Willard Springs Rd, about 17 miles south of Flagstaff off I-17 is a popular boondocking and ATVing area. Camping in the pines, lots of trails. We're not ATVers so can't vouch for the trials personally but we saw a bunch of riders during the time we camped there.
We camped a few x's off of Willard Springs Rd. Had a great time, it's just really different from the Forest Lakes/Mogollon Rim area. Lots of cool Oak trees/scenery. Only if you happen to be in the area would I recommend camping/riding in the area. Another spot would be on Schnebly hill road. Again, not my 1st choice for riding but you will def. be camping/riding in the woods. Also, if you have 5 rigs, there is a great spot on Schnebly hill road head east from I-17 about 4-4.3 miles to the camp spot on the left. Hope this helps.
BTW, Brooks, I'm intrigued. You say this wouldn't be your first choice, why is that? What area is your favorite? I know we absolutely love the riding at Forest Lakes, so if you prefer it over Flagstaff, we may be in for a shock. But I guess we have to try it at least once since we'll be in the area. Would you say Cinders might be a better area than the places you mention?
We had a friend who told great stories about camping, riding in Flagstaff, so we thought we'd have a similar experience to Forest Lakes.
I spent a couple days earlier this month south of Flagstaff off of the Kachina/Mountainaire Rd exit. Go east and take the first gravel road to the south, FR-700, which is a well maintained road and leads to some very nice boondocking areas. We travelled south towards Munds Park and east towards Lake Mary and had a lot of fun in my Arctic Cat Prowler.
Make sure you download or pick up a copy of the Coconino National Forest Travel Management Plan map and study it. Many smaller trails and roads are closed to motorized travel and they are not all well marked. There are still a ton of places you can go though. The maps are free, you can pick up a copy at the Tonto Forest offices at 2324 E. McDowell, they still had some left when I got mine plus the map is downloadable to Garmin GPS units off of the website.
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Willard Springs is a great base camp as you can pick up dozens of FR trails. Word of warning though - MANY - FR roads have been closed as of this year but many of the main ones remain open.
READ THIS LINK and then visit the Coconino National Forest website for details.
I link the Willard Springs site since its 5 minutes from Munds Park in case you need ice or something. Just follow Willard Springs road past the transfer station and there is camping on the left or right. You can also leave Willard Springs road before you reach the transfer station and there is deeper camping about 2 miles down that FR road.
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1Rosario, yes I would prefer to camp/ride on or near the rim as my 1st choice. What matters is, if you are going to be in the GFA anyway..why not camp there and try it out? Either place would be fine for the 5 rigs or so that you will be with. As Gary pointed out, there are trails that are closed, so watch out for that. Also, we ran into a few trails there actually 50' only trails. I had heard of them but never ran into them until last spring when we camped/rode up there with Gary. FYI, if you run into a "private Property" sign..think twice..they take that serious up there from personal experience. That's a story for the campfire though. Schnebly Hill road should not be ruled out as well.
Make sure you get the new travel map for Coconino Natl' Forrest. They closed 1000 miles of trails and rds. Some to vehicle traffic and some to camping also. Call the forrest service office in Flag they will email you a link to the map or stop buy and get a copy. ight save you some grief. This was done the first of the year but the map wasn't published until late April. Good luck.
IF THE RD/TRAIL IS ON THE MAP YOU CAN TRAVEL ON IT AND THERE'S DESIGNATIONS FOR CAMPING ON THE MAP ALSO.
Any more closures and I'll be going to the White mtns.
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