Saturday, April 30, 2011

Coconino National Forest Boondocking REVIEW near Camp Verde

We had a wonderful FREE campsite for 2 nights while staying near Camp Verde. If you have a vechile you don't mind roughing it with then here are the directions: (see below for two other locations, one not far from this and a bit rough to get to but beautiful, and the other just off of 618)

 Heading North on I-17 take exit 298, turn right and you are on 618. Continue to Forest Service Rd 121 and turn right. Continue on this road (which is very ROUGH, bumpy, dusty) until you come to a cattleguard/fence (about 2.5 km's). Here we thought "oh boy private land" but continued on as there was no place to turn around and we really didn't want to back out, and just before the guard there is one spot which doesn't look too impressive but the next is where we were just after the cattle guard and it was nice, big, and flat. A bit tricky to get 56' feet backed into but we did it.

Value 5/5

Site Quality 4/5
The road is rough to get to but this site was large and fairly flat. No services. With a slow and easy back in we got our 56' combined truck and trailer length in.

Facity Fun 4/5
Having "nothing" here is part of the beauty. Having nothing around for all the eye can see is peaceful and tranquil yet you are close enough to town centres and many activities. The girls love exploring and looking for bugs, flowers and wildlife (while keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes).

Natural Surroundings 5/5
Beautiful Coconino Forest! There is nature on all sides and very little traffic on the forest service roads.

Bathrooms N/A

Staff N/A

Location 4/5
It is between 30-60 minutes to Camp Verde, Jerome, Cottonwood, and Sedona. All of those towns, have shoping, hiking and many, MANY other activities. This site was close enough to drop the trailer and take day trips to visit Montezuma castle, Montezuma Well, Jerome, (which you can't take anything over 40' due to winding switchbacks and narrow roads), Out of Africa Safari and is close enough for a trip to Sedona too.

Overall 5/5
We love the natural campsites and our generator keeps us warm on the cold nights and our 2nd night was COLD! We used it one night,and the other was warm enough without it.

Our site with campfire pit. The flat area continues on the otherside of the firepit as well.

Better view of the flat area next to the trailer

The view out our windows behind us

Pulling out, it was a bit twisty and a pile of rocks to the left of the truck but posible with 56'

Our second night someone pulled into the spot I mentioned above to drive by.
Before this spot, about 1.5km's in from 618 there is a forest service road on the right. Here there is a flat area which was occupied when we arrived so we thought the area was full. We took a drive in the next day when he left and discovered an amazing spot on a cliff over looking this

View of the red cliffs from the other campsite

The campfire view towards the cliffs

A view of the cactus and cliffs from the where you could pull through and park
There is another spot if when you turn off of I-17, turn right onto 618 (this road is paved) and continue on 618, just past the 2nd cattle guard there is a space on the left which would fit large RV's as well. Sorry I didn't get a picture, we just know it was there as someone was parked there the first night we pulled in and had to continue on.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Montezuma Castle and a trip to Out of Africa

This morning we woke up and headed straight to Montezuma castle. The entrance fee for this park I believe is $5.00 each but it was covered with our America the Beautiful Pass (which cost $80 for up to 4 adults at fee required National Parks and lasts for 1 year). As I mentioned in the last post we liked the Well better but the castle is quite amazing. So if you hear the Castle is all that and think you should miss the well...DON'T!!! Go see the Well!

After we left here we headed to Out of Africa Wildlife Park. It was a bit pricey at $77 for all of us with a discount coupon, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed a great day there.

We went on a Safari Ride

And saw the Tiger Splash

Sierra pretending to be a tiger
We walked around the zoo

Got up close and personal with some snakes

On our way back to our trailer we stopped in to see a couple sites that were full when we pulled in but they were now vacant and we found an amazing one!!! If this weren't our last night here we would have considered picking up the trailer and moving it. It was just gorgeous!!!

A few other photos from today

I almost we saw our first snake...and not at the zoo. I didn't get a picture of it as the Vulture that flew away with it in his claws was too fast! But it was neat to see...and now I am off to bed. Tomorrow we pack up and head for Sedona where we will spend a few days before heading up to the Grand Canyon.