7 Best Places for Free Dispersed Camping in Sedona

This post may contain affiliate links.

When visiting Red Rock Country in north-central Arizona, most travelers aim for Sedona, a magical little town surrounded by sandstone canyons and buttes, pine forests, and lots of enchantment.

Once there, they find themselves entranced. With so many places to explore, it’s difficult to think of ever leaving. That’s when the prospect of free camping in Sedona sounds desperately appealing. Luckily, the Verde Valley surrounding this hamlet is full of boondocking opportunities! Let’s take a look at several options. 

The Best Free Camping in Sedona

All dispersed camping in the Sedona area is on public land, mainly National Forest roads. Camping is limited to 14 days at these locations.

1. The Main Drag 525

Just 11 miles from town, the Main Drag dispersed camping area is a wide-open region teeming with wildlife and sometimes wild life.

ATVs enjoy perusing the dirt roads here, alongside campers, but things quiet down come nightfall.

Campers report decent cell service with the major carriers. There’s room for rigs of all sizes, but beware — the road is pretty rough. Take it slow.

Keep in Mind: You can increase a weak cell signal with these cell phone booster options.

Looking out the driver's side of a car windshield at the beautiful red rocks against clear blue sky while they look for free dispersed camping Sedona, AZ.

2. Angel Valley Road Dispersed

Just a little closer to Sedona, Angel Valley has room for only about eight smaller RVs, but the views are tremendous.

Another washboard road leads to the campsites, which have exactly one amenity — a vault toilet.

Cell service is spotty for both Verizon and AT&T, but you’ll be exploring the magnificent geology, so who needs to communicate with the outside world?

Prepare appropriately, as this area can get dusty. RVs may end up close together in the small space.

3. Coffee Creek Dispersed

In the same general vicinity as the Main Drag, Coffee Creek has fewer campsites and a quieter vibe, except on weekends.

There are no amenities, but it’s only 11 miles to town, so spend your days hiking, shopping, and playing, then come back to your campsite for some stargazing.

It can get noisy and raucous at night, so this might not be the best place for free camping in Sedona if you’re looking for pristine silence in the evenings. 

From behind, a woman wearing a vest, flannel, and hat hiking through the landscape of Sedona, Arizona.

4. Loy Butte Road Dispersed

Located about a half-hour away from Sedona, Loy Butte Road lies closer to the red rock buttes for a stunning campsite background. And there are plenty of campsites off every spur.

The bad news is there aren’t many that a rig over 30 feet will fit into.

Juniper and scrub brush offer some shade and greenery, but there are no other amenities in sight.

Cell service is OK closer to the main road but non-existent farther in. Don’t count on it if you absolutely need it for work or school.

Pro Tip: If you’re traveling with a big rig, you’ll want to read our tips for boondocking with a large RV.

5. Forest Road 525C

Farther down off Loy Butte Road, you can find even more dispersed camping. Forest Road 525C has many campsites.

They’re not quite as scenic, but you can get better cell service here.

You may have to put up with some additional noise, as this is a popular road for ATVs, which also stir up lots of dust.

A staging area on the main road is available for those who offload side-by-sides, but big rigs should use a different road, as the campsites aren’t suited for anything larger than 30 feet.

A sunset sky over rocks in Sedona, AZ with a crescent moon shining overhead.

6. Forest Road 9549

Even closer to the red rocks, Forest Road 9549 is located just off FR 525C, so ruts abound. But five campsites, complete with rock fire pits, make the journey well worth it.

There’s room for a few bigger rigs, and the views are great. After all, there’s nothing like waking up to a sky filled with hot air balloons right outside your door.

It’s also more peaceful at night than some other free camping in Sedona.

A green a yellow hot air balloon floats through tall red rock formations in Sedona, Arizona.

7. Schnebly Hill Dispersed

An hour’s drive in, Schnebly Hill dispersed free camping area sits above Sedona, looking down on the town and its surrounding red rocks.

It’s the perfect location for an escape with a view, with 40 campsites and easy access from I-19 to the east of town.

You can get to Sedona directly, but it’s a steep crawl on four-wheel-drive roads, so don’t rush it.

Some major carriers still get cell service here, but it will be a bit hit or miss whether yours does.

Sedona Is the Perfect Place for Free Camping

With such a popular tourist destination, campsites are getting more difficult to find in the Sedona area. But it’s encouraging that boondocking and dispersed sites still abound in Red Rock Country. In fact, free camping in Sedona seems to be a birthright that many still hold onto tightly. Be sure to enjoy your little piece of public land when you visit this oasis in the Arizona desert.

Have you ever done any boondocking in the Sedona area? Let us know about your favorite sites.

Total
7
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Article
The outside of a Lowe's hardware store with rows of tractors in front.

RV Supplies You Didn't Know You Can Get at Lowe's

Next Article
A hand reaches to turn on Tow Haul mode from a dashboard button in the truck.

When to Use Tow Haul Mode