Trekking through the canyons: 5th stop Sedona Trails

Sedona was our last hiking trip in the canyons of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. My friend and I spent two days in the Sedona area. The Sedona area has many fun trails that vary from easy to strenuous. The trails are very diverse too; some trails lead you to a variety of arches, and one trail leads you to a very large arch and bridge called “devils bridge” that is a picture perfect place! There are trails that lead you to lakes, creeks, and the sacred ponds that you can swim/bathe in during the summer months.

The Sedona area is a great place to explore. Whether you visit during winter or summer, it is a perfect visit for the family and your animals! The Sedona area is “family friendly” with its diverse trails that are easy to walk and not so steep (though there are quite a few trails that have steep areas, but their will be maps around that will show you the steep trails). Each trail in Sedona is unique, too, and will give you a different experience, feeling, and view of Sedona the town as well as its Canyons and vortex(s). In the vortex areas you can hear the whistle of the wind as it spirals through the canyon one minute, and the next minute the area is completely still, calm, and serene.

Cottonwood, a town located right outside of Sedona, is also a nice place. You can book a hotel in Cottonwood and then drive to Sedona during the day. Sedona is only 20 minutes (if that) outside of Cottonwood.

Sedona is the town closest to my own hometown! And it was one of my favorite stops on the road trip! I feel blessed to live so close to such special areas of the world that many (unless they live near these places) don’t know about. I realized, during this road trip, how diverse Arizona really is. This road trip has given me a new appreciation of my corner of the world, and I am thankful for that! I love nature and all its wonders, and I’m glad I got to see a glimpse of the nature within my own state.

So… Arizona is definitely a state worth exploring! I suggest planning on visiting it sometime in life! 🙂

Below is information on Sedona, the town, and the trails you can hike to see its natural beauty.

* * * * * * *

“Start with scenery that makes your heart leap. Sedona nestles among a geological wonderland. Multi-hued stone formations jut upwards from the high desert floor creating a vivid, mesmerizing setting which changes hourly with the light. When USA Weekend compiled their Most Beautiful Places in America list, Sedona claimed the top spot.

“Surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land, visitors have instant access to recreational activities. Trails for hiking and biking, along with bouncy jeep tracks, weave among the bristling forest of pinnacles, spires, buttes and domes. Yet, you’re never far from the indulgences of town.

“Sedona is equal parts rugged, equal parts resort. Regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal. Many come to experience the vortex energy centers of Sedona. Others want to prowl the 40-plus art galleries lining the streets, or to receive soothing treatments from the dozens of spa facilities. Most recently, with its nearby vineyards and tasting rooms, Sedona has emerged as a destination for wine enthusiasts.”

For information on the town, click this link: visiting Sedona

Click here for a guide of Sedona: Guide to Sedona online booklet

For information related to hikes, click here: Sedona hikes

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My friend and I’s trip to Sedona:

Day 1 (11.15.2014):

We hiked two trails the first day: Doe Mountain and Devil’s bridge trails. Click the links provided below for information on the two trails:

Doe Mountain is a recommended trail for first timers to Sedona; it gives you a 360 view of certain areas in Sedona.

Description of trail:

Summary: This hike circles around the top of Doe Mountain

Challenge Level: Moderate

Hiking Distance: About 2.6 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: Approximately 500 feet

Trailhead Directions: From the “Y” roundabout (the intersection of State Route 89A and State Route 179), drive west toward Cottonwood on SR 89A about 3 miles. Turn right on Dry Creek Road. Stay on Dry Creek Road about 3 miles to the end and a stop sign. Turn left on Boynton Pass Road and proceed about 1 1/2 miles to a stop sign. Turn left, continuing on Boynton Pass Road. The trailhead is the second trailhead on the left side, about 1 3/4 miles from the stop sign. The parking area serves the Doe Mountain and Bear Mountain hikes.

