Monday, March 14, 2005

North Wilson Mountain Trail - March 13, 2005

The day promised to be beautiful, and the weatherman mentioned rain that night... by the time we got on the road and to the trailhead, it looked like the rain would be early. It did drizzle a little, and was overcast for much of our hike, but when we got to First Bench, it was clear that we were at the edge of a storm to the north of us. Sedona was bathed in sunlight, and the rain even cleared enough to let us see the San Francisco Peaks.

The trail sign says the trail is easy, with an elevation change of a mere 1700 feet over two miles. Actually, the trail's not easy -- 1350 feet of that elevation change is in a half a mile (not that gaining 850 feet per mile is a relaxing stroll), with tall "steps" up rocks, and slippery footing in places (when it's dry, the gravel on the trail can be a bit tricky to come down). Thankfully, the Wilson Mountain Trail web page is a bit more realistic.

To repay you for the workout, you will be rewarded with a very pretty trail and fantastic views. The trail winds up a forested canyon, getting steeper as it goes. The views north up Oak Creek Canyon are excellent from this section of the trail. The trail pops out on First Bench of Wilson Mountain (1400 feet above the trailhead), where a mild grade takes you to the junction of North Wilson Mountain Trail and Wilson Mountain Trail. The latter trail coninues to the top of Wilson Mountain (2200 feet above the trailhead, at 7000 feet), which we have planned for the next blue-sky weekend. Keep heading south to get the reward -- breathtaking views over Sedona. On a clear day, the San Francisco Peaks are visible to the north. From First Bench, you can see straight into Munds Canyon, east across Oak Creek Canyon.

A photo is posted below. Visit my Earth Gallery to see all the photos from this hike.