Quiet Areas

Three designated quiet areas provide unique recreational opportunities on the Coconino National Forest! Forest Order 04-00-146 established these quiet areas to allow hunters to practice traditional, non-motorized hunting techniques and give other recreationists places to enjoy a serene forest experience.


Pine Grove and Rattlesnake Quiet Areas

Open to vehicles: January 1 to August 14

Welcome to your National Forest! Several years ago, as a result of information and suggestions gathered during the public involvement portion of the preparation of the Coconino National Forest Land Management Plan, two quiet areas were established. These areas, the Pine Grove and the Rattlesnake Quiet Areas, are open much of the year to normal motorized traffic.


From August 15th to December 31st each year, the areas are special: they are open only to foot, horse, or bicycle traffic for the purpose of providing a unique, non-motorized recreational experience for the public.


Hunters, (the recreation group who requested this special area designation), desire areas where they can hunt on foot or horseback without the intrusion of motorized vehicles. Also, the value of the area during these special periods for wildlife, horseback riders, hikers, mountain bikers and other forest users cannot be overlooked. Wildlife, for example, benefit from the absence of noisy vehicles through stress reduction, much the same as you and I would, yet may still be hunted in these areas during regular hunting seasons. The hunters who prefer this "back to basics" approach, where the presence of a vehicle does not favor the hunter's success, and where the hunter's skills as a stalker and woodsman are everything, believe that "this is the way it was done in the old days" before people started "road hunting". In order to provide the experience intended, driving in the area to pick up a bagged animal is not allowed during the vehicle closure periods.


The areas themselves are different from other national Forest areas because of this distinctive designation. Fore example, during the spring and summer months they are accessible by motorized vehicles for fuelwood gathering, sightseeing, timber harvesting, and many other uses, the same as other areas of the forest. During the fall and winter, though, the area is treated somewhat like a wilderness area, where motorized vehicles are not allowed. Also, because wilderness areas of the Coconino National Forest are typically restricted to canyons, such as the Wet Beaver and fossil Creek Wilderness areas, or to steep mountainsides such as the Kachina Peaks and Kendrick Wilderness areas, these areas are unique. The rolling ponderosa pine forest lands within the Pine Grove Quiet Areas, for instance, are not commonly found in a non-motorized vehicle setting, making it a very special recreation opportunity. The Rattlesnake Quiet Area is exceptional, too, with it's steep canyons and rugged terrain.


These areas fit neatly into a special niche within the broad spectrum of recreation opportunities sought by today's public, a public seeking important "mid-point" recreational experience, not typical roaded areas, and not pure wilderness areas. So enjoy the Pine Grove Quiet Area and the Rattlesnake Quiet Area, and respect it by leaving only footprints as a record of your passing, helping the Forest Service ensure such quality lands as these exist for future generations to enjoy. Remember, only you can make an important difference in the care of your National Forest lands!


Woods Canyon Big Game Winter Habitat Seasonal Closure Area

Open to vehicles: April 2 to December 15

This area is closed to motor vehicles from December 15 to April 1 annually to minimize disturbance to big game winter habitats. Roads within the area are closed, but the road along the perimeter is open to motorized travel. Schnebly Hill Road (FR 153) is not affected by this closure. Hunting during season, hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling is allowed during this closure. Game retrieval using motorized vehicle is not permitted during the closure.



Related Resources 

  • Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM): Know before you go! Get a free copy of the official MVUM, and download the digital companion Travel Map for your smartphone or GPS! This map shows where you may legally drive your motorized vehicle on the Coconino National Forest.
  • Forest Order 04-00-146 - Off-Road Vehicle Restrictions: the Off-Road Management Plan (exhibit A) is a map of seasonal and permanent vehicle use closure areas, such as the Quiet Areas mentioned on this page.
  • Forest Orders: A full list of current closures, restrictions, and prohibitions on the Coconino National Forest, including Forest Order 04-00-146.