About Sunny Flat Campground
Campsites are clustered around a grassy meadow in this relatively open streamside camp. All sites are shaded, some more than others, and all are reasonably close to Cave Creek. Birdwatching is good right in camp (as it is in all Cave Creek camps) with elegant trogons and many other interesting species sighted regularly among the sycamores and oaks that border the creek. The open character of the area makes for exciting views of Cave Creek Canyon’s famous rock formations which tower over the area. Other recreation attractions in Cave Creek Canyon, such as birding areas along South Fork and a number of hiking trails, are just a short drive from this campground, which is along the Cave Creek Canyon/Portal to Paradise Loop scenic drive. Some attractions you may want to take advantage of while you’re camped at Sunny Flat are the scenic Vista Point Trail located a short distance downstream of the campground, and the Cave Creek Visitor Information Center a little farther downstream. The Center, which is open from early spring through late fall, offers interpretive information, books and pamphlets on the natural and cultural history of the area, and a few examples of local wildlife species. Note: Black bears in area.
Sunny Flat Campground is located in Arizona
150 miles east of Tucson. Access: From Tucson, take I-10 east 139 miles to US 80 (you will cross the New Mexico border to get to this intersection). Turn right (south) and drive 28 miles, then turn right (west) on the road to Portal, 7 miles. From Douglas, take US 80 east approximately 50 miles to Rodeo, NM. Two miles past Rodeo, turn left (west) on Portal Road. From Portal drive west on Forest Road 42, approximately 3 miles to Sunny Flat Campground. All roads are paved and suitable for passenger vehicles.
1 Review of Sunny Flat Campground
First to Review
We came for just a night to see if it was open and spent 3 glorious nights here! The volunteer camphost, Jan, is fantastic! She single-handedly kept this campground open during the government shutdown…and hosted a Christmas potluck brunch at her site.
The Cave Creek Canyon on the western edge of the Chiricahua Mountains is a spectacular area that will completely take you by surprise. And the campground tucked into a wide-open clearing set in a spectacular valley ringed by stunning granite cliffs will also charm your socks off!
Each site has the standard picnic table, bear locker, fire ring, and lots of shade. Campsites which aren’t under the trees have a nice shelter over the table. The bathroom is a vault toilet, kept clean by the volunteer camp host. All the campgrounds are first-come, first-served.
This campground might be better for small RV’s than some of the others in the area because of the size of the sites, though anything bigger than 25 feet might have a tough time getting backed in. The area has some nice sunny spots for those like us who run on solar. There are also two small bunkhouses available for rent near the forest visitor’s center, check with the Coronado National Forest, Douglas District office.
The area is a birder’s paradise and at certain times of year can get very busy. Great opportunities for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing throughout the entire mountain range.
There's not much in the area for food and gas, so come prepared. There is one small grill/basic grocery store down the mountain, but if you are looking for real groceries, shop before you come.