Camping areas in Sedona- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Camping areas in Sedona

    Anyone know of good spots to camp in the Sedona area with easy access to the trail systems ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzSuperman View Post
    Anyone know of good spots to camp in the Sedona area with easy access to the trail systems ?
    Camping in the Sedona area is a tuff one. The last person who asked I let sleep on the couch in my motorcasa in West Sedona. Boy was he a happy camper.

    I have been asking mountain bike campers to take pictures of the campsites they end up in and do a little write-up for other future campers to refer to, hopefully you will do the same. If you do a search on Sedona camping spots in the Arizona forum, you will possibly find something that works for you.

    Have you taken a look at my maps of the Sedona area to get a feel for the comprehensive
    nature of our entire trail system? The map includes both Forest service system trails and user built trails.

    When are you coming and how many in your group?

    TD

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    There's a few spots where there is "sparse" camping- no creature comforts of any kind, and are at least a few miles from a bike trail (except there's one close to Aerie). They're located south of VOC or west of Sedona.

    In Oak Creek Canyon, there's a few campgrounds $15-$20 a night for a campsite. They're nice, but a 15 min drive from the trails.

    If you have an RV, Rancho Sedona is a privately owned campground right on Oak Creek and you're in riding distance to most of the Sedona trails.

    https://redrockcountry.org/images/red-rock-big-map.png
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    There's a few spots where there is "sparse" camping- no creature comforts of any kind, and are at least a few miles from a bike trail (except there's one close to Aerie). They're located south of VOC or west of Sedona.
    Please provide instructions on how to locate the above campsites by car? If you have GPS coordinates I can provide a map to the nearest trailheads.
    Last edited by traildoc; 10-08-2011 at 07:01 PM.

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    Trail Doc - Checked out your map a few times. Rode in Sedona a few times but have never stayed the night camping. We have at least 3 right now. Headed up next weekend probably Friday afternoon - Sunday.

    Love primitive type camping, tent, sleeping bags, and mountain bikes (gotta love solar showers, except when its cloudy)

    Any points in the right directions are greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzSuperman View Post
    Trail Doc - Checked out your map a few times. Rode in Sedona a few times but have never stayed the night camping. We have at least 3 right now. Headed up next weekend probably Friday afternoon - Sunday.

    Love primitive type camping, tent, sleeping bags, and mountain bikes (gotta love solar showers, except when its cloudy)

    Any points in the right directions are greatly appreciated.
    Az:

    Let's see what woahey comes back with on the campsite location directions.

    If I can spark your interest let's think about doing a really cool ride on Friday afternoon. I have lost all my Rep Power recently and if I show you and your friends a great time maybe I can get up to a .5

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    I just figured making a google map would be the easiest way to show where some of the primitive camp areas are. I know there's more, but these are my favorites or are close and convenient.

    Primitive Campsites - Google Maps
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    Az:

    Let's see what woahey comes back with on the campsite location directions.

    If I can spark your interest let's think about doing a really cool ride on Friday afternoon. I have lost all my Rep Power recently and if I show you and your friends a great time maybe I can get up to a .5
    Damn. Not to get off topic, but how did you lose all your rep?
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
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    There are several campgrounds I saw on 89A going from Sedona to Flagstaff...

    Not sure what the rules are for them though. Knowing that area, they sure as heck aren't free...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214 View Post
    There are several campgrounds I saw on 89A going from Sedona to Flagstaff...

    Not sure what the rules are for them though. Knowing that area, they sure as heck aren't free...
    There's 3 campgrounds in the Canyon...Manzanita, Cave Springs, and Pine Flat. I think they're all $18/night.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    I just figured making a google map would be the easiest way to show where some of the primitive camp areas are. I know there's more, but these are my favorites or are close and convenient.

    Primitive Campsites - Google Maps
    those are all good spots described by woahey.. the only other option i can think of that might be more convienant is to talk a local into some driveway camping.
    j

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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    Damn. Not to get off topic, but how did you lose all your rep?
    I think it had something to do with me working too hard trying to improve the mountain biking user experience in the southwest and Palestine for the masses, so the elitists may have lobbied MTBR to take away my rep points to slow me down. Same thing the main stream media is trying to do to Herman Cain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    There's 3 campgrounds in the Canyon...Manzanita, Cave Springs, and Pine Flat. I think they're all $18/night.
    GHEW! For primitive camping?!?!?!?!

