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Hike Arizona: Sedona, Prescott

Sedona: Adobe Jack
Sedona: Angel Falls
Sedona: Bear Mountain
Sedona: Bear Sign Trail
Sedona: Bell Rock Trail
Sedona: Bell Rock-Morgan Road
Sedona: Boynton Canyon
Sedona: Cibola Pass
Sedona: Courthouse Loop
Sedona: David Miller Trail
Sedona: Devil's Bridge
Sedona: Huckaby Trail
Sedona: Jacks Canyon
Sedona: Long Canyon

Sedona: Loy Canyon
Sedona: Munds Mountain
Sedona: Munds Wagon Trail
Sedona: Red Rock Crossing
Sedona: Schnebly Hill
Sedona: Secret Canyon
Sedona: Vultee Arch
Sedona: West Fork, Oak Creek
Sedona: Wet Beaver Creek
Sedona: Wilson Mountain
Sedona: North Wilson Mountain
Sedona: Wilson Mtn Barrelhouse
Sedona: Woods Canyon

Prescott: Goldwater Lake Trail
Prescott: Granite Mountain
Prescott: Groom Creek Loop
Prescott: Lynx Lake
Prescott: Oaks & Willows
Prescott: Watson Lake Loop
Prescott: Willow Lake Loop
Prescott: West Spruce Trail
Prescott NF: Pine Mountain
Bumble Bee: Bland Hill
Bumble Bee: Richinbar Mine
Clarkdale: Parson Springs
Jerome: Vista Point Trail
Jerome: Woodchute Mountain
Jerome: Yeager Canyon Loop


Guidebooks:
Mangum, Richard and Sherry, Sedona Hikes (9th. ed.), Hexagon Press, Flagstaff, AZ, 2008.
Hikes in the Sedona area are identified with map coordinates and described alphabetically.

Bear Mountain, Sedona

Hike: Trail #54. For a good workout, Bear Mountain is a favorite, taking hikers 2.4 miles up for spectacular views of Courthouse Butte and the Casner Mountains. Trail maps are available from the ranger station. The trailhead for this primitive trail is next to the cattle guard.
  • Best Time of Year to Hike: Spring, Fall
  • Length: 4.8 mi RT
  • Elevation Change: +-1200'
  • Range of Elevation: 4600' (Trailhead) to 5800' (Bear Mountain)
  • Difficulty: "B-" [moderate]
    Experienced hikers only please. Hikers MUST have:
    • Hiking boots
    • 3 quarts of water
    • food
  • Links: Coconino National Forest Hiking Trails
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Bear Sign Trail, Sedona

Hike:
Bear Sign Canyon is a little known, untraveled, fabulous diversion with views of rust sculptured canyon walls overhead. In spring, a secret creek splashed over slickrock pools for your pleasure. Turn around when the going gets too tough about 2.5 miles.

Best Time of Year to Hike: May - September

Distance: 4 miles

Elevation Change: +-500'

Difficulty: Easy.

Weather Conditions: Sedona

Drive:
Easy to find but rough on your car. To access the trailhead, take I-17 north and take the Sedona Exit. From the Sedona "Y" (where SR179 intersects SR89A) drive southwest on Highway 89A (toward Cottonwood) for a distance of 3.2 miles. Turn right onto Dry Creek Road (MP371). Go right and follow the map to the trailhead. Dry Creek Road turns to dirt and may become a little rough, if you drive your car, plan to go slow.

Description:
Start at the well known Vultee Arch Trailhead. The sign says "Dry Creek Trail #52" at the north end of the parking lot. Head up Dry Creek Trail. At mile 0.6 the trail and creek split and you will hopefully spot a rusty sign that says "Bear Sign #59" leading to the left. Bear Sign Canyon is a little known, untravelled, fabulous diversion with views of rust red sculptured canyon walls overhead all year. In spring, a secret creek splashed over slickrock pools. Turn around when the going gets tough after about 2 miles.
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Bell Rock Trail, Sedona

Hike: Description: Here’s an easy trail with many rewards. You can bring the whole family on this Sedona stroll.

