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If you leave early enough, you will be shaded by the canyon for most of the hike. We started a little after 6am and it was shaded the whole way there—however, the sun had risen over the canyon by the time we were heading back. We stayed at the falls for a bit. There was plenty of water running through them—beautiful—some people were even jumping in! Try to stay on the trail by paying attention to trail markers, it’s easy to miss them when you get to the riverbed.

Wilderness trail with minimal hikers. Shaded at the bottom and along the switch backs up the mountain. Beautiful views along entire hike.

Beautiful mountains and wonderful “ side trails”

Worth the trip. Very well maintained trails. Beautiful!

I loved this trail! There wasn’t much water when I went so I’ll definitely be going again. A lot of flat hiking then a lot of incline towards the end.

It was hard, but amazing views and at the end the Seven Falls!

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing views, tons of wildlife. Due to permits being required, not too many other hikers on the trail. This is as good as it gets in southern Arizona. I saw a giant desert centipede, black bear, and bats. I recommend doing this hike in early spring or late fall when the weather is cooler. It was a bit hot and monsoons threaten flash floods so it was a little sketchy. Overall a great destination that does not disappoint.

Went out today for an afternoon hike. The trail is in great shape. There was a lot of water today. We were able to swim at the pools at the falls. Lots of frogs and lizards on the trail today.

Picking a favorite trail in Sedona is like picking a favorite child... difficult to admit. This big hike holds a big space in my heart. We double parked this one, so we ascended the south side from Midgley Bridge, hiked the north canyon and sedona overlooks, then descended the north down Oak Creek Canyon. I love every foot of this trail, and it never feels like I'm doing the same hike twice. With the elevation change, the terrain changes quickly and very significantly as you hike up- from the iron crusted sandstone, to the grey limestone, dense green pinyon pines, and finally onto the black basalt boulders that overlook the canyons and formations. The weather may also have noticeable differences with the elevation change (snow remains on the plateau much longer, wind is more intense, etc.). The north side is much more green and wooded, which was nice to hike down as the day got hotter. This side is also much steeper with loose rock, so watch your footing, especially when coming down. Wildlife is abundant, especially during the warmer months. We saw two species of horned lizards, deer, possibly a bobcat, and other reptiles and insects. Lots of animal tracks in the mud as well. Not much shade, bring sunscreen and lots of water (1 hr per person, per hour of hiking in the summer; it took us 6 hours to do all the trails with a long break to eat). Both lookouts offer great views- might as well do both since you already hiked up the hardest part! Still my favorite out of so many great hikes in Sedona.

go early on morning with a headlamp. sunrise is gorgeous!

Fun drive to get to the trail. Really remote. Fun in the water!

Awesome refreshing swim at the top! Can’t beat it!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! We were lucky enough to see a lot of wildlife. Deer, turkey, javelina, a gila monster, rattlesnakes, a family of coatimundi, a bobcat and fireflies along the creek when it got dark. The scenery is constant and beautiful! Give yourself enough time to explore the side canyons. They are often steep and hard to climb but the unique views and pools are worth the effort. We did this in July and it was hot despite being in the cool water most of the hike. There were mosquitoes and biting flies out in force so bug spray or a tent/netting is highly recommended.

I shoved off, at 7:45am on a day with a forecast high of 101. I'm heat tolerant so was not concerned as I took plenty of fluids, about 3.5 liters. For hiking days like this, I freeze a Gatorade overnight so it melts during the hike and then tastes fantastic as a slush towards the end of the hike when I need it the most. I followed the north approach as I read it receives more shade than the southern approach. The first 1.9 miles is fairly steep with an average grade of 15%. Then on the First Bench a pleasant hike across a meadow prior to the final ascent. You will reach a sign post giving you the alternative to go left to the Sedona Overlook or right to the Canyon Overlook. I went right and the next mile is fairly flat and kind of boring but the final view is awesome. It took me 2:11 to reach the end (I'm on Strava so not a guess) of the 5 miles. I found a hiking pole helpful on the descent as there are some slick spots with a lot of loose pebbles. Finished the entire hike in 3:35. It was my birthday today, reaching 60. Damn it.

Nice hike for family. Great lunch spot at the falls.

on Aravaipa Canyon Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely unreal and unique experience. Somewhat of a mix between Sabino Canyon of Tucson and West Fork Creek of Sedona, AZ. Outstanding backpacking opportunity. Mostly shaded and perennial stream that you walk through maybe half the time ensure its bearable even in June. Speaking of bears, yes, I did see one large reddish-colored bear. Ranger had warned me that bear activity reports were twice last year due to drought conditions in the area. Also saw lots of coatis, deer, birds, and a skunk. Outstanding campsites every mile or so.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Nice ride. Nothing technical about this ride. It is easier if you go clockwise in my opinion. Good views of the park.

Just amazing views of red rocks and Sedona. A workout but not as difficult as some other hikes - well worth the effort.

2 months ago

Careful when you leave your car, mine was broken into and stuff was stolen!

