WELCOME to the top 5%!! Only five percent of dayhikers ever crossover to backpacking. WARNING: there is no turning back... As for a first time hike? May I recommend three!
1) Cave Creek, near Seven Springs camp has easy hiking and nice shaded camping at about 2.5 miles in. Perennial stream with good elevation for this November weather (3400 ft.)
2)West Clear Creek, near Camp Verde has year round water in an easy to access canyon if you hike in from the south (mouth of Canyon) just off hiway 260. Neat! Camp as far in as you wish.
3)Wet Beaver Creek, just East of the Sedona exit 179(?) has gorgeous surroundings at a reasonable elevation, 3900 ft. Just because I listed this one last means nothin'. It may be the best introduction to the "oasis in the desert" hikes out there. I promise you will like this one. You will find fantastic camping at 3.8 miles in. Large flat redrocks (think Sedona) accomidate big tents and a "kitchen". In fact, a group including myself plan on re-visiting this area on Nov. 15-16. Come join us! It is always a pleasure to meet new hikers and share the wealth of info we have aquired over the years. Good luck and Happy hiking!
i'm not really a squirrel