    This is why I go to the Rim for camping. It's free.

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    Isn't there some free camping along Beaverhead Flat Rd? Pull off and camp for free, close to the VOC.

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    Campsites closest to any trails would likely be at the top of Schnebly Hill Rd. You can camp a couple miles from Munds Wagon Trail as long as you're outside the Red Rock Country above the rim.

    There's a decent map here.

    A lot more trails are also accessible if you don't mind riding back up Schnebly Hill Rd. after a ride, all the jeep tourists cheer as they pass you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214 View Post
    GHEW! For primitive camping?!?!?!?!

    This is why I go to the Rim for camping. It's free.
    No. They're campgrouds...toilet, trash can, friendly host selling firewood...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by motochick View Post
    Isn't there some free camping along Beaverhead Flat Rd? Pull off and camp for free, close to the VOC.
    All the campsites I marked on the google map are free areas...and those are just the ones that I like...there's tons more if you have the time and energy to look.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    Campsites closest to any trails would likely be at the top of Schnebly Hill Rd. You can camp a couple miles from Munds Wagon Trail as long as you're outside the Red Rock Country above the rim.

    There's a decent map here.

    A lot more trails are also accessible if you don't mind riding back up Schnebly Hill Rd. after a ride, all the jeep tourists cheer as they pass you.
    I left out the campsite on top of Schnebs for 2 reasons- 1- its cold as all hell up there this time of year, 2- If you need supplies you're about an hour from Sedona, VOC or Flag. You cant beat the views there though!
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    I just figured making a google map would be the easiest way to show where some of the primitive camp areas are. I know there's more, but these are my favorites or are close and convenient.

    Primitive Campsites - Google Maps
    woahey:

    Good job on the google map. I have decided to go out and check out some of these spots you have recommended. When I go out I will do some pictures, video and GPS waypoints of each camp spot. Are all your campsite locations accurate? The Beaver Flats campsite seems to be away from the road.

    Maybe I can get my rep points closer to .6 with this project.

    I have been asked to join in on the litter clean up project on 89-A between Sedona and Cottonwood this coming Nov. 19th & 20th. I don't know if picking up litter qualifies for any rep points. Does anyone know what one could hope to get from helping with that project?

    It doesn't really seem mountain bike related, so it probably isn't worth more than 1/100 of a point.

    TD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camping areas in Sedona-beaver-flat.jpg  

    Camping areas in Sedona-hilltop.jpg  


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    Wow thanks for the great replies everyone.

    Wouldn't mind hooking up with you on a ride Trail Doc. Were all pretty good riders with bikes ranging from Trance X2 - Mach 5.

    Will definitely get a camp site mapped and be heading that way on Friday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc View Post
    woahey:

    Good job on the google map. I have decided to go out and check out some of these spots you have recommended. When I go out I will do some pictures, video and GPS waypoints of each camp spot. Are all your campsite locations accurate? The Beaver Flats campsite seems to be away from the road.

    Maybe I can get my rep points closer to .6 with this project.

    I have been asked to join in on the litter clean up project on 89-A between Sedona and Cottonwood this coming Nov. 19th & 20th. I don't know if picking up litter qualifies for any rep points. Does anyone know what one could hope to get from helping with that project?

    It doesn't really seem mountain bike related, so it probably isn't worth more than 1/100 of a point.

    TD
    Thanks! The Beaver Head Flat is the only one that isn't accurate. There's a few forest roads on the right (if you're heading from 179) that have several campsites off of them. They're all about the same.

    The rest of the sites are pretty accurately marked and accessible with most vehicles.

    I'm not sure if picking up litter is going to earn you any rep points, as I'm not sure if coming out and asking for them will either. Maybe just doing good things for the sake of doing good things with no other motive will help you get your rep back.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
    - Julie Furtado

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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    Thanks! The Beaver Head Flat is the only one that isn't accurate. There's a few forest roads on the right (if you're heading from 179) that have several campsites off of them. They're all about the same.

    The rest of the sites are pretty accurately marked and accessible with most vehicles.

