OverviewDifficulty: Class 1 trail
Distance: 6 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 800 feet (500 feet of that in a quarter of a mile or so)
Due to its location, Munds Mountain is probably one of the lesser climbed peaks of the Sedona area. The views along with the elevation of this peak (being one of the taller mountains in Sedona) make it a worthwhile endeavor. Getting to the trailhead alone makes this climb fun as well as very scenic. Another thing that sets this peak apart from other Sedona area peaks is that it consists mostly of white sandstone .vs. the typical red sandstone that you see all around Sedona. Views along most of the trail stretch out quite a ways, as far as the Mingus Mountains. Even the Cockscomb is visible from along the trail.
Getting ThereNote: Access can be somewhat difficult without a high-clearance vehicle, although, not impossible. I have driven the entire length of Schnebly Hill Road with my Toyota Corolla, it just takes quite a while.
From 89A Heading South
From the intersection of highways 89A and 179 take a left onto 179. Follow it for 0.3 miles to a T in the road. Take a left here (Schnebly Hill Road) and then drive it for another 6.3 miles to the fair sized parking lot that will be on your left hand side. Walk back out to the main road and take a left. Follow it for a short way until your reach a very old and rocky road to your right. This will be the beginning of the trail for you.
From I-17 Heading South from Flagstaff
Drive south on I-17 for about 18 miles until you reach the Schnebly Hill Road exit. Once you take this exit you will follow Schnebly Hill Road for about 5.4 miles and then park in the bumpy parking lot that will be located on your right hand side. Exit your car and follow the same directions as above to reach the trailhead.
Drive north on I-17 until you reach exit 287. Follow this towards the towns of Cottonwood/Payson. This will be AZ-260. Follow it off the interstate to your left towards 89A. The drive will be approximately 12 miles and then you will turn right towards the town of Sedona. Once in Sedona, drive until you reach the junction of 179 and 89A. Take a right towards 179 for 0.3 miles and then turn left onto Schnebly Hill Road. From there follow the later part of the directions from Flagstaff to the trailhead, driving on Schnebly Hill Road for about 6.3 miles.
Red TapeYou will need a Red Rock pass, which are actually excellent deals.
One Day Pass - $5.00
Weekly Pass - $15.00
Annual Pass - $20.00
Weekly and Annual passes can be purchased online here
Rather than creating a very huge list of where you can buy passes either in person or by phone, I will just add a link with all of those details. Click here to see that list.
Also, from December 15th through April 1st the trail is off limits to vehicles due to the elk that make this their home during the winter months. (The beginning of the trail is actually the old Schnebly Hill Road, 4 x 4 for sure !)
CampingNo camping is allowed on the mountain. However, there is free camping available just north of the parking area for the trailhead. There are many spots along the remaining 5 miles or so of Schnebly Hill Road that one could potentially pitch a tent.
Click here to view campgrounds listed on summitpost.
When to Climb
Munds Mountain can generally be climbed anytime of the year. During winter months Sedona does get snow occasionally and I could forsee potential danger of slipping along the last half mile of the trail due to its steepness. Spring and fall would be great times to climb, and in the summer just be very cautious of afternoon thunderstorms and the heat, as it can reach 100 degrees.
Click the Satellite picture for a video loop of current weather