Posts Tagged With: Sedona

Chasing the Hogs

We enjoyed clear blue skies as we set off on the last big hike of our Sedona stay.

Early Saturday morning was the perfect time to search for Sedona Hogs we’d read about…a group of trails, linked together (called the Hogs) that would lead us up and over the backside of one of the large red rock outcroppings.

The Hog Heaven view was pretty spectacular, but we still had more climbing to do.

After winding our way up along the forested Hogwash trail, we reached an intersection that had us scrambling up a section of rocks to join the Hog Heaven section of our hike.

Reg steps out…High on the Hog.

The high point of the trail, aptly named High on the Hog, opened onto a expanse of massive dome-shaped rocks offering a never ending view of the valley below. As we continued on, looping our way back to the parking lot, our peaceful morning was interrupted by a string of people and convoy of jeeps parading toward us from the opposite direction. Time to leave the Hogs behind us!

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Hidden Treasures

Today our adventure took us well off the beaten path.

We bounced down six long miles on a dirt road today, determined to visit the Palatki Heritage Site, one of the two largest cliff dwelling sites found among the red rocks in the Sedona, Arizona area.

After a short walk up through the trees to the bottom of the cliff, we reached the ruins of the ancient Sinagua people who lived in the area from 1150 – 1300 A.D. A ranger was on hand to explain a little bit of what is known about the lives of cliff dwellers.

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A Teacup and a Chimney

The day began on the Teacup Trail.
Our plan was to reach the Thunder Mountain Trail which would lead us around Chimney Rock and up to a viewpoint.
We managed to reach the base of the chimney.

While the trail up to the base of the chimney stack was well-worn and doable, it wasn’t easy. We later realized that what we scrambled up was an informal (not on the map) trail and not the recommended viewpoint we had been searching for. However, the view we had was pretty darn good!

Looking out over Sedona and beyond to the Red Rock Scenic Byway.
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A View From The Top

The Brins Mesa Trail led us on a 500 foot climb.
A chiseled red rock stairway appeared.
After 1.5 miles of climbing, we reached Brins Mesa and a 360 degree view. First, we looked back at where we’d come from. That’s the town of Sedona in the distance.
Then we turned around to view the landscape well beyond our trail.

We followed the Soldiers Pass trail, dropping down to connect with the Jordan trail and then Cibola Pass, leading us back to the parking lot. Above are some of the spectacular sites we saw. Although we got an early start, the trail down was crowded enough to be just a little frustrating in spots. Our advice: Set your alarm if you have to…the earlier start, the better!

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Boynton Canyon Vistas

A short path off the main trail led to a vista point.

We normally prefer circular hikes that allow us to avoid retracing our steps, but there was only one way out of Boynton Canyon…at least only one safe way out. We followed the dusty red trail in until it dropped us down into the forest, beneath a cover of evergreens. Climbing began toward the end of the trail where we scrambled up a narrow channel of boulders, emerging onto a large, smooth rock outcropping, scattered with handful of other determined hikers enjoying the view.

A lunch spot with a gorgeous view greeted us at the trails end.

I try to remember to stop and look up every so often when hiking rather than carefully watching where I put my every footstep. The views were on our return trip were incredibly rewarding.

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Montezuma Castle National Monument

The Verde Valley was once home to the Sinagua people – pre-Colombian cliff dwellers.

We took the day off hiking to explore several sites just a stones throw from our RV park. First stop: Montezuma Castle National Park where the cliffs hold the history of the Sinagua people, cliff dwellers who populated the area from 1100-1425. We thoroughly enjoyed the park, but were glad we arrived early. The relatively small parking lot filled quickly.

Montezuma Well is a natural wonder.

Our next stop: A natural limestone sinkhole surrounded by lush vegetation. Montezuma Well appears as an oasis in a desert setting. An incredible 1.5 million gallons of water bubble up each day from this natural spring so it’s easy to understand why the waters have been used for irrigation since the 8th century.

These are just a portion of the 1,032 petroglyphs covering the rock wall.

Our third and last stop was the V-Bar-V Heritage Site, home to the largest collection of Sinagua petroglyphs in the Verde Valley. It was a pleasant stroll out to the site where a ranger was ready and waiting to provide a history and explanation of the ancient art.

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Sedona Circular Hike

Bell Rock is one of the iconic must-see formations.

To secure a parking spot, an early start is mandatory for any of the Sedona area trailheads. The Big Loop Trail, Courthouse Loop Trail and part of the Llama trail led us around 8 miles of spectacular scenery.

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Backroads Across America: Contrasts Galore

Several weeks and a “few” miles apart, we present views of the great outdoors on the slopes of Mt. Ashland, Oregon and overlooking Sedona, Arizona.

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Backroads Across America: Views from Sedona

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During two days in the Sedona, Arizona area, we have enjoyed stunning scenery and great weather. A bit warm (low 80s) for March, but we are not complaining.

After an early morning look at Bell Rock (top photo), we grabbed a coveted parking spot at Cathedral Rock for a steep scramble. Two photos show a ledge on the back side at the end of the trail. Reg on the ledge was not a happy site for Sue. It was bottoms down for most on the decline as hikers seemed to prefer sliding to slipping and falling.

As for Sedona, the town, we give it a thumbs down. It feels like an upscale resort. We expected a more rustic atmosphere.

 

 

 

Categories: Backroads Across America | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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