    I'm not sure if picking up litter is going to earn you any rep points, as I'm not sure if coming out and asking for them will either. Maybe just doing good things for the sake of doing good things with no other motive will help you get your rep back.
    woahey:

    You can be assured I am not motivated by rep points. What motivates me is seeing my friends and visitors enjoy my trail improvements and seeing the masses post sections of trail on the internet that I have made trail improvements on.

    TD

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    My friends and I are leaving for Sedona tomorrow. We will be staying at cave springs campground. Since we are staying for 5 days/4 nights, I wanted to stay at a place with showers and toilets. I'll post up some pics when I get back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sankaman View Post
    My friends and I are leaving for Sedona tomorrow. We will be staying at cave springs campground. Since we are staying for 5 days/4 nights, I wanted to stay at a place with showers and toilets. I'll post up some pics when I get back.
    sanka:

    WELCOME to Red Rock country.

    Thanks in advance for taking the pictures for our information piece. Let me know if you need any trail Intel to make your visit extra special. For some unknown reason I got my rep power back from ZERO, so if you are interested, I might be able to help you put together some fun loop ideas, just let me know what kind of ride your dreaming about.

    TD

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    Thanks traildoc. We plan on going to bike and bean to get some local intel and maybe tag along on a shop ride. I found this loop on geoladders that looks promising.

    Geoladders -- Sedona - Highline plus

    We other trails would you suggest? We prefer technical trails and don't mind climbing.

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    +1 Schnebly,Primative ,Gortex,,much better view than Wildflower ....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camping areas in Sedona-img_3571.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by sankaman View Post
    Thanks traildoc. We plan on going to bike and bean to get some local intel and maybe tag along on a shop ride. I found this loop on geoladders that looks promising.

    Geoladders -- Sedona - Highline plus

    We other trails would you suggest? We prefer technical trails and don't mind climbing.
    sanka:

    This is another ride you might consider ( Cow Pies to Damifino to Damifido to Lavitra to Lavitra Bypass to Brew Pub to Damifino to Hangover to Munds Wagon Trail - Mountain biking trip | EveryTrail). The geoladders ride is probably one of the top three rides in Sedona, so your research is top notch so far. I joined geoladders to try and download the file so I could overlay the route on my Sedona map database. When I sent the route to my Garmin 305, I got a message saying "Data written to device", but when I checked my GPS rouites on my 305 the route wasn't there. I also tried to upload the file to Garmin Connect and there was no new file to upload.

    When I use Everytrail there is a download GPX file feature that allows me to Save a ride route to my computer hard drive and then I can view it on my Topo Fusion software. I don't see this download GPX feature on Geoladders.

    Are you downloading the Highline ride to be able to do the ride? I couldn't figure out where the Highline ride started and ended and whether some of the route was ridden twice. I do a similar ride regularly and was curious how you guys were going to not get lost.

    The ride I recommended would also be hard to follow w/o a guide or great GPS tracking technique. Let me know if you want me to show it to you.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by AzSuperman View Post
    Wow thanks for the great replies everyone.

    Wouldn't mind hooking up with you on a ride Trail Doc. Were all pretty good riders with bikes ranging from Trance X2 - Mach 5.

    Will definitely get a camp site mapped and be heading that way on Friday.
    AZ:

    Maybe we can do a joint ride with sanka

    TD

  29. #29
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    I'm heading up this weekend to ride and camp, gonna try for Schnebly hill after weighing all of the options. The views look too incredible to pass up, and I don't mind a 'lil cold. I'll take some photos and let you all know how it was!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    cool thanks!

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    I just got back from going on a drive to video the primitive camping spots for mountain bikers based on woehey's previous Google information piece. Besides the video of the campsites woahey listed, I did additional video of other potential spots along the route.

    I hope to edit the video in the next couple days to give people an idea what the sites are like and additional GPS information.

    TD

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    Video & Maps

    Here is a link to a video (Primitive Sedona Camping - YouTube) of the primitive campsite areas located west and northwest of West Sedona. There are a couple maps that show where the camping spots are located in relation to the town and trail system.

    If you camp at one of the areas shown, please post a report and some pictures of your camping experience. This will help other potential campers figure out a place to stay.

    TD
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camping areas in Sedona-primitive-campsite-west.jpg  

    Camping areas in Sedona-primitive-camping-northwest.jpg  

    Camping areas in Sedona-primitive-camping-west-nw.jpg  


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    Looks like I will be headed to Flag this weekend instead. Near 90's vs mid 70's is too tempting. Can't wait for it too cool off a bit more to start hitting Sedona. Thanks for all the info everyone has posted.

