Things To Know Before Boondocking In Sedona
The landscape surrounding Sedona offers some of the best high-desert, and forest camping, in the nation.
However, as many veterans will tell you, one of the most dangerous environments to attempt a camping trip is in the desert.
We want to help you be prepared for anything, so were providing you with our most important Sedona camping tips!
Angel Valley Road Coconino National Forest
Theres something truly charming about a high desert landscapequiet, brutal, and visceral.
The one surrounding Angel Valley Road fits this description exceptionally well.
You get imposing red cliffs gripping the horizon and rusty sands dotted with prickly pears and tall, dark green vegetation.
They say, in the desert everything has teeth, because if you cant bite, you die. Here, youll discover why.
Why do we love it?
Its private, its quiet, its pristine. Its basically the kind of camping experience you look for when youre headed out for an adventure.
Furthermore, Angel Valley Road sits fairly close to Sedona, at least more so than many of the other entries on this list.
You can wake up in the morning, go fishing in nearby Oak Creek, shop in Sedona, and then go for a sunset hike on Deer Pass Trail.
Distance from Downtown Sedona: 10.7 miles, or roughly 18 minutes of travel time
For more information on camping at Angel Valley Road visit HERE.
Free Camping Spots In Sedona Arizona
Like most areas of Arizona, Sedona is hot almost every day of the year. Thus, there are plenty of free camping spots in Sedona.
Camping is one of the most relaxing vacations a family can have. Getting away from the chaos of life while enjoying nature is the perfect way to spend a weekend getaway. Yet, if its free, its even better!
Theres lots to prepare for a camping trip, so its best to find a quality campground first.
Read Also: Collapsible Water Tank For Camping
Snyder Hill Camping Area
Found just outside of the city of Tucson and south of Saguaro National Park, Snyder Hill is a great area for campers whether you have an RV, motorhome, or a tent. It is down in the heart of the desert so it may be a little warm in the summer, but it is a great destination throughout the rest of the year.
Schnebly Hill Ohv Trail
The well-known Schnebly Hill Road lives up to the hype. We will admit, due to its popularity, its likely to be busy and the condition of the road has deteriorated, making for an extra bumpy ride. Dont attempt this one without a high clearance 4×4 vehicle.
You may have to work for it and the ride might be at times unpleasant, but the reward is one of the best campsites in Sedona past the vista point. Plus, everyone that avoided the 4×4 recommendation or hit a few too many boulders, will be too discouraged to make it to the top which means you may just get a private sunset view. Dispersed camping is available on Schnebly Hill Road/FR 153, where Schnebly Hill OHV Trail is located.
Directions to Schnebly Hill Road:
1) The start of Schnebly Hill Road is just 5 minutes from town. Head south at the roundabout toward AZ-179S.
2) Continue on Schnebly Hill Road. Note, Schnebly Hill Road is a 11.8 mi road, you can camp in dispersed camping spots.
3) To access the Schebly Hill Vista Overlook, from downtown it will be 40+ minutes.
Also Check: Camping Ocean City Maryland Beach
Childs Dispersed Camping Area
*Currently Closed Due to the Backbone Fire*
Childs is a popular dispersed camping area about 60 miles south of Sedona.
Its set alongside the Verde River miles upon miles down an unpaved road deep in the Red Rock District of the Coconino National Forest. Just upstream are the remains of the old Childs Power Plant .
The road in is quite rough but the trek is worth it. In addition to the beauty of the camping area itself, the remains of the Verde Hot Springs Resort, once a bustling luxury resort, are a huge draw. Its still possible to soak in the hot springs today.
Unlike most dispersed camping in the Coconino National Forest, youre limited to 5 days at Childs rather than the standard 14 days.
Learn more about dispersed camping at Childs Dispersed Camping Area.
Edge Of The World Coconino National Forest
Well, they call it the Edge of the World for a reason. Get ready to take a long drive through the backcountry of Coconino National Forest.
For the full effect you need to venture here in the winter when the snowy landscape and fog encrusted sky lends credence to the areas nickname.
Grab some warm ciders or coffee and prepare for a cold morning!
Why do we love it?
Are you an introvert? Or just a person in need of some privacy? Theres no better place than the Edge of the World.
Its far from Sedona, but this overlook will make you realize that you dont need to visit the artsy town for a good time.
The views are out-of-this-world, the nearby recreational activities are numerous, and the night skies are beyond impressive. If you love nature, youll love this campground.
Distance from Downtown Sedona: 39.6 miles, or roughly 1 hour and 42 minutes of travel time.
- Maximum RV length reported: N/A
- Number of sites: An open area, but so uncrowded, youre sure to find a spot
- Amenities: None
For more information on camping at Edge of the World Overlook visit HERE.