Description: The hike is somewhat steep to get to the top of Doe Mountain. You’ll be hiking up switchbacks. As you approach the top, you’ll be passing through a narrow slot in the rocks, pay attention to where you came up by observing your location relative to the parking lot some 400 feet below. It can be hard to find the way back down as you hike around Doe Mountain for the great views.”

For more information, click here: Doe Mountain trail

Picture from Doe Mountain Trail:

P1110803[viewfromdoemountain]

Pictures for atop Doe Mountain:

P1110806[viewfromdoemountain] P1110835[viewfromdoemountain] P1110830[viewfromdoemountain] P1110820[viewfromdoemountain] P1110815[viewfromdoemountain] P1110808[viewfromdoemountain] P1110807[viewfromdoemountain]

Second trail we did was Devils Bridge. It is an ok trail, but to be honest, the best thing about the trail was the Bridge you get to stand on to take a great picture. Most of trail is a bit boring on one hand, but on the other it is a great trail if you want peace, solitude, and to contemplate your thoughts. First half of the trail is easy, second half when you start climbing to the Bridge is when it gets steep and strenuous (I messed up my knee on this trail climbing the “steps” to the great arch… but it was worth it 🙂 and it was only a minor injury)

Here is a picture from Devils Bridge… I think getting a picture like this (or better) is worth the climb (I was nervous so didn’t make a cool pose for the picture. I got a good picture of my friend Avi at least. The bridge is much wider ontop than it appears and easy to walk across. You can even sit on the edge without your feet dangling! Some people took pictures with their dogs and some with small children. THAT made me nervous to watch!):

P1110847 P1110853

Information on trail:

Summary: A steep hike up to the largest natural stone arch in the Sedona area

Challenge Level: Moderate

Hiking Distance: About 1 mile each way, 2 miles round trip from the Devil’s Bridge parking area: 2 miles each way, 4 miles round trip from the parking area on Long Canyon Road, 6 miles from the Dry Creek Vista parking area.

Trailhead Directions: From the “Y” (the intersection of State Route 89A and State Route 179), drive towards Cottonwood 3 miles. Turn right on to Dry Creek Road. Stay on Dry Creek for 3 miles and turn right on FR 152. If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, park at the end of the paved FR 152 at the Dry Creel Vista parking area and follow the Chuck Wagon Trail to the turn for Devil’s Bridge. If you have a high clearance vehicle, proceed for 1.3 miles to the parking area on your right. FR 152 is a very rough dirt road so a high clearance vehicle is recommended.

Another alternative if you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, continue on Dry Creek Road past FR 152 and turn right on to Long Canyon Road. Drive 0.3 mile and park on the right (same parking as for Mescal Trail). Hike the short connector trail to the Chuck Wagon Trail, make a left and hike to the second connector trail which will take you to the Devil’s Bridge parking area described above. You’ll hike 4 miles round trip from the parking area on Lomg Canyon Road.

Description: Devil’s Bridge is a natural stone arch that is reachable with a moderate amount of climbing (up some 400 feet). It is about 1 mile to the arch and the view of the arch is well worth the climb. The trail splits about ¾ miles up. The right trail goes to the top of the arch and the left trail goes beneath the arch. You’ll be hiking up some steep natural stone steps (with no hand rails) so if you have a fear of heights, you may want to be extra careful on this hike.”

For more information on trail, click here: Devil’s Bridge trail

Pictures from Devil’s Bridge trail:

Beginning of trail:

P1110841[beginningofdevilbridgetrail]

Beginning of Climb to bridge:

P1110842[devilsbridgetrail]

Toward end of trail, when we were heading back:

P1110860[devilsbridge]

Day 2 (11.16.2014):

We hiked two more trails the second and last day: Soldier’s pass and Airport Loop trails. Click the links provided for information on the two trails. BOTH of these trails are worth visiting, especially if it’s a first time visiting Sedona:

Soldier’s pass:

Summary: A hike to view some red rock arches

Challenge Level: Moderate

Hiking Distance: About 1 1/2 miles each way, 3 miles round trip

Trailhead Directions: From the “Y” (the intersection of State Route 89A and State Route 179), drive west on SR 89A for 1 1/4 mile and turn right on Soldier Pass Road. Proceed on Soldier Pass for 1 1/2 miles. Turn right on Rim Shadows. Go approximately 1/4 mile and turn left into the parking area. The gate to the parking area is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you get back to your car after 6:00 pm, you won’t be able to leave the parking area.