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    It will be interesting what bazooka reports back with on his stay on the rim up Schnebly Hill Rd. I went up to the Merry-Go-Round formation last night in a high clearance SUV and the road up was as chewed up as I have seen it in a long time. Hopefully he has a good vehicle for the drive on that road.

    TD

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    What a great trip! We camped primitively up off of Schnebly Hill Road, pretty close to the border of national forest and state park, and about a 1/4 mile east of the 153A. Campsite was great, had lots of room between us and neighbors. We got there in the dark, so finding a spot as nice as ours on a Friday night was either luck or destiny. I had expected much lower temps, but was pleasantly surprised by the warm weather.
    When we woke up Saturday morning, we had breakfast, loaded our packs, and set off from the campsite on bikes. I have to say, to start off with a descent such as Munds Wagon Trail was a real treat! That is an incredibly fun trip down!
    We made it down the wagon trail, and continued on the Marg's Draw trail, thinking we could just ride trails all the way down to Bike 'n Bean. It wasn't more that 1/2 mile down Marg's that my buddy blew his derailleur hanger, and with no chainbreaker tool, we headed back up to the parking lot.
    Luckily, our 3rd party member was arriving in Sedona just as we were getting back to the parking lot. He drove James and his bike down to B&B, and I followed by bike, due to the lack of room in a Honda Civic for 3 mountain bikes.
    Riding from Schnebly Hill Road all the way to B&B is a bit of a chore on a full susp mountain bike, and I got a flat halfway there. Tired, but B7B promised coffee, so I was on a mission. (And boy, did they deliver on delicious coffee!)
    So after an hour or so waiting and deliberating on what to do with 3 guys and 2 working bikes, we settled on renting James a 29" Specialized Camber. A bike truly fitting of a man like James.
    We continued on our ride, starting out across for the bike shops, we continued back North towards the Chapel on the Hill.
    Thats when I bonked, about a mile or so before the Chapel, and realized that a climb back up to the rim sounded the furthest thing from a good idea, we drove up and around to the I-17 and back to the campsite.
    Although the ride skewed a bit from the plan, we had a blast! Those trails up there are completely alien from anything I'm used to. Perfectly maintained, they're still a blast to ride, and I look forward to heading back up there to do it again.
    Long story made long, I would definitely recommend camping up on Schnebly Hill Road if you're into dispersed car camping as we are, and driving into town for the day to ride (It took us less than 40 minutes to drive from campsite to B&B).
    Thanks to all of the people who made Sedona's trails so much fun and accessible, I will definitely be back someday.

    Sedona 10/16/11


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    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    What a great trip! We camped primitively up off of Schnebly Hill Road, pretty close to the border of national forest and state park, and about a 1/4 mile east of the 153A. Campsite was great, had lots of room between us and neighbors. We got there in the dark, so finding a spot as nice as ours on a Friday night was either luck or destiny. I had expected much lower temps, but was pleasantly surprised by the warm weather.
    When we woke up Saturday morning, we had breakfast, loaded our packs, and set off from the campsite on bikes. I have to say, to start off with a descent such as Munds Wagon Trail was a real treat! That is an incredibly fun trip down!
    We made it down the wagon trail, and continued on the Marg's Draw trail, thinking we could just ride trails all the way down to Bike 'n Bean. It wasn't more that 1/2 mile down Marg's that my buddy blew his derailleur hanger, and with no chainbreaker tool, we headed back up to the parking lot.
    Luckily, our 3rd party member was arriving in Sedona just as we were getting back to the parking lot. He drove James and his bike down to B&B, and I followed by bike, due to the lack of room in a Honda Civic for 3 mountain bikes.
    Riding from Schnebly Hill Road all the way to B&B is a bit of a chore on a full susp mountain bike, and I got a flat halfway there. Tired, but B7B promised coffee, so I was on a mission. (And boy, did they deliver on delicious coffee!)
    So after an hour or so waiting and deliberating on what to do with 3 guys and 2 working bikes, we settled on renting James a 29" Specialized Camber. A bike truly fitting of a man like James.
    We continued on our ride, starting out across for the bike shops, we continued back North towards the Chapel on the Hill.
    Thats when I bonked, about a mile or so before the Chapel, and realized that a climb back up to the rim sounded the furthest thing from a good idea, we drove up and around to the I-17 and back to the campsite.
    Although the ride skewed a bit from the plan, we had a blast! Those trails up there are completely alien from anything I'm used to. Perfectly maintained, they're still a blast to ride, and I look forward to heading back up there to do it again.
    Long story made long, I would definitely recommend camping up on Schnebly Hill Road if you're into dispersed car camping as we are, and driving into town for the day to ride (It took us less than 40 minutes to drive from campsite to B&B).
    Thanks to all of the people who made Sedona's trails so much fun and accessible, I will definitely be back someday.

