The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is such an exquisite site to explore. Campgrounds on this side of the canyon are so popular that spaces can be difficult to come across during the summer. A great alternative is to stay in one of the campgrounds near Williams or Flagstaff , and organize an excursion to the South Rim. During off-season, the South Rim is less crowded.
Management: Grand Canyon National Park, (928) 638-7808, (800) 365-CAMP; www.nps.gov/grca
Finding the campground: Mather campground is located across from the visitor center in Grand Canyon Village.
Description: The park’s primary campground can be located in the center of Grand Canyon Village. Shuttle service is provided year-round in the village, and along the West Rim Drive in summer. Hiking trails run along the canyon and into the gorge. The campground fills up extra early when in season. Nearby you can discover restaurants, lodging, a service station, and even a supermarket. To keep you entertained, you can find available ground and air tours. In close proximity, gas stations are stationed in Williams and Flagstaff.
Location: Grand Canyon Village
Sites: 78 RV with full hookups
Road Conditions: Paved
Management: Grand Canyon National Park, (928) 638-7808; (303) 297-2757;
Finding the campground: Trailer Village is located across from the visitor center in Grand Canyon Village.
Description: Trailer Village is planted in the middle of the Grand Canyon Village. The Grand Canyon Village provides everyday necessities including restaurants, lodging, a service station, and a supermarket. Nearby gas stations can be found in Williams and Flagstaff.
Finding the campground: From Williams, drive north 49 miles on Highway 64; turn right at the campground sign. The campground is 2.5 miles south of Tusayan.
Description: This campground forest service is a great alternative to camping in Grand Canyon National Park, located 4 miles north. During September, it is a great time to sleep or see your favorite bands in concert. Before taking on any other activities, you should enjoy one of the Grand Canyons Musical Festival Concerts upon the south rim. Some enjoyable features of the campsite include a nature trail, and the chance to look into some group campsites. Located in Tusayan and Grand Canyon Village, restaurants, supplies, lodging, and service stations are available. The closest gas stations are planted in Williams and Flagstaff.
Finding the campground: From Grand Canyon Village, drive 25 miles east on East Rim Drive to Desert View. From Cameron on US 89, drive west 32 miles on Highway 64. The campground is 0.25 mile north of the East Entrance Station.
Description: Desert view is famous for its uniqueness; It ‘s breathtaking view captures the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, and the Painted Desert to the east. The tiny village has minimal service — a snack bar, a gas station, and a limited amount of supplies. The closest full services are in Flagstaff.
What better time to eat cake for breakfast than when you are camping? You don’t have to feel guilty though- because this recipe is pretty healthy. It’s made with blueberries and greek yogurt (both good for you).
1/4 cup cooking oil (plus a little extra for the Dutch Oven)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups all purpose baking mix (or store bought biscuit mix)
Coat the Dutch oven lightly with cooking oil
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, and Greek yogurt. Add the baking mix and and whisk to incorporate. Stir in oil until completely mixed. Fold the blueberries in gently.
Pour the batter into the Dutch oven and then place over 10 hot coals. Place the lid on and then top with 14 hot coals. Bake for about 50 minutes until the cake feels springy and the toothpick comes out clean (place in the middle). Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, remove the lid and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
To make serving easier, run a butter knife around the outer edge of the cake first.
Strawberry Dutch Baby
Also known as a German pancake, a Dutch Baby is a large puffy pancake that can be served with fruit or powdered sugar. You can top with different types of fruit or other sweet toppings like whip cream.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick)unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 pint strawberries (halved or quartered)
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until they are frothy and pale yellow. Add the flour, milk and salt-whisk until smooth.
Melt the butter in the Dutch oven and set over 12 hot coals. Add the batter, cover, and then place 16 hot coals on the lid.
Bake for about 20 minutes-check to make sure the batter puffs and turns gold brown.
While the pancake is baking, combine sugar and the strawberries and stir to coat.
Pour the strawberry mixture (along with juices) over the middle of the Dutch Baby. Cut into wedges and serve while hot!
Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits
No need for buttermilk in this recipe. These biscuits use regular milk that has been acidified with real lemon juice. This along with the lemon zest adds a bright flavor and adds a flakiness texture that you’d expect from buttermilk dough.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus a little more for Dutch Oven
1 large egg beaten
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus zest from 1 lemon)
2 cups all purpose baking mix or store bought biscuit mix
3 tablespoons sugar
In a small bowl or cup combine the milk and lemon juice. Let this stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
In a large bowl mix the milk and lemon juice mixture with the lemon zest, baking mix, sugar, butter, and egg using your hands, until it forms into soft sticky dough.
Form the dough into sizes of golf balls and then flatten each one into a patty about 1/2 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches wide.
