series of beautiful little cascades grace Cave Creek as
it flows past John Hands Campground and Picnic Area, making
this area popular for day use as well as camping. Tables
and fire grills here are located in the shade of streamside
trees well within view of the creek. This is not a large
area and sites within it are relatively close together,
clustered near the road that provides access to them. For
that reason, camping at John Hands is limited to tents only.
This Cave Creek camp is a bit off the beaten path in this
popular recreation area, but it is nevertheless close to
a number of Forest trails and scenic drives. Birdwatching
is good right in the campground, as well as along the creek
both up and downstream. Coues white-tailed deer are plentiful
in the area, too. The Southwestern Research Station of the
American Museum of Natural History is located just downstream
of John Hands Campground. The Center occasionally presents
programs on natural history topics open to the public. Check
at the Cave Creek Visitor Information Center for specific
details on these programs.
Other recreation opportunities in the vicinity of John Hands
include Greenhouse Trail, which provides the best views
of spectacular Winn Falls. The Basin and Ash Spring trails
offer relatively easy hikes in the vicinity of the campground.
Location: 150 miles east of Tucson, 6 miles southwest of
Portal, 52 miles northeast of Douglas.
Tucson, take I-10 east 139 miles to US 80 (you will cross
the New Mexico border to get to this intersection). Turn
right (south) and drive 28 miles, then turn right (west)
on the road to Portal, 7 miles.
From Douglas, take US 80 east approximately 50 miles to
Rodeo, NM. Two miles past Rodeo, turn left (west) on Portal
From Portal, drive west on Forest Road 42 approximately
5 miles, turn left (west) on FR 42A and continue 1 mile
to the campground /picnic area.
Roads are paved (except for the last mile) and suitable
for passenger vehicles.