    Sedona 10/16/11


    EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Arizona
    bazooka:

    Your ride description was pretty amazing. I haven't ridden on Marg's Draw for over 12 years. Since it is a Wilderness as locals we aren't allowed to ride it w/o being arrested. Did you see any hikers on it with funny looks on their faces?

    Lucky you had a friend with a vehicle that could shuttle you back up to your campsite.

    Thanks for the report.

    TD

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    BB Classic Stoke ! Great trip report!

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    Thanks! Perhaps James' bike knew it was illegal and decided to stop working!
    I wouldn't recommend anyone climb back up that rim after a days ride, but camping up there and driving into Sedona wasn't bad at all!
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bazooka_beard View Post
    Thanks! Perhaps James' bike knew it was illegal and decided to stop working!
    I wouldn't recommend anyone climb back up that rim after a days ride, but camping up there and driving into Sedona wasn't bad at all!
    It must have been cleaned up a little because last time I was up there, the road was beat. If you have high clearance, though, it wouldn't be too bad.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  40. #40
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    The road was in great shape from the I-17 to the rim, my Nissan Versa handled it really well. Once the road starts dropping down into the valley, however, is a different story. It's high clearance or nothing past that.
    That's actually a big reason as to why we drove up and around back to camp via 89 to I-17. (that and it would have been a hellish climb!)
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

  41. #41
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    When I get home tonight after work I'll try to figure out how to post some of the photos up
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    They always keep the top nice. It also helps make it entertaining when tourists listen to their GPS units and take the rent-a-wreck down the hill because they don't want to turn around...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you値l crash.
    - Julie Furtado

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    The road is beat. And if you want to get to any of the best campsites along the rim (above the old wagon road) you need serious 4wd.

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    Ugh, ....at least you didn't go this route.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camping areas in Sedona-img_3476.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    The road is beat. And if you want to get to any of the best campsites along the rim (above the old wagon road) you need serious 4wd.
    The camp grounds above the wagon trail are really nice, and my little Nissan car made it fine from the I-17, as did my friends's Honda Civic. I'm sure if you wanted to get way back in there, or wanted to get there from the Sedona side you'd need a higher clearance vehicle, but I'd say just about anyone could find a spot up there without one.
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    The red dot is roughly where we found our spot.

    The road from the I-17 to the rim was pretty tame and well maintained
    " width="549">
    Found this little turnoff with only 1 campsite so we jumped on it.


    James' tent (more like a small apartment) came with a bike garage, so we put it to good use. Not a bad thing to see first thing in the morning!

    Beautiful view from the start of the Munds Wagon Trail.

    The only photos I took while on the trail, too busy riding! Trails were incredibly well maintained and these giant "cairns" helped mark the path.Thanks again to everyone who helps keep these trails in good shape!


    Then this happened on a trail we didn't know we weren't supposed to be on!

    And the obligatory red-dust tanline shot!
    Last edited by bazooka_beard; 10-16-2011 at 11:20 PM.
    "There's nothing like touching earth you've never touched"

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    There's really one or two campsites at the top of Schnebly with a view. I was referring to anything off of 152A which has some nice spots on the other side of the small point where Schnebly Tank is. From there, the vista has Mitten Ridge, the Cowpies, and the Merry Go Round as well as Wilson Mountain.

    But that is high clearance 4wd access only. The hike out to Lee Mountain is really nice as well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Camping areas in Sedona-mitten.jpg  


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    Come by the new Over the Edge Sedona store (just opened in West Sedona), for a map of the camping spots. There's stuff by Dry Creek to camp, which you could ride to those trails from....

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    Great info thanks to everyone for posting !

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