Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

View of Sunset Crater from Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehilce Area

The Cinder Hills is a scenic recreation area enjoyed by many off-highway vehicle enthusiasts. Its numerous volcanic cinder cones and craters surrounded by a ponderosa pine forest environment gives the area its unique value. Due to a growing interest in this area for off-highway vehicle recreation, additional management direction is needed to protect sensitive resources and to provide for continuing use of this recreation.

Approximately 13,500 acres in the Cinder Hills has been designated for off-highway vehicle recreation. Management emphasis is for the use of 2-, 3-, and 4-wheel vehicles. Within the 13,500 acre area, portions will have use restricted to a relatively dense network of designated routes which will be identified at a later date. Generally unrestricted use will be on areas devoid of vegetation or with sparse vegetation and without such things as sensitive plants, archaeological sites, critical wildlife habitat, excessively steep slopes, or visually sensitive areas.

See photos of the the Cinder Hills OHV Area on Flickr.

View of Sunset Crater from Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehilce Area Cinder Hills on FR 777 One of many trails in the Cinder Hills Area Cinder Hills Off Highway Vehicle Area Map

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Closest Towns: Flagstaff, AZ
Operated By: Flagstaff Ranger District 928-526-0866

General Information

General Notes:

A sensitive resource area of 53,000 acres surrounding the designated off-highway use area has been set aside as closed to cross-country travel. Designated travel routes provided in this area are shown on the map as forest routes. Certain forest routes within the Cinder Hills are restricted to licensed vehicles only for safety purposes.

There is no direct access between FR 776 and FR 545 (Sunset Crater-Wupatki Scenic Loop Drive). Access to the Cinder Hills OHV area is through the junction of FR 776 and Highway 89. Off-road travel between FR 545 and FR 776 is prohibited. Use the free Motor Vehicle Use Map, which shows where motorized vehicle travel is legally permitted. You can also use the georeferenced Cinder Hills OHV Trails Map through the Avenza Map app.

Map of Cinder HillsOther areas closed to off-highway vehicle travel include Sunset Crater National Monument and Strawberry Crater Wilderness. Please respect these closure areas.

A "No Glass Container" policy will be enforced in the Cinder Hills to help reduce the problem and to provide a safe and healthy environment for all users.

Representatives from various user groups of 2-wheel, 3-wheel, and 4-wheel vehicles have been involved in the planning and use in Cinder Hills and this coordination will continue.

Developed camping is available at nearby Bonito Campground, volcanoes, lava flows, cultural resources, interpretive programs, hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, fall colors. Facilities at Bonito Campground: 44 single unit sites with tables, fire rings and cooking grills, paved roads and spurs, campfire program auditorium, drinking water, toilets (flush type), one accessible campsite, barrier-free toilets, two educational sites.


Location: 13 miles northeast of downtown Flagstaff, south of Sunset Crater/Wupatki National Monument. Elevation is 6,900 feet.

GPS (Map): 35°19'41.0"N 111°31'23.0"W

Access: Drive northeast of Flagstaff on US 89 approximately 7 miles north of Flagstaff Mall. Turn east (right) on FR 776.


Click image map for printable view.

Excerpt from the Motor Vehicle Use Map for Cinder Hills



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