James asks…

Dispersed Camping: Prescott National Forest, Arizona?

I see that all campsites, dispersed or not have stay limits, but in the Nation Forest when dispersed camping do you think you could get away with staying over or even WELL over the stay limit?
I’m guessing it’s not going to be packed and having campers in and out all week, so do you think it’d be a problem staying as long as you wanted or could?

Martin answers:

In our district, we always have homeless people staying illegally on the forest. Protect the resources by using “Leave-No-Trace” practices and moving every week. I have a tent set-up on county land for a week at a time just for my long-lunch naps. Every year, we average one death in the woods by a homeless person. Most leave before the cold hits in the late fall.

Joseph asks…

Long term camping in Arizona?

I have read (lost the info.) that there is a 30 day limit for camping in Arizona‘s State/National Forests and Parks…that you may return after 15 days and stay another 30….is this information correct?
* What are the best parks for (secluded) camping in Flagstaff?
* Any Links or Information would be much appreciated……….

Martin answers:

The reason they do that is because some people decide to stay as long as you do and take camping spots away from other people, their allowed to camp too, and it’s 14 day stay limit, not 30 and there’s no return day limit:
STAY LIMIT : The stay limit in any National Forest campground is 14 days. Generally, there is a limit of 8 persons occupying each camp site. The Safford Ranger District (Mt. Graham) allows 10 persons to occupy each camp site. Make sure you give everyone else a chance to enjoy the area!



Donald asks…

Better for a camping road trip: Arizona, Utah, and Colorado… or Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia?

A friend and I will be taking a long camping road trip next month and going on one of those two excursions. They seem like they’d be quite different.

The AZ/UT/CO route would probably involve seeing the grand canyon in Arizona, the canyonlands area of southeastern Utah (Arches National Park, etc), and then the mountains of Colorado.

On the other hand, the OR/WA/BC route would involve a lot of forested areas, some national parks like Crater Lake, some oceanside stuff, etc.

We’re torn between the two, as the AZ/UT/CO route would be more new to us, but it is going to be August and we’re wondering if roasting in our car or tent in those areas might take a lot of fun out of it (no RV with A/C for us!).

Which would you choose?

Martin answers:

Well, lets see.
The desert that is Utah and Arizona, and that mountain they call the rockies *cha* OR…
You can….
…God’s country. *wink*

Choosing either,
The Pacific Coast Highway, on the most western side of Oregon or right thru Three Sisters,
Doing I-5
Then hit’n that amazing ole’ hill we like to call Louwala-Clough (Mount St. Helens)
After you finish that journey, another 2, two and a half hours north, the international geologic community has determined that Mt Rainier is the world’s 16th most dangerous volcano. (elev. 14,410 feet)
Mount Rainier National Park is riddled with Old growth forest. Over 91 thousand acres. As defined, Old growth is trees over 250 years old.
Some of these Douglas Fir’s and Western Hemlocks have been around for over a thousand years.
Of course some of the younger trees also contribute to the lavish tree line. Western Red Cedar, Pacific Silver Fir, and Ponderosa Pine all decorate and create surreal Timberland.
..and the 4 legged creatures, the Elk, Deer, Squirrel, and Coyotes.
All needing each other to sustain life.
Nearly 800 plant species. Over 100 non-native plants. There’s 54 Mammals, 126 Birds and 17 Amphibian or Reptiles that call this Park home.

The Nisqually tribe has been granted access to the Park, in order to gather plants, traditionally used in their ancestral Rituals, and medicine.
Of the plants being harvested: bear grass, blueberries, cascara, cranberry, devils club, maidenhair fern, wild gooseberry, salmonberry, serviceberry, strawberry, tiger lily, princes pine, spruce, cedar, white pine and western yew.
The Park has also presented that when “vision quests” and other traditional journeys are needed, that the Park will do its best to keep tourists out.

Native lore says that (Mt.) Tahoma is the dueling sister of (Mt.) St. Helens.
..and that they forever are fighting for the love of (Mt.) Adams.

Once you catch your breath beyond the vertigo events of Mt Rainer, skip on up to the very groovy metropolitan city of Seattle, its time to feast your hearts desire. Who cares if its the middle of the night. It’s open. Then, dance your beHIND off, at the very grooviest clubs west of the Vegas strip.

Now its time to jump a ferry, circle the Peninsula, get yourself over to the Lake Quinault Lodge, and rest like you’ve never rested.

THEN…. Find your way to the Sol duc Hot Springs (clothing optional area of course) You’ll be awed as you find yourself in the Worlds ONLY temperate rain forest. The canopy of trees, is so dense, its wet, no matter how blue the sky. The Douglas Fir, White and Red Cedar tree’s are the laregest on the ENTIRE Globe…
Its freaken heaven…

Then of course you’ll grab your passport, head the hour and a half up to Port Angeles, and grab the quick ferry ride thru the Strait of Juan de Fuca. And ya’ll be oot and a’boot to Victoria British Columbia, before ya know it, eh?.. =)

Mary asks…

Camping in south-eastern Arizona?

We would like to go camping over Labor Day weekend. We haven’t been in AZ long, so we don’t know a whole lot of places for outdoor recreation around this area. We currently live in Tucson, and would like to find somewhere no more than 2-4 hours away. I have been doing research on the BLM and National Forest websites, but would love some ideas.

I have found a lot of possible places in the mountains just SW of Safford, along Swift Trail in the Mt. Graham area, and also a few places SW of Globe off of 77. We would love to stay south or east of Phoenix, but if something fabulous presents itself in the Sedona/ Flagstaff/ Prescott area, we would be willing to drive up there.

I was hoping someone who camps a lot in this part of AZ could help me out with some hints, suggestions, etc.

I have also seen some great places such as Aravaipa Canyon north of Oracle, but they don’t allow dogs. It’s important that our pup can come along.

Somewhere with a stream, or water would be wonderful, and we are from Colorado, so we’re not real crazy about the desert – we were hoping to camp up around 8-9,000 feet to get some cool night-time air, and see some pine trees!

Any help you can provide is much appreciated!!


Martin answers:

Sabino Canyon is great.

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