Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coconino National Forest, Sedona, Arizona

The Sedona area and the Red Rock country of the Coconino National Forest has become a vortex of spiraling spiritual energy in the Universe.  It has also become the vortex of jokes about people searching for meaning in their lives.  My personal vortex favorite is the purple egg house as you enter town.

Susie lived here in the late 1970's prior to the discovery of Sedona as a vortex of spiritual energy in the Universe.  Try as she might she could not convince me to visit Sedona.  Been there, experienced that at Berkeley.  Well, I finally agreed to visit Sedona a couple of years ago.

The black and white cowboy movies filmed by Hollywood in Sedona do not give the landscape justice.

The Red Rock formations and Oak Creek are something special.  Even the buttes in the distance are different in Sedona.

A simple horse pasture in Sedona takes you right back to the old west and all those Hollywood movies.  It is a good thing that most of those movies were in black and white.  The colors in Sedona would have made most people think that the landscapes were faked! 

So ignore the vortex stuff and visit your public lands in the Sedona area.  It is a special part of the west. 

The Red Rocks area has many, many trails for hiking and mountain biking.  If you enjoy day hiking you can spend a lifetime hiking all the trails in the area.  And since this National Forest land your well trained and well-behaved dog can enjoy them with you.  You need a Golden pass or one of those new-fangled Intergency passes with the pretty pictures for the trails or you can buy the Red Rock pass:

See even a person named Vladimir starts speaking western after a few days in Sedona!

The Coconino National Forest has a no camping zone around town, but just a short distance away are thousands of acres of Forest Service and BLM land that is open for camping.

Here is the link to the Coconino National Forest map on areas open for camping:

The Coconino National Forest has one of the shorter stay limits for National Forests at fourteen days.  Must have been a BLM staffer that got a job on the Coconino!!  Here are the official rules for dispersed camping:

The Forest Service is very helpful in posting signs.  If you see this one is means that boondocking or dispersed camping is allowed behind the sign.

 Be careful with picking your camping spot.  The soils in the area have a lot of clay and turn slippery when wet.  The technical term according to a soil scientist is "slick as snot". 

When we entering Sedona we saw a motorhome pull into a turn out and promptly sink up to the axles.  I think the tow bill is proportional to the size of the tow truck.  In which, case that must have been one hell of a bill.  So keep one eye on the weather and make sure you have your exit path  identified before you need it.

Use your toad or tow vehicle to find those camping spots before you pull your RV into the area.  This spot is less than ten minutes from Sedona along the Cornville-Camp Verde road.  There was a barb wire gate that you had to open to access literally tens of thousands of acres of land that you own in common with the American people.

Do not wait thirty years to visit Sedona like I did.  It is a unique and special area in the West.  Next posting we will visit that National Monuments around Sedona that are managed by those "other" guys known as the National Park Service. 


Loree said...

Is this campsite that is 10 minutes away from Sedona on Forest Road 89B that you pictured above it?

Vladimir Steblina said...

No, it is off Highway 30.

Looking at the Forest Service map it might be Forest Road 119A. You go through a gate for about one mile.

There were some sites along 89B that were also nice. Be careful of conditions when wet.

Also read this spring blog entry on Thousand Trails. There are pictures of the dispersed camping area there. Do a search on usbackroads and Thousand Trails and it will come right up.

Loree said...

I did see the blog about Thousand Trails and think we are going to head up to the dispersed camping area there this weekend. Thank you for all of the good information. We prefer to camp away from campgrounds, etc. Our goal is to get away from the city and the crowds and find some solitude, so I appreciate your blog.

Vladimir Steblina said...

The Thousand Trails road site is well suited to snowbirds and there is access to the river from that road.

Since it is springtime I would also call the Forest Service in Sedona and see what other areas are currently open.

One trick is to camp. Then explore looking for new areas for next time.