Weather: 82º, sunny (I got sunburned!)
About this Hike: I explored Thunder Mountain Trail and Lizard’s Head today. These comprise the “urban trail system” in West Sedona. The trailheads are easily marked but are in residential areas. Part of me was curious about reaching the summit of Thunder Mountain, but from what I read this is a treacherous hike and sounded like it could potentially ruin my vacation if something went wrong.
I also did the Sugarloaf Mountain summit which offered some nice views but not much else. Underwhelmed, I went over to Soilder’s Pass Trailhead where I read there were Seven Sacred Pools.
Soilder’s Pass ended up being the winner of the day. Also part of the West Sedona area, it feels less urban as it ascends up the Brins Mesa and into the wilderness. Along the way is Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole, which as the name implies, is a massive sinkhole. Next up are the Seven Pools. Nothing like the Seven Sacred Pools on Maui, these are stagnant pools carved into the red rocks. A few had tadpoles swimming in them.
The hike continues on through forest and many dry washes as it makes its way up Brins Mesa. Along the way you’re afforded great views of Coffee Pot Rock and the backside of Thunder Mountain, which from the back angle is much smaller looking. Atop the mesa the topography quickly changes to grassland. There are nice views of the wilderness, but not much else.
Satisfied from a full day of hiking, I started back from there. Along the trail I met a friendly guy who works as a tour guide in Sedona. (He was off duty and just hiking for pleasure.) We had a nice chat, and then I found my way back to the trailhead. There’s a side trail that is signed as “1.2 Miles to Trailhead,” but I have no idea if that’s the Soilder’s Pass Trailhead or possibly Teacup Trailhead. I stuck to the beaten path, although the explorer in me wanted to see what was down this side trail.
All in all, West Sedona offers some nice views and varying trails all with great no-fee parking areas.
|Seven Sacred Pools of Sedona|
|Devil's Kitchen Sinkhole|