Monday, May 21, 2012

Excellent boondocking location...nah, I shouldn't say.

On the other hand, I'm going to. This is the first place we've stayed our full 14 days and still weren't tired of the spot. Ajo doesn't count, because we didn't stay 14 days.

  • Route 17 (Arizona) to exit 298. 
  • Go east on Forest Road 618. [If you go west, it's Rte. 179 into Sedona.]
  • 0.4 miles past the first cattle guard, you come to a four-way stop. Go left (north). This is Beaver Creek Road and Forest Road something something.
  • 1.3 miles later, you're there.
  • Coordinates roughly  34.697493,-111.723889

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We covered this road in the Duck (38.5'), but never did it with the toad attached. That was just circumstance, though, and Annie says she'd do with the car and dolly.

You could spend two weeks in this area without ever needing to go to town for entertainment. Beer, yes. If you parked at the green arrow, you could hike down the left tine of that fork, turn left at the edge of a canyon, and follow a road right down around to the floor. There are said to be petroglyphs there, but I didn't find them. FREE

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If you want something a little further off the trail, explore the right fork. The road is better, and we considered a few camping sites down there, too.

The Arizona Safari jeeps passed us every evening at 7PM. Feel smug knowing you're seeing the sights for free. [Arizona Safari: NOT FREE]

 Or, you could follow F.R. 618 down to the same draw (Red Tank), park at a turnout, and take a few steps to more petroglyphs. FREE

 Or, tour V-V Ranch and see a huge and well-preserved collection of glyphs. Bring your lunch and eat under a big tree along Wet Beaver Creek. FREE, needs Interagency Pass or Red Rock Country pass to park.

 Or, Visit Montezuma's Well. FREE

 Or, pad on down to the creek and cool off. Bring your lunch to the shady picnic tables and your garbage to the big garbage cans. FREE

Park at the trailhead off FR 618 and take any trail. There are two strenuous trails, and one moderate. I took the easy trail to the pit toilet. FREE

Best of all, this campsite is on a dead-end (sort of). A few hundred feet down the road is a gate that serves as a cattle guard. People have to stop to open and shut that gate, and first-timers often just turn around there. Feel smug knowing you've hiked on the other side of that gate. Smug: FREE

You may see cowboys. You will probably hear cows. I never, ever knew there were so many cow-sounds. If you think they only moo, you're living in a fool's paradise. Fool's paradise: FREE

Head toward Sedona on Rte. 179, and you'll come to the USFS Ranger station. This is a worthwhile stop, because here is where you can get a copy of the new Motor Vehicle Use Map for this area. A ranger will want to explain it to you if you tell her you're interested in dispersed camping; let her do it.  The map itself is a little less than self-explanatory, as well as being actual-size. Will the rig fit in this spot? Let's pull up onto the map and see. So, a little help is a good thing.

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The map is also good because you will be AMAZED at all the dispersed camping there is available in the local forests. I hated to settle without seeing all of them. Pick an altitude, then pick a site.

We've taken on fluids and headed for higher altitude and lower temperatures. That's one thing that will chase you out of town, but the hardier souls are now enjoying the quiet of a not-very-touristy Sedona, and perfect nighttime temps. And remember, it's a dry heat.




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38 comments:

Terry said...

Oh! I am SO jealous!!!

But, even though we've never met, I'm glad you are seeing it because you are sharing it....
....FREE!!!!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Don't be jealous, just be here!

Teri said...

FREE....Priceless!

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Uh, so where the heck are you now?

kcgaz said...

Looks nice...any issues with the smoke in the area? We were thinking of heading up that way for the long weekend, but were concerned.

TexCyn said...

Sofa travels through other bloggers -- FREE! Thanks for the great pics!

Bob said...

I'll be right over.

Brenda A. said...

Okay. This may seem like a stupid question. If you didn't drive the road with the toad.....where did you leave it??? I know I'm just missing something obvious. But I still need it pointed out to me. It's okay if you laugh. I'm used to it. :)

Theresa said...

Beautiful! I've lived Arizona for 11 years and I still haven't seen a tenth of it. Course, I don't boondock... maybe I should start!

Theresa

ain't for city gals said...

So glad you are enjoying my beautiful state Arizona!!! And my husband and I always take advantage of free!!! Hope to be up to the North rim late July...somewhere free, of course!

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

All great info for future use ! Thanks for sharing... Kelly

THE BAYFIELD BUNCH said...

We hope to make this area one of our two week side trips from our Congress house this coming winter so we may be tapping you for some tips, hints, & info regarding boondocking, etc next winter..AL this time:))

Peter + Beatrix said...

