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Red Rock District
Coconino National Forest

P. O. Box 20429
Sedona, AZ 86341-0429

8375 State Route 179, Sedona, Arizona
(Just south of the Village of Oak Creek)

Administrative Offices:
(928) 282-4119 or
(928) 203-7500

Visitor Information
(928) 203-2900

Forest Supervisor's Office
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

(928) 527-3600

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Backpacking

When backpacking in the Red Rock Area, please be aware of the following:

  • ALWAYS let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • ALWAYS be aware of local fire restrictions and danger level.
  • There are very few permanent water sources – when backpacking anticipate on using AT LEAST one gallon/day/person.
  • Poison Ivy is present in many of the riparian areas – watch out!!
  • Hang your food!!! Local wildlife includes: black bear, raccoons, ringtail, javelina, mountain lion and more!!
  • Pack it in-Pack it out!!- If you can carry it in you can carry it out!! Please help do your part in ensuring a clean, safe and beautiful forest for wildlife and people too!
  • Many of our wilderness trails are unmarked, bring a compass and good map and know how to use them!!
  • Please always practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace.
    1. Plan ahead and prepare-know local regulations, weather forecast and local hazards. Bring a map and compass and know how to use them!
    2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces-stay on existing trails, travel in small groups and camp at least 200 feet from creeks and streams.
    3. Dispose of waste properly-pack it in & pack it out, wash dishes 200 feet away from water source, pack out ALL toilet paper and hygiene products, bury solid human waste in catholes dug 6-8” 200 feet away from water.
    4. Leave what you find- leave rocks, plants, avoid introducing non-native species and do not build structure, furniture or dig trenches.
    5. Minimize Campfire Impacts-wood is a precious resource in the Southwest, be aware of any local fire restrictions or regulations. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle or lantern for light. When having a campfire, please keep it small and make sure it is entirely out before leaving.
    6. Respect Wildlife-Observe wildlife from a distance, do not approach or feed.  Protect wildlife by hanging or securing your food and trash.  Please keep your pet on a leash.
    7. Be Considerate of other visitors-Be courteous of other visitors, yield to uphill hikers, step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock. Avoid loud voices and let the sounds of nature prevail!

The above are only recommendations. It is ultimately up to the recreationalist, through their own preparedness and outdoor etiquette, to ensure a fun, safe and successful trip!


Multiple Day Hikes

All lengths are the total trip length (round trip)

  • Dogie/Sycamore Pass/ Taylor Cabin/Casner Mt. Loop
    Sycamore Canyon Wilderness
    Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
    Length: 22 miles
    Recommended map: Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Map
    Access: To Dogie Trailhead: Drive 30 miles south from Flagstaff through Sedona on US 89A. Five miles past Sedona turn north on FR 525 and follow the signs to Sycamore Pass. Turn west on FR 525C and continue for nine miles to the parking area. Hike road up to the saddle.
    Water: Scarce-seasonal (only when there is runoff from recent rains)
    The Dogie trail descends into the heart of the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. For those who long for rugged beauty unspoiled and untamed by man, Sycamore is one of the few places in the southwest that can lay claim to such a lack of man's accomplishments. This loop requires crossing Sycamore Creek.  Sycamore creek can be difficult to impossible to cross in the spring.  The Casner Mountain trail follows an old jeep road which still provides access to the power lines. The Taylor Cabin Trail is very steep. Make sure you take lots of water for this hike especially during late spring to early fall months. Temperatures quite often exceed 110 degrees in the canyon bottom.
    Fee: None

 

  • Secret Canyon Trail
    Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Length: 11 miles
    (Can be combined with David Miller and Bear Sign trails for a 6.4 mile loop)
    Recommended map: Wilson Mt. USGS quad or Sedona Beartooth Map
    Access: Drive 27 miles south from Flagstaff to Sedona on US 89A. Continue through Sedona to Dry Creek Road (152C) at the west end of town. Turn right on Dry Creek Road and drive for two miles to Forest Road 152. This road is rough, but can be traveled by passenger vehicles. It is not recommended during wet weather. About 3 miles up this road on the left (west) side of the road is a two-track road. Turn onto this road. There is a trailhead sign at the junction of these two roads. The parking area is approximately 200 feet behind the sign.
    Water: Scarce-seasonal (only when there is runoff from recent rains)
    NOTE: Hikers must be at least one mile from the trailhead before camping.
    Description: Beautiful hike in a Red Rock Canyon.  The Secret Canyon trail starts out wide and flat with little shade, but climbs for the next three miles, with increasing shade and nice views of red rock formations.  At 5 ½ miles there is a deep ravine with a series of pools in the solid rock streambed.  An unmaintained trail continues on.  Return the same route for an 11mile hike. 
    Fee: None

 

