Kelly Canyon Forest Meadow near Flagstaff, Arizona
RV camping at the edge of the forest meadow
Kelly Canyon Forest Meadow
I practically had the meadow to myself
Fall colors showing on the oak leaves
Kelly Canyon Forest Meadow is lovely and there is plenty of room to stretch out. There's also plenty of places to camp at the meadow and in the surrounding forest. Nearby highlights include Priest Draw, Howard Draw, Coulter Hill, Coulter Park, Oak Creek Canyon, Lake Mary, Mormon Lake, and the Arizona Trail (which spans the entire state). Yes, there is much to see and do in this area! It's also very close to Flagstaff which makes it convenient too.
Campsite GPS Coordinates: N 35 01.879’ W 111 39.325’
Elevation: 7020 feet
RV Campsite Directions: From Flagstaff take I-17 south to Kelly Canyon Road, exit 331. Turn left (east) onto Kelly Canyon Road (FR 700H). Take this forest road up the hill to FR 700 and turn right (southeast). Travel southeast on FR 700 and just before you reach the forest meadow turn left (east) onto FR 465. Take FR 465 a short ways to the campsite on your right – actually there will be several campsites along this road and next to the meadow. There are also more campsites in the forest further up the road. There are also more campsites if you take FR 700 across the meadow and turn left on the next side road. There are many, many campsites near this beautiful meadow!
The camping is excellent here. I have a feeling it’s a very popular spot for summer camping. Now that it's autumn, I haven’t seen too many other campers at the meadow except on weekends.
One drawback at this time of year is the gunshot noise. It seems many are practicing for hunting season. Another drawback is that it’s not the most private area to camp. There is a fair amount of traffic along FR 700 and FR 465. More privacy could be found by camping in the forest instead of along the meadow.
James Canyon is nearby to the west and Kelly Canyon to the northeast. These canyons are rather shallow at this point so the views are not too spectacular.
Weather: The weather was nice when I arrived a couple weeks ago. Highs were in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Last week the whole state had a big cool down and it dropped down into the 20s here on a few nights. I only had a high in the 40s on one day. I had a good amount of rain, clouds, some thunder, and a little bit of sleet and snow. There are still quite a few puddles, but all the sleet and snow has melted. It’s warmed back up some now with highs in the 60s, but cool at night and down into the 30s. Thankfully with the sunshine back again the ground has mostly dried and I can drive on the roads.
Insects: I’ve had no real problems. Since it’s warmed back up I have seen several paper wasps flying about and many on my RV. I’m not sure what attracts them. I suppose they’re looking for food. There are quite a few flying grasshoppers here – they can be fun to watch – many times they just fly straight up and hover for a few seconds then come back down.
Wildlife: There are several birds here at this forest meadow. The most common are these small brown and white feathered types, and another slightly larger with blue feathers and a brown/red belly, probably a western bluebird. I’ve also seen several ravens and a few turkey vultures overhead. Spotted some squirrels, but not many rabbits. Saw a few deer and a few small lizards.
Cell Signal: Verizon cell phone service has been good. Verizon mobile broadband internet has been fairly fast with the external antenna. It doesn’t work so well without the external antenna. Service is not as fast here as at my previous Kelly Canyon campsite over a year ago, which was closer to I-17 and the tower.
Cows: There are no cows here at my campsite, though I did see a few further up FR 465 at Coulter Park.
RV Solar Panels: Keeping the batteries charged has been very easy as there is plenty of sunshine at the edge of this meadow.
Campsite Rating: 8 out of 10. Kelly Canyon Forest Meadow is an excellent camping area! If you want to avoid potential summer crowds, it’s best to camp during the off season (spring or fall).
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