Description: Follow the Soldier Pass Trail and pass through Devil’s Kitchen and the 7 Sacred Pools. About 1.3 miles from the trailhead is a side trail that goes up to the Soldier Pass Arches. You’ll be able to get to two of the three arches with some effort. The third arch requires walking along the cliff face on a narrow trail that to us wasn’t worth the effort.”

For more information on trail, click here: Soldier’s Pass trail

Pictures from trail:

Beginning of trail:

SAMSUNG

Picture of some arches. For a better look of these arches view the site I hyper linked related to Sedona hikes. To get a better view of the arches yourself you must walk a short but strenuous trail up the side of the cliff to get closer to the arches. For my friend and I, this was close enough:

P1110894[soldierpassarches]

Pictures from vortex area and sacred pools. In this area there is also a Jordan tree. This is a great area for some “spiritual energy” for those who are sensitive to the vibes/energies in their environment:

Jordan tree on cliff near sacred pools:

P1110906

Sacred pools. The water is low and dirty at the moment due to it being end of summer and late fall. In early spring the pools have clear water and the water level is high enough to bathe in:

P1110910[sacredpools]

Pictures from sinkhole toward end of trail:

P1110916[sinkhole] downsized_1116141327a 1116141327

Airport Loop trail:

Summary: This hike circles the Sedona airport.

Challenge Level: Moderate

Hiking Distance: Approximately 3.25 miles around, but add another 1.0 mile if you hike the Tabletop Trail and another 0.8 mile if you hike from the Bandit Trail.

Trailhead Directions: There are two ways to access this trail. The main trailhead is located approximately 1/2 mile up the Airport Road. Airport Road is approximately 1 mile west of the “Y” roundabout (the intersection of State Route 89A and State Route 179). There is parking for about a dozen vehicles here. The secondary trailhead is located on Shelby Drive, for the Bandit Trail. Shelby Drive is approximately 1 1/2 miles west of the “Y”. Go south on Shelby Drive. Just past the Sedona Recycles building, Shelby turns left. The parking is on the right. Hike the Bandit Trail until it intersects the Airport Loop Trail. Continue in a clockwise direction on the Airport Loop Trail.

Description: As you circle the Sedona Airport there are good views all around, except for the fact that you’ll be looking into the sun on the south side of this circular hike, which makes photographs a challenge. But this hike provides great views of Cathedral Rock. Be sure to hike the Tabletop Trail about 0.5 mile to its end. There seems to be a pyramid-shaped red rock formation out at the end of the Tabletop Trail…The hike provides nice views of Coffeepot Rock on the north side of the hike.
Note: The Airport Loop Trail is very rocky and there are steep drop-offs on the south side of Airport Mesa. Don’t attempt this hike if a narrow trail and steep drop-offs are a problem.

For more information on trail, click here: Airport Loop trail

My friend and I only did the Airport Loop trail; we didn’t do the Table Top trail or the Bandit Trail due to scarce in time.

Pictures from atop mountain:

P1120007[atopairportlooptrail] P1120028[atopairportlooptrail] P1120027[atopairportlooptrail] P1120026[atopairportlooptrail] P1120019[atopairportlooptrail] P1120013[atopairportlooptrail] P1120012[atopairportlooptrail] P1120009[atopairportlooptrail]

Other pictures of Sedona:

P1110871 P1110888 P1110884 P1110879 P1110873 P1110872

And that is all! One more post of the road trip is coming next. More to come, stay tuned!

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