Chuckwagon Trail

We had high hopes for Chuckwagon Trail but those hopes were dashed by the frigid, rushing waters of Dry Creek.

Instead of the 5 hours of hiking we had planned for the day we hiked less than 3 hours. We stopped half-way for 40 minutes and that meant we only moved for about 2 hours.

I did a short video about how we use the Gaia App to plan our hikes. If you intend to do any amount of hiking the Gaia GPS app is highly recommended. I have been using it to manage our hikes shortly after we arrived in Sedona and it has been a fantastic app to support our hiking activities.

And another short video with an overview of the hike.

We started the hike in the afternoon as we find it easier to get a parking spot close to the trailhead at that time of day. For the Chuckwagon hike we parked at the Mescal Trailhead. We had to cross the street to join up with the Mescal Connector to the Long Canyon Trailhead. Then another crossing of the road to start the Chuckwagon Trail.

Even though the Mescal Connector is not the main attraction of the hike, there is always something to see when exploring the Sedona trails.

The landscape provides a reminder of the cycle of life. Trees that survive and trees that die off.

Entering the Chuckwagon Trail and this mountain suddenly appears seemingly out of nowhere.

The trail is constantly changing as it follows the Dry Creek canyon.

We were enjoying a very mild and sunny day on the trail Everything was working out exactly to plan.

We did bump into one man walking along this part of the trail carrying out antlers.

Sedona has a set of 7 Leave No Trace principles:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare
  2. Stick to trails
  3. Dispose of waste properly
  4. Check campfire restrictions
  5. Leave what you find
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Share the outdoors

You can read all the details around these 7 principles here.

I will simply add to principle 5 the following subtext:

Leave natural objects such as antlers, bones or interesting rocks for others to enjoy. Antlers and bones also provide nutrient sources for rodents and other critters.

I did mention to him that he was taking out a souvenir. He did not reply. He was either unfamiliar with the principles of hiking Sedona or he didn’t care.

I suppose it is to be expected. Following basic principles seems to be less and less important these days. However, we were soon distracted by the views and continued on our hike.

The sound of rushing water quickly hit us as we turned a corner of the trail. I could just start to make out Dry Creek.

It seemed to me to be more than a creek however. The water looked deep and the current was strong.

But again, we did not have a close enough look at the water. That would come later in the hike.

Lorraine was doing double duty as hiker and videographer. We have been using the DJI Pocket 2 video camera and that has been working really well for us. Very lightweight and portable and it takes excellent video.

A few shots to give you a sense of the area. The trail is about 4,500 feet and overlooks a canyon which is ringed by several mountains.

To give a better sense of scale, you can just see Lorraine in the left side of this picture on the trail looking out across the canyon to the mountains on the other side of Dry Creek.

We eventually hit a key point in the trail. Roughly half-way through the loop we encountered Dry Creek. However, the creek was not dry. Far from it. We spent about 40 minutes debating whether we should attempt to cross the creek. The current was strong, the water deep and cold.

Another family had come from the other side of the loop. They too spent a lot of time weighing out their options. They had come too far to turn back and they eventually made the crossing. I was able to capture a few shots for them. Here is one that I grabbed with my iphone. This poor father had to go back a few times to bring his two sons across the water.

We decided that we did not want to get that wet — the water would have come up above our knees — and, at our age, we did not want to run the risk of injury by slipping on the rocks underneath the water. After spending time here watching the family get across we turned back to the trailhead.

As the sun started to set, we were rewarded with more beautiful views on the hike.

The shortest hike so far but we will come back and try it again once Dry Creek becomes a bit drier.

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