By Chris Epting
I love Flagstaff, Arizona and the surrounding area. At an elevation of about 7,000 feet, the air always seems so crisp and clean up there among the fragrant ponderosa pines (the largest contiguous forest of these beautiful trees in North America).
Flagstaff is also a great jumping-off point for several of many classic American landmarks — and so the Flagstaff KOA served as the perfect base camp for us.
Point in one direction, you’ll hit the Grand Canyon National Park.
Another direction, you’ll soon be in the rose-colored, mystical mountains of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.
Nearby is also the Petrified National Forest, Wupatiki National Monument and Walnut Canyon National Monument.
Want a few more day trip ideas from Flagstaff? How about Tuzigoot National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument or Jerome State Historic Park? And downtown Flagstaff is historic, charming and you can even cruise an original slice of the Mother Road, Route 66.
There are few places in the country that are this close to so many fascinating natural wonders, and the Flagstaff KOA served as our perfect ‘home in the pines.’ Nestled back in the trees, this KOA also features something truly special — teepees! It’s true — you can camp in real teepees that are something right out of a classic Route 66-themed motor court and, all of sudden, you’re transported back to a simpler, more innocent era.
Is that Buddy Holly I hear on the radio? Or maybe the Big Bopper?
As I wrote last month, my goal this summer is to find a KOA where we can relax for a day or two and not leave at all. Just enjoy the company, the serenity and peace of mind that comes with finding the perfect place to kick back and do lots of nothing.
And I think this might just be the place. Oh, there are still a few National Parks we want to hit so my son can collect some stamps for his National Parks Passport. And we’ll get out and do that. But then we’ll come back at night to cook out and enjoy this KOA.
Honestly, I’d be hard pressed to find a more soothing, relaxing place to refresh and recharge with the family — up among the trees, clear blue skies and fresh everything in Flagstaff. But the fun of discovering a new KOA is that there are many places like this — close to everything, but also far enough away so you can escape it all.
See you down the road, at the next KOA,
– Chris Epting
Chris Epting is a long-time lover of the road and great outdoors. He’s also a true believer in KOA, a journalist and an author of 20 travel-related books. He’s traveling the country this summer, as usual, chronicling the wild and wonderful experiences he while staying at KOA.