I finally got to use the Red Rock Pass that fellow HAZer George Steele and his wife gave me when they came to visit the Office Owl a couple months ago. My plan this day: Doe, Faye, Boynton. I ended up only doing Doe and Faye Canyon Arch plus trail all the way back to the cairns at the other end of the bench.
I left N Phx at 6AM arriving at the TH at 8 (stopped to use the McD restroom just before turn off to Dry Creek Rd as I didn't realize they had a restroom at the TH).
I started hiking around 8:15AM. The first part of the hike that goes UP was in the shade so that was quite nice. It really is such a scenic area with Bear Mtn across the way and I'm not sure what mountains were in the far distance to the NW and West (Bradshaws?).
After taking a movie and admiring the many delphinium and other flora on the way, I arrived at the top after .7 miles in 28 minutes. I was just glad to be out hiking
so I can keep my hiking legs in shape. (I'll have a two week hiatus at the end of the month, beginning of June so I'm afraid I will lose my hiking mojo. I want to keep myself in shape for my big Glacier hike Aug 4th.)
The mesa is really beautiful and the trail takes you immediately east across to the other side.
And of course, once you're to the other side your views, tho a bit hazy in the AM, were just amAZing
. You can see all the way across the valley including N to Faye Canyon and Bear Mtn, east past Mescal Mtn and toward the Dry Creek area of Vultees Arch and Devil's Bridge hiking areas and then as you veer to the south you see the very huge Capitol Butte and the cute Chimney Rock as you look toward Sedona. And on top of all this, you can look along the cliff of the mesa as you are drawn to walk south.
I didn't have a plan at this point so I decided to follow along the path from time to time but for the most part, I wanted to stay near the edge and for the most part, this was pretty easy to do. Before you know it your views to the south are expanding and now you can see Courthouse Butte, Bell Rock and after walking a little further, Cathedral Rock.
What more could a hiker ask for? The temps were great, the day was young, the scenery was wonderful and with each step you can't wait to see what else there was.
The great thing with this hike too is that if you are exploring at the edge and then decide it's too brushy, you can walk back toward the center of the mesa where you usually encounter a trail/pathway. Now how cool is that! It is rather interesting when you're walking on the edge and you look over and realize you are walking on a piece of the edge that is not fully attached to the mesa
. I eventually encountered what looked like was a climbing area as there were bolts and other climbing metal all over the place and about 3 cairns. It was closer to the SW side.
I continued my stroll around the entire south side of the mesa and eventually headed north to the north side. The views to the NW were spectacular
. The north side was a little more brushy so you couldn't stay as close to the edge. Eventually you are back to the area where you came up so down you go. I encountered a few hikers from time to time. On the way down I enjoyed some more flora and visited with a few of the folks I encountered.
This is a fun little mountain and I know if I lived here I would visit it frequently as it's easy to combine with another hike like I was doing today. I was so anxious to get to my next hike that I forgot to take a pic of Scout and turn him off until my next hike so my time is a bit of a guestimate.
Here is the video: http://youtu.be/L_35a9N62ng