A stop in Flagstaff was not originally on our travel itinerary. The first time we just stopped through at Best Buy and then this time we were going to skip it completely. I didn’t expect much from the town, although I did think it was beautiful the first time we were there. It felt like a small mountain town in Colorado. We met up with some friends in Sedona and planned to be with them for a bit. They wanted to delay getting to the heat in Utah and meet up with some other nomad friends. We were in no hurry and had no schedule so we thought, why not! Getting to a new place always makes us wonder how friendly is it to boondockers. Flagstaff: Very. Here is some information on boondocking in Flagstaff, things to do in the area, food, beer and a little more!
Boonodcking In Flagstaff, Arizona
We boondocked off Walnut Canyon Road. There are a lot of areas to the left just before you reach Walnut Canyon National Monument. We chose FR 9170H. Level spots, spaced out and great for solar. The only negative was the terrible Verizon reception. ATT was good for our friends. We did feel like we had our own area, but we were right up against the road, but luckily it was not busy at all. I wouldn’t drive a low clearance or really long rig too far down any of these roads. If you can scout first it’s better. We wouldn’t have wanted to go too far in.
There is boondocking north of town, but still with the bad cell service for us, a bad area for solar and much much busier with ATVers. Although if you are wanting to be surrounded by the trees and have a little more privacy, it would be great!
You can read about reviews of boondocking and RV parks here: Flagstaff Camping
RV Info for Flagstaff, Arizona
Getting to a new place it’s time consuming to do the research trying to find everything you may need. Water, dumping, grocery, filtered water, potable water, etc. Here is information that will hopefully help make boondocking in Flagstaff stress free.
There are quite a few spots, but these were the two that we went to.
Conoco – 2300 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Fry’s Gas Station – 201 N Switzer Canyon Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
The filtered water here is on the outside of the building and only $.25/gallon!
Safeway – 4910 N Hwy 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Propane was a bit expensive in the area. Average was around $2.69.
76 Gas Station – 1601 S Milton Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Uhaul – 1982 E Huntington Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
A lot of the gas stations have dumping, but don’t really have easy access for a rig and other cars don’t seem to mind where they park making it a bit tricky sometimes.
Conoco – 2300 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Giant – 1205 S Milton Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
This is what we ended up doing instead.
Black Barts RV Park – 2760 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004 We liked this because for $5 you just pull in to an open pull through site and you can dump and fill with water. You have space, time and easy access. We took the time to flush as well and get rid of garbage. Well worth the $5. They also have a restaurant and a small store.
There are all sorts of grocery stores in Flagstaff!
Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Safeway, Fry’s, Walmart
Aside from the local pet shops there is a Petco in case you are running low on your fur babies’ food.
Battery Systems of Flagstaff – 410 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 Ryan helped us get new batteries since our previous ones were at the end of their life. He was very helpful and took our old batteries. We had four and we only bought two (very much upgraded) and so we made $5/battery on the other two!
There are multiple places to dump your trash. Mostly at gas stations and some of the big parking lots. There were random dumpsters that were unlocked as well.
They have an REI in town! That was great, although I think we were there 5 times in 8 days!
There were a couple things that Flagstaff didn’t have that I would have liked. A Trader Joe’s and Costco!
Things To Do In Flagstaff, Arizona
We are always looking for budget friendly things to do in an area and Flagstaff has a few!
Walnut Canyon National Monument – $8/person unless you have America the Beautiful or another Interagency pass.
There are a couple of options of hikes to do here. We chose the Island Trail, which is about a one mile loop past cave dwellings, views of cave dwellings and through the canyon. They also have the Rim Trail which is lighter on the lungs. Island Trail has quite a few steps but better views and interaction with the cave dwellings. Although you are able to walk into some, we declined. It does help preserve them if you just enjoy by sight. The visitor center also has a 20 minute video that you can watch about the area. The parking lot is small but has room for RVs. No dogs are allowed on the trails. It’s an easy drive east of Flagstaff.
Back in the late 1800s visitors would come and leave with souvenirs. Back then this practice was acceptable and even promoted, but of course there were others that were outraged by this. So on November 30, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson made it a National Monument to save it from further destruction.
Address: 3 Walnut Canyon Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Lava River Cave – FREE
A bit of a drive out of town and it can get really busy on holidays and weekends. It’s a cave just under a mile in length that you can walk through. Sometimes the walls are 30′ high and sometimes just 3′ high. We were there at the end of May and there was ice and it was 40 degrees. It’s beautiful, but not the easiest of hikes. It can be slippery (wear good shoes), sharp rocks (wear good shoes), scrambling rocks, dark (bring a flashlight or better yet a head lamp), and cold (bring a sweatshirt). You drive through a very dusty Forest Road and the parking lot is very small. Mostly ATVs there, but enough room for cars and big trucks. It is just north of Flagstaff.
We ended up there on Memorial weekend and the line to get in was crazy.
Address: 171B Forest Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
A few other day trip options:
Lowell Observatory – (Fee) For the stargazer: 1400 W Mars Hill Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Meteor Crater – (Fee) Free RV parking: Interstate 40, Exit 233 Winslow, AZ 86047 USA
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument – (Free with pass otherwise fee) 6082 Forest Service 545 Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Wupatki National Monument – (Free with pass otherwise fee) 25137 N Wupatki Loop Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Grand Canyon National Park – (Free with pass otherwise fee) If you are up for about 80 miles one way.
Outdoor Activities In Flagstaff, Arizona
I came to learn that Flagstaff is a huge training ground for elite runners and cyclists. This definitely peaked my interest. The elevation is higher than Denver, way higher. At 6,900′ it can challenge any athlete.
Buffalo Park – This was a great spot for an easy run and to get used to the elevation. The loop is 2 miles with beautiful views, work out stations and a water fill spot. I ended up doing the loop twice and it was great. You could also continue on the road, take any of the single track trails that break off from the main gravel path or keep running out the parking lot to any of the other paved trails.
There is a large parking lot and it’ dog friendly!
Address: 2400 North Gemini Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
There are multiple parks in the area with great running paths, as well as some trail runs. If you like running on the road, then head on over to Lake Mary Road.
High Country Tour to Bismark Lake
This trail is off of N. Snow Bowl Rd. There are multiple places to leave a car, probably best to take two cars or get dropped off, otherwise you have a long and steep climb up the paved road.
If you are looking for a a good and long road for a road biking excursion head over to Lake Mary Rd.
Food & Beer In Flagstaff, Arizona
I didn’t expect much from food in flagstaff. I didn’t really expect much from flagstaff, it was a pleasant surprise. So finding a lot of good places to eat was awesome! I recommend each one of these. We didn’t have a bad meal while we were there.
Morning Glory Cafe – Really good vegetarian/vegan place. 115 S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Pato Thai Cuisine – If you are craving Thai, this is the place to go. Great lunch specials. 104 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Wildflower Bread Company – This is a chain but it’s healthy and they have vegetarian options. 530 Piccadilly Dr #100, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Delhi Palace – This place was not expected whatsoever. A fellow nomad recommended it to us. It’s a buffet and SO delicious! 2700 S Woodlands Village Blvd #640, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Red Curry Vegan Kitchen – If you want vegan, this is a really good option. Not the most flavorful, but not having to worry about any meat was good. It had a little of everything. 10 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Historic Brewing Company – This place has two locations.
The brewery, food truck and taproom: 4366 E Huntington Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
Barrel and bottle (beer, wine and food): 110 S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Dark Sky Brewing
I liked this brewery. It had a Mexican food truck, fun vibe and a fun sports channel on the projection screen. They also have yoga once a week!
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