Kelly Vaughn

Prescott National Forest, Prescott

If you had to choose one campground to visit in Prescott National Forest, this might be it. With sweeping views of the Granite Dells, a landscape peppered with juniper and manzanita, and its proximity to Granite Basin Lake, Yavapai Campground is a gem.

Its 21 sites include tables, fire pits and grills, and there’s plenty of parking. While Yavapai is a great place to stare at the stars and rest your head, you won’t want to spend all your time during the day there. That’s because you’re just 2 miles from Granite Basin Lake, where cattails, blue water and big sky make for some serious photo opportunities.

Of course, water recreation abounds, as well, including fishing, boating, kayaking and canoeing. You might feel as though you’ve died and stepped into a Bob Ross painting — the lake is that beautiful. Plus, you can picnic under happy little trees.

Elevation: 5,600 feet
Directions: From the corner of Iron Springs and Williamson Valley roads in Prescott, take Iron Springs Road for about 3 miles to Granite Basin Road. Turn right and continue on Granite Basin Road for approximately 2.1 miles to the campground, which will be on your left.
Information: Bradshaw Ranger District, Prescott National Forest, 928-443-8000 or
Season: May through October
Fee: $18 per night
Reservations: No
Amenities: Restrooms, Pets, Water