First time in Sedona for me and we drove in from the north on Hwy 89A as it drops impressively through Oak Creek Canyon and past popular spots such as West Fork and Slide Rock State Park. We settled into our standard RV park which provided all the necessities, including close neighbors, for our short stay.

Ready to ride from Mescal trailhead.

I’d heard that the trailheads get busy but I was still surprised as we got the last “legal” parking spot at the Mescal trailhead when we arrived at 7:45 am. I say “legal” because on our return we found cars parked all over the place and there did not seem to be any evidence of parking enforcement, this remained the case for the rest of our stay.

We had picked a string of intermediate trails to get the feel of the place and warmed up on the road as we rode north to the Long Canyon trail.

Like it says.
Just a nice place to ride.
Sweeping views.
Red sculptures everywhere.
Hardpack red dirt.
Plenty of uphills to play with.
End of ride #1.

Day 2 and I went out solo. There was another loop south of town that had Slim Shady on the left and another concatenation on the right hand side. Again I arrived at the trailhead before 8 am and got one of the last legal spots, on my return I’d find cars parked all over the place again.

Warmed up on the Bell Rock trail till just before The Village of Old Creek where I hopped the HWY 179 and picked up Slim Shady trail which was more challenging.

Early morning Bell Rock view.
The Bell.
Rock gardens on Slim Shady.
Slick rock views back into town.
Map check I’m on Slim Shady.

At the top end of Slim Shady I again cross under 179 on the HT trail and catch Little Horse trail to get up to Llama that will take me back to my car. Now Little Horse is black diamond and I quickly realize it would have been more fun coming down  rather than struggling up through the rock gardens but it’s not too long and once on llama the swooping fun continues.

HT trail takes you under the road.
Shadows are still long.
Trails built to last.
Just gear down and keep the wheels rolling.
Finishing on llama trail.
Parking signs completely ignored.

Third day the weather was iffy and we played tourist in town and ate out on the deck at Hideaway House.

Dinner view from Hideaway House deck.
Hot cobbler and ice cream.
Walking back to the RV after dinner.

Last full day we decide on a hike. Soldier Pass had some side attractions and was also no bikes. A loop can be made of this hike and there were two trailheads to choose from. One was tiny so I opt for the Brins Mesa trail head. The trail head is a bit north of town along a dirt road and all looks quite on our arivall. Some cars parked at a small pullout and I soon realize why as we round a bend and there is a full grown tree across the road just shy of the empty parking lot. Turn around and squeeze in next to the cars at the pull out so as to get off the road. I shouldn’t have worried – on our return the were cars lined up and down the road with barely enough space to get through.

Rough bit of parking.
Downed tree blocking road to trailhead.
South side of Soldier Pass.

Devil’s Kitchen is a large sink hole type feature along the way.
Seven Sacred Pools could do with some water and they looked rather forlorn in their dry state.
Soldiers Arch or Cave depending what you read.

Along the way up an unmarked side trail are a couple of arch formations that are also referred to as caves. We scrambled up for a look but left soon afterwards as others started arriving and you find yourselves on top of each other.

Somewhere near the top of Soldier Pass.
By now there were cars everywhere.

Too short a stay and we will have to come back to linger during the off peak season, whenever that is.