Ridge Trail

Ridge Trail on Saturday. Doe Mountain on Monday. Chuckwagon on Tuesday and today we hiked the Jim Thompson Trail.

I am behind. But I will catch up over the next few days. We will be packing up for our trip back to Canada tomorrow. And Friday morning we will begin the long drive home. We’ve had an awesome time hiking the trails in Sedona. I will definitely miss the incredible scenery.

But back to the task at hand. On Saturday we decided to do the Ridge Trail hike. We covered five and a half miles in four and a half hours. Our starting elevation was 4,200 feet and we climbed 587 feet in total although our maximum elevation was 4,488 feet. As you can tell by the Elevation graph on the left, we went up and down a few times.

We left our car at the Sunset Park parking lot, took the Lollipop Trail to the Sunset Trail then the Sunset Trail to the Bandit Trail. We then connected with the Ridge Trail and looped back via the Sketch Trail.

Here is a video overview of the hike on the GaiaGPS app.

And here is a video of the hike.

The past few days have seen a significant increase in people visiting Sedona and that can mean crowded trails. Lorraine and I do not like crowded trails. We like open trails. I researched trails in Sedona that do not attract the crowds but are still amazing hikes.

Ridge Trail was one of those hikes.

Sure enough, the trail was very open. Just Lorraine and myself.

But once we left Bandit Trail to connect to the supposedly least crowded Ridge Trail, something happened.

A long line of hikers. Well, not really hikers. Let’s call them walkers. No backpacks. No water. Running shoes. The perfect kit for being out in the wilderness!

Thankfully that initial surge of traffic disappeared somewhere else. I’m not sure where they went but we were able to spend the next four hours, until we finished the hike, mostly on our own.

Most of the water issues that we had encountered at the other trails, due to heavy rains earlier in the week, had also disappeared. The creeks and riverbeds had a little bit of water but nothing like what we had seen over the past few weeks.

Lorraine had no issue crossing the water here.

The first part of the Ridge Trail winds its way through a forest close to the Sedona Airport. The airport is on a mesa that is several hundred feet above the trail. The helicopter traffic this day was continuous. Every few minutes another helicopter was either going or returning. Business must be good for the helicopter tour companies in Sedona.

This was the second of several riverbeds that we had to cross. As you can tell, the water levels are very low. Lorraine had no issues here either. Unfortunately, on a different hike and on a different trail, her attempt at a crossing ended in a splash event. That will be a post for another day.

Aside from the choppers crossing overhead, the trail was calm.

Eventually the trail opens up and provides views of the Carroll Canyon.

Looking back, you have no sense that the city of Sedona is nestled against the mountain in the horizon.

Could those be eggs in that stump?

Someone had patiently collected round stones and placed them here.

Our original plan was to get to this point and circle back on the other side of the Airport Mesa. But that trail is closed.

I consulted our GaiaGPS app and found another loop, the Sketch Trail.

When taking the Sketch Trail, it creeps around the side of Table Top Mountain and, for much of the first turn, you hike on a very narrow footpath along the edge of the mountain.

The views were amazing if you looked out. Vertigo if you looked down.

Once the turn along the mountain ends, it is back to the canyon and that remarkable landscape.

We had been hiking for a little over 3 hours at this point and hunger began to set in. It is always a bit of a challenge to find someplace to sit and eat food.

Eventually we rounded a corner which seemed like a perfect spot to enjoy lunch. Large stones set at just the perfect height. Although the water to my left meant that Lorraine had to sit a little further away.

After a pleasant break for food it was back to business.

Due to the wet weather and cooler than normal temperatures, we will not see the spring blooms before we leave Sedona. However we did see other signs of spring on our journey.

A few more shots of the wonderful landscapes in Sedona. The clouds here can be just as amazing as the mountains.

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