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. That openness can also make some sites in this campground a bit warmer during hot days in the summer. On the other hand, that means they’ll be warmer when the weather is cool.
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.
Location: 150 miles east of Tucson, 3 miles southwest of Portal.
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.
Season: Open year-round.
great bird/wildlife watching
14 individual sites
tables and fire grills
Trailers limited to 28 feet
No water in winter (November-March). Purification of water is recommended prior to use. It's always a good idea to bring drinking water on any camping trip.
Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground.
Bear Country: To avoid putting a bear’s life in danger and risking the loss of some of your own property, please dispose of all garbage in the bear-proof containers provided. Also, remember to use the bear-proof food boxes to keep all food out of reach and out of sight of these curious and powerful animals.