Arizona fall getaway option: Rent a cabin, ranch house or group camp

Are you considering a fall weekend family getaway, but want something a little different from typical motel room? You may want to think about renting a cabin! Arizona is full of cabin rentals and the state has a wide variety from which to choose.

Cabins are perfect for large groups or family gatherings for the upcoming fall and winter holidays. I remember every Thanksgiving, a few of my friends, with their extended families would reserve entire ranches, church camps or scout group sites for their four-day November weekends. These out-of-the-way, rural Arizona locations also make excellent destinations for fall weddings.

If you are considering an event for your large fall gathering, the American Camp Association website is a good place to start your search. The ACA site will redirect you to the managing organization’s website. Among these are church camps such as Mingus Mountain Camp or YMCA camps such as Sky Y Camp; both are near Prescott. In recent years, it was possible to reserve scouting camps and cabin sites. For up-to-date information about church and scout camp policies for outside group rentals, it’s best to call the respective administrative offices.  After the applications are approved, fees are paid and liability waivers are processed, you can start packing.

It’s a sure bet that most of these larger group camps or cabin resorts are already booked for this year’s Thanksgiving weekend, but you may want to consider a year-round cabin in Arizona for a weekend in December or early spring.

For commercial cabin resorts, you can simply search online. Popular locations include most of the mountain communities: Flagstaff, Prescott, Pinetop, etc. But if you want more privacy consider less populated areas such as Greer, Strawberry or Heber-Overgaard. For a comprehensive listing, use this link to Arizona Office of Tourism website. Or try these directory sites for Mountain Dream Rentals or Cabin Rentals.ws.

If you’re considering renting a private-owned cabin or mountain retreat with a certain necessary amount of luxury, check websites like www.vrbo.com. Simply enter “Arizona cabin” on the first search box; then narrow the search by region and availability dates. Read reviews, scrutinize photos and add up the nightly rates, security deposits and other miscellaneous costs like cleaning or pet fees. Consider all the features of the cabins and space needed for your group’s size. Many of these cabins are equipped with all the goodies including major kitchen appliances, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, game consoles, home theaters, even hot tubs.

Let’s say you’re looking for something a little bit more rustic… almost pioneer-like… one step up from the Winnebago. Maybe you’re looking for something to put your family in an old-fashioned Christmas holiday mood. Then consider the public lands option. For cabin rentals in a national forest, the easiest way to get information and make a reservation is go to the www.recreation.gov site. Just click on cabins, then Arizona. Or check this listing on the USDA site. For state park cabins, use this site. Some of these public lands cabins can be quite primitive. They may only have the basic four walls, a roof and a bunk to roll out your sleeping bag. Others are a little more comfortable – with decent mattresses, plumbing, heaters, window air conditioner and kitchen appliances. Suggested items for packing are included in most of these websites. I’d still remember to bring my own sturdy broom, small shovel, axe, water bucket, extra garbage bags, firewood and water.

 

Camp cabins at Dead Horse Ranch now have a/c and heat

 

Nightly rates for the public lands cabins are considerably less than privately-owned or commercial cabins. They start about $50 per night for a single room cabin with double bed and bunk to a three-bedroom, three-bath ranch house that sleeps 10 for $200 per night.

Lyman Lake State Park has cabins and yurts available for nightly stays. What’s a yurt? Find out here.

Don’t forget the GPS, mountain bikes, hiking boots & poles, binoculars, cameras, trail and nature identification guidebooks. For those evenings and the odd chance it should rain; keep the kids entertained the old-fashioned way with books, games, music and jigsaw puzzles.

A getaway in a camp cabin or ranch house can be a great opportunity for a couple, family or large group desiring a weekend to get closer to nature or simply get away from a hectic schedule of school and work.