Don’t Miss: Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area Camping
Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite
Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.
Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.
This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.
Please come back and let us know what you find!
Spectacular Downhill Shortcut To Sedona From I
Towering red rock buttes set against a backdrop of deep-green forest and clear blue sky make this road one of Arizonas most photogenic. A great way to enter Sedona from I-17 if coming from Flagstaff. Many hiking trails on the more scenic lower half of road. Recommend non-street-legal vehicles start at top where you can park, camp and explore side roads. No camping below Vista Point. Trail is closed from I-17 to Merry-Go-Round Rock in winter approximately December through April.
Read Also: Camping Cabins Near Colorado Springs
Loy Butte Road / Forest Service Road 525
Distance to Sedona: 10 milesRestrooms: NoMap
Loy Butte Road is one of the most popular and easiest to access dispersed camping areas around Sedona. Located southwest of town, camping is permitted for several miles along this beautiful dirt road as it winds its way through Red Rocks country.
The area is very popular with ATVs and dirt bikes so you can expect a bit of noise, especially the closer you are to the highway. The road starts off very smooth, so the sites you see after turning off are best for RVs and larger trailers. If youre in a vehicle with decent clearance, head back a ways to find some of the better sites.
Loy Butte Road does not have water or restrooms, so be prepared to be self-sufficient camping here.
If you decide to camp here we highly recommend hiking the Loy Canyon trail as the trailhead is located near the end of the road.
Distance to Sedona: 11 milesRestrooms: NoMap
Angel Valley Rd is directly south of Loy Butte Rd on the other side of Highway 89A southwest of Sedona. This is another good dispersed camping option in the area, although we recommend trying Loy Butte Rd first. The campsites here begin approximately 1 mile after turning off 89A, past the Deer Pass trailhead, and are generally flat. However, they tend to be grouped together, so privacy is at a premium.
All in all, Angel Valley Rd presents good dispersed campsites near Sedona, especially if some of the other options in this guide are full.
Distance to Sedona: 9 milesRestrooms: NoMap
Is Boondocking Legal In Sedona
Inside the cityno, but outside the city in the surrounding Coconino Forestyes, theres plenty of options.
However, while this area is National Forest Land, and thus public land, you cant camp anywhere you want.
Many areas are prohibited in an effort to preserve the surrounding wildlife. Who doesnt want to help with that? Help contribute by following rules and restricted areas.
We recommend looking for signs that designate the area as a free camping spot, or by calling the Coconino National Forest Ranger Station to check with them.
You can reach them by telephoning this number: 527-3600.
You May Like: Camping World Rv Sales Mesa Az
West Turkey Creek Campground
For campers who want a more remote, dispersed camping experience, look no further than West Turkey Creek Campground. This small, out of the way site is found along Turkey Creek and under the shade of giant sycamore trees. With plenty of trails and scenic views, you will no doubt enjoy this campground and surrounding area.
Schnebly Hill Vista Observation Site
There are typicaly seasonal road closures to the vista as well as the occasional closure of the entire lower road from Huckaby on up. The Schnebly Hill Trail begins below the gate usually closed in winter so it is often accessible whereas the vista is not always, at least by vehicle. Also there is no camping or fires permitted at the vista point. And finally, of course, high clearance vehicles are needed to get there from Sedona due to road conditions, no fee required, no trash service or toilets .
See Schnebly Hill Trail #158 for more information.
You May Like: Best Camping Portable Power Station
What Is Dispersed Camping
Dispersed camping is essentially free camping on open land, and it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Also known as primitive camping, it is most commonly available on publicly-owned U.S. taxpayer land, also referred to as BLM land .
You wont find dispersed camping areas anywhere within national parks, city areas, private property, protected wilderness, etc. Camping at a designated campground, for example, is not dispersed camping. The links below can tell you where to find said land around each U.S. city area and how to best preserve the land youre staying on.
What are the advantages? No crowds, no costs, no formal campgrounds, no reservations. Since they are located outside populated city limits, dispersed camping areas are almost always exponentially more beautiful, remote and exciting to stay atyoure actually having the authentic outdoor experience that you came for . Talk to any experienced outdoorsman, and theyll tell you that dispersed camping is the only option they look for on an adventure.
With a great experience comes great responsibility. Know your comfort level in the wilderness and choose wisely. The best campsites Ive ever stayed at have ALL been on primitive/BLM land. At the same time, for brand new outdoorsmen and women with families, this may not be the best option. If you decide to go and youre new to this, read and have a copy of the instructions below.
