Schnebly Hill Road runs 12 miles from I-17 to AZ-89A in Sedona. There is lots of boondocking sites along either side of the road. Generally only the first 6 miles of this from starting from I-17 is campworthy, after that the road descends elevation into Sedona and becomes more rocky. This is very popular road for OHV enthusiasts during weekends, but remains peaceful during the week.
Beautiful campsite! Be careful, I entered Schnebly Hill Rd from Sedona and had to off-road drive 5 miles (50 minutes) til camping was permitted. Coming from Sedona, I’d only recommend to off-roading vehicles, Jeep’s, etc. My Subaru Forester made it up ok but I ended up with a popped tire and the end. Access from the I-17 is much easier and smoother. However, if you’re coming from Sedona the drive while intimidating, was absolutely gorgeous!
Ive been here 3 nights now. It is nice and quiet. Have great Verizon signal. No one has come near me, although ive seen plenty vehicles coming in and out of the campground. Will definitely stay a few more days and come back another time
If you drive down Schnebly Hill Rd from the freeway about 3 miles in you’ll get to the overlook vista. Go up forest road 153A and there is dispersed camping all along the road. The road is very rough terrain. 4WD recommended. The site is on top of the hill with views all around. It is very worth the extra driving. Very windy at night.
The only issues we had were with the dust (which is natural during a dry spell in Arizona regardless of location I'd say, but was still annoying). It got everywhere on everything all the time. Anytime the road was used, which was about 40 times per day, it would kick up a big dust cloud. Since the rainfall this season I'm sure it's better though. All in all beautiful place.
Edit: after I posted it occurred to me that you might like to know about the resources available there. In the actual woods there's nothing. But the woods are at the end of a very nice hill road through a small, tidy community. So from the forest to the gas station stores is approximately 5 minutes by car. You could totally walk, but it is a big step hill. The residents there walk it though no problem so you could if you wanted to. No public trash or shelters or bathrooms or anything. But the gas stations are there and the community is so small you could even take a room at their hotel too if you had non-campers who still wanted to come on the trip.
About 3 miles southwest from I-17. Take Schnebly Rd exit and go west. There are quite a few spots available on the way. Just enough distance between spots to be away from others. This spot is completely isolated from other camp spots, and right off the road. Big elk and big pines. Take your OHV and go to the rim or down to Sedona/oak creek from Schnebly Rd. 44' 5th Wheel made it fine!
Date 6/4/20 - 6/8/20 Latitude: 34.8883 Longitude: -111.6798 Directions: 3.5 miles west on Schnebly Hill Rd off the 17 freeway. Road condition: bumpy graded dirt road the first 3-4 miles west of the freeway any vehicle or RV can do. Multiple camp sites. After 4 miles the road requires 4x4 vehicles like Jeeps or Trucks or those prepared more for overlanding. RVs and Trailers won’t really make it that far. There are offshoots from Schnebly that you can drive down and find other camping spots but you need off road worthy vehicles and no trailer/RV.
Dispersed camping isn't allowed in Sedona itself, but half of Schnebly Hill Road is just East and is the perfect place to camp after a day of exploring the red rocks. There are many spots available on and around Schnebly Hill; you can get a map from the Forest Service website. We found it to be incredibly quiet, with red rocks in the distance and gorgeous sunrises/sunsets.
Easy access from I-17. Schnebly Hill Road is firm packed dirt and gravel suitable for any RV, any size. After the first 4 miles, the road becomes very rocky. Most of the campsites are within these first 4 miles. There is also more boondocking sites on the other side of I-17.
Elevation here is between 6,500 to 7,000 feet. Where it gets 100 degrees F in Phoenix, it will be 75 F here.
No amenities here. Closest RV Dump and water fill is at Munds Park RV Resort, but it is very pricey there. Verizon 4G comes in excellent here.
Recommend you arrive here between Monday and Thursday. By Friday this area fills up fast, and there won't be any sites left by Saturday. On the weekends it gets noisy from lots of OHV riders .
We camped here for 24 consecutive nights, and never saw a forest ranger.