Over winter break we decided to go on several hikes, one of which was to a new wilderness area for me! We decided to visit the Red-Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness area near Sedona, AZ.
This is a wilderness area that boarders the famous Oak Creek Canyon, and encompasses a large portion of the red-rock country and canyons along the Mogollon Rim. There are many trails throughout this wilderness, and we decided to try the Secret Canyon Trail. While there is a poorly maintained 4×4 dirt/rock road that goes to the trailhead, there were unfortunately a bunch of people using the road as a path, making driving all the way to the trailhead impossible. However, once we passed the crowds, which were all going to Devil’s Bridge Trail, we enjoyed solitude for the most part. Many of the Sedona jeep tours come down this road, so we did have to step aside several times for them. From this road, we were able to see some spectacular views of the red-rock country that we had never seen before.
After hiking around 4 miles, we finally got to the trailhead, and were able to do a 4 mile out-and-back trip before it started getting dark. The trail goes much further than that, and meets up with several other trails that criss-cross this wilderness. We were mostly in a mixed, low-evelvation coniferous forest, and there was still a fair bit of wildlife out and about, despite the cold.
One of the fun findings of the trip was the frozen streams. Sedona had recently had a bout of snow, and many of the streets and creeks were still frozen over (some just barely so).
Overall, we hiked around 12 miles, which was a great workout and full of many wonderful landscapes. I definitely want to further explore this wilderness area though, as there are many, many other trails that go deeper into the heart of the wilderness.