Rover Location Database

Grid Square DM31

This page - Kris Eggle Campground - Tillotson Trailhead

Potential VHF rover sites in Arizona's grid DM31. Be careful.
DM31 dimensions are 117.9 by 69.2 miles.
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Kris Eggle Campground, DM31ow39

Latitude, Longitude
31.957639, -112.807639
Map Location Near city of Gila Bend, Pima County, AZ, Altitude 1700
Map See Google map, Bing map, OpenStreetMap, Beam heading

Last update: 2020-11-01
Comments by: John NA6L

Kris Eggle Campground 1 Kris Eggle Campground 2 Kris Eggle Campground 3 Kris Eggle Campground 4

John NA6L activated DM31 for 4 days and 3 nights in early November 2020. Two of the mornings we operated from the SE end of the Organ Pipe Campground and the last morning we operated from the Tillotson Trailhead rest area 2.5 miles north of the CG entrance. We tried to activate from the rest area on the first morning but the wind was too strong.

We used only the RV's batteries from the campground (we have no generator) and usually ran between 400w and 700w for around 3 hours. The rangers had no issues with us while quietly operating from the mostly empty CG.

Because we were there for several days we got to really consider the advantages of both common locations (Campground vs Rest Area). IMHO, if you can run on batteries (or on generator during allowed hours) the Campground is the better site - especially in the SE corner. The CG has a better horizon in more directions and there are are some saddles in the hills to the NW to make contacts possible with the PNW.

The Rest Area is nearly surrounded by nearby hills with just a little opening to the NW and South. I'd give the campground's SE corner a 66% score and the Rest Area a 33% score (but you could run a generator at dawn at the rest area).

Tillotson Trailhead, DM31ox38

Latitude, Longitude
31.992890, -112.805990
Map Location Near city of Lukeville, Pima County, AZ, Altitude 1800
Map See Google map, Bing map, OpenStreetMap, Beam heading

Last update: 2020-01-10
Comments by: Larry, Petr WO7R, AG6EE

Tillotson Trailhead 1 Tillotson Trailhead 2 Tillotson Trailhead 3 Tillotson Trailhead 4

This is the Tillotson Peak Wayside parking area along AZ state Hwy-85, N Ajo Sonoita Hwy, in the Organ Pipe Cactus Wilderness area. It's one-half mile south of the DM31-DM32 grid line.

Outside the park, don't go on tribal land without arranging permission in advance from Tohono O'odham tribes. They have a police force which has no obligation to be polite to outsiders.

Larry WO7R related his understanding of the Tillotson Trailhead spot: It's very easy to access, and as long as you operate with "wilderness rules" in mind, you should not expect trouble with the rangers.

  • The Tillotson site is 100 per cent paved roads, including the site itself.
  • You should go further into the park to pay fees at the Visitor Center.
  • Must use battery power, not generators. This is key.
  • The campground has some generators-allowed hours. Generators are not allowed anywhere else in the park (wilderness rules).
  • Must use sandbags or weights to anchor guy lines. Do not pound stakes.
  • The rangers do not want or allow us to park in places like the campground or the visitor center parking lot. The rule is, we can operate as long as we don't bother others. At those locations (visitor center, campground), they deem that we do.
  • The area is pretty quiet. We had a couple hikers come by and park. They left to go hiking. We bothered noone and noone bothered us.
  • A photo above is one I took as I left the park, so it shows the turnout/wayside from the northbound lane. One would normally approach from the southbound lane.
  • Personally, if I (Larry WO7R) returned with a friend who has the gear, this is the one and only place to try.

John NA6L and Petr AG6EE commented on this operating location:

  • The Tillotson Trailhead Lot was the only location we were sure would work because we've operated from there before.
  • It is easy to access and has a great horizon in most directions.
  • It is safe and secure being next to the main road.
  • Summer temperaturs can reach 120F.
  • In the summer they've seen people sitting under their RV awnings in the parking lot while their engine/generator was running.
  • There are so few people there in the warmer months that rangers might not even care about some running machinery for their "a/c".
  • Even if you just cooled your vehicle down and charged your batteries every hour for 20 minutes you might get away with it.


Most of this broad area in DM31 is tribal land. This is their home and you are basically an invader. Always get advance permission from the Tohono O'odham tribal government before entering the reservation, even if "it's just a few minutes" or to pull off to the side of a tribal road somewhere.

Check for pandemic restrictions before travel. The tribal lands may be closed due to coronavirus.

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