Brins Mesa

The Brins Mesa Trailhead is just outside of Uptown Sedona. We hiked this trail on Tuesday.

We found a spot to park near the Jordan Trail Trailhead and cut from there to the start of Brins Mesa. On this day we hiked almost six miles and we were out for about four and a half hours.

Elevation at the trailhead is 4,200 feet and we climbed 845 feet. One of our longer hikes so far.

We did make a minor deviation off the Brins Mesa trail which I will talk about in a moment. And we left Brins Mesa a second time to check out part of Soldier Pass Trail before turning back. It is possible to make a loop by combining Brins Mesa with Soldier Pass, Jordan Trail and Cibola Pass but we decided to do the out and back and try the full loop on a different day. Total distance of the loop would have been a bit shorter but Brins Mesa is very picturesque and we wanted to enjoy the views on the descent. The elevation gain on the ascent was a wee bit arduous and we didn’t really have a chance to look back until we reached the top of the mountain.

This is the view from the Jacob Trail parking area. There is a much larger parking area at the Brins Mesa Trailhead but the road out to the parking lot is extremely rough. We could have made it there although we found it was easier to take a spot here and hike out to the Brins Mesa Trailhead.

The short hike on Jacob Trail to the Brins Mesa Trailhead takes you through a forested area.

And, at the Brins Mesa Trailhead, you get a sense as to what the hike might offer.

The early part of the hike is pretty easy. However, there is a mountain to climb and that part of the hike does take some effort. The crowds were pretty light here keeping in mind that we started around 10am. We have been shifting our hikes to later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and to get a parking spot at the trailheads. Most people hit the trails early morning and start leaving the trails mid-afternoon.

Much of the elevation gain for Brins Mesa occurs at this first mountain. It doesn’t look all that bad until you start the climb.

There are a couple of flats on the way up and they provide some amazing views of the landscape.

Still more climbing though.

We have met a surprising number of people that come out to the trails in running shoes and, gasp, flip flops and sandals. The trails here are filled with sharp rocks and the cacti often borders very close to the narrow footpaths. Climbing some of the ascents requires scrambling up the rocks. Not something I would want to attempt with street sandals.

At the top of the ascent the trail opens up and you are in this really expansive area of the hike.

As we crossed this part of the hike we noticed an outcrop of rock that was high above the trail off to our left. We decided to explore. Although I was a bit concerned about scrambling up this outcrop, Lorraine was very keen to climb this part of the mountain. So we did. Here is a panoramic shot of our view.

Lorraine was very happy that we made this ascent. This picture is looking back towards the trailhead.

And this picture is on the other side of the outcrop. Our elevation here was roughly 5,000 feet.

A selfie to prove that I did the scramble with Lorraine. We decided to take a break for lunch at this spot. Wonderful to be so high up and all alone to enjoy the views of the moutains.

We continued along the Brins Mesa Trail until we intersected Soldier Pass. Rather than continue on Brins Mesa we decided to divert.

It is hard to take a bad turn with the Sedona trails. So much beauty here.

This part of Soldier Pass hugs the rockface and the trail is certainly on the narrow side. We didn’t take the trail for very long as we had been out for about three hours and we decided that we should loop back to our car.

On our way back I did notice an interesting rock formation. In this light, the apex seems to be a carving of the face of a giant.

Here we reach the last part of the hike.

And Lorraine stands beside the marker for the Brins Mesa Trailhead. Another hike down.

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