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The Cockscomb Trail

 
The Cockscomb Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Arizona, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 34.87530°N / 111.858°W

Object Title: The Cockscomb Trail

Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Rock Difficulty: Class 3

Difficulty: Easy Approach/Short Scramble

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: 2skinners

Created/Edited: May 1, 2007 / May 1, 2007

Object ID: 289809

Hits: 1714 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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Getting to the trailhead (2 route variations)

Difficulty of approach to trailhead: Class 1
Difficulty of last .25 miles: Class 1-2
Difficulty of final section to summit: Class 2 – Easy Class 3
Distance: 2.3 -3.5 miles round-trip depending on route taken
Elevation gain: Approximately 550 feet

Variation # 1 (2.3 miles round-trip)

From 89A heading South:

Once you reach the intersection of Highway 179 and 89A continue South along 89A for a little over 3 miles until you reach Dry Creek Road. Take a right here and follow it for about 2.9 miles to a stop sign. Then take a left at the stop sign for another 1.6 miles. You will reach an intersection at this point and you will want to take a left here as well. From here you will drive for 1.4 miles until you reach Aerie Rd. Take a left here and follow it to a “Y” intersection. Take the road to the right and it will end in less than a quarter of a mile at the parking lot. Park here and then walk back out to the “Y” intersection and go right. Walk for 0.4 miles up this road until it ends at a circular drive. This is where the trailhead starts.

From Phoenix

Follow I-17 North until you reach Exit # 298 (AZ-179). Follow this exit towards Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon. Right after taking this exit, take a left onto AZ-179 for 14.5 miles. Then turn right onto AZ-89A towards the town of Sedona. From this point you will take a left on Dry Creek Road once you reach it and then follow the above directions to the trailhead.

Variation # 2 (3.5 miles round-trip)

From 89A heading South:

Once you reach the intersection of Highway 179 and 89A continue South along 89A for a little over 3 miles until you reach Dry Creek Road. Take a right here and follow it for about 2.9 miles to a stop sign. Then take a left at the stop sign for another 1.6 miles. You will reach an intersection at this point and you will want to take a left here as well. Follow this road for 2 miles. Shortly before you reach the 2 mile mark you will cross a cattle guard and be on a dirt road. Keep your eye out to the left for a post that marks FR 9583. There is plenty of space to park here, and chances are you will be the only one. From here, large boulders block access to the rocky dirt road beyond. Get out of your vehicle and proceed to walk on this road crossing the boulders and heading towards “The Cockscomb.” At 0.6 miles you will reach the parking lot described in Variation # 1. Follow the same directions to the trailhead from here.

From Phoenix

Follow I-17 North until you reach Exit # 298 (AZ-179). Follow this exit towards Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon. Right after taking this exit, take a left onto AZ-179 for 14.5 miles. Then turn right onto AZ-89A towards the town of Sedona. From this point you will take a left on Dry Creek Road once you reach it and then follow the above directions to the trailhead.

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Route Description

Once at the trailhead, you will want to take a right before the circular driveway and follow the trail alongside the wire fence. The fence will be to your left. Follow the trail for about 0.5 miles where the fence ends. From this point, keep your eye out for the rock cairns and trail that lead you up the Southeast face of The Cockscomb. Here it is a grueling 0.25 miles and 400 feet elevation gain to reach the summit. Follow the rock cairns on this somewhat faint trail to where you will eventually curve around the north face of the summit and scramble your way up a couple of 5-10 foot sections to reach the top. Watch out for branches, they can hurt.

Red Tape

You 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.

Camping

No camping allowed on the mountain.

When to climb

“The Cockscomb” can generally be climbed anytime of the year. During Winter months Sedona does get snow occasionally so I would exercise caution on the last 0.25 miles of this trail. 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. Also during the warmer months keep an eye out for rattlesnakes as they can be present in Sedona as well. This would make an excellent sunset or sunrise climb. If you climb at sunrise you can watch the hot air balloons rising over Sedona.

Weather Conditions




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Images

Cockscomb SpiresGoliath tumbleweedInformational picture