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Needles, free and primitive camping along FR 21S05 (?)
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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 23, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

Plannin' a trip at the end of the summer to the Needles (first time, so psyched). I understand that the popular place to camp is at the end of the forest road 21S05, at the TH.

In the event that this spot is crowded, are there spots to (legally) camp along the road before the main camping? If it is super secret locals only beta, you can PM me and I wont tell everyone.. ;)

Would like to avoid the expensive Quaking Aspen or Peppermint spots if possible.

thanks!


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By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Feb 23, 2012
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Darren Mabe wrote:
Plannin' a trip at the end of the summer to the Needles (first time, so psyched). I understand that the popular place to camp is at the end of the forest road 21S05, at the TH. In the event that this spot is crowded, are there spots to (legally) camp along the road before the main camping? If it is super secret locals only beta, you can PM me and I wont tell everyone.. ;) Would like to avoid the expensive Quaking Aspen or Peppermint spots if possible. thanks!


Dome Rock mountainproject.com/v/dome-rock/105834204 is a good place to camp just a couple of minutes from the trail head.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Feb 23, 2012

Dome Rock is a good suggestion. Close, with a portapotty, and free. That'll make it convenient to grab a beer at the Ponderosa afterward too. If you plan on having a campfire, just make sure you pick upa fire permit beforehand. There are probably other flat places along the road to the Needles where you could camp, though sanitation would probably be your biggest issue.

The biggest problem you might have climbing there this summer is the clean up for the burned lookout. The Forest Service has closed an area surrounding the top of Magician, which the approach trail passes through. There's also a question whether they'll close the road leading to the trailhead to make sure that closure is effective. There was a recent thread on Supertopo about this issue. Also, email Kris Solem on this site. He'll probably have the skinny on what's going on.

My hope is the closure won't be a problem to climbers. I just got back to the Needles last summer after about a 12-15 yr. hiatus. The plan was to make it an annual thing. The Needles just rock.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 23, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

awesome thanks guys. i cant wait.

facilities are not an issue, as we may also consider towing a small trailer, and we may do not have to have a fire. looks like the land is national forest.


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 23, 2012
Get down from there! <br /> <br />May 2013 <br />Photo by Duc

I think I've camped at Peppermint. I didn't pay a dime and there was no host or ranger around to check anything. I don't remember it having any kind of amenities other than firepit and delineated sites anyway....


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By slim
Administrator
Feb 24, 2012
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

there are also a few minor pullout sort of spots on the last piece of road that goes to the climbers camp spot. might add a few minutes of walking (or a short drive) in the morning.

have fun man, that place is awesome.


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By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 24, 2012
JJ Schlick on first ropeless ascent of Cranium Crack .12 Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ.  1999

The last pullout on the left when you are heading up to the TH is awesome. Plenty of space, good views, and you might have it to yourselves. 5 minute walk, or a two minute drive to the bathrooms. Amazing place! Be strong though, cause there are not a whole lot of good moderates.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 24, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

sounds great!

JJ. finger is feeling better (sent the finger crack in the gym first go this season, woo!), and on a training plan with some juicy objectives along the way, and hopefully be Needles-strong by August.

oops, forgot this isn't FB.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Mar 10, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

You can find lots of great spots to camp. The end of the road is good but it gets bizzy on weekends. Dome rock is good if you want to anchor a trailer. Bug the Local Forrest service boys now about the road openings... they tend to drag their feet about getting the road open. Let them know your driving all the way out from Flag to CLIMB at the Needles.

Have fun


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