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Wilson Mountain North Trail
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Wilson Mountain North Trail

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Wilson Mountain North Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Arizona, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 34.92532°N / 111.7354°W

Object Title: Wilson Mountain North Trail

Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: nader

Created/Edited: May 1, 2012 / Jan 27, 2014

Object ID: 788113

Hits: 2528 

Page Score: 86.37%  - 22 Votes 

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Overview

North Wilson Trail is a well established trail that can serve as an alternative to the usually hiked South Wilson Trail. North Wilson Trail starts on Route 89A at Encinoso Picnic Area and goes up to a plateau known as the first Bench of Wilson Mountain where it joins the south trail. The combined trail then goes up another slope to reach the mesa on top of Wilson Mountain. The mesa is roughly 2 mile long by 1 mile wide and sits at an elevation of 6850 to 6950 ft. Once on top of the mesa, the trail splits. A short branch goes to the southern edge of the mesa to give spectacular views of Sedona and the Red Rock Country and a longer branch goes to the northern edge for equally spectacular views of Oak Creek Canyon, Humphreys Peak and many other mountains and canyons.

The true summit of Wilson Mountain rises as a rocky hill on top of the mesa. No trails go to the true summit.

Much of the local forest has burned in the great wildfires of 2006. The forest will likely take many decades to regenerate.






Wilson Mountain
Wilson Mountain from Sedona, South Face


Getting There

From the intersection of Route 89A and Route 179 (The “Y”) in Sedona, drive 5.3 miles north to the well signed Encinoso Picnic area on the left (west) side of Route 89A. Parking is available in the picnic area.

Route Description















Place
Elevation
Distance
Encinoso TH
4740 ft
zero miles
Jct with South Trail
6300 ft
2.3 miles
Trail split on top of mesa
6920 ft
1.0 miles
South View point
6940 ft
0.4 miles from top of mesa trail split
North View point
6850 ft
1.5 miles from top of mesa trail split




Go to the north end of the picnic area to see the signed start of the North Wilson Trail. The eastern wall of Wilson Mountain and its true summit can be seen to the west. Follow the trail up a valley toward the eastern wall.












East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
The east wall of Wilson Mountain
East Wall


Much of the local forest burned in the wildfires of 2006. The trail takes you through a patch of intact forest at the base of the eastern wall.






Forest at the base of the East Wall
Forest
Forest at the base of the East Wall
Forest


The trail then exits the forest and makes a number of switchbacks going up a steep slope that is covered by a dense growth of bushes. You will have views of Oak Creek Canyon and the eastern wall of Wilson Mountain.









East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
East Wall
East Wall


At an elevation of 6200 ft, the trail reaches a plateau called the First Bench of Wilson Mountain. This plateau is covered by short green grass and is dotted with Juniper trees. The trail follows the surface of the plateau south to reach the South Wilson Trail.






First Bench
First Bench
First Bench
On the First Bench


The combined trail then goes up another slope to reach the mesa on top of Wilson Mountain. You will have good views of the First bench below you.





First Bench
Looking down at First Bench


On top of the mesa, the trail splits. Left (south) goes to the Sedona View Point and right (north) goes to the Northern View Point. The true summit of Wilson Mountain can be seen as a small rocky hill. No trails go to the true summit.





Summit
Summit


Most of the Pine Forest on top of the mesa has burned.







Forest on Top Mesa
 
Forest on Top Mesa
 
Forest on Top Mesa
 


Turn left and hike 0.4 miles to reach the South (Sedona) View Point.









Sedona View Point
Sedona from South View Point
Sedona View Point
South View Point
Sedona View Point
South View Point


Turn back north and hike 2 miles to the northern edge of the mesa for another view point.



















Oak Creek Canyon & Humphreys Peak
Oak Creek Canyon & Humphreys Peak
Point 6446 ft
Point 6446 ft
Sterling Canyon
Sterling Canyon
Sterling Canyon
Sterling Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon & Point 6446 ft
Point 6446 ft & Oak Creek
Secret Mountain/Sterling Canyon
Secret Mountain
Secret Mountain
Secret Mountain


Essential Gear

Hiking Equipment

Weather

See the forecast for the town of Sedona, AZ.

Red Tape

You will need a Red Rock Parking Pass. See the link below:

http://www.redrockcountry.org/passes-and-permits/where-to-purchase.shtml

Images