Sedona April 2006

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We took a trip to Sedona, Arizona at the beginning of April.  Sandy took two days off from work to make it a four day weekend.  We flew from Boise to Phoenix and rented a car and drove from there.  It was about a two hour drive from the airport to Sedona.

The weather for the weekend was perfect.  We had blue skies every day and the temperature was in the high sixties - perfect for hiking.  Folks there said the weather had not bee so good lately so we were lucky (this followed right after Sandy's bad luck on her trip to Hawaii with Shannon and MB).

Neither of us had been to Sedona before.  It was a nice town, not too big and not too developed yet.  But it looked like it was growing very fast.  It will probably be a zoo in ten years.  The red rock country around the town was spectacular.  There is lots of good hiking there with excellent scenery.  We stayed at a nice B&B in town with great views right from our room.  And after the days hike, we went into town.  There were enough shops and restaurants to keep up amused for the weekend.  Sandy even found a great quilt shop where she bought so much fabric, we had to buy another suitcase to get it home.

Our first day was spent traveling and watching the Badger hockey team win the semifinal game of the Frozen Four.  The next day we hiked up Boynton Canyon.  Not a long hike, but it seemed a lot longer than the advertised five miles round trip.  At the end of the trail we scrambled quite a ways on the slick rock to an excellent viewpoint of the canyon.

The next day we hiked up Bear Mountain.  Not a typical Idaho-type mountain, it had steep cliffs on the sides which led to a series of large plateaus.  We hiked to the highest plateau, but did not go to the actual summit.  That was a point a few feet higher and half a mile away, in trees with no view.  But the upper slopes just below gave fantastic views of Sedona and down into Boynton Canyon where we had hiked the day before.

After that hike, it was an evening of watching the Badgers win the National Championship.  The next day we went home.  A good trip to a neat place.

An additional interesting thing about Sedona is that there is a large new age culture that claims that the canyons near Sedona have a number of "energy vortexes" which are supposed to renew your spirit.  We got Laney a mystical "energy crystal" which supposedly came from one of the vortexes.  Laney wears it, but I don't know if she believes any of this energy business.

View of the Sedona redrocks country from the patio off of our hotel room

Entering the Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness

Heading into Boynton Canyon

Large cliffs in lower Boynton Canyon

The trail passed right below the cliffs in the lower canyon

Blue sky and red rocks

A view into the middle section of the canyon

High clouds swirl above the mountains

Entering the upper canyon

The end of the trail

Looking down the canyon from the viewpoint at the end of the trail

High cliffs at the end of the canyon

And you thought Sandy only had to move mountains at work

Looking back at Sandy from the end of the slickrock shelf. Above is Bear Mountain, where we hiked the next day

Sandy on the slickrock shelf

The canyon comes to an abrubt end just beyond the end of the trail

Looking down on the end of the trail from the shelf we reached by scrambling

Looking up the scramble route from the end of the trail

A large spire in the upper canyon

Some of the spires are eroded into very intricate shapes

Large cliffs above the middle section of the canyon on the way back

View towards the mouth of the canyon

More elaborate rock formations in the lower canyon

Looking up a side canyon

Sandy on the patio of our hotel room

Approaching cliffs near the beginning of the Bear Mountain hike

The Mighty Canyoneer

Sandy climbing up a narrow gap in a high cliff band

Enjoying the view half way up. Some hard won altitude

Looking up to the summit from the First Plateau. We climbed to the high point on the left. The true summit is behind and not yet visible

Steve still looks to be in good spirits. He doesn't realize how much climbing is left

Sandy takes a cell phone call half way up the mountain

Looking down on lower Boynton Canyon (where we hiked yesterday) from the First Plateau

Sandy heading up a long slickrock section. Not a conventional trail!

On the upper plataeu. A view of the San Francisco Peaks beyond Flagstaff

Looking down into Red Rock Canyon. This is the other side of the end of Boynton Canyon

The true summit was a point a few feet higher on the other side of the plateau. We didn't bother heading over there

Starting back down the route

From near the summit, Boynton Canyon and Sedona in the distance

A fantastic view as we traverse a slickrock ledge just below the summit plateau

Another large party is spread out over much of the final slopes

Our intrepid climbers break for lunch at a scenic spot on the way down

Quite a view with lunch

Another view of Boynton Canyon and Sedona in the distance

Heading down more slickrock

Another slickrock section of the route. Here it goes up and over several bumps on the ridge. Elevation gain in both directions!

Looking out over the First Plateau

The view back toward the summit. This is the steep side

Reaching the edge of the First Plateau and getting ready to climb down through the gaps in the cliffs

This picture was taken right after Sandy slipped. Luckily (?) she caught herself, but by grabbing a cactus! Ouch!!!

Traversing the base of the cliffs

Heading down to the last cliff band

Home stretch

Looking up from the trailhead. The upper 60% of the climb is not visible from here