- 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
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
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.
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.