Camping at the "End of the World" in Arizona
Camping at the “End of the World” should be on everyone’s United States’ bucket list. Located deep within Coconino National Forest in Arizona, exists views that rival those of the Grand Canyon. The “End of the World” is officially known as East Pocket and sits at over 5,000 ft. of elevation.
Accessible only by driving over 23 miles on an unpaved road, the “End of the World” is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by adventurous travelers. While it can be difficult to find, it is well worth the adventure to get there!
How to Access the “End of the World”
The “End of the World” campsite is very remote. Since it is situated within the national forest, dispersed camping is allowed for up to 14 days in a row. Word of mouth recommendations and directions often guide visitors to this hidden camping spot but if you dig around enough online, you will find variations of the following directions:
Take Route 66 West out of Flagstaff, Arizona and then turn left on Woody Mountain Road. Follow this road, which eventually turns to dirt, for about 23 miles. Make sure you don’t take any side roads until you see the break in the trees on your right. Once there, you have finally reached the “End of the World.”
It is highly encouraged that you begin the journey with enough daylight to make it to the dispersed campsite before nightfall. The road becomes very bumpy and is filled with many turns and potholes so ensure that your car is capable of driving through such conditions. While the drive there may seem intimidating, the views and tranquility are well worth the effort!
What to Pack for your Trip
Pack a good book or a deck of cards and enjoy the company of those you are with while soaking in incredible views of the surrounding area. One night should be enough to enjoy the peace and tranquility offered at the “End of the World” though if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and are comfortable with primitive camping, consider staying 2+ nights. Plan to catch a sunset here if you can!
Don’t forget to pack everything you will need, including toilet paper as there are no bathrooms or any other facilities at the “End of the World”.
Leave No Trace
You’ll definitely want to employ Leave No Trace principles and pack out everything you bring with you. Leave No Trace operates off of the following 7 principles, which should always be employed to leave a minimal impact on the outdoors:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Be on the lookout for signs indicating whether or not fires are allowed while you are there!
What to Do in East Pocket
Once arriving at the “End of the World,” you will see many different dispersed campsites that usually have rock fire rings. There are a few spots that have coveted treeless views over the valley below. One of the campsites even has a wooden swing within it for visitors to snap pictures with the incredible backdrop! If the “prime” spots are already full, continue driving around and you will find somewhere perfect to set up camp! There isn’t a bad spot at the “End of the World.”
Once set up at your campsite, consider taking a walk on any of the surrounding trails or finding the East Pocket Lookout Tower. The Lookout Tower is located a few miles past the campsite and can be accessed either by walking or driving.
When to Visit the “End of the World”
Camping at the “End of the World” can be done as a stand-alone trip from Flagstaff or Sedona, Arizona or it can be combined with a longer trip throughout the surrounding area. Consider spending a night at the “End of the World” while exploring Utah and Arizona by campervan.
Note that Woody Mountain Road closes in the wintertime so plan to visit the “End of the World” during Spring, Summer or Fall for the best weather and incredible views!
Camping at the “End of the World” should definitely be on your bucket list! You will get to enjoy the outstanding views and incredibly tranquil atmosphere while getting away from crowds. Visit alone or with a group and enjoy the best of the “End of the World.”
About the Author
Sarah is a Washington D.C. based, traveling foodie behind Roadmaps and Restaurants, a travel blog that explores the world, one roadmap and one restaurant at a time. Sarah explores the world while working full-time and aims to find hidden gems and delicious food wherever she goes.
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