National Forest Foundation | Coconino National Forest

Our Forests

Find A Forest

Coconino National Forest

The Coconino National Forest is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country with landscapes ranging from the famous Red Rocks of Sedona to Ponderosa Pine Forests, to alpine tundra.

The Coconino National Forest is just south of Flagstaff and is nestled between several other national forests in Arizona. It is a paradise where deserts climb mountains to become forests, offering incredible recreation opportunities, a variety of landscapes and volumes of natural and cultural history.

The forest is divided into four ranger districts:
Flagstaff District - At 12,633 feet, the San Francisco Peaks are not only the dominant feature of the forest area called the Volcanic Highlands, it's also the highest mountain in Arizona. This rolling highland is a land of ponderosa pine forests and pinyon, juniper woodlands clustered around broad prairies and small lakes. Arizona's largest natural lake, Mormon Lake, is located here. The area is also known for its plentiful wildlife. Large herds of elk roam the forests and edgelands. Bald eagles and ospreys live and hunt around the lakes. Pronghorn antelope graze the prairies.

This mountain is sacred to the native peoples that live in the area, and its soaring profile set against a blue Arizona sky serves as a source of awe to contemporary residents and visitors. Views from the summit of the San Francisco Peaks stretch to the Grand Canyon's North Rim over eighty miles away.

Hiking, sightseeing, wildlife watching and skiing are the predominant recreation activities enjoyed in this land of mountains, forests and lava flows.

Mormon Lake.

The Mogollon Rim - The Mogollon Rim is a rugged escarpment that forms the southern limit of the Colorado Plateau. Dropping as much as 2,000 feet in some areas, the Rim provides some of the most far-reaching scenery in Arizona. Views stretch from its rocky precipice to Four Peaks of the Mazatzals northeast of Phoenix.

Needless to say, sightseeing is a favorite activity along the Rim, but this forest area also boasts a historic system of hiking and horseback trails, a couple of picturesque lakes for boating and fishing, and backcountry skiing for wilderness adventurers.

Red Rock - The colorful collection of buttes, pinnacles, mesas and canyons surrounding Sedona is famous the world around for its red rock vistas. Over the years, this area has served as the setting of many western novels and movies and has been the subject of uncounted paintings, photographs and other works of art. The remains of ancient wetlands, these crimson cliffs have been carved by the forces of the desert into one of nature's most magnificent masterpieces.

No matter what you do in Red Rock Country, you're always sightseeing. Ways to get even closer to all this scenery include: hiking, horseback riding, taking a scenic drive, sliding down a natural waterslide, picnicking, camping, taking lots of photos and fishing in Oak Creek.




Nearest Large Urban Area:


Notes & Conditions

Off-highway vehicle use;

The policy for driving motorized vehicles on this National Forest is tied to the State of Arizona's motor vehicle policy. To learn more, see the Southwest region's OHV page.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Permits, Passes and Fees:

The Coconino National Forest has implemented the Red Rock Pass Recreational Fee Program. This innovative program is designed to increase visitor information and conservation education services, enhance the recreation experience, and perpetuate a healthy forest ecosystem.


Visit the U.S. Forest Service Map Directory to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.