  • West Clear Creek Trail
    West Clear Creek Wilderness
    Difficulty: Easy-Strenuous
    Length: 15 miles
    Recommended map: Walker Mtn. & Buckhorn Mtn. USGS quads
    Access: Drive 40 miles south of Flagstaff on Interstate 17. Leave the highway at the AZ 179 exit and turn east under the freeway. Drive about 9 miles on FR 618 to FR 215 and turn east about 3 miles to the Bullpen Ranch trailhead.
    Or turn east off FR 618 on FR 214 about 8 miles from the highway and turn east 4.7 miles to the Bald Hill Road. Follow this primitive road about 1 mile to a rock-pile cairn that marks the trailhead.
    Water: year round.
    Description: This trail provides the only marked and maintained access to the lower reaches of West Clear Creek Canyon Wilderness. From its western terminus at Bull Pen Ranch at the canyon mouth, the trail leads upstream into the deep, narrow gorge which medium-sized West Clear Creek has cut into the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The trail is fairly level for the first 2 miles as it follows West Clear Creek .  The last stretch is very steep at the trail makes its way up to the Mogollon Rim.  There are several creek crossings which may be difficult during periods of high water.  In the middle of a hot desert summer you'll appreciate the opportunity to cool off.
    Fee: None

 

  • Bell Trail
    Wet Beaver Wilderness
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Length: 22 miles
    Recommended map: Walker Mtn. & Casner USGS quads
    Access: Drive 40 miles south from Flagstaff on Interstate 17. Leave the interstate at the AZ 179 interchange. Turn east under the highway and drive about 1.5 miles east to the old (now closed) Beaver Creek Ranger Station turnoff. Turn north about a quarter mile to the parking lot and trailhead.
    Water: Year round
    Description: This trail is the only developed route into Wet Beaver Creek Canyon and the Wilderness Area it shelters. It is a very popular trail with hikers and anglers who come to enjoy the solitude and other rewards offered by a clear cool stream flowing through a scenic desert canyon. For the most part, the trail follows a route along a bench well above the streambed. At one point the trail leaves the canyon bottom to wind high along an escarpment of red sandstone and offer scenic views of the riparian area, the canyon and the surrounding mountains and valleys.
    Most people who come to this trail hike only the first 3.3 miles to Bell Crossing, taking advantage any one of several access paths that branch off the main trail and lead down to the stream. After crossing the Wet Beaver Creek, the Bell Trail climbs the canyon's south wall to a high, grassy plateau, offering views that stretch all the way to the Sedona Red Rocks Country and the San Francisco Peaks. Eleven miles from the Beaver Creek trailhead, the Bell Trail ends at Forest Road 24.
    Fee: None

 

  • West Fork Oak Creek Trail
    Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness
    Difficulty: Easy-Strenuous
    Length: 6 miles round trip up OR 14 miles ONE WAY
    Recommended map: Wilson Mt. & Dutton Hill USGS quads
    Access: Drive south 17.5 miles south from Flagstaff or north 9.5 miles from Sedona to about halfway between milepost 385 and 384. The trailhead is on the west side of the highway down a paved lane that leads behind a few creekside houses. The best place to park is at the Call O' The Canyon day area about a quarter mile north of the trailhead.
    Water: Year round
    NOTE: Hikers must be 6 miles or more from trailhead before camping.
    Description: There are a number of reasons why West Fork is the most popular trail on the Coconino National Forest.  It is a beautiful, mostly shaded hike, with sheer canyon walls on either side.  The first three miles is easy, though it involves SEVERAL stream crossings. The trail is marked for the first three miles; however, many hikers continue beyond that. Eventually the developed trail ends and you will be forced to hike in the stream bed as you continue into the Secret Mountain/Red Rocks Wilderness.
    If you choose to travel all 14 miles from one end of the canyon to the other, plan to do a lot of wading and boulder hopping, and even some swimming. Swimming is REQUIRED.  The trail becomes very difficult with miles of boulder hopping.  Due to the nature of the canyon, being shaded and requiring swimming in several areas, extra dry clothes are a must. Though it is only 14 miles, it is difficult and slow going. Hikers should be prepared for an overnight trip.
    Fee: $9.00 per vehicle/day (Inform concessionaire of how many days your trip is).

 

  • Loy Canyon
    Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness
    Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous
    Length: 10 miles
    Recommended map: Loy Butte USGS quad
    Access: Drive 35 miles south from Flagstaff through Sedona on US 89A. 5 miles past Sedona turn north on FR 525 and follow the signs toward Loy Butte 9.3 miles to the trailhead. Watch for signs on your right and a parking area on your left just before crossing a cattleguard into the Hancock Ranch.
    Water: None
    NOTE: Hikers must be at least one mile from trailhead before camping.
    Description: This trail leads up a desert wilderness canyon offering excellent views not only at trail's end, but all along the way as well.  The trail starts out by skirting the fence line of the Hancock Ranch. Sheer cliffs of vermilion and buff sandstone form a colorful backdrop for the desert garden of manzanita, catclaw, cholla and prickly pear that carpets the canyon floor. Natural rock sculptures carved by flash floods and spring runoff that seasonally course down this normally dry streambed provide scenic settings for lunch stops along the way. Near the end of the canyon, the trail becomes very steep, ascending a 1680 foot climb to a high saddle that leads to the top of a mesa called Secret Mountain. Here you can continue along the Secret Mountain trail.
    Fee: None

 

 

 
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U.S. Forest Service - Red Rock District, Coconino National Forest
Last Modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2012 at 13:17:25 MST