Seems to be a GREAT spot to hang out in. Thanks for sharing that. Always looking for good tips on where to stay.

Steve said...

I am jealous, and can't be there either. :-(

cathie said...

Your happy posts just have to be healing my ankle. Laughter is the best medicine, or so they say!

heyduke50 said...

cool spot... appreciate the info...

JOJO said...

Another awesome place. FREE and that's all very good.

longdog2 said...

Really beautiful area and great photos.

Gaelyn said...

You've done it again finding an excellent place to live for a while: FREE.

The Good Luck Duck said...

I agree, Teri. And when FREE is also AWESOME? Superlatives pale.

Intrepid, we've moved into the mountains for a while, near Flagstaff.

Kcgaz, we noticed the smoke occasionally as haze against the distant mountains. The air around us seemed clean. Neither of us has a particular respiratory problem, but we weren't bothered at all by the fires.

Cyn, you are ALMOST out of east Texas gravitational pull - I can feel it!

Bob, we've got the coffee on.

Brenda, it's not stupid, but I'll laugh anyway! :) No, it's because we moved from such a short distance away that we didn't hook up the dolly and car to the Duck. We just hooked the dolly to the car (which is easier) and I drove the car. On the way out, we knew we would be taxing the Duck's engine with the climb to our new spot, so I drove the same way.

Theresa, that's the way it is with places we call home. We figure we have time to see it later. Boondocking is a great way to see the back roads.

AFCG, thanks for your hospitality! We do, indeed, love Arizona. And FREE.

Kelly and Al, ask away! It will be a privilege to share tips with you, as you guys kept our eyes starry and on the prize all that time we spent preparing to do this.

You will be, Steve. You are making ferocious progress.

Peter + Beatrix, you would like this area. I think everyone would!

Cathie, they do say that about laughter, and I have to believe it's true. Happy healing!

HeyDuke, my pleasure.

Jojo, don't we love the FREE?

Longdogs, this is a beautiful area. I'm still stunned at the diversity of landscapes in such a small radius.

It really was excellent! Just waiting for us to find. And FREE.

Sherry said...

WOW! Everything I could possibly want to know to follow in your footsteps. I am thrilled!!

Also about that picture of you two.....that is a fine one but go on and admit it, you two have lost weight on your new Vegan food plan. I can see it and cameras aren't kind.

The Good Luck Duck said...

You can see I've lost weight?!? WOO HOO! Yes, I think that's true. Thanks!!

Donna K said...

Now those are some interesting photos. We don't boondock but perhaps we should give it a try. We are scary cats about driving the rig on unpaved roads - especially after what recently happened to the Fit.

Vicki said...

Hey Roxie,
0.4 miles past the first cattle guard, you come to a four-way stop. Go left (north). This is Beaver Creek Road and Forest Road something something.

This would be FR689...119 to the right.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Donna, that was a scary thing. But, didn't it happen on pavement? (maybe) We land somewhere, then make scouting trips in the car to find the next landing pad. We're looking for road condition, overhead clearance, most-day sun (for the solar panels), and pull-through places are a bonus.

That does sound familiar - thanks, Vicki!

Cheryl (Desert Diva) said...

Wow, such a beautiful area - just waiting to be explored! :-)

Janie and John said...

You two are so adventurous and are being rewarded with some amazing spots to camp. I keep saying one day.......

sierrasue said...

Good going girls and thanks for sharing.

Contessa said...

I love the free theme but the area itself is spectacular. So glad you are enjoying the lifestyle.

The Good Luck Duck said...

It's beautiful, Cheryl. And not that far away, now that your ties are loosening!

Oh, Flamingo Folks, I never would have thought of us as adventurous, but it's nice to be thought so!

Our pleasure, Sue.

Grace said...

Thanks for sharing this information! You two are da best!
Grace

The Good Luck Duck said...

Glad to, Grace - enjoy!

stillhowlyn said...

That is our kind of place..no doubt about it! Now if I can just remember to save this info...nah, I'll just come back next spring and ask for it! Or maybe on our way "back" this fall!

The Good Luck Duck said...

You're always welcome to ask, and in case we've forgotten, you can find it by searching "boondocking Sedona" in the little searchy box.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Contessa, it's amazing here.

Brenda A. said...

Thanks for the clarification on my "stupid' question! Karin pretty much figured that's what it was but I miss the obvious sometimes. :)

Barbara and Ron said...

thanks! I've made a note of it.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Cool - enjoy!

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