Kachina Village, Arizona (Coconino) Technical Rating: 1-3
Last Updated: 10-16-2017
Coconino National Forest
FR 535 Highlights
If your looking for a good way to get up on top of the Mogollon Rim to camp in the Ponderosa Pines, you've come to the right place. This dirt road will connect you with a plethora of camping spots and plenty of excellent places to explore; especially if you want to spend a weekend overlooking the Red Rock of northern Verde Valley, this trail is an excellent start to get you on your way there.
Technical rating: (1-3) Easy
Dirt road. Rutted, washes, or gulches. Water crossings up to 6" depth. Passable mud. Grades up to 10 degrees. Small rocks or holes. 4WD recommended but 2WD possible under good conditions and with adequate ground clearance and skill. No width problems for any normal vehicle. Vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.
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Directions to Trailhead
Take 89A north about sixteen miles from Sedona, or south about ten miles from Flagstaff. You can also take Woody Mountain Road from Route 66 south to East Pocket Road to find the western end of this trail (see waypoint 15).
Most of this forest road is well maintained, but there are a few spots that tend to have large mud puddles that cannot be avoided. These can also contain deep ruts that require four-wheel drive and high clearance to get through.
1: 89A Intersection (0.0mi)
You'll head west from 89A at this intersection. The shoulder can get overgrown sometimes causing it to be difficult to spot until you're right on top of it.
2: Switchbacks (2.3mi)
You'll head up the side of a steep hill for about two miles on some mild switchbacks. Be careful with the eastern facing shoulder as it's a steep drop off. There are also a few camping spots at the bottom near 89A.
3: FR 9018H East Intersection (2.7mi)
Continue to the southwest past this intersection with FR 9018H. There are a few more camping spots around here as well along both FR 9018H and FR 535.
4: Camping Spur Intersection (3.2mi)
Continue straight past this intersection. This road is no longer listed on the Forest Service Motor Vehicle Usage Map, but it is designated as a dispersed camping area along this part of the road, so as long as you don't travel more than three hundred feet down the spur you are still within the acceptable use of this camping spur.
5: FR 9019H Interesection (4.4mi)
Continue straight past this intersection. This is another old forest road that is no longer officially open but is just at the end of an area where dispersed camping is allowed.
6: FR 535A Interesection (5.0mi)
Continue straight past FR 535A Intersection. If you head south instead, you will find more dispersed camping spots, and can also get a nice view of the West Fork Oak Creek Canyon and Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness area from an area known as Harding Point. This canyon is carved out of part of the Mogollon Rim.
7: FR 536 Intersection (5.7mi)
Continue straight past FR 536, also known as Fry Lake Trail.
8: 9018H West Intersection (6.1mi)
Continue straight through this intersection. To the east is the other end of the same FR 9018H that was passed at waypoint 3. To the west, you'll see a marking for FR 9024, but it is no longer listed on the MVUM and used to be designated as FR 536 to go past Fry lake at its northern side.
9: Meadow & Fry Lake Tank (6.3mi)
Along the sides of the trail, you'll find a tank and a cattle corral in the middle of a vast meadow. The meadow extends to the west to Fry Lake, and to the east to the top of Fry Canyon.
10: Cattle Guard (6.8mi)
This cattle guard and fence are here to keep the cows in the meadow, though usually, they like to hang out around Fry Lake.
11: FR 6330 Intersection (7.1mi)
Continue straight past this intersection with FR 6330. FR 6330 will take you west to East Pocket Road.
12: FR 535C Intersection (7.9mi)
Continue straight through this intersection with FR 535C. This intersection can have a big mud puddle just south of it. FR 535C will take you southeast to FR 9018H close to the top of Fry Canyon.
13: FR 535D Intersection (8.6mi)
Continue straight past FR 535D, but pay close attention to the quickly approaching intersection (waypoint 14) dead ahead. The road near this intersection can also be covered in a wide area of muddy water that hides deep ruts.
14: State Trust Land & Spur 535F (8.7mi)
Veer to the west (left) to continue on to East Pocket Road; however keep in mind that you are entering State Trust Land at this point, which requires a permit, as noted by the sign. If you don't have a permit or don't want to get one, there are other ways to get to East Pocket Road on the other side of the State Trust Land.
If you continue straight onto 535F, which is no longer on the MUVM, you'll be headed straight for private property.
15: FR 231 Intersection (10.4mi)
This intersection is the western end of FR 535 where it meets up with East Pocket Road. This is also the eastern border of the State Trust Land
Some of the Forest Roads in this area may be closed if snowfall becomes too deep in the winter time. Be sure to check road conditions before heading out.
You'll want to be sure to have a State Trust Land Permit if you get deeper into the area as there are pockets of it here and there.
Camping and Lodging
There are lots of camping options along and near this forest road. Be sure to check out the Coconino National Forest website for details.
Questions & Answers