Skywalker, Old Post, Herkenham

A double post today to catch up on our travels in Sedona.

So many trails, so little time. Although a month in Sedona seems like it would be sufficient to hike the area, there are hundreds of miles of trails here. There are more than 200 trails covering 400 miles. We plan to log as many hikes as possible. And the weather is going to cooperate. Temperatures are getting back to seasonal averages and the conditions are perfect for hiking. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.

Our breaking in hike was on Saturday, March 4th. We decided to run the Skywalker, Old Post, Herkenham loop in West Sedona. The loop is roughly 4 miles and it is rated as a moderately challenging hike. To be honest, we really did not know what to expect out of the hike. I had originally planned to do the Schuerman Mountain Trail but we took the path to Skywalker.

Lorraine checks the trail map even though we would get lost a few hours later.

We didn’t spend much time plotting our hike. We just started walking. I took hundreds of photos along the way and I will share a few here. Really hard to find a bad viewpoint in this part of the world.

There was still snow on the trail but most of it had melted. A consequence of the rapid melt was mud. Red mud. Our hiking boots got covered with it. Lorraine’s brand new hiking boots look very well worn now.

The elevation gain is about 500 feet. Nothing too difficult for experienced hikers. I would say that even inexperienced hikers would do fine on this loop depending on the weather. With a lot of sun and heat, the distance of the loop might be a challenge. We took about three hours to do the hike. Mind you, I was stopping frequently to take pictures.

Parts of the trail had a fair amount of snow cover but we did most of the hike with our top layer of clothing in our backpacks.

Some of the climbing did require a wee bit of caution due to the muddy conditions. Easy enough to loose your footing.

Many rewarding views along the way.

We did reach a point after about an hour and a half where we weren’t sure whether we were on a loop or an out-and-back trail. At this point we started debating on whether we should turn around.

As we were having that debate, I noticed a nice home out in the distance. Not a bad spot to put up a house.

Around this time, things became a little busier on the trail. About 20 bikers or so over the three hours. And, after the bikers, a group from the Sedona Westerners Hiking Club joined us.

They were wonderful people. About 15 of them. They even shared some food with us. A good thing as we had no food ourselves and we had become very hungry. They told us how to get back to our trailhead by following the Old Post to Herkenham trail markers. We were no longer lost.

It is truly awesome to be here. I love the southwest and this area is very special. We are avoiding the crowds during the week-ends and selecting lesser travelled trails.

But we learned a few things from our first hike.

Lorraine needs trekking poles. We did not carry any food with us and these hikes do burn calories quickly. We did not have a first aid kit in any of our backpacks. And a few other essentials for day hiking. Oh, and a bit more research into the hike itself.

Time for another supply trip to the outdoor store.

We love the Canyon Outfitters in West Sedona. Great shop and really well stocked.

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