Day 214 ~ Devil’s Bridge Sedona, AZ

October 25th, 2016 ~ Day 214

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Day 134 ~ West Fork Trail ~ Oak Creek Canyon Sedona, AZ

August 6th, 2016 ~ Day 134

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The kids and I headed to Sedona for the day to do the West Fork Trail. It’s been at least a year since I’ve been here. We left early so we could get parking at the trail. It was a surprisingly cool 67 degrees when we arrived. I actually had to put my jacket on because I was chilly.

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As soon as we stated the trail we found blackberries. We had to climb through the thorny bushes to get to the good ones and even with all that work, they were still small. All along the trail next to the river were blackberries and so much more than at the beginning. They were yummy, both bitter and sweet. They got bigger the further we stepped away from the trail too.

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We came to an old lodge that had been destoyed by a fire, it’s now crumbling and has become overgrown with plants and ivy. You could see the fireplace and the two walls that were still standing had windows without the glass. You could see the separation of rooms on the ground. Reading up on it, it had only been destroyed by fire in 1980.

They also had an old chicken coup and what I thought may have been a smoke house, or maybe it was something to store food. I’m not quite sure. It was a room in the side of the mountain. The kids and I had to climb in it. I am always interested in seeing things from the past. Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong lifetime. I’ve always dreamt of living in the past.

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We hiked about a mile and a half to the swimming hole I promised the kids. This was our stopping point. The kids can only go so far before the complaining begins.  They played in the water for a half an hour before we headed back.

They kids and I had a great time exploring! They climbed the side of the mountain and we crossed the creek several times with ease. My daughter has begun to use her imagination with ideas of how we could live outdoors. She looks for the prefect campsite and of course she finds the best. Even if we can’t camp here.

It was an amazing adventure! I can’t wait till the next one.

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My favorite picture today was of the sap dripping of the tree. Luckily my daughter pointed it out.

Day 78 ~ Chapel Trail/Cathedral Rock Trail/Boynton Canyon Trail Sedona, AZ

June 11th, 2016 ~ Day 78

Chapel Trail

Eric and I took a trip to Sedona. First stop was Chapel on the Hill. A beautiful Catholic church up on the hill. We checked out the chapel, which was of course beautiful.

Off to the side, down the hill a little ways is a trail. We decided to check out the trail. We did a short hike, a little over half a mile. Having never been here, we decided not to go too far, and the parking attendant wanted us to move our car anyway.

The beauty of Sedona with its natural red rocks is amazing. To see all the different shaped rocks forming in the sky makes me awe struck as to how they became. I’ve never been here, so it was pretty awesome to see another side of Sedona.

Cathedral Rock Trail

Second stop, Cathedral Rock. This is a mile hike up to two spires, where one of Sedona’s Vortex’s lie. I didn’t realize that until after we left though.

The trail to the spires is pretty much straight up. It got a little warm as we were climbing. Sedona is cooler than Phoenix, but the sun was shining directly on us.

It got a little tricky climbing as we neared the top, so we decided not to go all the way up. What we were able to see as we turned around, was a beautiful scenery surrounding us. More of the beautiful red rocks all around. White fluffy clouds against a blue sky. Just absolutely amazing. Again, another part of Sedona I had yet to see.

 

Boynton Canyon Trail

Last stop for the day was a mile hike to another of Sedona’s Vortex. This one I have been to before. What I felt the last time I came here is what brought me back this time.

Eric and I made our way through the trail. An easy trail where we were able to see the manzanita trees. Love them! Heading to the Vista Trail brings you to the Vortex. We found a semi shaded spot and reclined on the rocks to meditate. So simple, so peaceful and so healing.

I don’t know how long we stayed there on those rocks looking off at the clouds. It was a great way to end our day of hiking.

When we returned to the trailhead there was a gentlemen there who gave us each a rock in the shape of a heart. He said this rock would bring with us all that we felt up there in the canyon. ❤