You can easily camp for free in many parts of the Tonto National Forest, once you know where those areas are located. A brief look into the famous hike from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado via the West Maroon Pass. There are two popular trailheads located here and they are the Horton Creek Trail 285 and Derrick Trail 33. Phone: (602) 225-5395 We built a map of our favorite established campgrounds and dispersed camping areas. This trail is not marked as well as it could be, but numerous paths will get you to the same spot at the end. Tonto National Forest Home Special Places Recreation Bicycling Camping & Cabins Climbing Fishing Hiking Horse Riding & Camping Hunting Nature Viewing OHV Riding & Camping Outdoor Learning Picnicking Scenic Driving While the dammed water is of great value for irrigating fields and for domestic use, it is also very popular with thousands of people who recreate in its waters every year. With several huge areas for free dispersed camping throughout central and eastern Arizona, Tonto National Forest is a great area for those looking for desert-style camping, warm nights, and beautiful sunrises. It is located in the farthest left hand corner of the forest, and is notable for the water, hiking, and horseback riding recreation. You can enter Bulldog Canyon from either the north or south entrance on FR 10 or from the western entrance on FR 3554. The Cave Creek Trail is a wonderful hiking option when camping in this location. Horseshoe Reservoir and the Verde River provide numerous opportunities for water activities. It is the largest national forest in the state of Arizona and the fifth largest in the entire country. Virtual Services Offered by phone and email. The Salt River Overlook Trail is only a half-mile, but it allows you to look out over the Salt River. Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes in Sedona. 28079 N. Az Hwy 188 Dispersed camping, dry camping and boondocking. The Tonto Basin Ranger District is located northwest of Globe and south of Payson. You may camp most anywhere on the Coconino National Forest (unless otherwise posted) according to the following guidelines: Generally, there is a 14-DAY PER MONTH STAY LIMIT (14 days in a […] Tonto prohibits dispersed camping pretty much everywhere. Click Here for a list of the dispersed campgrounds in the Prescott National Forest. Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. Address: 1009 E. Highway 260, Payson, Arizona 85541 1009 E. Hwy 260 (602) 225-5395. It consists of approximately 450,000 acres (approximately 182,000 hectares) of Chaparral, Pinyon-Juniper, and Ponderosa Pine types of vegetation. Fax: (480) 595-3346. Phone: (480) 610-3300 Bulldog Canyon OHV Area is an off-roading recreation area east of Phoenix in Tonto National Forest that offers dispersed camping along designated routes. This is one of the best hikes in Arizona, so keep your focus and keep hiking until you have completed it all. Day-use and camping fee sites on the Payson Ranger District are managed by the concessionaire located at Houston Mesa Campground. The Verde River and several trout streams pass through this district. Roosevelt Lake (the largest lake totally within Arizona) and Apache Lake are within this district. (928) 402-6200 When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee. Some activities require highly mechanized equipment, while other popular activities only require a swimming suit. (928) 402-6280, Mesa Ranger District USFS (United States Forest Service) allows dispersed camping in all six of its Arizona national forests. If you’re ready to save some money on your next Microadventure, here are my personal favorite free dispersed camping sites and spots in the Tonto National Forest: (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The Catfish Point dispersed camping spot can be found in Cave Creek on the Horseshoe Reservoir. (602) 225-5200, Report Wildland Fires By the way, the locals pronounce it “muggy-own. Pleasant Valley is popular because of its proximity to Young, and its easy access of a quick summer get away. This dispersed site popular with Phonecians driving up from the city for quick weekend campouts, and OHV enthusiasts testing their rigs against the desert. Colorful pottery, woven cotton cloth, and other artifacts tell a story of people living and using resources from the northern Sonoran Desert from 1250 to 1450 CE. (480) 595-3300, Globe Ranger District Our favorite dispersed camping spots in Tonto include: The Bronco Trailhead just north of Cave Creek, Arizona The Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery is also near this dispersed camping spot, which means you will need to be prepared for wildlife during your trip. Tonto National Forest has nearly 3 million acres of rugged and astonishingly beautiful country; vegetation ranging from … About Us. The famous Red Rock Country city that is Sedona, Arizona. Dispersed camping is free and is allowed on public lands in National Forests such as the three National Forests near Payson which are the Tonto National Forest, the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest, and the Coconino National Forest. There are many bears living near these campsites, as well as mountain lions, elk, and other animals, so make sure you keep your food in a safe place. Fax: (928) 474-7966. Perform an online search using the name of the national forest combined with “dispersed camping” to learn more. Address: 40202 North Cave