Coconino National Forest, Camp Verde
By Kelly Vaughn Kramer
Just off State Route 260, this campground is nestled in a riparian area on the banks of Clear Creek. That means that sycamores and cottonwoods surround it — you know, the types of trees that thrive along water.
Although the creek is just a trickle through the campground, this is a popular destination on weekends. Maybe that’s because of its proximity to Camp Verde or to Alcantara Vineyards. Most likely, it’s because of its enormous picnic area and views of Verde Valley hills.
Reservations are required to use the group site. Because of the popularity of the site, and because it can accommodate 80 people, those reservations should be made as far in advance as possible.
If you’re traveling with only a carful of people, though, you won’t need reservations — just a camera, your camping gear and plans for a relaxing few days.
Photo: Autumn turns cottonwoods and sycamores along the Verde River, near Clear Creek Campground, shades of gold. | Nick Berezenko
Elevation: 3,200 feet
Directions: From the junction of Interstate 17 and State Route 260 in Camp Verde, travel east on SR 260 for about 8.4 miles to Forest Road 626 and turn left. The campground is about a half-mile down FR 626.
Information: Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, 928-282-4119 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino
Fees: $16 per night
Reservations: For the group site only
Amenities: Toilets, Pets, Water