From the parking lot check out the posted maps. Jump on the Bell Rock Path as it is called. Wide and flat, the hike up to Bell Rock is very easy. Continue on the Bell Rock Path around the west side of Bell Rock. Hang a right on the Courthouse Butte Loop. From here on the trail is single track heaven around Courthouse Butte.

Several side trails will be encountered along the way. If you stay close to Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte you should be okay. The forest closes in and the scenery goes into overdrive. Up, down and curving the contours of the land this is one awesome stretch of trail. Be on the lookout for mountain bikers as you stroll east. As you begin to head south on the east side of Courthouse Butte you enter the Munds Mountain Wilderness. I mention this because mountain bikes are not allowed in the Wilderness zone. Down near the southeast side of Courthouse Butte I passed two artists hard at work sketching the monument. The trail heads back west to the junction with Bell Rock Path. Head on back to the parking area.
  • Best Time of Year to Hike: fall through spring
  • Distance: 4.75 miles
  • Elevation Gain: +-110'
  • Difficulty: "C" [easy]
  • weather conditions: Sedona

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Long Canyon, Sedona

This is a hike that will take you up against the base of gorgeous red cliffs. This one of the best trails for viewing rock formations and red and white sculptured cliffs of Maroon Mountain.
The first 1.5 miles are in open country with almost no shade, so sunscreen and a hat are recommended.
  • Distance: 6 mile round trip
  • Elevation Change: +-750'
  • Difficulty: easy
  • weather conditions: Sedona
Directions:
To access the trailhead, take I-17 north and take the Sedona exit. From the Sedona "Y" (where SR179 intersects with SR89A) drive southwest on Highway 89A (toward Cottonwood) for a distance of 3.2 miles. Turn right onto Dry Creek Road (MP371). Follow it for 2.9 miles, where there is a stop sign. Turn right onto the paved Long Canyon Road. Take it for .6 mile where you will see an unpaved road to the left. Boulders block the entrance to the road and you can park in front of them

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Lynx Lake Campout, Prescott

Hike:
  • Ranch Trail, 5 mi RT, 500' EC - This hike take you up to dramatic 360-degree views of the surrounding Prescott area mountains as well as the highest Northern Plateau Province mountains.
    Lynx Lake Ruin Trail, Prescott, 1.5 mi RT, level - A pleasant short hike to 700-year old Yavapai Indian ruin site.
    There are two in the vicinity of Lynx Lake: Lynx Lake Campground and Hilltop Campground which is further down the road. The campsites are $10 per unit per night. We can have two vehicles per unit with up to 10 people per unit.
    Pets are permitted in the campground, but must be leashed. There are toilets in the campground, but no electrical hookups. Water is available but may not be at every site.
    Saturday’s Hike: The Ranch Trail #62 is on the west side of Walker road, about 0.5 miles in from State Route 69. We will pull into the parking area and pay the $2.00 per vehicle parking fee. The trail is open to horses, trail bikes and hikers. It is relatively new to the Forest Service system and we haven’t a map at this time. The full trail goes about 4 miles to join up with Trail #299 in Groom Creek. This hike will take us to dramatic 360-degree views of the surrounding Prescott area mountains as well as the highest Northern Plateau Province mountains.
    The first part of the path is an old jeep trail that heads for the "Ranch" development. We will follow the jeep trail for about 0.25 miles and look for a rock pile that signifies a sharp left onto Trail #62. About 1 mile up the path we will reach another gate. We will pass through this and head up the narrow trail. The altitude increases steadily and then the trail drops into a wash. We will then turn right in the wash as the trail continues up a ridge. The angle steepens to another ridgeline where vistas of the San Francisco Peaks, Kendrick Peak, Granite Mountain, Prescott Valley, Granite Dells Thumb Butte and Mingus Mountain open up.
    A pleasant level ridgeline trail will carry us through juniper, scrub oak, manzanita, lemonade berry, mountain mahogany, ponderosa pine, pinyon and a few yucca plants. The route will then descend to a large drainage where it meets the junction with Trail #126. This is a good shady lunch break area and turnaround point for the return hike to the parking area.
    Sunday’s Hike: Lynx Lake Ruin Trail is on the east side of Walker road, about 0.75 miles in from State Route 69. We will pull into the parking area, which is another fee area of $2 per vehicle. The trail is a short hike to a 700-year-old Yavapai Indian ruin site. The trail is considered part of an interpretive site administered by the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office.
    Signs describing the early Native American civilization are posted along the route. The path winds through ponderosa pine, scrub oak, juniper, manzanita, lemonade berry, yucca and local grasses. There are six benches along the route, offering views of Granite Mountain, Thumb Butte, the San Francisco Peaks and the Bradshaw Mountains.
    The trail goes to a ruin, believed to have been inhabited by 25-30 people about 700 years ago. A thriving community existed in the area. They built stone and mud pueblos on the adjoining hilltops that overlook Lynx Creek. The cultivated beans corn and squash on small terraces created with small earthen dams along the creek tributaries. The structures have deteriorated down to ground level, but distinct room walls are apparent. Return will be by the same route.
  • weather conditions: Prescott
Drive: Take I-17 to State Route 69, Cordes Junction exit. Follow State Route 69 towards Prescott. Turn left (south) at Walker Road, the Lynx Lake turn off. There is a Costco on the southeast. Follow Walker Road about 1.5 miles to the Lynx Lake Campground. We will post a sign on the message board at each campground telling you which campground and at which sites we are located.
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Nelson Trail, Pine Mountain

