March 10, 2020
Take a Hike: Sedona and Cottonwood
The quick drive to Sedona, Cottonwood, and Montezuma’s Well from Pine Canyon opens you up to a wide selection of hiking adventures – along with epic views of red rock scenery, flora, and fauna. Here are a few of the trails to consider when you want to head south and make tracks:
Coffee Pot Rock: An easy, 2.3-mile round trip via Teacup Trail, this dog-and-kid friendly hike leads to the foot of the famous red rock (which gets its name from its resemblance to an old-school java percolator), plus views of Capitol Butte along the way.
Bell Rock: Like Coffee Pot Rock, Bell Rock Pathway Trail is another easy hike you can do with the whole family, including the pooch. Most of the 3.6-mile out-and-back terrain is flat, with the occasional rocky patch and small hills. In addition to Bell Rock, you’ll get excellent views of Courthouse Butte too.
Brins Mesa: This moderate, 6.4-mile round trip in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness features wide open spaces and glorious vistas – particularly if you time your outing for sunrise or sunset. If you’re looking for solitude, you’re in luck, since it’s not as highly trafficked as some of the more popular trails in Sedona.
Long Canyon: A moderate 6-mile out-and-back trail, Long Canyon gradually gains a little over 800 feet in elevation. During the hike, you get perfect views of Wilson Mountain, Steamboat Rock, and other natural geological features – plus tons of native Arizonan flora and birds.
Bear Mountain: If you’re looking for a more strenuous hike over the course of a couple of hours, Bear Mountain’s 4.6-mile out-and-back will fit the bill: steep and switch-backed, with about 2,000 feet in elevation gain and a few false summits. The payoff from the top is worth every step, with incredible views of the surrounding red rocks, wilderness, and even distant peaks.
Dead Horse Ranch: At 1.7 miles, the Dead Horse Ranch Lagoon Loop is a well-maintained trail that takes you on a 1.7-mile circuit around three small lakes – perfect for an easy family hike. In addition to beautiful scenery, keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, blue herons, red tail hawks, otters, beaver, and deer – and the chance to spot a bobcat or mountain lion.
North Mingus Loop Trail: You’ll see spring wildflowers and great views at every turn on this popular 4.1-mile loop trail. Going clockwise makes for easier going while going counterclockwise makes it a bit steeper. On a clear day with the right winds, you might see hang gliders taking off!
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma’s Well: Montezuma’s Well Trail is distinctly different from the hikes listed above. While the loop trail is less than a mile long, it packs a lot into the short distance: a tranquil oasis that includes the well, ancient ruins, a 1,000-year-old irrigation ditch, and a riparian area packed with Arizona sycamores.