Why there may be fewer campsites in northern Arizona this summer

Finding a campsite near Flagstaff may soon be a lot tougher.
Finding a campsite near Flagstaff may soon be a lot tougher.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 6:54 PM MST
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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Nature lovers hoping to avoid the Valley summer heat with a camping trip to the High Country may have a challenging time finding a campsite or spot to park their RV this year. The Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest is considering new fire restrictions to cut down on wildfires. The proposed changes include increasing the area where year-round camping and campfires are banned near Flagstaff. People would also be forbidden from driving around the San Francisco Peaks, Walnut Canyon and Pumphouse Wash during Stage 2 fire restrictions. “In taking a hard look at everything the Flagstaff Ranger District could do to reduce risk from human-caused wildfire, we found it necessary to consider additional steps during the hotter and drier part of the year,” deputy ranger Nick Mustoe said in a statement. “Our top priority is the safety of our communities, and we’re confident that these proposed changes balance community safety with public land access.”

Hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders could still use the areas where camping and campfires aren’t allowed, and the proposed restrictions wouldn’t impact Snowbowl Arizona Resort or the Nordic Center.

If the new proposed regulations are passed, they would be implemented by April, officials said. The Coconino National Forest plans to hold community meetings to get opinions from the public, but it’s unclear when those will take place. To stay up to date, head to coconinonationalforest.us and click the “get news via email” button.