Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hike #34: Boynton Canyon Trail, Red Rock Wilderness, Coconino National Forest

Length: 5 miles

Boynton Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Sedona area. The red rock surroundings and lush forest setting are considered by many to be the best Sedona has to offer. Adding to the popularity is the New Age belief that along this trail is a spiritual vortex believed to be a concentration of electromagnetic energy.

The first half of this trail passes through a box canyon with red rock buttes and cliffs towering on both sides. Although the cliffs are extremely picturesque, the view is slightly marred by the presence of a large resort adjacent to the trail.

After about one-mile, the trail descends deeper into the canyon, and a forest of pines, oaks, and sycamores obscure the red cliffs from view. The rest of the trail passes through a cool, shaded forest with numerous wildflowers and wildlife. Once you begin to think the trail is never going to end, the path begins a steep quarter-mile incline that ends at a wooden sign announcing the official end of the trail. Although the view from the end is somewhat impressive, one has to question whether it was really worth all that climbing!

Fortunately, the steep climb in makes for a quick descent back to the forest below. Now, it's merely a level return past the resort and back to the trailhead.

To view more photos of the Boynton Canyon Trail, click here.

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