Hike:
Starting out in a soothing riparian forest along Sycamore Creek on the Nelson Trail (No.159), this loop hike eventually climbs 1,500 feet up to the Verde Rim as it aims for its high point atop Pine Mountain. The enchanting array of walnut, sycamore and oak trees weaves a cool cover of shade. Trout break the ice-cold water’s surface. Hawks squawk in the treetops lining the creek. Bears seem at home here. As the trail rambles in the crevice of the Sycamore drainage into the Pine Mountain Wilderness, bear signs are fresh enough to evoke caution. An apple orchard at the Nelson’s Place ruins, within the first mile of the hike, draws the bruins. Elk, mountain lion and deer also share the wilderness.
The hike seems easy enough at first, but when you are within two miles of the top there’s an endless series of switchbacks to conquer. On the 4.5-mile climb to the Verde Rim, the trail (No.159 and then 12) separates from the creek and passes through a forest where pines and oaks provide immediate shade, and maples and an anomalous stand of aspens promise a burst of color in the fall. At the Verde Rim Trail (No.161), hikers will turn south (right) and head to Pine Mountain, where they’ll get a 360 degree panorama with Horseshoe Lake in the south, the rugged Mogollon Rim in the east, the Verde Valley to the north and the Bradshaw Mountains in the west.
After about a mile, hikers will turn west (right) onto the Pine Mountain Trail (No.14) and zigzag 1.2 miles down the mountain back to the Nelson Trail and then an additional 3.2 miles to the trailhead.
  • Best Time of Year to Hike: May - September
  • Distance: 10 mile loop
  • Elevation Gain: +-1600'
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • weather conditions: Sedona
Drive:
Take Interstate 17 north to the Dugas interchange (Exit 268). Turn east and follow Forest Road 68 for 17.8 miles to the trailhead. High-clearance vehicle necessary.

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Red Rock Crossing, Sedona

Hike:
This was a trail listed in the Sunday Travel section on the 20th of April, 1997.

Features: Views of Cathedral Rock

Difficulty: Easy.

Weather Conditions: Sedona

Drive:
Follow I-17 north approximately 100 miles to RT 179. Take 179 West into Sedona to the intersection of 179 and Rt. 89A. Make a left to head West on RT 89A. Follow 89A West to Upper Red Rock Loop Road. Go south on Red Rock Loop to signs directing to Red Rock Crossing. Red Rock Pass parking costs $5 per vehicle.

