Nestled in central Arizona, almost perfectly between Phoenix and Flagstaff, Sedona is a fantastic year-round camping destination.
The climate is mild most of the year; visitors have their pick of outdoor activities (hiking, off-roading, outdoor yoga, and horseback riding are popular choices). It’s an ideal basecamp for visiting many other areas in the Southwest, and — best of all for campers — there’s a ton of public land available for free camping in Sedona.
We rounded up five of the best free campsites in the Sedona area for RVs, all with incredible views and great access to the city. Before heading out, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules about camping on BLM and other public land.
Best Time To Camp in Sedona
Sitting at an elevation of about 4,350 feet, Sedona enjoys mostly mild weather year-round. The overall best times for free camping in Sedona are March through May and September through November. It is generally crowded with visitors, but the weather is pleasant, and the desert is bursting with color.
You can camp in the summer, but it gets extremely hot, and seasonal monsoon storms bring flash flooding and heavy, unpredictable rain throughout July and August.
Tips for Free Camping in Sedona
Like anywhere else, it’s important to practice Leave No Trace in Sedona. Beyond that, there are a few things to know.
Sedona is in the desert, with desert plants and wildlife. Always wear sturdy shoes and watch where to step, looking out for cacti, snakes, and scorpions.
Because of the dry climate, there are often fire restrictions in Sedona. Be sure to check the current conditions for the area you’re camping in.
Many free campsites in the Sedona area border private property. Be respectful of where you park and turn around so as not to trespass.
Free Camping Sedona: 5 Awesome Spots
There are plenty of spots for free camping in Sedona, but here are our top five favorites for RV travelers.
1. Schnebly Hill Road
Officially Forest Road 153, Schnebly Hill Road spans 12 miles and connects 89A (the main highway to Sedona) to I-17 just south of Flagstaff.
Due to its incredible views and relatively easy access, Schnebly Hill Road is one of the most popular free camping Sedona options. Most of the campsites are within the first three miles on the east side, and the further you get from the highway, the more privacy you’ll have.
Note that the road sometimes closes between December and March and is smooth only for the first few miles. Beyond those, a high clearance or 4-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.
2. Forest Road 525/525C
Two adjacent forest roads in the Coconino National Forest just west of Sedona, both FR525 and FR525C offer wide-open campsites with excellent red rocks views. Both roads are extremely popular ATV routes, so they can get dusty and noisy during the day, but it dies down at night.
In the summer of 2022, the Forest Service made extensive changes to FR525, designating eight large dispersed camping areas that each comprise 10-35 individual sites. FR525C has more campsites, so check both roads to see which is busier.
RVs of all sizes can camp in this area, as the road is in decent shape and there are few big trees to contend with. Note that campfires are not allowed when camping on either road (common with any free camping in Arizona).
3. Loy Butte Road
Further down FR525C, you’ll find an especially scenic dispersed camping area off of Loy Butte Road. There are numerous sites at little spur roads and pullouts, all with stunning views.
The road is quite smooth at the beginning, then gets rougher the farther back you go, so larger RVs should look for a spot sooner rather than later.
Loy Butte is about 30 minutes from downtown, so it’s understandably one of the more popular free camping Sedona options. As with others, the further you get away from the main road, the more privacy you’ll enjoy.
4. Angel Valley Road
Angel Valley Road, AKA FR89B, is a smaller site for free camping in Sedona close to town.
The site only accommodates eight RVs, the road in and out is rough, and the sites are far from level, but the incredible views more than make up for it. There’s one vault toilet shared among the campsites.
Note that the camping area is adjacent to gated private property, so be especially mindful of where you pull into and park.
5. Edge of the World/East Pocket
Those willing to put in a bit more time and effort will enjoy some of the most spectacular free camping in Arizona overall. East Pocket, AKA Edge of the World, is closer to Flagstaff on FR231, about 1.5 hours from Sedona. It’s only 30 miles, but the vast majority of the drive is through the forest.
There are several campsites here, but only a handful right along the rim (the “edge of the world”), so get there early to snag one!
East Pocket is higher elevation than Sedona, so the scenery is more alpine and less desert — but you have incredible views of the red rocks below!
Looking for more free camping in Sedona? Check out our guide to finding free RV campgrounds! Pick up a Cruise America RV rental for your upcoming road trip!