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Sedona hike ideas

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Sedona hike ideas

Postby Klenke » Thu May 23, 2013 8:18 pm

I'm going to Sedona for a few days soon with the wife.
What are some of your ideas on the best hikes for the VIEWS (distant views) and for the best hikes for the TERRAIN (local rock features) that are within a half-hour drive of Sedona?
The duration of the hike for these ideas should be no more than 6 hours round trip for two people that are in reasonably good shape.

Thanks - Paul
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby surgent » Thu May 23, 2013 8:55 pm

Just pick a direction and start walking...

My wife and I enjoyed the hike up Wilson Mountain. It's all trail, nothing technical, with varying flora as you ascend. We started at the trailhead tucked higher up in Oak Creek Canyon. The real treat are the views: Wilson Mountain is actually a remnant plateau separated from the Coconino Plateau via erosion, so the top is broad and flat. From the south end, you have great views of the Red Rocks and of Sedona, and about a half-mile hiking to the north-facing rim, you have a beautiful sweeping view of the big volcanoes, from Bill Williams way to the west to Humphreys directly ahead.

The peak was burned heavily in 2007. Hopefully, the green has come back since then.

Note that it can be fairly warm in Sedona in summer. Not as hot as in the deserts, but high temperatures nearing 100 F are common. Mornings are nice. We hiked Wilson in June, and with an early start, had no trouble at all.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby lcarreau » Fri May 24, 2013 3:54 am

I've been living in Arizona for twenty years, and you'll find the climate to be obviously DRIER and WARMER than the Pac N.W.

If you contnue up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff, at least you can savor the coolness of the Ponderosa pines and afternoon breezes.
Sunset Crater and Lockett Meadows are both comfortable summer-time destinations with popular trails.

If you want a six-mile hike with water, the West Fork of Oak Creek is mostly shady but has restricted views. I would try either Brins Mesa or Wilson Mtn.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby Scott » Fri May 24, 2013 4:55 am

If you want a six-mile hike with water, the West Fork of Oak Creek is mostly shady but has restricted views.


Agree. The watery canyons are very beautiful and late May/June is the prime time to do them. A cool relief from the heat for sure.

Image

Also check out Wet Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. Lots of water, waterfalls and swimming. Very beautiful.

Image

Image

Perfect this time of year.

Of course for the big views, you will want to climb a peak. Just get an early start.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby Klenke » Fri May 24, 2013 6:36 pm

Thanks for the info. We may have time for two hikes so can do one with views and one with features such as the canyon one above.

Is that canyon hike six miles round trip or one-way up the canyon?
What's the temperature of the water one would swim in?

We're going within the next few weeks.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby lcarreau » Fri May 24, 2013 11:46 pm

Klenke wrote:Thanks for the info ...

Is that canyon hike six miles round trip or one-way up the canyon?

What's the temperature of the water one would swim in?


I did Wet Beaver and Oak Creek swims last year. It's mighty cold, but after two minutes your body temperature adapts (adjusts) to the change.

I was eluding to six miles "round trip." There's a parking fee for the day. You could go further up the canyon, but you might get your tenny-runners wet!

Also a slight chance of seeing one of these, by golly ..

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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby Klenke » Wed May 29, 2013 6:10 am

I'd love to see a snake like that!

One other question: for Wilson Mountain, would it be a good idea to have boots (as opposed to trail runners) if we wanted to go off-trail to the HP of Wilson Mountain? I'm wondering if we'll have cactus/prickly plants to deal with therefore we should wear boots.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby lcarreau » Wed May 29, 2013 7:50 pm

Klenke wrote:I'd love to see a snake like that!

One other question: for Wilson Mountain, would it be a good idea to have boots (as opposed to trail runners) if we wanted to go off-trail to the HP of Wilson Mountain? I'm wondering if we'll have cactus/prickly plants to deal with therefore we should wear boots.


Wilson Mountain had a very hot wildfire burn across its summit seven years ago, so you could probably get away with lightweight hikers; even though the
vegetation has been making a rapid recovery since then ..

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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby surgent » Wed May 29, 2013 11:45 pm

Klenke wrote:I'd love to see a snake like that!

One other question: for Wilson Mountain, would it be a good idea to have boots (as opposed to trail runners) if we wanted to go off-trail to the HP of Wilson Mountain? I'm wondering if we'll have cactus/prickly plants to deal with therefore we should wear boots.


The HP is easy to reach, up a slope, then onto a small rock outcrop. From the trail, it's about a 10-minute detour.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby Klenke » Thu May 30, 2013 12:01 am

Thanks. Given a hot forecast in the 90s, Wilson Mountain might be hot and bothersome.

It looks like Capitol Butte is a neat scramble. For a person capable of climbing Class 3 and dealing with small bits of Class 4 w/o a rope, would Capitol Butte be a shorter overall climb than Wilson Mountain, assuming we do one of the southside scramble routes?
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby MoapaPk » Thu May 30, 2013 2:17 am

Wilson Mt is one of the higher peaks around there. The easy, well-graded trail is often in the sun, but start early... The HP area was burned over, and the register (in 2008) showed signs of fire damage. An easy walk through the woods. If you want cool, go through the shaded canyons.

There are lots of tough peaks in the area, that require real scrambling to class 5 stuff on unstable, crumbling rock, but they are typically lower than Wilson and also unshaded.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby lcarreau » Thu May 30, 2013 4:22 pm

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Harlan has a great point! Capitol Butte won't have an "ounce" of shade on it, from start to finish.

What does your wife want to do? REMEMBER, a happy wife is a happy life ....... :D
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby surgent » Thu May 30, 2013 8:57 pm

The heat will always be present in June, 90s sounds pretty nice actually. It will be dry and stable, and generally pleasant in the mornings. We hiked it in similar conditions. Once you're higher up, the temps moderate nicely, low 80s at the warmest.

The hikes closer in (and lower down) to Sedona will be warmer and with less shade, but if you start early and finish by noon or so, you shouldn't have any issues.

The heat isn't that bad, but it's something you should plan for. I've had family members and friends comment on how they weren't expecting Sedona to be so hot, so I can see how the perception that Sedona is usually very cool comes about. It's not quite in the deserts, but it's low enough in elevation to be subject to warm days. I guess people assume Sedona is in the mountains.

I think no matter what you end up doing, you'll be happy with it. There is no shortage of great hikes and climbs, not to mention neat drives on roads of varying quality, e.g. Schnebly Hill.
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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby lcarreau » Fri May 31, 2013 2:03 am

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Re: Sedona hike ideas

Postby Andinistaloco » Fri May 31, 2013 3:40 am

Klenke wrote:Thanks. Given a hot forecast in the 90s, Wilson Mountain might be hot and bothersome.

It looks like Capitol Butte is a neat scramble. For a person capable of climbing Class 3 and dealing with small bits of Class 4 w/o a rope, would Capitol Butte be a shorter overall climb than Wilson Mountain, assuming we do one of the southside scramble routes?


True. But Capitol's going to be even hotter. It's lower in elevation and doesn't have the vegetation that Capitol does, either. You're right though, it is a great climb and if you can find a cooler day I'd prefer it to Wilson. The way the weather's been, though, Wilson's your better choice. And the Encinoso th is the better choice, too (than the Midgley bridge one).
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