Ashurst Lake/Forked Pine Campgrounds
Good fishing and excellent views of the San Francisco Peaks characterize these two lakeside campgrounds. Ashurst Lake is stocked with trout, bass, and channel catfish, and boasts enough wind for windsurfing.
Both campgrounds hug the lakeshore with campsites huddled in a picturesque stand of gnarly old juniper trees and pinyon pines. One of Ashurst Lake's most notable characteristics is it ability to hold a high water level in drought years. That can be very important here in northern Arizona where less resilient lakes sometimes dry up.
In addition to fishing and board sailing, the lake offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching during the spring waterfowl migration. For a special treat look for white-faced ibises grazing in the shallows along with the cinnamon teal, pintails and other ducks. Bald eagles and osprey can also be seen in the area, along with a number of species of hawks and songbirds.
A graveled road to the lake and graveled road that surrounds most of the lake provides convenient access for most passenger vehicles and bicycles. Rustic gravel and “two-track” roads in the area offer some great opportunities to mountain bike or walk out into the surrounding juniper/ponderosa mixed forest for some wildlife viewing and open spaces. The San Francisco Peaks stand majestically on the horizon providing a grand display of Arizona’s volcanic past.
At a Glance
||Campground remains open (free) with reduced amenities until the road closes for the winter. August 4, 2016: Due to low water level in the lake, it may be difficult or impossible to launch some boats at the boat ramp. See photos of the boat ramp at Ashurst Lake (August 4, 2016).
||$16.00 per night, up to eight people with one vehicle. Second vehicle per night: $8.00 additional. These campgrounds are available for Picnic/day use (10 a.m to 4 p.m.) for a fee of $8.00 up to 5 people. America the Beautiful Senior and Access passes are accepted for a 50% discount on single-site camping fees. Off-Season: Free (before and after the listed "Open Season" when the roads are open, but the consessionaire is not maintaining the site).
||May 6 - October 11 (concessionaire stops maintaining site. Campground open fee-free until snow closes road)
||Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. (running generators not permitted during quiet hours)
||Vault and Compost Type
||Concessionaire - Contact Flagstaff District - 928-526-0866
Click on an image for full size view.
FYI: When these campgrounds are "closed" and there is no host, the public may still use them, providing the road is open. However, drinking water will not be available, and all toilets will be boarded up except for the one closest to the main boat launch, which will be maintained by employees and volunteers. As always, camping around Ashurst Lake is only permitted in designated sites and nowhere else for a one-mile radius around each of the campgrounds.
Attractions: Fishing, windsurfing, sightseeing, wildlife watching (waterfowl, raptors)
Facilities: 25 singles unit sites (Ashurst), 25 sites (Forked Pine), tables, fire rings, and cooking grills, drinking water, toilets (vault and compost type). Forked Pine toilets are barrier free. Boat ramp is located on the lake's west side.
- Tents and motor homes and trailers up to 35 feet are permitted at both campgrounds.
- No utility hookups.
- Pets must always be restrained or on a leash.
- No horses allowed in the campground.
- Motorbikes may only be used for entering or leaving campsite.
- 14 day stay limit.
Location: About twenty miles southeast of Flagstaff. Elevation is 7,000 feet.
- Boat Ramp (Map): 35°01'16.1"N 111°24'27.1"W
- Ashurst Campground (Map): 35°01'10.1"N 111°24'31.1"W
- Forked Pine Campground (Map): 35°01'21.7"N 111°23'51.8"W
Access: Drive south 19 miles from Flagstaff on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road) then east about 4 miles on Forest Road 82E.
Click map thumbnail for larger view.