Ask desert dwellers about their happy place and a lot of them will describe a cabin in the woods. There’s something magical about a peaceful cabin tucked away in the mountains, surrounded by shady forest, often with water nearby that sounds so cool and inviting.
That’s what a vacation is supposed to feel like. So get out of the heat and reconnect to nature, all while maintaining a few creature comforts when you rent an Arizona cabin this summer.
Whether you’re looking to spend a night or a week, you can’t go wrong with these 10 beautiful cabins that range from Sedona and Flagstaff, to the Mogollon Rim and across the White Mountains.
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Flagstaff: Arizona Mountain Inn and Cabins
Surrounded by Coconino National Forest, Arizona Mountain Inn offers a high-country escape in the shadow of the San Francisco Peaks. You'll find a wide variety of cabins nestled in the ponderosa pines.
All styles and sizes, from a cozy one bedroom to a large hogan-style cabin that can sleep 16 people, are hidden away on 13 secluded acres. Each cabin comes with a wood-burning stove or fireplace and fully furnished kitchen or kitchenette. Dogs are welcome in most of the accommodations. Cabins start at $202.
Details: 4200 Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff. 928-774-8959, https://www.arizonamountaininn.com.
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Christopher Creek: Cabins at Creekside
Rim Country and cabins just seem to go together. There’s something about putting the desert in your rear-view mirror as you climb toward a cool green forest.
Cabins at Creekside offers a welcoming getaway in this quiet oasis with flat-screen televisions and Keurig coffeemakers. There are a couple of smaller cozy units but most include a loft and can sleep six.
Cabins sit just a short walk from the stream yet are close to the restaurant and bar with the sprawling patio. Enjoy the best of both worlds — a woodsy retreat with plenty of comforts and good food. Rates start at $139 on weekdays, $169 on weekends.
Details: 1520 E. Christopher Creek Loop, Christopher Creek. 928-478-4557, https://www.cabinsatcreekside.com.
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Pinetop-Lakeside: Northwoods Cabins
These family-owned cabins back up against a big swath of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Fourteen cabins come in a variety of sizes and styles, including a two-story chalet that sleeps 16.
There’s a play area for kids, and dogs are welcome. Each cabin features a covered porch because no one travels to the White Mountains to hunker inside. Walk out the door and onto a hiking trail, just a short jaunt to the White Mountain Nature Center and Woodland Lake. Cabins start at $129.
Details: 165 E. White Mountain Blvd., Pinetop-Lakeside. 928-367-2966, https://www.northwoodsaz.com.
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Greer: Lazy Trout Cabins
Sitting at an elevation of 8,500 feet with the Little Colorado River meandering through the heart of town, Greer is the ultimate summer escape for heat-weary desert dwellers. The little hamlet is surrounded by national forest land veined with hiking trails.
Lazy Trout's dog-friendly cabins come in different sizes and all have full kitchens, satellite television and Wi-Fi. From the property it’s an easy walk to all that Greer has to offer. Smaller cabins start at $139.
Details: 98 Main St., Greer. 928-735-7888, www.lazytrout.com.
Sedona: Briar Patch Inn
If you think of a bed and breakfast as someplace quaint, bristling with knickknacks and doilies, the Briar Patch Inn obliterates that perception with 19 luxury cabins spread across 9 acres of shady woods in Sedona's Oak Creek Canyon.
The same family has operated Briar Patch for 39 years. Cabins vary in size and each brims with rustic charm and a celebration of Southwestern style. Most have fireplaces and all have private patios but no television, phone or internet service.
A healthful breakfast is included and during summer months is served on a beautiful terrace overlooking the creek. A classical duet performs on weekend mornings through the summer. Rates start at $369.
Details: 3190 N. State Route 89A, Sedona. 928-282-2342, https://briarpatchinn.com.
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Pinetop-Lakeside: Whispering Pines Resort
The cabins at Whispering Pines are spread across 13 acres of pine and oak timber abutting the national forest. It creates a nice backwoods feel yet shopping and restaurants are surprisingly close.
Choose from studio cabins, one-, two- or three-bedroom units and even an elegant Victorian. This is an older property with a lot of charm. Cabins are well maintained, fully furnished, carpeted and stocked with firewood. There’s a small playground for the kids and hiking trails.
With over three dozen cabins, you can easily find one that fits your budget and family needs. Starting at $115.
Details: 237 E. White Mountain Blvd., Pinetop-Lakeside. 928-367-4386, https://www.whisperingpinesaz.com.
Flagstaff: Mormon Lake Lodge
Built in 1924, Mormon Lake Lodge has provided summer escapes to generations of families. The 300-acre resort south of Flagstaff includes 29 cabins and a campground with 74 campsites. The cabins come in a variety of sizes and styles.
Guests also have access to miles of trails, horseback riding, a country store, a mini-museum, a Western saloon featuring live music on summer weekends and a steakhouse and pizzeria.
The only thing missing is water. Mormon Lake may be Arizona’s largest natural lake but has a tendency to dry out during times of drought. But imagine how wonderful to be here during summer monsoons and watch it begin to refill thanks to a drenching downpour. Starting at $159.
Details: 1991 Mormon Lake Road, near Flagstaff. 928-354-2227, https://www.mormonlakelodge.com.
Mogollon Rim: Deer Springs Inn
When you’re looking for some real seclusion, head into the timber between Heber and Show Low on the Mogollon Rim. Deer Springs Inn is tucked a few miles down a forest road with no neighbors around.
The three rustic cabins are popular with hunters during the season, and with folks eager for a quiet getaway in the summer. Propane powers the appliances and a generator keeps the lights on but there’s no spare electricity for televisions, computers or gaming consoles. Come for the serenity and a chance to play amid the vast pine forest.
Cabins range from a cozy one-bedroom to one that sleeps 10, each with a fully stocked kitchen. Dogs and horses are welcome at this family-owned property. Rates start at $75.
Details: 928-528-7350, http://www.deerspringsinn.com.
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Greer: Greer Lodge Resort & Cabins
This makes a sweet getaway for anglers, with all cabins on or near the water. Guests just have to choose whether they want a cabin on the small trout ponds or on the Little Colorado River.
Built in 1948, Greer Lodge borders national forest and includes a play area, basketball and volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. Watch for deer and elk grazing the meadows.
There are 20 well-appointed log cabins. The largest can sleep 12. Several are dog friendly. Cabins start at $199. The lodge is offering a Free Gas special. Book now and receive $100 off your cabin reservation through Aug. 31. The special rate is prepaid and nonrefundable.
Details: 80 Main St., Greer. 928-735-2304, https://www.greerlodgeaz.com.
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Alpine: Meadows Edge Cabins
Sitting just outside the high-mountain town of Alpine, Meadows Edge Cabins deliver what the name promises. Herds of elk can often be seen grazing in the big pastures right out the front door.
Three cozy cabins have been recently remodeled and feature full kitchens plus a charcoal grill. The televisions are to play DVDs only. There is no Wi-Fi. You’re in the White Mountains, just minutes from Luna Lake and plenty of other lakes, rivers, streams and hiking trails. This is time much better spent outdoors anyway.
Rate is $110 for per night for two people. Cash or check only. A minimum two-night stay is required.
Details: 25327 U.S. 191, Alpine. 928-245-5558, https://meadowsedgecabins.com.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona cabins to rent: Pinetop, Flagstaff, Sedona, Greer