You can hardly travel across the southern regions of Arizona, Nevada or California without crossing the footprint of Quartzsite, Arizona. This small community of less than 4,000 residents swells to over 100,000 in the winter months.
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As a small child, I traveled through Quartzsite many times. The town was a wet spot on the side of the road headed to Northern Arizona or Las Vegas. My parents were rock hounds at the time, so the area proved to be a perfect spot to fulfill their dig and scratch hobby. Often the car was filled with quartz crystals as large as a McD's 1/4 pounder with fries.
A small swap meet formed on the main street corners and grew almost overnight to one of the most popular Southwest desert events of each year. Even though the I-10 interstate highway has been built for years, it has not dampened the popularity of this little town as a rest stop for thirsty travelers. Easy access to all the town has to offer is provided by offramps at both ends of the town.
Over the years the town facilities, most importantly water and sewer, have suffered by the influx of such a huge population. But... the town is proactive and has done amazingly well compensating for the lack of infrastructure. I haven't heard many complaints in several years. In fact... the surrounding desert is filled with a sea of RV's, each one staking out their little piece of sunshine.
In the summer, it is so hot the pavement is shimmering with heat... that is when I usually see the Quartzsite of my childhood. All signs of camping and swap meets have been blown away with a desert storm and what is left is arid and dry. I travel north in the summer months and chances are that I must drive through Quartzsite. Thank goodness the drinks are always cold and the bathrooms are always clean. The people are pretty darned nice as well.
Check out this fantastic RVing Quartzsite website that covers all the latest news and events as well as suggestions for things to see and do.
Frommer's Best RV and Tent Campgrounds in the U.S.A. (Frommer's Best Rv & Tent Campgrounds in the USA)