the giant boulders of Texas Canyon.

The Ranch has a colorful history that includes the likes of Cochise, Japanese diplomats being interred during WWII, movie and television sets and a stopover for many famous folk over the years. The property was featured on Hotel Impossible in 2012.

Besides about a dozen RV sites and additional dry camping sites, the Ranch includes several guest casitas and rooms, a saloon (open Thurs - Sun, w/live music on Sat nights), horseback riding, a pool and hot tub (still winterized during our stay), and a labyrinth. They bill themselves as a retreat and wellness destination, as well as a site for weddings and other events.

All roads and sites are dirt. We had site #6, and I was sure I was told it was "back in the rocks", but it actually was next to a large rock (very cool) but our front door opened onto the main road into the property (dusty!). Though we were close to the freeway, the noise is minimal.

We arrived on a Tuesday and the place was virtually empty and very, very quiet. It felt like boondocking with full hookups! Over the weekend the place got busier with a dual sport motorcycle rally.

We paid $200 for a one week stay. Dry camping is $23/night...rather pricey just to be able to use their restroom/showers. Verizon 3G service was strong and the parks wifi was decent.

I have really mixed feelings about this park. Here are my impressions, good and bad, based on our one week stay:

Pros: Quirky and rustic, this place felt, at times, like boondocking with full hook ups. Fabulous giant boulders on the property that you can walk among and climb on. Some decent walking trails on the 160 acre property. Really wonderful looking dry camping sites that you could get tents or small RV's into. The Ranch is located next door to the Amerind Museum. 15 minutes to Benson for all the services you can't get here. 30 minutes to awesome trails at Cochise Stronghold.

Cons: Trash not picked up from all the nooks and crannies around the place. People haven't pick up after their pets in a long time. Some of the common areas are dilapidated: there is a basketball court/bandstand area that is falling apart and seemingly left to rot right in the middle of the property. No laundry on site. The price is a little high for the location and quality of the park.

A little elbow grease around the property would go a long way towards improving my impression and desire to return. I prefer staying at quirky/rustic places to those that are immaculately groomed and soul-less, but dirty turns me off. I think this park is fine for a one or two night stay, especially mid-week when it is super quiet and relaxed.

Site #6. Picture taken from the main road into the park.
I took this photo from on top of the rock behind our rig.
A row of empty campsites is behind us, a couple more sites are on our right,
and the entry road is on the left.

The Rock Saloon & Grill is built around a giant boulder!
Open Thurs - Sat, with live music, usually country western, on Sat night.

Lots of neat boulders on the property!
This was an awesome dry camping site nestled in the rocks.


  1. Good review of the park. It would be interesting to find that episode of Hotel Impossible and discover what the inn keepers had to improve. Very pretty boulder picture with the sun behind it.

    1. Yeah, I don't think they really learned from it...though I can't speak to the lodging portion of the Ranch. When making the reservation, the office personnel didn't seem very professional or knowledgeable either, nor did they respond to my request for more detail on their confirmation email than the amount due upon arrival!

  2. Love that fourth photo...very cool. Your review reminded me as to why I don't like making reservations. Although we learned the hard way at certain times of the year, reservations are a must. Do I see New Mexico in your near future? Safe travels, Ingrid

    1. One of us prefers reservations, the other wants to wing it! But having reservations has been fortunate several times, especially at state parks where we have had the better sites when the parks were full. And in CO this summer, we are glad we are all booked up since we've heard it gets crazy! NM in a week....!