Dispersed camping is camping outside of developed campgrounds. In contrast to camping in developed campsites, dispersed camping is more primitive, and generally has no amenities such as trash collection, water or toilets.
The Prescott Basin is an area immediately south and west of Prescott, Arizona and encompasses approximately 59,000 acres (about 4% of the Prescott National Forest).
Prescott Basin has a high percentage of wildland-urban interface, a mixture of undeveloped and developed land. The popularity of the Prescott Basin, has contributed to resource impacts such as accelerated soil erosion, damage or loss of vegetation, displaced wildlife, increased fire risk, and accumulation of trash and human waste.
To help prevent unacceptable resource damage from dispersed camping, Forest Service resource managers have designated sites, established stay limits, and limits on building and maintaining campfires. Closure Order #09-218 covers Prescott Basin Dispersed Camping Regulations.
Camping Stay Limit Order (1.9 MB PDF)
Camping and campfires are allowed only at Designated Campsites, and in developed campgrounds, within the Prescott Basin. During fire restrictions, campfires are not allowed in these designated dispersed camp sites.
• Recreational camping is allowed in developed and designated dispersed campsites; however, residing on National Forest Lands is not allowed.
• Camping in designated dispersed campsites is allowed for 7 days in a 30 day period.
• Campfires in provided fire rings only in designated dispersed campsites.
• Do not put cans, bottles, or aluminum foil into fire rings.
• Use only dead and down wood for campfires.
• Be safe in the forest. Make sure your campfire is dead out!
Dispersed camping outside of the Prescott Basin has a 14 day stay limit in a 30 day period.
To see a map of designated dispersed sites, download the Prescott Basin Dispersed Camping brochure (732 KB), or visit the Bradshaw Ranger district at 344 South Cortez Street in Prescott.