Arizona, 86046 – home of the Kaibab National Forest and the highly popular White Horse Lake Campground, where campers and anglers gather together to let loose and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
If there’s something my husband enjoys doing with his sons, it’s fishing. Every time we get the chance to head out to Arizona, White Horse Lake Campground is usually the first place we stop by.
While Arizona is more famously known for the monumental Grand Canyon and incredibly picturesque Antelope Canyon, the Kaibab National Forest and White Horse Lake are still great places to visit with the family.
Getting To The Campground
GPS INFORMATION: (Latitude, Longitude) 35.11528, -112.01722, 35°6’55″N, 112°1’2″W
Last but not the least, you have to figure out how to get to the campground. If you have a GPS, simply enter the coordinates above, and you’ll be able to find your way. The campground is roughly 19 miles (30.5 km) southeast of Williams.
If you’re coming from Williams, Arizona, turn south onto 4th Street/ County Road 73. Then drive 9 miles to Forest Road 110. Turn left and drive for another 7 miles to Forest Road 109, then turn left again and follow the road for 3 miles to the campground.
Please note that Forest Roads 109 and 110 are high-use roads, and it can become pretty rough to drive on during peak season. During the winter, the roads might be closed due to snow.
White Horse Lake Campground Overview
White Horse Lake Campground is located 19 miles southeast of Williams and is visited mainly as a commendable place for fishing. It is surrounded by the Kaibab National Forest, which is burrowed on the Colorado Plateau.
The campground is located only an hour away from the Grand Canyon Park’s south rim and is also close to the scenic Sycamore Canyon and the Mogollon Rim, known for its bright red rocks and striking bluffs.
White Horse Lake Campground allows the use of tents, RVs, trailers, or motorhomes. The campground has quite a few facilities and amenities to make camping there simple.
However, there are certain things you need to know about the campground before heading out.
Campsite Information and Reservation
White Horse Lake Campground has a total of 94 sites, complete with tables, fire rings, grills, and even tent pads, so you won’t have to stock your car with those things. You can even buy a bundle of firewood there for $5.
Out of the 94 sites, you can reserve 44 from the National Recreation Reservation System (NRRS), while the rest of the sites are on a first-come, first-served basis.
My advice for you is to either reserve ahead of time or get there early. This is because the campground gets pretty popular during the summertime.
You can call these numbers to inquire or reserve:
- Phone Number: 928-635-5600
- Reservations: 877-444-6777
Something I find what really wonderful about the campground is that 22 of the campsites are wheelchair accessible. If you have any family members or friends with disabilities, they will be able to go there too.
White Horse Lake Campground isn’t just suitable for families or friends; it’s also perfect for company outings due to the larger campsites there, that can accommodate up to 60 people!
In terms of their amenities, there are no showers, but there are vault toilets that you can use. There are composting and garbage pits, which will allow you to dispose of your trash properly.
Potable water is available all throughout the campground, so you don’t have to worry about running out of water in the middle of your stay.
Motorhomes And Rvs
Motorhomes, RVs, and trailers are permitted on the campground as long as they don’t exceed a maximum of 38 feet.
There are sewage dump stations available, but no utility hookups. Additionally, filling your RV/motorhomes tanks with the potable water available in the campground is not allowed due to a limited supply.
Remember, sharing is caring – the potable water is for drinking only and is for sharing amongst everyone staying there.
Each campsite has a specific fee, depending on what type you get and how many people will be staying there.
Single sites cost $20 per night, with one vehicle allowed. Any succeeding vehicle will be charged an extra $9 until the allowed capacity of the site.
Double sites cost $32 per night, with two vehicles allowed. Additional vehicles will be charged $15 for the double sites.
White Horse Lake Campground also has group sites, which are $126 for a maximum of 60 people, and 14 vehicles.
The sewage dump station has a fee of $10 for campers using the campground and $13 for visitors who are not staying in the campground.
Other Things To Know
Unlike a lot of campgrounds, White Horse Lake Campground is only open from April 28 to October 1 for overnight camping, depending on the weather. This is because it closes for overnight use during the snowy winter months.
Swimming is not allowed in the lake, so you’ll have to convince your kids that boating, kayaking, or fishing is more fun.
The first time I went with my family, I had a pretty tough time convincing my boys (who very much love to swim). But once they tried kayaking, they were pretty much hooked and didn’t mind not being able to swim.