Coat the Dutch oven with butter and place over a bed of 10 hot coals. Let the pot heat for about 5 minutes- then add the dough patties in a single layer. Cover and then place 16 hot coals on the lid. Cook for approx. 5 minutes, then remove the lid with a lid lifter (keeping coals in place) flip the biscuits and then put the lid back on top and cook for another 5 minutes or so until the biscuits are golden brown. Serve hot with your favorite fruit on top!
Apple Coffee Cake
What goes better with a hot cup of coffee than a piece of sweet coffee cake? Enjoy this delightful combination while staying warm near the campfire in the cool crisp morning.
1/4 cup unsalted butter (cut into small pieces) plus extra for preparing the Dutch oven
1 large egg
1 green apple -peeled, cored and diced
Coat the Dutch oven lightly with butter
In the Dutch oven, mix together 2 cups baking mix, 2/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, egg, and apple. Smooth the top into an even layer.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup baking mix, the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and the remaining 1/4 cup butter, rubbing the mixture between your hands until it looks like a course meal. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the cake batter in the Dutch oven.
Place the Dutch oven over the bed of 10 hot coals. Cover the pot and place 14 more hot coals on the lid. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick that is inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove lid and pot from the heat and then let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Swirled Cinnamon Cake
This fluffy cinnamon cake has rivers of sweet cinnamon-sugar filling mixed throughout. The flavors are close to cinnamon buns, but with less work. Top with yogurt and fresh fruit-blueberries, peaches or pears for a complete breakfast.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter -room temperature divided
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups brown sugar, divided
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cinammon
3 cups- plus 2 tablespoons all purpose baking mix
In a large bowl stir together 3 cups all purpose baking mix, 1 cup brown sugar, the water, and eggs until smooth. Mix thoroughly
Melt 1/2 cup of the butter in the Dutch oven set over a bed of 10 hot coals. Remove the pot from the coals and then stir in the cake batter mixture, mix until the butter is incorporated. Smooth the batter into an even layer.
In a medium bowl, mash together the remaining 1/2 cup of butter, remaining cup of brown sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons all purpose baking mix and the cinnamon. Drop the mixture by a spoonful onto the cake batter. Use a knife or spoon to swirl the butter & cinnamon into the batter.
Return the Dutch oven to the bed of 10 hot coals. Place the lid on the pot and put 14 hot coals on the lid. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick (inserted in the middle) comes out clean. Remove the cake fro the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice into wedges, serve and enjoy!
Sedona, AZ is one of the most magical, mystical, and majestic places in the world- with an estimated 3 million visitors a year. You are making a very good decision to camp in Sedona and will not be disappointed! With this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on where you want to tent camp. Tent camping near Sedona, AZ includes campgrounds where you pay (more amenities) and dispersed camping where you don’t pay (almost no amenities).
The closest campsites near Sedona are Up Oak Creek, but I have added others as well. The campsites nearest to Sedona (Coconino National Forest) fill up quickly- but there are excellent campsites further away that are free and have less people.
Some of these campsites are open year round. During the months of December and January -the temperatures can get down to 34 degrees and the hottest month is in July at 100 degrees. There is an average rain fall of 40 days; there are dispersed campsites you will not be able to get to in wet weather conditions.
These 3 campgrounds are the closest to Sedona- and all have a fee. They are extremely popular and get booked quickly in the peak season. The best times to secure a campsite along Oak Creek a is between 8 am – 11 am on non holiday Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
This site is the largest campground and among the most popular one in Oak Creek. Cave Springs is an excellent choice for those families with small children. The creek runs right next to the shaded camp sites and is stocked with trout. You have the option of hiking, fishing, or just taking it easy under the canopy of Ponderosa Pine trees. South of the campground is the famous “Slide Rock State Park” with numerous swimming holes for your family to enjoy.
Cave Springs Campground can get extremely crowded during spring and summer- especially during the major holidays. Make reservations way ahead of time for those sites that can be reserved and then get there early for the first come first serve route.
Cost: $22 per night up to 8 people per camp site. Also open for day use-$7
Season: Opens early April Best season is Spring through Fall)
Sites: 84 Campsites-1 of these sites are tent only. 21 of these sites can be reserved ahead of time. The rest are on a first come first serve basis.
Stay Limit: 7 Days
Location: 12 miles North of Sedona on 89A in Oak Creek Canyon
Management/Reservations: Coconino National Forest, (928) 282-4119, / Reservations can be made by visiting Recreation.gov.
This campground is for tents only and is fairly small so it fills up quickly on weekends and holidays. The campground is along the creek so you can enjoy fishing for trout, swimming, hiking, and watching the wildlife. Ash and box elders provide shade for those moments when you want to relax. For the active campers, nearby trails include the North Wilson and Sterling Pass Trails.
Cost: $22 per night, Senior and access interagency passes are accepted for a 50% discount.
