I really wanted to hike Munds Mountain today, but didn't have a 4x4 at my disposal this trip, so I started out from this TH. This trail isn't exactly what I've come to expect from Sedona hiking, but I made the best of it. The TH is an unmarked gravel road off of Jacks Canyon Rd. Where the TH should logically be located is a tacky, high-end subdivision full of overpriced shacks that you're forced to hike around for the first few miles. And to make it even worse, local fence construction charred this area pretty bad last June.
Did I mention that the first mile or so is along the road to this subdivision so you can see the baboons that live there. The trail is also very sandy and eroded in sections and horses marching thru here doesn't help it any. But a few miles in, fallen trees near the wilderness boundary put an end to that and you're finally past the housing and charred forest.
Things start to improve a bit in the middle section of this hike. The trail is alongside the drainage with multiple crossings that sometimes requires some route finding, boulder hopping, and fallen tree bypassing. The trees provide shade, but block most of the views of Lee and Munds Mountain. At least the first half of the trail is relatively flat.
The tail end of the trail is the only redeeming section of this hike. You start climbing out of the canyon towards the saddle and are able to look back and see the long canyon you just hiked up with fall colors in affect. Near the saddle is a great place to have lunch and soak in the expansive view while you imagine what spectacular views must be visable from on top of Munds Mountain that's looming above you.
Mileage and time are from the TH up to the saddle and back, minus the Munds Mountain part. Total trip was approximately 19 miles in 9.5 hours.