Creek Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85262 So get out there this season and enjoy some free camping in the beautiful Tonto National Forest in Arizona. While the dammed water is of great value for irrigating fields and for domestic use, it is also very popular with thousands of people who recreate in its waters every year. The Catfish Point Dispersed Camping Area is located just below Horseshoe Reservoir along the Verde River on the Tonto National Forest. Use our trip planner for your next camping … Many day-use sites on the Tonto National Forest are closed because of COVID-19. Payson, AZ (85541) Today Sunshine and clouds mixed. NOTE: If selected, only campgrounds that have cell reports will be displayed. Tonto National Forest Campground Locations in Tonto Nat'l Forest Parks › Arizona › Tonto Nat'l Forest › Points of Interest › Campground AIRPLANE FLAT RANGER DISTRICT Pleasant Valley Ranger Station P.O. Detailed descriptions of campgrounds in the Tonto National Forest. Please contact the Payson Ranger District main office using the contact information below. This site offers beautiful vistas of the surrounding mountains. Yes, dispersed camping is allowed in areas - within reason - outside of Tonto National Forest facilities. Colorado Campground Overview: Verde Glen is a popular dispersed camping and recreational area located north of Payson on the Tonto National Forest. Thinking of hiking to “The Wave” without a permit? Some activities require highly mechanized equipment, while other popular activities only require a swimming suit. This is dispersed camping in a national forest. Your next best bet would be up on the Rim, east of Payson on one of the dirt roads off of Rim Road like the one parallel to Bear Canyon Lake. Tips, tricks, ideas, and inspiration for having your very own Microadventure in the Southwest and Mountain states. The Mesa Ranger District is located north and east of the town of Apache Junction, and consists of approximately 430,000 acres (approximately 170,000 hectares) of Desert, Semi-desert Grassland, Chaparral, Pinyon-Juniper types of vegetation as well as a small area of Ponderosa Pine. The very popular Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake are located on this district. Camping near Phoenix, Arizona – Tonto National Forest – Coon Bluff Campground & Apache Trail Boondock In February 2020, I started my first travels around beautiful Arizona after attending Gem & Jam Festival in Tucson, AZ (highly recommended if you’re thinking of going sometime!) Mesa, Arizona 85205 There are no designated campsites, drinking water, toilets, or trash services. 1-866-746-6516 Water recreation ranges from the simple to the sophisticated. Here we define car camping for you in a simple way. You can easily combine the Vista Loop with the Sinkhole, Rim Vista, Drew Canyon, and parts of the Highline Trail. Dispersed Camping If you prefer to stay away from developed campgrounds, Tonto National Forest offers several dispersed camping areas. Microadventure Travel Guide Avoid areas that are posted "no camping" and "private land," said Walt Thole of the Tonto National Forest Payson Ranger District, and you'll find your ideal place to pitch your tent. While the reservoir stores water for the Greater Phoenix area it also provides some great camping and recreation opportunities. Can You Hike “The Wave” Without A Permit? The Horton Creek Trail follows the Horton Creek and you will see numerous waterfalls along the way. The Tonto Pass is not valid on the Payson Ranger District. If you don’t, you can easily start at the eastern end of the campground and follow the trail until you reach the junction and turn around to return to your site. Free camping near Tonto National Monument&research=1. The Verde River flows through this entire district; Horseshoe and Bartlett Reservoirs are located here. Mogollon Rim views can be seen during a hike on the See Canyon Hiking Trail, but I recommend the Mogollon Rim Vista Loop instead. The Pleasant Valley Ranger District office is presently closed. Tonto National Monument showcases two Salado-style cliff dwellings. Currently, there are no fire restrictions in effect. Supervisor's Office Tonto National Forest Sharp Creek Campground is lookin’ sharp, feelin’ cool, and just beckonin’ campers to enjoy all it has to give! This ten-mile hike can be combined with hikes on the numerous trails that connect to it. To aid you in your next Microdventure, we have compiled a list of the 5 best portable Induction Cookers for your RV or van. Get the latest Microadventures, travel tips, tricks, and more. To aid in getting you set for your next car camping trip, here’s a list of essential and luxury things to pack. The forest has 5 ranger districts with each having their own designated dispersed camping areas. 24 hours, Cave Creek Ranger District Then you will follow Cave Creek. 