Season: Open year round, (Best season is Spring through Fall).
Location: 6 miles North of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon.
Management/Reservations: Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or on-line at Recreation.gov/ Concessionaire. Contact Red Rock District 928-203-2900
Pine Flat Campground
This is another very popular campground being that it is the second largest along Oak Creek. There is plenty to do while you are here; you can fish for trout, swim, hike or watch the birds and other wildlife.
Cost: $ 22 per night (up to 8 people per site. If your party consists of more than 8 people, you will need an additional site
Season: Opens in the Spring
Amenities: Picnic tables, cooking grills, fire pits, drinking water, and vault toilets, and firewood ($7 from camp host)
Sites: 56 campsites (18 can be reserved). All campsites accommodate tents
Stay Limit: 7 Days
Location: 12 miles North of Sedona in Oak Creek Canyon
Management/Reservations: Call Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or visit Recreation.gov
Free & Designated Dispersed Camping Sites
Over the years, the number of campsites have been reduced in Sedona to limit the wear and tear by careless campers and minimize impact to certain areas. These campsites do not charge a fee- but are still “designated” areas. The information on dispersed camping is limited- below are the areas I know of that are closest to Sedona. These sites are a better fit if you are looking for places that are less crowded and do not mind limited amenities.
North of Sedona
89A north of Oak Creek Vista to the west FR535 is a designated camping corridor
for dispersed camping. There are 4
designated camping sites/areas that have numbered markers and campers must be
within 50 feet of the marker to camp. Each site has a designated fire ring.
Camping is prohibited along this entire road, except for the 4 sites.
South of Sedona
FR689, FR214, FR215, FR618 more than 1 mile south of Beaver Creek Campground.
Lawrence Crossing (FR 121) is located along the Beaver Creek Rd (FR 618), across from the Bruce Brockett Trailhead (FR 624). You need a high clearance vehicle to get to this camping spot; the road can close in wet weather conditions because even in 4-wheel drive it’s difficult to get in and out. This designated dispersed camping area has 6 marked sites, fire rings, and a single vault toilet in the parking area. You cannot park your vehicle on the campsite itself, so camping gear must be carried to the site. This beautiful location is along Wet Beaver Creek and was designed to address the increasing impact of people going farther up the creek creating more road, soil, and vegetation damage.
East of Sedona
Hill Road (FR153) East of the Schnebly Hill Vista is a designated camping
corridor. Look for the “Camping Permitted” sign
West of Sedona
3 miles west of Lower Red Rock loop Road on Hwy 89A to Forest Road 525. A designated camping corridor of approximately 30 campsites starts about 2 mi N. of 89A on FR525 and ends at Boynton Pass Rd (FR152C). The first 5 miles of FR 525 and all of FR 525C are available for camping.
Contact Information for all of the Dispersed Campsites: Red Rock District Coconino National Forest P. O. Box 20429 Sedona, AZ 86341-0429
Administrative Offices: (928) 282-4119 or (928) 203-7500
Visitor Information: (928) 203-2900
Freidlein Prairie Road
The sites along Freidlein Prairie Road (FR 522), located half way up FR 516 (Snow Bowl Rd) are a bit further away from Sedona, but could be an option if closer spots are taken. There are 14 campsites and each one is marked with a post that has a site number and a “Designated Campsite” decal. Campers must camp within 50 feet of the post and only a fire ring is provided.
Childs Dispersed Campground
This campsite is also further away from Sedona, but is still located in the Coconino National Forest . This campsite is a very popular dispersed camping area. It is close to what used to be an operational power plant building on the Verde River. From this campsite you can access the Verde Hot Springs (once famous resort) with a short hike upstream. The Fossil Creek in general pulls in a lot of visitors, so don’t expect to have this campsite all to yourself.
Season: Open Year Round
Amenities: Vault toilet
Stay Limit: 5 Days
Location: About 30 miles southeast of Camp Verde or 86 miles south of Flagstaff. High clearance vehicles are highly recommended!
Management/Reservations: Red Rock Ranger District – 928-203-2900
Tent camping in Sedona can be an amazing experience if you plan your trip accordingly. Whether you are staying in a paid, established campground or dispersed, your time in Sedona will be unforgettable! If you want a more inclusive experience where you can stay in a tent, then you may want to look into Lo Lo Mai or Camp Avalon.
Do you have an experience with camping in Sedona that you would like to share? Please leave a comment below!
Dutch Oven cooking has been around since the 17th century. A tried and true method of cooking – this is one of the main ways we cook in our camps with AOA. The meals taste delicious, it’s possible to cook large amounts at once for big groups, and it’s the perfect method of cooking while you are camping. With these 10 Best Dutch Oven Recipes for Camping, you will keep your fellow campers full and happy.