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Vista Point Trail, Jerome

Hike:
Located just up the mountain from the town of Jerome, this is about a four mile moderate hike. You’ll want to allow plenty of time to savor the spectacular views of the Verde Valley. The Vista Point Trail (No. 106) starts near the top of Mingus Mountain and immediately descends the mountain’s southeastern edge, introducing panoramas of the Verde Valley, Mogollon Rim and Colorado Plateau that will accompany you the entire trip.
In winter and spring, you’ll likely encounter snow on this high altitude hike. By late spring and well into summer, you’ll find a variety of forest vegetation. The ponderosa pines atop Mingus Mountain quickly give way to juniper, Gambel oak, Apache plume and penstemon, then scrub oak.
The south facing slope is a haven for trees, bushes, flowers, vines and plants of all kinds. Before the trail’s end, a small rise affords a new view to the north, encompassing the San Francisco Peaks, Kendrick Peak and Bill Williams Mountain. Trail No. 106 connects to North Mingus Trail #105 allowing for a loop back to the top of Mingus Mountain.
This is really a beautiful trail. When I was there during Memorial Day weekend there were lots of people at the campground but none of them were on the trails. It was very green and filled with plenty of flora. We even noticed quite a few bear droppings along the way. Yep, there are bears in those woods but we had no problems. The view is worth the drive and the hike — if you’re up for it.
Bring Plenty of Water: it does get warm there during the day.

Best Time of Year to Hike: spring, summer and fall

Distance: 4 miles

Elevation Change: +-1000'

Difficulty: moderate

Weather Conditions: Jerome

Drive:
Proceed north on 1-17 toward Jerome. (Take Cottonwood exit and head toward Clarkdale and Jerome on highway 89A) Go through the town of Jerome and proceed up to the submit of Mingus Mountain. On the left-hand side of the road, you will see a parking lot and some bathrooms, which is where you will need to turn to go into the campground.
We will meet at this location at approximately 9:30 AM. Great place to stop and go to the bathroom if you need to. We will probably need to leave some cars at this location due to limited parking at the campground. Proceed down the dirt road (Forest Road 104) for approximately 2.6 miles to the Mingus Mountain Campground. At the major LEFT FORK in the road, you will immediately see the Vista Trailhead.
We’ll probably park a few cars at the opposite end of the loop (the end of the trail is just up the road a little further to the hang glider site.) Mingus Trail #105 ends at this hang glider site.
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Vultee Arch, Sterling Canyon, Sedona

Hike:
The trail goes 1.7 miles along the bottom of Sterling Canyon. It is easy to follow as it basically goes along the creek bed. The creek is dry most of the year. About 0.75 mile in, there are tall, white sandstone cliffs on the right with Douglas firs growing in the clefts.
The trail dead ends at a plaque placed at the base of a red rock outcropping in remembrance of Gerard and Sylvia Vultee who were killed in an aircraft crash on January 29, 1938. The crash site was on East Pocket Mesa, more than a mile north and at a higher elevation than the plaque. On the north side of Sterling Canyon is the red sandstone arch named for Vultee, an early aircraft designer from California. Return trip is by the same route.

Best Time of Year to Hike: May - September

Distance: 4 miles

Elevation Change: +-400'

Range of Elevation: 4800' to 5200'

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Weather Conditions: Sedona

Drive:
Take Interstate 17 to State Hwy 179. Drive northwest on Hwy 179 to Sedona. In Sedona turn left on US 89A going towards Jerome and Clarkdale. Drive through West Sedona for 3.0 miles to Dry Creek Rd.
Turn right on Dry Creek Road and drive 2.0 miles on this paved road. Turn right on Sterling Canyon Road FS #152C. Drive 4.3 miles on this dirt road until the road ends at turn-around.
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updated October 24, 2014