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Lockett Meadow is my favorite vehicle-accessible location in the state of Arizona. If I want to hike, that’s great; the Aspen-adorned Inner Basin Trail starts at the edge of Lockett Meadow and allows access into the heart of the ancient volcanic field that makes up the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. If I want to just hangout in a hammock and enjoy the rustling of the aspen leaves and pine needles, have a leisurely picnic in the meadow, and/or read a book under a towering Ponderosa Pine, I can do all that too. Star gazing is great at night as well, with magnificent shows of shooting stars periodically and the Milky Way making jaw dropping appearances during clear summer nights. Lockett Meadow is a special place; how you choose to experience it is up to you. Enjoy!

Logistics – Day Trip:

Drive north from Flagstaff on US Highway 89 for approximately 12.5 miles. Turn LEFT (west) at Forest Road 420 (it is at the same place along the highway where you would turn right to Sunset Crater and the Off Highway Vehicle area…lots of signage for that). Although low clearance cars CAN make it up the steep and sometimes rough forest service road used to access Lockett Meadow, I would HIGHLY recommend taking a high clearance vehicle instead. If you are looking for a long day trip and you have a high clearance vehicle (four wheel drive preferable), you can even complete the loop around the San Francisco Peaks by instead of returning to US Highway 89, returning to Flagstaff via Forest Road 418 and 151, which will take you through Hart Prairie and spit you out on US Highway 180 (Fort Valley Road). This makes for a great scenic drive if you have the full day to spend! Check out the maps posted below, courtesy of Coconino National Forest.

There are 17 camp sites available at the Lockett Meadow Campground, available on a first come, first serve basis. These sites are available for day use for $5/day. There is also a day use parking area that does not require a fee, whether you walk a ways down to the meadow or go hiking.

Logistics – Camping:

All of the above regarding accessing Lockett Meadow still applies, but here are a few notes on camping overnight.

  • Campground is open for use May 15 – October 14 each year.
  • The fee for a single camp site is $12 per night for up to 8 people. Additional vehicle fee is $6 per night.
  • All camp sites are available on a first come, first serve basis. If desiring to camp overnight, I would recommend sending someone up early on Friday to lay claim to your camp site, or make it a three day weekend and start your weekend camping adventure on Thursday night.
  • All camp sites include fire rings, picnic tables, and access to centrally located vault toilets.
  • There is no garbage service, so be sure to pack everything out with you! Sorry, no garbage fairies! 😉
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Make sure to wrap up that raucous game of Catch Phrase around the campfire by 10 p.m.!
  • Be sure to bring plenty of water for the duration of your stay as well as for any side adventures during your stay; there is no fresh water available at the campground (and PLEASE do not drink from the wildlife watering holes! 🙂 ).

Gear & Gadgets:

For day use, check out my Day Trip Gear Guide. If you are camping, be sure to bring everything you need!

Further Reading:

Leave No Trace Principles

Outdoors and Wilderness First Aid

Lockett Meadow MapLockett Meadow Area Surrounding Kachina Peaks


About The Author

Jeremy Meek is a native Arizonan with a passion for adventure and discovery of unique experiences. Whether exploring Arizona or setting out on an adventure abroad, Jeremy is constantly scouting truly great adventures and experiences.

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