Leave all of your expectations behind when you visit the Coconino National Forest; this incredibly diverse landscape blows away any preconceived notions about what a national forest should be. Here, staggering red-rock towers rise from desert bluffs, and wild canyons cut through tree-covered mountains. From the snow-covered summit of Humphreys Peak to the Apollo space program training sites, there's a surprise around every corner. Take your pick of climates — head down to the red-rock cliffs near Sedona for classic Arizona sunshine and heat, or drive up to the peaks and forests near Flagstaff for cool breezes and snowy winters. With a variety of national parks and monuments a short drive away, this region can keep you busy for weeks.
Camping in Coconino National Forest
Camping is the best way to experience the full beauty of the Coconino National Forest. Create a base camp in the mountains or down in the red rocks, and enjoy day hikes and afternoon adventures throughout the region. With an RV, you always have a cozy bed waiting after a day of fun. Don't have a motorhome of your own? RVshare makes it easy to rent the perfect RV for a weekend jaunt or a longer wilderness vacation.
Pine Flat Campground
Pine Flat Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds in the Coconino National Forest. You'll understand why as soon as you pull into one of the spectacular campsites — each one is shaded by towering pine trees and blessed with views of the rocky cliffs in Oak Creek Canyon. Some sites sit right next to Oak Creek, so you can have your morning coffee to the sound of moving water. The campground's 56 sites accept RVs up to 36 feet long; 18 spots can be reserved in advance, and the remainder are first-come, first-served. There are no hookups, but you can find vault toilets and drinking water close to your site. A quick walk from camp, enjoy swimming, fishing, wildlife watching, and hiking along Oak Creek. Every site is $22 per night.
Woody Mountain Campground and RV Park
Stay an easy drive from everything the Coconino National Forest has to offer at Woody Mountain Campground and RV Park. RV sites here offer all of the comforts of home: full hookups, free Wi-Fi, hot showers, modern bathrooms, and a laundry room. Fill up your water and use the dump station, and grab an evening snack in the general store. There are even a restaurant and a hiking trail on-site for convenience. Rates for full-hookup sites start at $52 per night.
Activities in Coconino National Forest
The Coconino National Forest offers some of the most exciting and varied recreational opportunities in Arizona. Hiking is one of the most popular activities; hundreds of miles of trails take you into the mountains, canyons, and cliffs. Some trails are open to mountain bikes, horses, and off-road vehicles. If you're interested in rock climbing, head to Jack's Canyon or the Priest Draw Trail and Bouldering area. Prefer to stay in your vehicle? The forest offers spectacular scenic drives, including the Around the Peaks Loop, the Mogollon Rim Road, and the Oak Creek Canyon drive.
Fishing and Water Activities
Cool off during a hot Arizona summer at Lake Mary, Mormon Lake, or C.C. Cragin Reservoir. Fossil Creek and Grasshopper Point are fun swimming areas; you can also fish in both locations.
In the winter, head up to Arizona Snowbowl for snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling.
How to get to Coconino National Forest
Address: 1824 S. Thompson St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Fee: Entry fee $0
With its wonderfully varied scenery and exceptional recreational opportunities, the Coconino National Forest is fun for families and extreme adventurers alike. In one day, you can snowboard at the Arizona Snowbowl and watch the sunset from the red rocks near Sedona. Whether you're visiting in the height of summer or the depths of winter, an RV is a great way to camp comfortably in the wilderness.
Frequently Asked Questions About Coconino National Forest
What is the closest town to Coconino National Forest?
Flagstaff, Arizona is one of the closest towns to the Coconino National Forest. Flagstaff is a sizable city, with plenty of grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds. It's also an interesting place to visit in its own right, and it's worth spending a day or two in town to explore the area.
What type of wildlife lives in Coconino National Forest?
Wildlife that lives in Coconino National Forest includes horned toads, elk, coyotes, bald eagles, blue herons, bears, and mountain lions. The forest is also home to a variety of birds, fish, reptiles, and small animals.
Do you need a permit to fish or hunt in Coconino National Forest?
Yes, you need a permit to hunt in the Coconino National Forest. If you are 10 years or older, you also need a fishing permit to fish in the forest.
Is there a limit to how long you can camp in Coconino National Forest?
Yes, there is a limit to how long you can camp in Coconino National Forest. Campers may stay up to 14 days in the forest within a 30-day period.
Does Coconino National Forest offer free camping sites?
Yes, the Coconino National Forest offers free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest. Dispersed camping is free, but does not offer any amenities. Campers must pack everything in with them, and pack everything out when they leave.