One of the things you can do in Ajo is drive the 10 mile long "scenic loop" that starts in downtown Ajo goes around the gigantic defunct open pit copper mine, up into the mountains behind Ajo, and back down the mountains into downtown Ajo where you started.
Now the reason I'm telling you about this is the "scenic loop" goes mostly through BLM land and is very popular for boondocking. In fact I think most boondocker's would consider it the most primo boondocking in the area.
Since I've been here this winter I've driven various parts of the scenic loop and taken a few pictures at different times of the day and decided that I would put the pictures together into a kind of a photographic tour of the scenic loop showing some scenery and some boondocking spots, not to be so much of a "how to boondock on the scenic loop" story but more of a "why some people like to boondock", kind of story showing the desert scenery you can enjoy and live in, if only temporarily, for free.
When you turn off the paved Highway 85 on to Darby Well road you will be on a dirt road until you come full circle back to Ajo. For the first part of your trip you will be driving alongside the tailing piles from the New Cornelia open pit copper mine which is about a mile and 1/2 wide and 1100 feet deep, and was the first major open pit copper mine in Arizona. This is private property and is fenced off, but as a rule of thumb everything on the left of the road is BLM land and suitable for boondocking until you get past the mining property and then there's more BLM land on the right also.
This is a piece of Darby well road and as you can see it's wide, and not in too bad a shape. There's no steep hills, no sharp turns, and easily passable by most RVs. It's wash-boarded in places but not all that bad as dirt roads go. This first part of the trip is where I see class A's boondocking, but things get a little more iffy for large RVs on down the road.
The scenery along the whole way is very pretty if you like the desert look which I do. But at the same time its very rugged, fairly dangerous, and completely unforgiving, so If your not sure about what you're doing be advised deserts are very inhospitable places so if you plan on doing any serious hiking out here I would suggest spending a lot of time on the Internet finding out about all the things that can go wrong while walking around in country like this, and if you're not sure about what you're doing, stick to the walking paths outside of town. Needless to say I stay very close to the road and my truck when I'm taking pictures, not because the landscape bothers me but because it's a known smugglers route for the Mexican cartels and there are government warning signs on the road informing you of that fact.
Here's a place on the right side of the road that you can boondock near the tailing piles without trespassing. It also shows that you don't have to have an RV to enjoy boondocking in the desert, they even have an outdoor shower, or an outhouse, maybe it's both.
Here's a typical place on the left side of the road on BLM land where you can boondock, there's even a fire ring already built. Some spots are big enough for numerous RVs, depending of course on their size, and some places are only big enough for one small RV like a van. It's first come, first serve, so common sense, a good attitude, and introducing yourself to the folks that's already there helps a lot before you squeeze in with other people.
We're only about 1/3 of the way through the scenic loop road, I'll have pictures of some boondocking RVs tomorrow.