Coronado National Forest, Portal
By Kelly Vaughn Kramer
Sunny Flat will make you smile — not just because of its happy name but also because of its gorgeous setting. Near Cave Creek and situated along a meadow and amid stands of oaks and sycamores, the campground is a scenic beauty.
The rocks that loom along the creek and the water draw birds. In turn, you’ll be drawn to the birds. Pack your binoculars. Just as at Bog Springs Campground (see page 123), the elegant trogon is a frequent visitor.
Sunny Flat features 14 sites, as well as picnic tables and fire pits. Unlike other campgrounds in the area, Sunny Flat has potable water during the peak season, from April through November.
Sunny Flat is also near the Chiricahua Wilderness, a swath of land known for its recreational opportunities.
Campfire Tale: When you’re in this neck of the woods, the Forest Service recommends taking the Cave Creek Canyon/Portal-to-Paradise scenic drive. The 17-mile loop shows off the amazing cliffs of Cave Creek Canyon.
PHOTO: Cathedral Point, one of the many unique rock formations in the Chiricahua Mountains, towers over Sunny Flat Campground. | Randy Prentice
Elevation: 5,200 feet
Directions: From Portal, travel west on Forest Road 42 for about 3 miles to the campground.
Information: Douglas Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, 520-364-3468 or www.fs.usda.gov/coronado
Fee: $10 per night
Amenities: Toilets, Pets, Water