We have stayed at this campground for three weekends over the last three years in a row. We really like Pine Flat, but there are a few drawbacks. Situated north of Sedona in the Coconino National Forest, it has absolutely fantastic views of the cliffs along Oak Creek Canyon. The campground is pretty well shaded with mostly very large Pine trees. Oak Creek was only a few steps from our campsites providing an interesting and fun place to do some “discovering” without leaving the camp grounds.
Campsites are close to each other, but not so close that you feel as though your neighbors are infringing on you. Each campsite has a very nice picnic table, grill and fire pit. We have never been there while a fire restriction was in place, so campfires are the norm for us. One nice thing is that the fire pit also had a iron grate that you can swing over the fire for some extra grilling space. Each campsite also has a very nicely graded and level spot for setting up tents.
The campground is relatively rustic. There are no facilities other than a few open pit style toilets and some running water right next to the bathrooms. The camp host does have fire wood available for purchase. But it costs just a bit more than you would pay elsewhere. Also if you need to shower, there is a pay shower at a campground (Cave Springs) a couple of miles down the road.
There are three drawbacks of note to Pine Flat. The first is the smell of the toilets. According to the camp host, the forest service does not allow chemicals in the pit in order to alleviate the smell even though they are sealed vaults (meaning the chemicals could not escape into the ground water). The bathroom smell will be noticeable over your campsite depending on the direction of the breeze.
Another drawback is that 89A is a relatively popular road for sightseeing. That means there is some traffic noise. Occasionally even in the middle of the night, there is always someone who has the need to gun the engine while driving by, or has very load mufflers.
Finally, cleaning of the bathrooms seems hit and miss. The first year we stayed at Pine Flat, the camp host was obsessive about keeping them clean, using bleach and scrubbing or hosing them down a few times a day. It was rather impressive how clean a public open pit toilet could be. Unfortunately that higher standard of cleanliness was not the case in our last two visits to the camp ground. But keeping it in perspective, this is camping, not the Waldorf Astoria.
Despite these few drawbacks, the campsites, the views looking up at the canyon walls, and the area make Pine Flat a very worthwhile stop for camping.
- Also Known As:
- Pine Flats Campground Hotel Sedona