Welcome to another edition of our campground review series. In this edition we will be reviewing Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde, Arizona.
This was our first ever visit to Distant Drums and we stayed at the resort for 3 months after leaving Utah. The resort came highly recommended in several of the RV groups and it didn’t disappoint.
Distant Drums is located on the North side of Camp Verde right off of Interstate 17. The location is great because you are centrally located between Sedona and Cottonwood/Jerome and you can enjoy the entire area without living in the traffic that comes with these great places.
The approach to the entrance is very easy but the entrance itself can be a little tight if another RV is leaving, so make sure to allow them to pull out before you pull in. Once you get past the driveway the interior road opens up and there is plenty of space to maneuver. The roads inside the resort are nice and smooth, however they are only average width so if someone is driving their RV down the road there is no room for another one to pass. After watching for 3 months it was clear that 5th wheels and travel trailers have a much more difficult time maneuvering into their spaces due to the average size of the roads. There can be a lot of back and forth to get properly backed in. Because of this the resort requires everyone to be escorted to their space to help you get situated.
Campsites – The resort offers a variety of different site types including back-in, pull-thru and pull-in sites. You will either park on a concrete pad or compacted gravel depending on the site you book. The large majority of sites are back-in with concrete pads and there are only a limited number of pull-thru and pull-in sites. The best sites in the park by far are the pull-in sites facing West as the desert and mountain views, along with the sunsets, are amazing. We were very fortunate to have a pull-in site for the duration of our stay and it was worth the extra cost.
They have a few buddy sites if you are traveling with friends. All of the sites have full hookups, but there isn’t much more to the sites past that. Most of the sites are a good size but some of the interior sites do look a little narrow especially once you park your vehicle in the space. Note that no open flames are allowed in the resort so there are no fire pits of any kind.
Common Areas – The common areas are well maintained and the staff does a great job of keeping everything clean and orderly. The office is clean and they have a nice size store that is stocked up with food, drinks and RV supplies. You can get mail and package deliveries at the office which is great for full-timers.
The resort has a nice pool area with a good size pool and probably the biggest jacuzzi we have ever seen at an RV resort. There are restrooms and showers in the main building that are clean and well stocked. There is a nice size laundromat and a gym on site.
Attached to the office is a meeting room with a kitchen that can be used by groups. They use this room for fun guest events like music night and rock painting. Just outside the rear entrance to the meeting room is an outdoor deck area with BBQs, a fire pit, and table tennis which is a little bonus. This can be accessed by going through the pool area.
The resort uses Tengo Internet for wifi services. There is a free version or tiered plans you can purchase based on the length of your stay. The free version isn’t good for much of anything at all. We upgraded to the monthly high speed service for $29.99 a month which allowed us to stream movies. However, there were times when the service went down and when that happened it wasn’t just for a few minutes. We are talking hours and in a couple of cases days which was very frustrating.
If you have pets the resort features a large off-leash dog park. They fill the park with toys for the dogs to play with. Across from the West facing pull-in sites there is a walking path through the desert area that you can walk your dogs or take a stroll on your own.
Let’s not forget this resort is on reservation land so they have a shuttle that will take you to the casino if you want to try your luck on the machines.
The resort is kept very clean and we didn’t see any visible issues that should be addressed. As guests leave, the staff comes by and cleans the sites. They rake the gravel areas so incoming guests have a pristine site when they arrive. They have curbside trash pickup so guests can simply leave the bagged trash at the edge of their site and the staff picks it up while making their rounds.
If we had any constructive criticism it would be beneficial if they hosed down the off-leash dog area to keep the stink away. And speaking of stink, there are times when a bad smell comes up through the sewer manhole covers. If you are downwind it can be unpleasant. Some people would plug the small hole in the covers near their site which helped but didn’t completely alleviate the stench. I’m not really sure what the resort can do but it’s something they should look into getting addressed.
We absolutely loved staying at Distant Drums! So much so that we booked a site for the entire Winter of 2022/2023. The staff is great and very friendly. The resort is clean and peaceful. And you can’t beat the location. If you like wine tasting, craft breweries and great food it’s all there. If you want to shop, hike or sightsee in Sedona this is the place for you. If you like old towns, great state parks and taking your Jeep off-roading look no further. If your family is looking to check National Parks or National Monuments off the list of places you visited there are plenty of them within driving distance of the resort. There is no shortage of things to see or do if you are active. There is no better place to relax and do nothing but enjoy the day if that’s what you desire.
Distant Drums is a moderately priced resort especially for the amount of amenities they offer and their proximity to Sedona. They have a variety of rate scales from $44-$50 per day, $237-$272 per week or $754 per month which includes electric. These are very fair prices for what you get and the location. Please note they are increasing their rates as of January 2022 so these rates should only be taken as a starting point going forward.
This was our first stay at Distant Drums and we are looking forward to going back next Winter. When we booked this stay we were hoping it would meet the expectations that were set by people in RV forums but it did more than that for us. In the 3 months we stayed, there was never a day where we said we felt burned out or were ready to move on which is a big deal for us.
Whether it was shopping or hiking in Sedona, hiking in Dead Horse Ranch State Park, visiting craft breweries and restaurants in Cottonwood, touring Prescott and Jerome, visiting Grand Canyon National Park or just lounging around our campsite we were always happy. It was exactly what we envisioned when we decided to go full-time.
The location is perfectly situated where you can simply get on the interstate to go sightseeing in Sedona, Grand Canyon National Park or several National Monuments. If you need groceries you can just drive down the street to the town of Camp Verde which has everything you need. Even driving into town is a nice little drive with small farms and tree-lined streets along the road. On the way back to the resort you can see Montezuma’s Castle National Monument from the road which is an amazing place.
Sunsets!! Oh my goodness the sunsets were a treat every night as were the bright stars that followed. I don’t think there was a single evening where we were not waiting to see what the sky had in store for us. Make sure you have your camera ready because you’re going to need it.
That’s a wrap from this edition of our campground reviews. We hope you enjoyed it and if you have any questions about the resort or our stay please ask in the comments below.
Thank you and safe travels!