Having learned our lesson from the Bear Mountain hike, I decided to do a bit of research on the trail we did on Monday: Boynton Canyon Trail.
This is how the trail is described:
Boynton Canyon is one of the most scenic of the box canyons that make Arizona Red Rock Country so famous. This particular trail enjoys the additional advantage of being conveniently accessible to nearby towns on well paved roads. As you might suspect, that is both good and bad news for those who choose to come here. The good news is you don’t have to bounce down a dusty jeep track to get to the trailhead. The bad news is you may have more company than you hoped for when you arrive.
Boynton Canyon always has been popular for its outstanding scenery. Lately it has become even more so, since it developed a reputation as a site of a spiritual energy vortex. Whether or not you follow this belief, you’ll no doubt agree the beauty found among these towering buttes, crimson cliffs, and natural desert gardens is divine.
The trail starts out by skirting a luxury resort that was recently built here. It quickly returns to the canyon floor where the walking is pleasant and easy.
Well, they were right. The hike was busy. Really busy. And yes, I know. It is March break. But if you are looking for a quiet hike to take in the beauty of the area, you might want to get here before the crowds or come later when the crowds have thinned out.
The photos won’t highlight the crowds but I will say we had an awesome hike for the most part. It is definitely a beautiful area.
The beginning of the trail does hug a luxury resort. We did wander off the trail to get a closer look but there are stern warnings about trespassing on the grounds so we did not get too close. You can see some of the resort buildings in the lower part of this photo.
The sun was at a bit of an akward angle for the hike out but my Nikon Z7 Mk II seems to handle even the trickiest of shots. This one was almost straight into the sun. You can see black streaks on this particular image. Desert varnish is the thin red-to-black coating found on exposed rock surfaces in arid regions like Sedona. The varnish is composed of clay minerals, oxides and hydroxides of manganese and/or iron, as well as other particles such as sand grains and trace elements. There were not that many to be found on the hike but this formation certainly stood out.
I keep forgetting that the climate here creates the illusion of spring. The trees were covered in leaves.
You can spot trees high atop the mountains as well as the ones closer to the ground.
Given that we had a major snowstorm only a few days back, the early part of the hike showed little evidence of snow.
We split away from the main trail to check out the Subway Cave. It is not marked on the trail but given how busy it was that day we had a number of hikers point us in the right direction.
This part of the hike is not easy. There are two paths to get up to the cave. What you see in this photo is the hard path. A very steep and slick ascent to a narrow corkscrew.
Although deceptive, the elevation is quite high to reach the cave.
Lorraine and I started on the easier ascent but Lorraine was not comfortable going all the way up so we retreated. We did take a snack break here as there was one large group of young females in the area. And they were very, very loud. With the shape of the rock faces in this part of the canyon, their constant screams were amplified and we decided to find a spot that was a bit quieter until they left.
At this point we were about two hours into the hike and we decided to make our way back. The sun had moved allowing better captures of the stunning landscapes.
Surrounded by mountains never gets old. This area holds one of the vortexes in Sedona. The Boynton Canyon Vortex is, apparently, a site of balanced energy — something along the lines of a balance between masculine and feminine energy. I did not sense that energy. I did sense that my muscles were sore after almost four hours of hiking.
Although we were in a canyon, I did not expect to see the lush vegetation on the trail. I expected trees devoid of leaves.
Still there is certainly a hint of desert fauna as you traverse the hike.
We made it to the trailhead! Longest hike of the trip so far. Lorraine was really struggling towards the end of this hike but you would never know. Perhaps the vortex helped her positive energy or maybe she was just happy that the hike was over.