Sugar coated Sedona views
This is a good hike to do first when visiting Sedona if you come from a lower elevation. It's short and just strenuous enough to get your blood pumping as a warm up to bigger and better things later as you're more acclimated.
We set out to find a geocache at the top of this little rock to the southwest of Chimney Rock. The name of the cache was called Top O' Sugarloaf. So the hiking book we had had a trailhead called Sugarloaf. This rock is not actually Sugarloaf. It doesn't even have a name on my topo map. What I failed to do before setting out on this hike was check the trail book for other trails whose coordinates were closer to the cache. If I had I would have discovered a little hike called Little Sugarloaf... our destination. So our actual hike turned out to be over four miles long. The trailhead coordinates I provided are for the closer coordinates at the Thunder Mountain trailhead.
The trail starts out on the other side of Chimney Rock from where our little rock is. It wraps around the south side of Chimney Rock and heads up a gentle hill to a saddle between Chimney Rock and Little Sugarloaf. At the top of Little Sugarloaf is a well worn trail that heads straight up Little Sugarloaf, off to the left. The trail is relatively short, but very steep. Footing is OK for the most part and I never felt like there was anything too challenging for anyone in reasonable shape.
For such a short hike there is a very nice reward at the top. The views are great. There are fantastic views of the west side of town, to the south of the rock. There are good views off to the east, including Sugarloaf, Capitol Butte and points beyond. And excellent views off to the west and northwest, including Cockscomb, Bear Mountain, Boynton Canyon and many over great destinations.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.