If you live in Flagstaff, Arizona, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose to live anywhere else. With its idyllic four-season climate, small-town charm, and unparalleled natural beauty, there’s a little something for everyone in Flag. Is it any wonder that folks from the surrounding areas flock to the forests surrounding Flagstaff every summer to set up camp and beat the heat?

Whether you live in Flagstaff or are heading in from out-of-town (or out-of-state), you’ll find plenty of prime camping spots to serve as a home base for your next adventure. Below, you’ll find a few of our favorite Flagstaff, AZ, camping destinations, along with the details you need to know before you load up the car or RV for your next adventure.

See also: 7 best winter car accessories for Flagstaff residents

Destinations To Go Camping Around Flagstaff

Whether you’re a first-time camper or an avid outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find plenty of destinations to suit your comfort level in Flagstaff, Arizona. Campgrounds are your best bet if you love getting into the great outdoors but don’t want to ditch all modern amenities. Many have toilets, drinking water, showers, and other comforts. For the more rugged adventurer, dispersed camping locations generally offer designated campsites, potentially with an established fire ring, but few other amenities such as toilets, drinking water, or hosts. 

Below, you’ll find a few of our favorite camping spots in the Flagstaff area, including hosted campgrounds and dispersed primitive sites. No matter where you decide to camp, remember to leave your campsite as you found it, carry out your trash, and follow all state and local fire restrictions and other outdoor ordinances. 

Marshall Lake

Marshall Lake sits atop Anderson Mesa and offers stunning views of the San Francisco Peaks. The small, marshy lake is approximately 12 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, and is stocked with trout when it has water in it, making it a peaceful spot for fishing and camping alike. While camping isn’t allowed next to the lake, dispersed primitive campsites are available across the road, adjacent to the nearby Arizona trail. Marshall Lake also makes a convenient “plan B’ should you find that other nearby first-come, first-served campgrounds are at capacity.

Things to know: 

  • Campsites: Primitive. Camping is not allowed next to the lake
  • Fees: None
  • Facilities: No toilets, tables, or drinking water available
  • Open season: Early May through early October
  • Access: Forest Road 128 is closed during the winter. The last mile of the road is unpaved, which may make it unpassable in wet conditions. 

Ashurst Lake

About 20 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, in the timbers of Anderson Mesa, Ashurst Lake offers two campgrounds: Forked Pine Campgrounds and Ashurst Lake Campgrounds. Campsites dot the shoreline of the lake, nestled among the junipers and Pinyon pines. Since powerboats are prohibited, and camping isn’t permitted elsewhere on the lake, Ashurst Lake offers a quiet, peaceful place for fishing, wind sailing, biking, hiking, and bird-watching. If you’re planning an off-season excursion, you can still head to Ashurst Lake. When the campgrounds are closed, the public may still use them. Be aware, though, that drinking water and all but one toilet are unavailable in the off-season. 

Things to know: 

  • Reservations: Not available. The 25 Ashurst Lake campsites and 25 Forked Pine campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  
  • Fees: $20 per campsite for up to 8 campers, plus an $8 fee for extra vehicles. 
  • Facilities: Vault and compost toilets are available during the open season. (Note: toilets at Forked Pines are barrier-free). Drinking water is available during the open season only. 
  • Features: Fire rings, tables, and grills
  • Open season: Spring through early October

Lockett Meadow Campground

Fifteen miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona, Lockett Meadow Campground sits among the San Francisco peaks at 8,500 feet above sea level. Getting to Lockett Meadow Campground isn’t always easy–you’ll need to brave a rugged and steep single-lane road to get there, making it inaccessible by trailer or RV. Once you complete your journey, though, you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views of one of Arizona’s highest peaks and the valley below. Make sure to bring plenty of water, as there is no drinking water on-site. And, as you would with any campground, be sure to check if the forest is under campfire restrictions and plan accordingly. 

Things to know: 

  • Reservations: Not available. 17 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Fees: $18 per campsite for up to 8 campers, plus an $8 fee for extra vehicles. 
  • Facilities: Vault toilets (not available at time of writing), no drinking water
  • Features: Fire rings, picnic tables
  • Open season: Spring through early October

Paint Protection Film To Protect Your Vehicle

Every camper knows that you need to take precautions to protect yourself and your possessions before heading off into the woods. Before you pack your vehicle for your next camping expedition, you should take precautions to protect your vehicle, too. 

The paint protection film is a thin, durable layer of polyurethane or polymer film that shields your vehicle’s exterior paint from damage from road debris, rain, UV exposure, and more. At Inspector’s Auto, we use the highest-quality Llumar Paint Protection film to ensure the greatest visual quality and best protection in all weather conditions. 

Search results for “paint protection film near me” or “auto detailing near me” will yield plenty of options, but before you book the first available appointment, take a few minutes to read reviews and ensure you’re getting high-quality materials and workmanship. Unskilled, amateur providers often use bulk film and lack the resources to ensure a precise and accurate installation. 

Our experienced technicians use a precision computer plotting system to ensure a perfect fit for your vehicle, resulting in the highest optical clarity. Unlike leather hoops and bug guards, paint protection film won’t rub or damage your vehicle’s paint, making it the ideal solution to protect your vehicle’s hood, bumpers, fenders, door edges, and other frequently exposed surfaces from damage. In addition, Llumar Paint Protection Film is self-healing and comes with up to a 10-year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about frequent maintenance.

Where to Get Paint Protection in Flagstaff Before Hitting the Wilderness

Whether you’re planning a night of tranquility beneath the stars or a weeklong adventure in the woods, few places compare with Flagstaff, Arizona. Don’t let concern for your vehicle keep you from getting out and enjoying the great outdoors. With a bit of planning–and some help from Inspector’s Auto–your car will be ready for your next adventure in no time. 

At Inspector’s Auto Appearance in Flagstaff, AZ, our experienced team can help you find the right solution to protect your car’s exterior, and we provide cleaning and detailing services to erase the evidence of your last adventure, too. Since 1988, we’ve been Flagstaff’s trusted partner for auto detailing, paint protection, auto glass repair, and more. 

Do you have questions about paint protection film cost or aren’t sure what solution will work best for your car? You can search “Paint protection film installers near me” and hope for the best, or contact Inspector’s Auto and KNOW you’re working with the best. Our team has years of experience providing the highest-quality paint protection and auto detailing services at affordable prices. Reach out to talk to a member of our team today and find out how we can get your vehicle camping-ready with the perfect auto accessories today!

Click here to see whether you should get protective film or ceramic coating for your car’s paint.

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