Now that the weather is starting to get warm in Central and Southern Arizona, it’s time to think about heading to the northern part of the state for hiking. This week, we introduce you to a loop in Sedona that pieces 3 trails together to form a 4.4-mile loop full of beautiful views of red rocks.
We parked at the Boynton Canyon Trailhead and began hiking on Deadman’s Pass Trail (0.9 miles). This portion is flat and an easy hike that provides great views to your left. Once you reach a split, steer right and hop onto Long Canyon Trail. This trail is one mile in length and while the red rock views are not as prominent during this portion of the hike, you can see a beautiful, green golf course from this portion of the trail (although I’m not certain which one.)
Next, you’ll hit another “T” in the trail. You should stay right to stay on track (we went left and wound up at the wrong parking lot! Oops! Luckily, it’s not too far out of the way to realize you’ve gone the wrong way). Once we found our way back to the “T”, we went the correct direction onto Mescal Trail.
Mescal Trail will take you up an incline and then across the slick red rock that’s situated along a ledge for about a half-mile or so before taking you back onto a flat trail that descends its way back down and provides views of gigantic red rocks that dwarf the Enchantment Resort situated at the base. You’ll wind up hiking back to the correct parking lot shortly thereafter and be ready for your next adventure!
Take the 89 and hang a right onto Dry Creek Road and then left on Boynton Pass. You’ll hit a “T” (still Boyton Pass Rd) and take a right and then your first right into the turnoff for the Boynton Canyon Trailhead parking lot.
One red rock pass per vehicle ($5/day, can be purchased at a kiosk at trailhead or bought in advance at the Circle K when you head into Sedona from Oak Creek). Coming up, Memorial Day weekend will be free and you can skip the pass. There are other fee-free days in 2016 (mostly holiday weekends). Check here for the fee-free days in 2016.
GOOD TO KNOW:
This trail is exposed. If you burn easily like me (which is after like 10 minutes), wear sunscreen and reapply as needed. Maybe bring a hat/sunglasses if you hike this from June-September.
You can bring your dog! Keep ’em on a leash. They also should be well-behaved. Also, don’t forget water for them!
Bring water for yourself- especially if you go in the summer. Sedona can still be warm and dehydration can sneak up on you.