October 25th, 2016 ~ Day 214
Taking a personal day off work, I dropped the kids off at school and headed to Sedona to enjoy a day of hiking. I wanted an extra day just to get away. My plan to hike the Devil’s Bridge Trail. I’ve hiked this trail twice before. You can get to the trailhead a few different ways. I hiked it once down the four wheel drive road and another time from a different trailhead, so long ago I don’t remember the name of the trail.
Following my GPS, I almost headed down the four wheel drive road. Stopping and backing up, I parked at the Dry Creek Vista Trailhead. I wasn’t ready for another bumpy ride, twice was enough for me this week. Besides, it’s much more fun to hike.
The stunning views from the parking lot were so remarkable, I was getting excited to start this journey. A day to myself in beautiful Sedona, so exhilarating!
The temperatures here are about ten degrees less than Phoenix, which makes it nice for hiking. Less than two hours from Phoenix, it’s an easy drive. Sedona is located just south of Flagstaff, and is surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. It’s been a few years since I was at Devil’s Bridge with my friends, I forgot how magnificent the beauty of this place is.
After talking with the ranger, I was initially going to hike the road to the trailhead, but as I parked by the trail map to read it, I realized there was a longer way around. So I began my hike on the Chuckwagon Trail. This is the longest way to get to the Devil’s Bridge Trail, a 5.8 mile strenuous hike, according to the map. Of course I always choose the longest and hardest hike, so off I went.
Walking through a trail of red sand, I couldn’t take my eyes off the mountains surrounding me. Everywhere I turned I had a beautiful view. I love the red rocks of Sedona! Truly amazing!
The trail was damp, as it had rained early this morning. The trail, made mostly of clay, sand and rock, wasn’t muddy. Without much incline I didn’t think the Chuckwagon Trail was too difficult, the only difficulty would possibly be the mileage being longer than the other two options. There weren’t many people on this trail, I was completely alone for most of my hike. I did have a few bikes pass me, but that was all.
After about two and a half miles, I made it to the Devil’s Bridge Trail. Once I came to the Devil’s Bridge Trail, I started running into people, and lots of them, coming back down from the bridge. The trail became a deep darker shade of red the higher I climbed. It was as if I was climbing through the colors of the mountains I could see off in the distance.
I began climbing stairs made of rock and a few sections of the trail I was on all fours climbing. Exhausted from the last two days of hiking, I was moving very slowly. The trail itself is less than a mile with a 400 foot elevation gain, seems simple. Maybe it was do to my excessive hiking recently, but I don’t remember this trail being so difficult.
Soon after the climb I made it to the bridge. A rock arch made of sandstone carved out by wind and weather erosion. There was a crowd here and I waited my turn to have someone take my picture. Looking over the edge can be a little intimidating. I’m not really scared of heights, but I always take a step back and become cautious.
From Devil’s Bridge you could see how big the pine forest surrounding it is. Spectacular views in every direction. I can see how the Devil’s Bridge is such a tourist attraction, there’s just something about the beauty of this place.
Running out of time, having to pick the kids back up from school, I decided to take the four wheel drive road back to the trailhead. It was about half the mileage as the Chuckwagon Trail. As I was hiking the road, I saw the rocks I would have had to have driven over in order to get back here. Thank goodness I didn’t decided to drive it, my car never would have made it.
My hike was a total of five miles, a decent day hike, especially in the middle of the week. I had the opportunity to enjoy a nice little getaway in the solitude of a beautiful place. I can’t wait to come back again.