188 (formerly 88) north 30 miles to junction of State Rts. Copyright © 2020 — Southwest Microadventures, Snowshoeing in Boulder: Our 7 Favorite Trails, 5 Best Portable Induction Cookers For RVs and Vans, Our 10 Favorite Family-Friendly Hikes in the Grand Canyon, Car Camping Packing List for Your Microadventure, Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Flagstaff, Sedona Free Dispersed Camping and Campgrounds Map, Havasupai: 3-Day Hiking and Backpacking Itinerary. Whatever your preferences, the Tonto National Forest has plenty to offer when it comes to water recreation. Since then, the Salt and Verde rivers have had six dams constructed. The U.S. Forest Service and Dispersed Camping The U.S. Forest Service manages 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states (as well as Puerto Rico) across the United States, and in almost all of these, visitors are The Tonto National Forest allowed dispersed camping in most places within the forest’s boundaries. THE FOREST BELONGS TO EVERYONE… however, there are some firm guidelines we must all follow out of respect for everyone who owns the Forest, human and animal. Both the Cholla Bay and Bachelor Cove areas feature camping sites scattered along the shoreline of Roosevelt Lake. The Experience of Dispersed Camping In Arizona: More often than not, a disorganized or scattered menagerie of campsites is what you’ll see as you travel the dispersed roads of the Arizona backcountry. 7680 S. Six Shooter Canyon Rd. Yellow Cliffs Campground, is a dispersed campground at Bartlett Lake in Tonto National Forest with lakeside camping and access to boating and other activities. During the summer months, Verde Glen is a fun escape for kids and parents. Blog The Verde River Trail is comprised of many different sections that include the Midnight Mesa Loop, Highwater-Verde, and Twin Buttes. It consists of over 570,000 acres (approximately 230,000 hectares) of Desert, Semi-Desert Grassland, Chaparral, and Pinyon-Juniper types of vegetation. Mesa Ranger District is notable for its extremely popular water activities. Payson, Arizona 85541 Cave Creek Ranger District is the first district on Tonto National Forest. These campsites spread out all through the forest areas. The Tonto National Forest is comprised of more than two and a half million acres of lush land. To help make a decision on where to camp around Flagstaff, AZ, here’s a map of our favorite free, dispersed camping areas and spots. Recreationalist enjoy the hiking trails, fishing opportunities, and horseback riding. The Colcord Road Trail is twelve and a half miles long, but you can easily do part of it and divert to another trail you find along the way. The Bulldog Canyon trail is just over ten miles, but there is an option that is almost fifteen miles as well. Maps, photos and user reviews of free camping areas near Tonto National Monument&research=1. 40202 N. Cave Creek Rd. There are five dispersed camping areas within the Diversion Dam area, and they include Rafter Take-Out, HZ Wash, Diversion Dam, EADS Wash, and the Eucalyptus Access Points. Catfish Point Picnic and Dispersed Camping Area The Catfish Point dispersed camping spot can be found in Cave Creek on the Horseshoe Reservoir. Typically, dispersed camping is restricted when fire restrictions are in effect and sections of the forest are completely closed to the public. You could even stop and erect a tent if you’d like to camp there for the night. Tonto National Forest Camping: Campendium has 166 reviews of 61 Campgrounds in Tonto National Forest. Another hiking option involves hiking along the Salt River until you reach the Lower Salt River Nature Trail, which is two and a half miles long. The Pleasant Valley Ranger District is located on all four sides of the town of Young, and it continues north to the Mogollon Rim and east to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Dispersed Camping Group Camping RV Camping The Tonto Basin Ranger District is located northwest of Globe and south of Payson. It sits in a prime, central spot, with Christopher Creek, the Highline National Recreation Trail, and the entire Mogollon Rim nearby. The Tonto National Forest You can stay right along this river. That is more like 2 hours If this happens, you must close the gate and lock it. Phone: (928) 474-7900 Mooney Falls in Havasupai: A Hiking Guide. Address: 5140 E. Ingram St., Mesa, Arizona 85205 We’ve compiled a list of our favorite snowshoeing trails to explore in and around the Boulder area. 5140 E. Ingram St. During summer months, this district is very populated because of the close proximity to the busy city and easy access to fun recreation opportunities. Located on the Verde River, Bartlett Lake, like most lakes in Arizona is a man-made reservoir. The six forest districts include Apache-Sitgreaves, Coconino, Coronado, Kaibab, Prescott, and Tonto National Forest. Tonto National Forest Home Special Places Recreation Bicycling Camping & Cabins Climbing Fishing Hiking Horse Riding & Camping Hunting Nature Viewing OHV Riding & Camping Outdoor Learning Picnicking Scenic Driving Permits are required, and include a code for the gate to get to the camping area. The Derrick Trail will take you an entire day if you choose to combine it with the Highline Trail. The views of the surrounding mountains only add to the ambiance of the nearby remote lake, which means you may be tempted to stay past your fourteen-day limit. Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes and hiking trails in Flagstaff, Arizona. 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 … U.S. National Forest Campground Guide Tonto National Forest Campgrounds Arizona The district consists of approximately 420,000 acres (approximately 170,000 hectares) of Chaparral, Pinyon-Juniper, as well as significant areas of scattered Ponderosa Pine-Juniper types of vegetation. Only campsite number nine is large enough for a list of our favorite hikes in Sedona are trees. Out where to camp there for the night can stay right along this River E. Highway 260 Payson... Reach the Skunk Basin area E. 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