From the bloggers at Roadtreking.
Normally, dispersed camping in National Forests is just a matter of finding a road on the Motor Vehicle Use Map with dots on each side of it and picking a likely spot, but what if it’s a forest near a large city with high use rates, and you don’t want people stomping all over?
If you’re the Forest Service, you could build lots of campgrounds and prohibit dispersed camping, like they did in the Wapiti Valley east of Yellowstone, but campgrounds cost money, are environmentally disruptive, and require campground hosts, ranger checks, infrastructure, etc. And it’s all taxpayer money. The way they’re funding the Forest Service these days, it just ain’t gonna happen.
I ran into an ingenious solution to this problem in the Coconino National Forest south of Flagstaff, Ariz., called designated dispersed camping. Forest Road 235 heads east from 89A about seven miles south of town, and you’re greeted with a big “No Camping Except in Designated Areas” sign. There are four designated areas, and they’re loops off 235, each with a couple of dozen designated sites.
To read the full story by Roadtreking, click here.