Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Quartzsite: Looks like an early season; Here’s the QZ Show schedule

As the bitterness of winter begins to settle down across much of the country, plenty of RVers are beginning to think about coming to Quartzsite. Hang on! It seems this year, a lot of folks have done more than just think—they’ve already COME to Quartzsite. Yes, it looks to be an early season for snowbirds.

Some RV parks already “filling up”

early season
R&T De Maris photo

Looking into “open slots” at area RV parks has proved revealing. Many of the “high-end” parks are already well-populated, long before the traditional influx of visitors marked by the Thanksgiving weekend. An early season? Perhaps. Still, while the less-expensive parks all seem to have guests, the proportion of their open spaces to full is greater.

For boondockers, it does seem that the season opener is sooner that usual. While short-term BLM areas aren’t a determinate, since they have short stay limits, all seem to have more than the usual number of RVers. The Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs) have plenty of space, but seem more densely populated than usual for early November.

Vendors haven’t seen the memo

early season
North side Tyson Wells, still pretty bare. R&T De Maris photo.

But not everyone has gotten the early season message. Vendors aren’t any more populous than normal for this time of year. The Tyson Wells venue has a good group on the south side of the street—yes, K & B Tools tent yard is up and running—but the north side could almost be described as “nada.” Up at the corner of the 95 and Kuhen, a solitary firewood vendor has staked out his claim, running a fire sale, if you’ll pardon our lit-up pun.

After a struggle with an ill-wind that really did bring few any good, the supply vendor across the street from the main Post Office is back to “normal.” A few weeks back, a nasty wind blasted the roof off his tent, leaving a mighty mess. Farther west on the B-10, other more “stable” vendors like the statue-crafter are up and running. Of course, we’re not exactly sure how you’ll get a life-size camel sculpture in the back of your motorhome.

early season
R&T De Maris photo

One venue that looks like you WON’T be attending this year could be the former Rice Ranch. Running east along Kuhen Road from the Highway 95 intersection, the venue which for years was occupied by “The Gambler” and a host of other smaller vendors looks like a nasty desert tornado has blasted through. The metal buildings formerly occupying the area are gone, and piles of rubble are all that remain. It seems that early this year, Rice Ranch sold out to a couple from California for a mere $1.4 M. We’re trying to track down the new owners to find out their plans for the property and will update you when—and if—we do.

Time for the “Really Big Shoes!”

If you’re planning on shooting into Quartzsite for the big shows, here’s the published schedule of the Whos and Whens. 

January 1 – February 28

Desert Gardens Rock, Gem and Mineral Show
Claiming to be “the largest international rock, gem & mineral show in Quartzsite,” there’s no doubt that other venues will dispute the claim. You’ll need to decide for yourself.

Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., seven days a week
Desert Gardens Show Grounds, 1055 Kuehn Street
Visit their website.  

January 6–15

Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show
Bills itself as “An unbelievable variety displayed on 2.2 miles of aisle frontage.”
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
This rocky Quartzsite show rolls out at
121 W. Kuehn St.
Visit their website. 

January 18–22

QIA Pow Wow Gem & Mineral Show
This is THE original event that’s credited with launching Quartzsite as a major gathering point. The first “show” was in 1967, attracting maybe 1,000 buyers to visit with 100 vendors. Expect four times that many vendors now, and rub elbows with 10,000 daily show-goers. If you’re into rocks and gems, don’t miss this one!
235 E. Ironwood Ave.
Here’s their website

January 20–29

Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama
Rocks and minerals, arts and crafts, antiques, all this plus “foods to amaze you.” Do they include Tums vendors? You’ll need to come and find out for yourself.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

121 W. Kuehn St.
And the website is right here.

January 21–29

Sports, Vacation & RV Show (The Big Tent)
Arguably the attraction that draws the most attention – and traffic. Acres of tented-over vendors with a specialization in RV stuff. Staff from will be on hand – Stop by and say hello!
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (3 p.m. closing day)
700 S. Central Blvd.
And a website, of course. 

February 3–12

Tyson Wells Arts and Crafts Fair
“10 days, 2.2 miles of aisle frontage”
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. each day

121 W. Kuehn St.
Learn more here. 

February 10–12

Quartzsite Gold Show
There’s gold at that thar show! – along with panning contests, “metal detecting” contests and some great speakers and special presentations during the show each day.
Friday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

235 E. Ironwood St.
Go for the gold here. 

To be sure, there are plenty of other Quartzsite shows – if one counts the hundreds of vendors and shops. 

With the early season, we’ll be firing up our weekly review of Quartzsite happenings soon. Look for it!

Want to know more about Quartzsite? Have something to share? Here’s what to do. Fill out the form below and include “Quartzsite” in the subject line.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Bob M (@guest_210749)
1 year ago

Is the RV show worth seeing?

Thomas D (@guest_210780)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob M

I liken it to Muslims. They are supposed to visit Mecca in their lifetime if they can.
Quartzite is the RV Mecca.
A must do. I’ve been 3times, always interesting
Plan a couple days at least.

Jim Schrankel (@guest_210782)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob M

You gotta do it once Bob. Tens of thousands of like minded RVers all there for a good time.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob M

Hi, Bob. Well, apparently 750,000 to 1 million people per year think so. That’s according to the Arizona Highway Department. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

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