Where To Stay In Sedona If You Can’t Find A Campsite
Sedona has several high-end hotels that offer nature-inspired experiences. If you are looking to pamper yourself, these can be great choices. Prices vary by season, so when camping is not at its best, you can often find great deals. Reasonably priced mid-range options can be more difficult to come by. During high season, particularly in spring, prices can be astronomical. The best rates can usually be found in the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona’s equally beautiful neighbor a few minutes south of town.
- Luxury Hotels: Long known as the go-to place in Sedona for luxury, scenery, and location, L’Auberge de Sedona Resort & Spa offers a memorable experience. Posh hillside cottages with large patios lookout to the mountains and over Oak Creek. The resort is conveniently located right below Uptown Sedona, the city’s main area of dining and shopping.
- Also located in the Village of Oak Creek, Days Inn by Wyndham Sedona offers an outdoor pool and spacious and comfortable rooms at very reasonable rates. For a few more amenities and an outdoor pool with fabulous views to the mountains, The Andante Inn of Sedona is another property with good prices.
Recommended Reading: Rv Camping World Colorado Springs
Boring Trail Great Camp Spot: Schnebly Hill Road
Before Michael and I got Jeep Badges of Honor for Gold Mountain and Table Mesa, we got our first Badge at Schnebly Hill Road in Sedona. Much like Table Mesa, this is an incredibly boring dirt road with no obstacles to be seen. Unlike Table Mesa, it has some of the most amazing views around, so its still worth a drive if you dont mind an hour of washboards
Schnebly Hill Road is also home to some really great camping spots.
One thing to note about Sedona itself: there is no dispersed camping allowed, so you have to get outside of Red Rock County to be able to camp. Shortly after the Schnebly Hill Vista, youll be in the Coconino National Forest. Thats where you can find your spot.
We wanted to be as close to Sedona as possible for those Red Rock views, so we looked around for a little while before deciding on our location. What we ultimately found was a great spot right off the road with an existing fire ring that still had some distant Sedona views and amazing sunsets!
The coordinates for this spot are: 34.883573, -111.695528
If that particular spot is taken, keep going. There are plenty of spots available until you hit the I-17.
East Of Sedona: Off Schnebly Road Near Munds Park
This free camping spot off of I-17 and Munds Park is a great little spot. Easily accessible off of Schnebly Hill Road, this free dispersed camping area is buried deep in the pines and has great views of Sedona just to the west of the road.
Just a word of warning, all the free campsites are past the paid campground.
From camp, you can hike the actual Schnebly Hill Road to Sedona. The road is a rough, forest service road, so driving it is only recommended if you have a high-clearance vehicle. Hiking and mountain biking down Schnebly Hill Road is the way to go.
Eventually, you will stumble upon the creek bed, waterfalls, and finally Merry-Go-Round Rock. The end of your eight-and-a-half-mile journey will be at the other end of Schnebly Hill Road. Other trails you can take during your stay include Margs Draw Trail and Huckaby Trail.
All-in-all Schnebly Hill Road is a great place for free dispersed camping if youre looking to hike in Sedona or looking for free camping outside of Flagstaff.
You May Like: Camping In Broken Arrow Ok
The Main Drag 525 Coconino National Forest
Drive down Highway 89A until you reach Forest Road 525. After taking this scenic dirt road for several miles youll come across The Main Drag, a dispersed camping spot.
Its neighbors with the Sedona Wetlands Preserve and Sedona itself. Fortunately, its a lesser known area so you can expect little to no people at the campsite!
Why do we love it?
The Main Drag is anything, but a drag. You get to experience desert camping at its best: beneath the cool shade of tall trees with a beautiful view in the distance.
Bring your 4×4 vehicle and go off-roading through the landscape to Sedona Wetlands State Park.
You can bird watch there and catch other wildlife stirring in the tall reeds. Its a nice, quiet place to explore the desert!
Distance from Downtown Sedona: 11.4 miles, or roughly 18 minutes of travel time
- Line 6
For more information on camping at The Main Drag 525 Dispersed Camping Area visit HERE.
You cant visit Arizona without checking out Sedona! Its one of the coolest cities to camp near in the United States.
If youve ever camped there, we want to hear about it. Tell us your story in the comments below!
Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson
Free Camping 20 Minutes South Of Flagstaff Az
Also known as Forest Road 153 , Schnebly Hill Road is a 12-mile dirt road connecting Arizonas I-17 at Munds Park with SH-89A in Sedona. The first 6-miles of the road from Munds Park in the east are filled with numerous camping opportunities, all of which are free, primitive, boondocking sites. The most popular camping sites are within the first three miles, where the road remains relatively smooth. The next three miles after that become more rocky and bumpy, but its campsites offer far more privacy and seclusion. Once you get to Schnebly Hill Overlook, its all downhill into the town of Sedona.
Don’t Miss: Camping Gear Rental Salt Lake City