Tonto and Coconino National Forest, AZ


I combined these forests into one post because if you look at the map, they border each other, yet are separated for some reason I don’t know. After a nice visit at Tim’s Grandparent’s home in Tuscon, we took the scenic highway 77 up to highway 188 to Theodore Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto Basin. Highway 77 was a lovely route to take to get into Tonto National Forest. One tall, looming thing stands out in the landscape of Arizona, the Seguaro catcus. The large, Gumbi-like cactus stands as tall as a grown man and grows multiple arms. Since it’s a National Forest, we could of dispersed camped anywhere for free but because I wanted to be by the lake we stayed at Bermuda Flat’s campground for $6/day. We literally pulled the fifth wheel right up to the edge of the lake. We kept the windows open to hear the sound of the water breaking on the sand and to feel the occasional cool breeze. The only thing I didn’t like about the site by the lake was the bugs. They were not the biting kind of fly but they swarmed all day and night anywhere sheltered by the wind. I celebrated by 31st birthday here and was happy to get cell service so I could receive happy birthday calls and messages on Facebook. We spent two nights here before heading to Coconino National Forest.

At Coconino we only stayed one night because we were anxious to get to the Grand Canyon. From Highway 3, F.R. 132 is called Crimson Road, so we passed it initially. We drove quite a ways up the gravel forest road 132 and found a nice little open patch in the woods. Once we started up the narrow gravel road we were dedicated. Doing this with a car or truck is not a big deal, but when you are towing something there is a slight worry in the back of your mind, will I be able to find a spot to camp? Will I be able to turn around if I can’t find a spot? We told ourselves that next time we would pull over and unhitch the trailer so we could scout out a spot a little easier. Since we arrived early, we had time to go for a hike to see Priest’s Draw, a large exposed rock that is popular for bouldering. Bouldering is when you climb up the rock a couple feet without ropes. We saw several people bouldering, carrying with them crash pads to place under the rock for when/if they fall. We also saw a bunch of chipmunks, which triggered me to sing Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas songs pretty much the whole time.

There wasn’t too much going on in these places, hence the short and sweet post. They were means to get to the Grand Canyon, on which I will extensively report next time! Thanks for reading!


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Hello, I’m Victoria. I was born and raised in Savannah, Ga. I am a traveling nurse that specializes in critical care. My husband Tim and I purchased a fifth wheel RV and live on it full time. In between jobs, we will adventure within and outside of the U.S. I hope you enjoy reading about our travels and hope our posts help people out with theirs.

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