Hiking in Sedona

Hiking in Sedona

Witness red rock beauty up close with a hike in Sedona.  See forest service site for trail maps and descriptions of hiking trails.

Sedona and the Verde Valley offer some of the most picturesque hikes in the world.

There are dozens of options to keep the novice and experienced hiker delighted for many days–trails along rivers, trails on mesas and high up in the mountains, trails in canyons, trails through arroyos, washes and fields, and trails to scenic vistas and archeological heritage sites. Hikes on these trails vary by length and steepness. Trail information and maps are available at Visitors Center. There are also some excellent books on the subject.

1. Choose the hike that is best suited to your fitness level, interest and seasonal appropriateness. When you plan your hike, think of the position of the sun. On hot days you will want to hike early and late in the afternoon. If you do hike during the day, choose trails along creeks and those that provide shade. In the cooler weather, you may prefer to hike mid morning through mid afternoon to take advantage of the sun’s warmth. Although it doesn’t rain or snow often in Sedona and the Verde Valley, when it does, trails can be slippery and sometimes dangerous. Check with forest rangers and/or the Visitors Center for updates on conditions and/or closures.

2. Carry plenty of water. The hiking rule of thumb is to drink a liter of water per hour, but in weather than exceeds 85 F, the need for water intake increases dramatically. Carry more water than you think you will need. It is easy to become dehydrated very quickly without realizing it is happening.. Signs of dehydration include headaches, fatigue and nausea. Drinking small sips of water throughout the day is a good way to stay hydrated. Some hikers find that pliable water bottles with tube extensions, called bladder bags, fit nicely into daypacks, and offer hikers the opportunity to sip whenever they feel thirsty while keeping their hands free.

3. Bring a snack for fuel. Sports bars, sandwiches, dried fruits, jerky and trail mix are some popular foods for taking on the trails to snack along the way for energy.

4. Protect yourself from the sun. Wear hats with broad brims, sunglasses, sun screen and long-sleeved clothing. Consider wearing layers to modulate your body temperature. If you hike early in the morning, the weather will get much warmer by mid-day. If you hike late in the afternoon, be prepared for a significant temperature dip when the sun goes down. Wear comfortable, broken-in boots or hiking shoes that will protect your feet from heated surfaces and loose, sharp rocks. A slip-free sole is a must!

5. Know and tell where you are going. Study the trail before you head out. Bring a map so you can keep track of where you are going. Keep landmarks in sight. Bring a fully charged cell phone and a first-aid kit. Be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Should you get lost or run into trouble, this will speed rescue efforts.

6. Consider bringing a walking stick to help with your balance and to relieve stress on your knees and joints. A staff can also alert wildlife that you are on the way. Although rattlesnakes do not often show themselves, they do live in the desert, especially in dense brush or rocky areas. So be mindful where you put your hands and feet.

7. Follow trail etiquette. Stay on the trails. The area’s cryptobiotic crust is very delicate. Pack out all trash, including garbage and toilet paper.Bury human waste at least six inches deep and 100 feet from any water source.

8. Leave what you find. Make it possible for others to share your sense of discovery: Leave rocks, plants, animals, archeological artifacts and other objects where you find them.

Red Rock Passes

A Red Rock Pass (or Golden Eagle, Golden Age or Golden Access) is required when recreating (hiking, biking, swimming etc.) on national forest land in Red Rock Country. The pass must be displayed in the windshield when you park at a trailhead; otherwise you may receive a citation.

A pass is not required if you stop to take a photograph or to enjoy a scenic vista for a few minutes. These passes can be purchased at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, many commercial vendors and machines throughout the area. The cost is nominal: $5 per day; $15 per week; $20 per year.

#hikesedona

Sedona Hiking Soldiers Pass Trail

Sedona Hiking Soldiers Pass Trail

Soldiers Pass Trail is a moderate trail that offers a back country feel yet is almost located in the middle of town. Sandwiched between Brins Ridge and Capitol Butte (a.k.a. Thunder Mountain), this trail offers everything you would expect from a great trail. The trail rolls through a number of arroyos, past the area’s largest sinkhole (Devils Kitchen), along the “Seven Sacred Pools,” then up 509 feet atop Brins Mesa. The highlight of the trail (according to my children) is the impressive sinkhole which was reported as a major collapse event in the 1880’s (retold by Albert E. Thompson in 1968) and then a secondary event in 1989 increased the size of the sinkhole by 1/3 (large block on the northern wall).

Soldier Pass Trail is a 4.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

There are two trailheads that you can use to get there. Both are accessed by 89A. To get to the closest trailhead to Soldier Pass trail is by turning North on Soldier Pass Road to its conclusion. At the other trailhead you will need to take Jordan Road to its end, then hike either Jordan trail or Brins Mesa to get to Soldiers Pass. Both trailheads require a Red Rocks Pass. There are machines to buy a pass at both places.

This very short trail is maintained by Red Rock Jeep Tours in conjunction with the Coconino National Forest, and you can expect to meet some of the tour jeeps along the trail as well as private vehicles. The trail does not go all the way to Soldier Pass but stops a short distance before it. It is suitable for high-clearance 4WD vehicles, because it is rough and sandy for most of the way. The main trail is rated a 4 for difficulty, but the short spur to the Devils Kitchen sinkhole rates a 5 because of the rough slickrock and short, steep sections. Special Attractions: Devils Kitchen—a natural sinkhole; Popular, short rugged trail used by 4WD tour companies; Natural rock tanks of Seven Sacred Ponds. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions.

 

 

Hiking in Sedona at Boynton Canyon Trail

Hiking in Sedona at Boynton Canyon Trail

Boynton Canyon Trail is a stunning hike through a picturesque canyon that moves you through a varied landscape. Make no mistake the real gem of this trail is found in the final 1/3 of the hike as you enter a high forest with large pines, oaks and even alligator junipers. The first 2/3 of the trail are really just a “means to the end” as you make your way through low growth scrub forest and along the east side of Enchantment Resort. As you hike this trail you will notice a stark contrast in temperatures as you leave the low growth, open red rocks in the first 2/3 and enter “the forest” and rise in elevation. The trail ends in grand fashion as it rises up and crescendos onto a quasi-plateau above tree tops.

Boynton Canyon Trail is a 6.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Boynton Canyon is one of the popular trails in Sedona. If you like red rocks this would be one of the perfect hikes. Great views!

The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a half day.

One of the “votex” points in Sedona, Boynton Canyon is popular for both locals and visitors.

Boynton Canyon is one of the most scenic of the box canyons that make Arizona Red Rock Country so famous. This particular trail enjoys the additional advantage of being conveniently accessible to nearby towns on well paved roads. As you might suspect, that is both good and bad news for those who choose to come here. The good news is you don’t have to bounce down a dusty jeep track to get to the trailhead. The bad news is you may have more company than you hoped for when you arrive.

Boynton Canyon always has been popular for its outstanding scenery. Lately it has become even more so, since it developed a reputation as a site of a spiritual energy vortex. Whether or not you follow this belief, you’ll no doubt agree the beauty found among these towering buttes, crimson cliffs, and natural desert gardens is divine.

The trail starts out by skirting a luxury resort that was recently built here. It quickly returns to the canyon floor where the walking is pleasant and easy. As you hike, take note of the variety of plants that live in this rather harsh environment, and keep an eye out for the area’s plentiful wildlife which includes everything from colorful songbirds to bristling, shy whitetail deer.