Rocky Park, Munds Park, Arizona | Camping

The Coconino National Forest with San Francisco Mountain beyond

At 6,700 feet, Rocky Park is a great place to beat the desert heat. The park is about 8 miles southeast of Munds Park, Arizona in the Coconino National Forest amidst tall ponderosa pine forest. Interesting locations nearby include Woods Canyon and the Lee Butte Fire Lookout (no longer in use).

Some places in Arizona are very popular for camping; thankfully this isn’t one of them. Rocky Park makes a nice and quiet campsite that sees only light traffic.

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Where in The World?

Camping Elevation: 6,692 feet

GPS Coordinates: N 34 49.505’ W 111 35.452’

Directions to Camping Area: From Camp Verde, Arizona take I-17 north to exit 315 (about 10 miles south of Munds Park). At the stop sign take a right (east) onto Rocky Park Road (Forest Road 80). Take FR 80 south for about 2 miles then turn left (east) onto FR 239. Take this road about 1/4 mile to the campsite on the left. You will find more campsites further up the road.

Rocky Park Camping Area Map

Rocky Park RV Camping Journal

June 8, 2011

The view from my campsite is of the forest and the blue sky above. I don’t have to hike or bike far to get a lay of the land. There is a good view from the peak to the northeast, which only takes a few minutes to hike to. I can see the San Francisco Peaks and some of the Oak Creek Canyon area from up here. Another good view point can be found by heading south down FR 80. From here, Apache Maid Mountain (to the south) is in view along with some of the Sedona area to the west.

I don’t see much traffic down this road (FR 239) except on weekends. There was quite a bit more traffic over Memorial Day weekend. It’s mostly ATVs and dirt bikes on this road. In all, this road is quiet and this area isn’t that popular. There were many more visitors to the Stoneman Lake and Apache Maid Mountain area when I was there last year.

This campsite isn’t right next to the road which is nice; but the road is still visible and audible.

Weather: It’s early June and the weather has been very nice, except for the wind and strong gusts. It’s been in the 70s with lows in the 40s and sunny with very few, if any clouds. It gets a bit chilly in the mornings so I’ve used the catalytic heater a few times.

Wildlife: I spotted several species of birds including robins, mourning doves, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, blue birds, yellow birds, and turkey vultures. I’ve also seen tree squirrels with long ears, a grey body, and a brown stripe on their back – no doubt Abert’s Squirrel, also called Tassel-eared Squirrel. I spotted several deer and a few cows. A sonoran gopher snake was crossing the road today and I got some pictures of it.

I saw a couple lizards fighting, right next to my camper. It appeared one was getting too close to the others territory and the battle began. I wish I had it on video. They were jumping off rocks and spinning in the air while wrestling and biting each other. I saw a bat too. It was down in Woods Canyon. It flew down from its shelter to get a drink of water in a small pool among the rocks of the canyon.

Insects: There are no juniper trees in the immediate area; however, if you take FR 80 a little ways south (past the communications tower) you will come to an all juniper forest – and with the junipers comes juniper gnats, or no-see-ums. I see why they call them juniper gnats. It appears they don’t exist among the tall pines, unless juniper trees are in the mix. In an all juniper forest there are swarms of these annoying gnats. Thankfully, only a couple no-see-ums have visited my campsite.

There are many yellow jackets. They are very curious of my travel trailer and truck. I had a couple actually find their way inside the trailer. It appears they got into the wall, probably via the battery compartment.

Cell Signal: Verizon mobile broadband internet has worked excellent here. I believe it’s the fastest I’ve experienced – and it’s not hard to see why. The tower is just a short walk away (south down FR 80). Of course my cell phone signal is superb as well.

Conclusion: Overall, it’s been a great camping experience in a beautiful pine forest. There are several national forest roads to explore and hiking cross country is fun and relatively easy among the tall pines.

Rocky Park Video Slideshow

The Coconino National Forest with San Francisco Mountain beyond

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