Cave Springs Campground: Cool base for great Sedona hikes

  • The Courthouse Butte hike is a short drive from the Cave Springs Campground near Sedona.

Cave Springs Campground  3 out of 4 stars (3 / 4) 

By Tom Nichols

Cave Springs Campground, about 12 miles north of Sedona, Arizona, in upper Oak Creek canyon is a good base camp for exploring red rock majesty in the Verde valley region.

Nestled amid Ponderosa Pines along Arizona 89A in the Coconino National Forest, the 82 camps sites are nicely shaded and quiet, though not spacious. Showers for $4, firewood, ice and snacks are available.

The camp, managed by Recreation Resource Management, has sites with grills and fire pits. (Check on fire restrictions before lighting up). Maximum RV length is 36 feet.

Because of private homes and steady traffic along Arizona 89A, you must drive and park to hike nearby trails, including the very popular and easy path we took along the west fork of Oak Creek, about two miles south.

During our three-day stay, we also visited Boynton Canyon and Courthouse Butte Loop trails, rated easy, if hiked in spring or fall.

Both are 20 miles or so from camp. Plan for an hour of travel to get through Sedona and to the trailheads during peak tourism hours.

Fees at Cave Spring camp are $22 a night and $11 for with a federal lands Senior Access pass. Rates at Enchantment Resort, which you can admire on the first part of the Boynton Canyon trail, start at $450 a night.

Reservations at Cave Springs camp are available at When we visited in April, only some of the sites were reservable. The rest were available for first-come, first-served.


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