We left Sedona just three weeks ago and it already feels like it’s been too long since those red rock sunsets melted our hearts. We really found our magic in Sedona. It may have been the epic spot we found out on BLM land, or the beautiful weather, or the views, or the people we met, or the hikes, or, or, or. We really felt like we found a place we could stay for a while…and so we did.
This was our first BLM, and if you’re not familiar with what that is, let me explain; BLM land is land owned by the Bureau of Land Management, it’s public land. There is a ton of BLM and Forest Service land out here in the West, unlike the East where there is basically none. In designated areas on public land one can camp for free for 14 days. The dispersed camping, also referred to as Boondocking, is remote, usually only accessible via long, washboard dirt roads some of which require a high-clearance vehicle or a 4×4. A lot of them are suitable for RVs, big rigs and little pods like ours but you have to do your research first so you don’t eat stuck. There are no hookups (no electric/water), most don’t have bathrooms but some have pit toilets, there is no office or camp host to check in with. You simple drive up, pick out your desired view and park. The solitude and beauty we have experienced while boondocking cannot be matched in any RV Park or Campground, bottom line. It’s as wild as “camping” gets with a trailer. And since we are technically just living in or camper, not camping for a weekend, we prefer spots that can feel a little more private and peaceful rather than like a vacation. But more on this later.
We use various apps to find the best spots, our favorite app is Campendium. That’s where we found this secluded, beautiful spot near Sedona.
We overnighted first in the next town, Cottonwood to fill our water tank, dump our waste and shower in a big shower. Cottonwood is a cute town, one worth visiting even if it weren’t in-between Sedona and Jerome! We had dinner, a coffee shop workday and explored a bookstore and some little shops!
Then we headed the 20 or so miles out to our spot in the red dirt! We got there and immediately felt comfortable, safe and inspired. We spent 12 days straight enjoying the sights, hiking, exploring the unmarked trails on the public land and even went to a petroglyph site which was super informative and cool.
The best part about the location is Sedona was its proximity to hiking. In Sedona proper we did quite a few hikes; Bear Mountain, Doe Mountain, Devils Bridge and the many trails and roads on the BLM. Being that this spot was 6 miles outside of Sedona, out an extremely well-maintained red dirt road we were also close to restaurants, grocery stores, yoga and laundry! Super win! I signed up for a few sessions at Sedona Hot Yoga and had too many stops at Whole Foods after.
Our on-board utilities and solar allowed us to stay off-grid for the 12 days and we were so proud to have made it that long our first time! 35 gallons of water + drinking water for 12 days! We definitely started conserving and paying attention to our water usage after those two weeks.
Our review of Sedona is pretty simple…if you like hiking in red rocks, you’ll love it. If you love solitude and peace away from tourists, you’ll love the BLM. If you love shops and touristy things, you’ll love it. There is so much more nature to explore and we can’t wait to go back for longer next time! I still have one yoga session left, so we’ll definitely be going back! 😆