Quartzsite, AZ (before it happens)

My friend, Marilyn, asked me a question about Quartzsite. I tried to leave a comment and included a picture.

I wasn’t successful. So, I am creating this special blog entry to explain today’s blog about Quartzsite.

FIRST… Our next week camping trip to Quartzsite will be in the same general area but NOT to attend the MEGA RV QUARTZSITE Winter Season event(S).

Yes… “S” for events.

SECOND… This ‘pre-season’ camping trip is only to test the solar and other modifications made to the Casita. And, I am reluctant to wonder, will the Casita meet our future needs for travel.

Camping with two large dogs puts severe limitations when camping. Using commercial campgrounds is not an option. I’ve enough ‘dogs on leash’ restrictions where I live.

THIRD… Let me address Marilyn’s comment… ‘tell me about Quartzsite.’

In Quartzsite, Arizona there are many, many separate events why millions of folks travel there during Arizona’s Winter Season. They come from all over the world. It starts in late December; though some are already arriving and it’s only the 10th of December.

Many stay there until March. A lot of them are vendors. They put up their tents and sell just about anything that sells.

There is a jewelry event that is sort-of-locked in with the rockhound time. Barrels of stones and rocks from all parts of the world… mostly from North and South America; though Asia and Europe are represented.

That event is called the Rock and Gem Event.

If you do anything with silver or gold jewelry work… you will be there.

Hey… if you hunt for gold or any mineral… you will be there too.

And the Big Daddy of all is the Recreational Vehicle Show that happens in January and February. (Although it is only for two weekends, the actual times vary with the calendar). In 2018 is it January 20-28th.


2018 is the 35th year. It is a truism “If you have never been to Quartzsite, AZ between December and March… you NEED to go.”

Millions go. Some even go year after year. I would venture that eighty-five percent go once and never go again.

But anyone who wanted to go, and lost out… well, they lost an experience they shouldn’t have. <grin>

Folks travel in their RV’s and stay all over the desert in and around Quartzsite. There are a couple of hills (not high enough to qualify as mountain nubs); and when you approach Quartzsite from the East… you go over the rise, and all the stars have fallen to the total black earth.

Except, those are campfires of millions of folks camping in the desert.

It is just as dense in daylight as hordes of folks’ stream into thousands of vendor tents and mingle.

big tent quartzsite

This is the Big Tent. It has at least three aisles full of vendors. The outside is lined with vendors. Lots of food to gobble down and enjoy as well.


And this photo doesn’t even cover the folks who are camped all over the desert for miles and miles. All this is just some of the vendors. This photo was probably a slow day before the Big Tent opened for business the first weekend.

There are hotels in Quartzsite. Never enough. There are lots of great restaurants in Quartzsite. Never enough for the crowds.

It will take at least two hours to get to Quartzsite from Phoenix and probably longer from any nearby California city. California is only twenty miles from the Arizona border.

When you go, plan on being there all day. Even if you only walk around, you will be there all day.

Sensory overload is unavoidable.

It’s marvelous. No matter how many times I’ve been (I’ve been there at least a dozen times) I’ve gotten it down to being able to get ‘in and out’ in a few hours.

Even if I only wanted to visit one vendor for a single item, it is going to take me at least an hour from the time I park the vehicle to make my way through the crowd, find and purchase the item and get back to my car.

And… human nature being what it is you NEVER just go and find just a single item to buy.

Quartzsite… it’s an experience.

2 thoughts on “Quartzsite, AZ (before it happens)

  1. Julia Haggerty

    I have passed Quartsite on travels to and from California. You couldn’t DRAG me there! I can imagine you have need to shop certain vendors that have thing for sale

    Of interest. I have no interest at all! Poor doggies, they will not be happy obeying all the “rules” of such a crowded place. Be careful and try to enjoy yourselves!



  2. josephlacey12

    Hi Jullie….

    You will be happy to know that I would NEVER take my dogs to the Quartzsite event with all those crowds.

    You will also be happy to know, this week….in December… we will be camping alone way out in the desert. The Big Tent and RV event and mega-crowds won’t descend until mid-January.

    If you are an ‘in and out’ shopper… you won’t got to Quartzsite. On the other hand…. if you are the browser type who enjoys shopping (I normally don’t)… Quartzsite is a browser’s dream come true.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s