If you are bringing an electric boat with you, only a small one (max 1HP) is allowed. Additionally, motorbikes are only allowed for entering and leaving the area, which means you cannot drive it around the campgrounds or the trails.
Pets are allowed on the campsite, as long as they are restrained or kept on a leash. Just remember to pick up after them – you don’t want some poor camper stepping on their waste, do you?
Finally, the maximum number of days you can stay in the campground is 14 days.
Things To Do In White Horse Lake Campground
So, we’ve already established that White Horse Lake Campground is a very popular fishing destination. But there are other things you can do there, such as boating or kayaking, and of course, hiking!
This place is popular for a reason – the lake is stocked with rainbow trout, brown trout, and channel catfish. And when I say stocked, I really mean it. You’re almost guaranteed to catch one each time, making it a good place to start for beginners.
It’s a great place for dads (or even moms) to teach their sons to fish. Just know that a fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 14, which you can get from the White Horse Lake lower host sites.
If you run out of your own supplies such as fishing lines or lures, you can find them available for sale in the campgrounds
Boating or Kayaking
Apart from fishing, boating or kayaking is a popular activity in the campground. Often times, there are more families who visit the lake to kayak or go boating than fishing.
The lake is big enough to accommodate small electric boats for fishing or going for a ride. Or, you can rent a canoe or a kayak from the campground and launch them from the designated boat ramps in the lake.
Just remember that swimming is not allowed!
You can access well-known trails such as Sycamore Canyon Trail, Overland Road, and other routes that climb up Bill Williams Mountain.
These trails are relatively short and easy, making it a nice little warm-up for both kids and adults. It’s really more of a calm, relaxing hike, rather than a challenging one.
You can find a map and list of trails on a brochure by the map sign in the parking area near Camp Loop F. Listed on the brochure are 12 trails that you can access from the campground, as well as their descriptions.
Things To Bring
Luckily, White Horse Lake Campground is pretty well equipped, so you won’t have to worry too much about everything you need to bring. There are fire pits available, firewood for sale, and tent pads for rent.
Although, apart from those things, there are a few things I suggest you bring with you if you are heading out there.
Ice Chest or Cooler
First of all, if you’re camping with your family, especially with your little kids, you’ll want to bring a nice ice chest or cooler to keep refreshing drinks inside. They’ll appreciate it after a long day of fishing or kayaking.
A handy cooler to get, especially if you plan on catching fish, is the Yeti Tundra 65 Cooler. Yeti is probably best known for their coolers, so it’s hard to go wrong with one.
The cooler is really well insulated that you can keep your catch or you drink cool before you start firing up the barbeque.
However, the Yeti Tundra is quite pricey. And if you’re not willing to shell out that much, you can always go for the “pretty much always guaranteed” choice – a Coleman.
The Coleman Coastal Xtreme Series Marine Cooler is a good choice if you’re looking for a Coleman with a lot of punch. It’s simple in design, but enormous (120 quarts) and it will get the job done for you.
Camping Cook Set
Next, you’ll need a nice camping cook set. The campground already has fire grills and wood that you can purchase; all you’ll really need is a good set of pots and pans to use for cooking.
One of my favorite cookware set comes from Magma Products. They have a 10-piece gourmet stainless steel set that nest together for portability, but it is absolutely beautiful and amazing to cook with.
Once you’ve caught your fish, grab a bunch of firewood, light up the grill, and get cooking!
Activities For The Kids
For all the parents out there, I’ll tell you right now – you can’t go camping anywhere without planning some kinds of activity for the kids.
Even though they can go kayaking or fishing in White Horse Lake Campground, the chances are that they’ll want to do other things as well. That’s why packing their toys would make them really happy.
Whenever my family goes camping, I usually bring my sons’ Frisbee rings, which I got from ActivLife. When they get bored with the activities offered at the campsite, they often run to me looking for this to play with.
Whatever it is your kids enjoy doing, bring it for them!
Camping is, and always will be, my favorite thing to do. The thing that makes me happiest is when my family goes with me because we get to share lovely moments amidst beautiful backdrops like White Horse Campground.
If ever you’re in Arizona, after visiting the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon, head on over to Williams and stay a night at White Horse Lake Campground. Your kids will love it and enjoy it for sure!
Until next time!