It is labelled as East Pocket on a map, but known to locals as “The End of The World,” the perfect nickname to describe this climactic viewpoint. Flagstaff sits upon a lofty plateau carpeted in high-elevation pine forest, but just south of town, the bottom drops out. Below a craggy rim of volcanic rock, the land takes a precipitous plunge into an entirely different world of red rock and sandstone towers. This is the realm of Sedona, and End of The World overlooks all of it.
What Makes It Great
It would be completely worth it to drive out here just to see the view and turn around, but the best experience is to pitch a tent at the End of the World and take it all in. There is no established campground, but this is national forest land that allows dispersed camping for free. Tall pines on the rim offer ample shade, but open abruptly at the edge to reveal the stunning vista. On the relatively flat drive through the forest, you may start to doubt that you are approaching anything so dramatic. Just hang in there, and all of a sudden a break in the trees will reveal a glimpse of something entirely different.
The vantage is southward across Verde Valley. The rugged terrain directly below is the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. Wilson Mountain rises out of this to the southeast and Sedona peeks out just behind it. Further out in the valley are the towns of Cornville, Cottonwood, and Clarkdale. The opposing mountains are the Black Hills, and lights of Jerome are visible on their flanks at night. Staying after dark is definitely recommended, because sunsets from here are amazing as golden light slides along red rock cliffs.
Who is Going to Love It
End of the World is a popular summer weekend getaway for the high school and college-aged crowd, but there is still solitude to be found if you come during the week or choose one of the more marginal camping spots. There are several small clearings accessible from the main road that are suitable for setting up camp. Though the 23-mile dirt road seems long, it is passable for any car except when too wet, and this is still a very easy trip from Flagstaff. Come for one afternoon or for a whole weekend and enjoy one of Northern Arizona’s many unexpected natural wonders.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Take Historic Route 66 west out of Flagstaff, then turn left on Woody Mountain Road. Follow this road, which turns to dirt, for about 23 miles. Do not take any side roads until you can see the break in the trees to your right. This is the End of the World. Choose any of the pull-offs here to enjoy the view.
Camping is allowed with a 14-day limit. Fires are permitted except during explicit seasonal closures. Because this is an unmaintained public camping area, be sure to practice Leave No Trace ethics and thoroughly douse all fires. Woody Mountain Road is closed during winter.