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is an ASS KICKER!! Super steep, rocky trail for the last half of the first 1.5 miles up to the bench, especially the switchbacks that might as well be washes. At the first half-mile up, I wanted to turn around, but because I'm stubborn, I did not. I took A LOT of short breaks. Be sure to drink a lot of water!! And start early!! I didn't even find the fabled bench on the 1st landing. There was a lot of cussing involved with those switchbacks since after every set it looked like the landing was next, but NOPE! I ended up resting under a tree by the overlook (really stinkin pretty btw). Pro-tip #1, those plants that look like aloe plants and definitely NOT aloe plants, and I got impaled by thorns and scratched up when I brushed up against one of those little shits. The summit trail was a lot easier, plenty of shade. Pro-tip #2, bring bug spray, sunscreen, and at least 3L of water. Pro-tip #3, the north canyon lookout trail is pretty washed out, not scenic, long as heck and takes forever, and filled with little gnats that swarmed in my face. I don't even think the view below was worth it. That trail won't survive another monsoon season. The Sedona lookout is totally worth it though. I reached that area around 430pm, so the pinks and reds were just starting to get brighter. The trip down was pretty easy except for the slight scrambling on some of the switchbacks. Theres some marvellous scenery into the gorge by the switchbacks you don't notice on the way up because you're too focused on not dying. Pro-tip #4, always pay attention to your feet on the way down, and if you want to look at the scenery DON'T DO IT WHILE WALKING!! You will slip on those rocks and possibly go careening off into the canyon. This truly is the "road that goes ever on and on" because you never know when you're going to be at where you're going.

I gotta say though, for the record, if my inexperienced, out-of-shape butt can summit this mountain, you can too. Took 3h up and 2h down (from the N canyon lookout).

This trail was hard AF, but if you're stubborn and brave enough, YOU CAN DO IT!!

(Side note, parking was easy at the picnic area, and I saw maybe 6 people total on the trail.)

Enjoyed this hike. It was a brief 2 hour hike that was also a bit of a challenge. Recommend starting as early as possible in the morning during the summer months. I started at 6am and wish I had started closer to 5:30 in order to take advantage of the shade provided by another nearby peak.

I’ve just recently started hiking so this trail was definitely challenging for me. A friend and I made it to the falls area 05/20/18. I wanted to quit a few times along the way.

We started our hike at 5:15 am and arrived back to the vehicle by 10:00 am. I drank 3 liters of water.

I am so thankful to all of the strangers that passed by picking up on my “quitter” vibe and offered such encouraging lies such as, “You’re almost there!”, “Oh so close, don’t stop!”, and my favorite, “It’s just around the bend.”, all the while we still had no less than a mile + left.
If not for your push I quite possibly would have quit. That hike was so important to me as it was the one year anniversary to of my brother’s passing. I had to make it to the end and back.

The view is beautiful. The trail is rocky and rough at times. Wear good hiking shoes/boots rather than running shoes if you have weak ankles or are a beginner hiker. My legs were so PO at me by the time i had started back down the trail that they absolutely refused to pick my feet up so I stubbed my toes and tripped a lot going down. So thankful no one knew my name as I’m pretty sure I looked like I was coming off of a binger at the last stretch to the trailhead.

Will definitely do this one again.

Beautiful trail, but much more difficult than I was led to believe. I have a fair amount of hiking experience and this was a rougher trek than I was expecting. Also climbing up and down the falls can be sketchy even if the rocks aren't wet they're still very slick. Also call ahead and make sure the falls are running before taking this trail. We didn't think do so and the falls only had small pools no running water not even a trickle. I'd go back if I knew the falls were running, but if not there's no way.

Edit: it's also a bit longer than indicated

No falls as of 5/19. It's a moderate hike but right now it's hot and the sun is relentless. Little to no shade on the trail. It's still gorgeous up there though. There is still some water in the reservoirs but I wouldn't get in it. There were at least 20 'young adults' that were up there swimming and being obnoxious. Don't expect calm and serene.
We walked from the visitors center but took the tram back....worth the $4
Also, it's more that the 7.9 miles the hike description says. According to my 'map my hike' it was 9.75 from the visitors center and back round trip. When we got to the 7 switchbacks it was still about a mile to the 'falls'. We thought we were almost there but not quite lol

It was nice at the beginning. Getting steep at around 1.5 mile after flat took few break as it getting steep but windy helps too. No shade nice view. Could not finish the trail because the steep really get to me also hot weather. End up 5.2 miles only cuz I went wrong trail once

mountain biking
3 months ago

This is tough trail riding up, but down is easy, just have to stay slow due to others on trail. Best to ride up and stay legt to make do loop.

Wow! This trail is very very tough. If you are in great shape and inexperienced hiker this will be no problem for you. Most likely. I myself am on the bigger side but and not that experienced. This trail should be rated Hard to be truthful. If it were not as hard I would have given it 5 stars. Due to the difficulty I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would like. The trail is beautiful. Very lush and shaded. The trail head is in the Encinoso day camp area. Be sure to use the bathroom before embarking on this hard trail.

This hike was actually really difficult for us. Coming back is easier because it's mostly downhill. The falls are just a trickle and all the creek beds were dry. We actually got lost on the way down for about 20 min and it was terrifying in the heat. I think it's only worth it if the falls are flowing. Check with the visitors center before going.

A good workout but not the most picturesque area. Other hikes in the Phoenix area are much more scenic. Also, trails are not well marked. We were on a different trail (Bursera) until we asked if we were on Pyramid Trail. If you live in the neighborhood, I guess it’s convenient. I would rather do Mormon Trail to Hidden Valley in South Mountain or head to McDowell Sonoran Preserve or Superstitions.

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