AB Young Trail

MODERATE 37 reviews
#3 of 3 trails in

AB Young Trail is a 3 mile out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,646 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

views

over grown

Directions from Sedona: Drive into Oak Creek Canyon to Milepost 383.3. The trail starts across the creek from Bootlegger Campground. After crossing the creek, a short climb will bring you onto an old road above the creek. The trailhead starts at the old metal sign which is within 300 feet of your crossing. From most crossings, the sign will be just downstream.

hiking
1 month ago

A new favorite; I can't believe it's taken me so long to do this trail! Parking at Bootlegger's day use area seems to be the best, if not the only, option. There is no extra fee to park here, just the red rock pass is required ($5 daily, $15 weekly, $20 annual; can be bought on site). Crossing the creek proved to be pretty simple, it was finding the start of the actual trail that was difficult. There is a defined trail that runs along the creek. If you go down to the water straight from parking and cross the creek, the rusted metal trail sign will be south (walk along with the creek on your left; the trail sign will be on the right). Turning right at the trail sign, you begin the unrelenting incline all the way up to crest the Mogollon rim, elevation 7196 ft. From the trail sign to the lookout tower at the end, the distance is about 2.3 miles. Don't be fooled, this is 2.3 of constant switchbacks and almost 2,000 ft elevation change. The view in both directions gets more and more amazing with every switchback- across the red rocks of Sedona and the green ponderosas of Oak Creek Canyon and Flagstaff. Don't stop after the switchbacks, the trail continues through the high forest all the way to East Pocket, where it turns into forest roads at the lookout tower. If you're lucky, the ranger in the tower might let you up to check out the view, as I got to do. The hike down won't be as easy as you think- steep with lots of exposure, lose rocks, and overgrown shrubs. More lizards than I've seen on other trails, along with a herd of deer, neither will give you any trouble. Totally doable for anyone who has the desire to work for it, and absolutely worth it for anyone who can appreciate a view that is earned, not given. Hang out in the cool creek water afterwards!

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely a good morning hike! Only takes a couple of hours and your back down to enjoy the cold creek water

hiking
4 months ago

Friends of the Forest (Volunteer trail maintainers) have started brushing this trail. They started from the top and bottom and are working towards the middle.

hiking
4 months ago

Hard to find the start but worth it.

4 months ago

I feel moderate is on the conservative side 2000 foot elevation gain in 2 miles. was very very pretty and we had snow on top so I really like the hike

7 months ago

Beautiful area! Bootlegger's was great to cool off.

hiking
7 months ago

I recommend this trail during cooler months. The trail is exposed most of the day with only shade around Oak Creek and the top. Trail is rough and overgrown and recommend pants. Crossing Oak Creek can be challenging and I found best way upstream of parking trailhead. Great views from the top and recommend walking the trail up to East Pocket for views.

hiking
11 months ago

Honestly I've been wanting to do this hike for a while but never got around to it.. I did it today by myself and hiked all the way to the tower and all I can say is I'm happy I finally summited this hike but I'll probably not do it again unless it's cleaned up. I'm thankful that I read the reviews on here before going so that I made sure to wear long pants. Long pants, thick socks, and good hiking boots are a must. It's an easy hike in the since that it's a switch back all the way to but the brush and fallen rocks were very rough. The views were what made it worth it 100%. I saw lots of snakes and the hike has lots of bees and wasps but they didn't affect me at all.

Monday, June 19, 2017

I did this trail as my own father's day present. It's amazing. You traverse so many different types of strata. You need to buy a $5 day pass at the entrance. It's random how you get to the trail head. Go down the steep stairs and cross the river. Then scramble to the trail just ahead. The trail is STRAIGHT up. It's 2.5 to the highest point and so worth it. Views for miles. The trail collapsed about 4 years ago so be careful. There is a rocky avalanche component that is about 6 switchbacks. The trail is also super overgrown at the top so you either need to be a good pathfinder (I went alone) or team up. Beware.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Still pretty overgrown in places, I didn't mind but the kiddo wasn't a fan. Didn't find the lookout tower but man, what a view!

backpacking
Sunday, December 25, 2016

I'm sure this is nice when the creek is passable but it was flooded due to a rain storm. In addition, the trail head is not really signed well. I eventually found it but couldn't continue because of the creek. Parking lot is bootlegger and you need a recreational pass.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Not a lot of shade but beautiful switchbacks up the mountain. Good steady climb all the way up.

hiking
Thursday, September 01, 2016

August of 2016 - the trail was overgrown and in need of maintenance. Was wearing shorts so my legs were badly scratched up from the thorny brush I had to plow through. Once up to the rim, you find your way to the fire lookout tower and if you are lucky, their will be a park ranger keeping watch and will invite you up for a great view. I'd hike it again as it's a great workout, but only if I knew for certain the brush has been cut back.

trail running
Friday, July 01, 2016

I just ran this trail in 50 minutes. It was only a challenge because the trail is rocky and only about 12 inches wide with your legs brushing grass the whole way. The view at the top was well worth it though.

hiking
Friday, May 13, 2016

Great views but pay attention to the trail. Perhaps because of the recent fires, the trail isn't defined at times. In addition to this there seems to quite a large amount of bee activity around (began the hike at 8am) the switchbacks. They are to my knowledge harmless so just walk on by. The scenery makes up for this and once you reach the top you feel a huge sense of reward.

hiking
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

06/15/2015,press release from the Forest Service: AB Young has reopened.

hiking
Thursday, June 04, 2015

The AB Young trail sustained significant damage in the Slide Fire and is currently closed: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/landmanagement/?cid=stelprdb5331631.

hiking
Friday, February 21, 2014

Great hike to a great view! Nice steady incline, not too taxing. The trail is narrow and rocky in spots...so steady footing is recommended.

hiking
Saturday, April 20, 2013

This trail is a refreshingly ass kicking hike! You will sweat, you will want to stop, you will love it. You cross Oak Creek and go up! That simple. The switchbacks are wide so it is never horribly steep, but my stomach got a little queezy looking down the hill at points ( A clumsy girl like me would fall then never stop) So watch your step. Some parts of the trail are rocky and slippery. I didn't see a single soul on this trail, just me and my happy pup. At the top I enjoyed the views, a juicy orange, and a strong sense of satisfaction. Look down on to Oak Creek, and North to the the snowy peaks in Flag! Keep your eye out for some friendly fisherman at the bottom who might offer you a cold beer!

hiking
Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Yes, there really ARE 33 switchbacks on this trail. But I actually enjoyed every one of them. The trail itself, while climbing quickly, was never excessively steep, so I found the hiking very comfortable and the views amazing. This is definitely a trail that makes you feel like you're getting somewhere very fast. Just don't start counting switchbacks, or they might seem like they go on forever. But what a reward when you get to the top.

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