Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest

Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff, Arizona, 86001

The basics

In addition to a range of habitats within Coconino National Forest, the elevation range varies greatly, from 2,600 feet (792 meters) to the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,850 meters), Humphreys Peak. Humphreys is one of six summits that make up the San Francisco Peaks, all within the forest boundaries. The area also contains 10 designated wilderness areas, Snowbowl Ski Resort, ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyph sites, the historic Cinder Lake Apollo Training Area, and both of Arizona's only Wild and Scenic Rivers (Verde River and Fossil Creek).

For recreation in the forest, one of three passes is required, as well as reservations for some specific sites or activities. Accepted passes include America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation Passes, the Red Rock Pass, and the Every Kid Outdoors Fourth Grade Pass. For passes, maps, information, or emergency services, visit a local ranger station in Flagstaff, Happy Jack, or Sedona.

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Things to know before you go

  • In addition to 24 developed campgrounds, dispersed camping is allowed anywhere in Coconino National Forest (unless otherwise posted) for a period of up to 14 days.

  • Detailed maps of sites within the forest are available at the local ranger stations or at the Coconino National Forest website.

  • provides reservations for designated camping, motorized use permits, Christmas Tree permits, and tours offered in the forest.

  • Snowbowl, Arizona's largest ski resort, is 70 miles from the Grand Canyon, and has a season that typically runs from late November to April.

  • Accepted recreation passes do not include entry into the following concessionaire-fee sites: Beaver Creek, Call of the Canyon, Crescent Moon Ranch, Grasshopper Point, and state parks.

  • The Red Rock Pass has options for daily, weekly, and annual passes.

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How to get there

Coconino National Forest covers an enormous swath of land with many ways to enter. Flagstaff lies just north of its center, providing four main highway entry points, including I-40 (running east-west from Williams or Winslow), US Route 89 from the north, and I-17 from Phoenix, which lies to the south of the forest. Tonto National Forest is one of four other national forests it borders.

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When to get there

Coconino National Forest offers wonderful activities for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. In the winter, drivers should check road conditions in case of ice or snow, especially when crossing its high-elevation northern section near Flagstaff. Many flock to the forests in upper elevations in the fall for a colorful display of fall foliage.

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Heritage dating back to ancient times

Coconino National Forest has several historic and archeological sites showcasing the worlds of the people who once lived here. See cliff dwellings at Honanki and Palatki Heritage Sites, rock art at V Bar V Heritage Site, or the ancient Sinagua village at Elden Pueblo. Check the website for tour information, reservation requirements, and excessive heat closures. These sites are protected; any digging, removing artifacts, or damaging or defacing ruins is prohibited.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Coconino National Forest?