Stoneman Lake Trail
Take a quick drive to see one of Arizona’s few natural lakes. Before ending at Lake Mary Road, there are numerous great camping spots and other forest roads to further explore the area. At the end of the trail, continue north to Mormon Lake or Lake Mary.
Where to go:
This trail is located 46 miles south of Flagstaff along I-17. Take exit #306 and follow the road east. This trail is also close to Sedona. From downtown Sedona, head south on Highway 179 for 15 miles. Merge onto I-17 north for 7 miles and take Stoneman Lake Road exit.
Leaving I-17, the road remains paved as it heads east. After 6.2 miles, the pavement ends just before reaching a junction. Reset your odometer once the dirt begins. Leaving pavement, take a left onto F.R. 213. F.R. 83 goes right towards Apache Maid Lookout. The road remains wide and graded as it heads north, then turns sharp right. The road climbs through some thick forest while passing a few tanks off to the right. Stay straight at 2.2 miles where other forest roads go left. Off to the left at 2.5 miles is a small pullout with an overlook of Stoneman Lake. While the lake is usually dry, it can occasionally collect water. The depression the lake is in is thought to have a volcanic origin dating back 8 million years.
Continuing south, the trail loops around the outside of Stoneman Lake before returning east. Stay straight at 4.1 miles where a road goes left to private residences. For the next mile, the trail climbs up to a meadow off to the left at 5.5 miles. There are residences in the meadow but a second clearing off to the right at 6.3 miles would make a good campsite. From here, numerous lesser forest roads head south. F.R. 213 continues east until 6.4 miles where it ends at Lake Mary Road. Turning right would take you to Happy Jack while turning left would take you north to Mormon Lake, Lake Mary, and eventually to Flagstaff.
Notes & Trail Ratings:
Overall, this is a quick and fairly uneventful trail. If you’re looking for a quick way to get off the beaten path and spend a weekend in the woods, it would be a great starting point. This trail can also be turned into a scenic day trip that loops back north to Mormon Lake and eventually Flagstaff. The 6 miles one way (or 12 miles to Lake Mary Road and back) can be completed in under an hour. We’ve rated it a ‘2’ out of 10 because it is entirely graded forest roads. This trail does receive snow and can become significantly more difficult in the winter. Seasonal closures may impact access to this trail.