register help

Submarine Rock, AZ

99 25 0
Guide 25 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona SE
3.6 of 5 by 7
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.72 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,282 feet
Elevation Gain 187 feet
Accumulated Gain 497 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.21
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
16  2018-01-13
Tres Sumidero Hoyos
19  2018-01-13
Tres Sumideros
5  2016-11-14
Broken Arrow Trail #125
13  2016-05-22
Broken Arrow Loop
48  2016-05-22
Twin Buttes Loop via the Hogs
8  2016-03-19 xthine
3  2016-03-13 xthine
4  2012-05-06 squatpuke
Page 1,  2
Author paulshikleejr
author avatar Guides 20
Routes 77
Photos 542
Trips 405 map ( 1,470 miles )
Age 54 Male Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Nov, Feb, Apr → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:31pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
That's not a whale. It's a submarine!
by paulshikleejr

Overview: The Coconino National Forest is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country with landscapes ranging from the famous Red Rocks of Sedona to Ponderosa Pine Forests, to alpine tundra. Explore mountains and canyons, fish forest lakes and wade in lazy creeks and streams. The Red Rock district, centered on the town of Sedona, encompasses many of the famous red rock buttes and mesas, and canyons that have made Sedona famous as a resort town. Just north of Sedona is Oak Creek Canyon, one of the many large canyons located along the Mogollon Rim. Oak Creek Canyon is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Coconino National Forest and along with Sedona is Arizona's second most popular tourist attraction, second only to the Grand Canyon.

The parking area for the trailhead can be found at the end Morgan Road. The parking area is accessed via a short dirt and gravel road. Parking is limited and there are "No Parking" signs on Morgan Road around the area where it becomes the dirt access road. In addition to the Broken Arrow Trail (which is used to access Submarine Rock), the Margs Draw Trail can be accessed as well. The Broken Arrow Trail leads to the Chapel and Little Horse Trails. The Margs Draw Trail leads to the Munds Wagon and Huckaby Trails. There are no amenities at the trailhead area other than informational kiosks and a registration notebook (in particular, no water nor restrooms).

For pre- or post-hike activities, the closest venues are in the Tlaquepaque area (less than 2 miles north), Uptown Sedona (a bit more than 2 miles north), West Sedona (4 miles north and west), and the Village of Oak Creek (6 miles to the south).

To get to the trailhead from the Village of Oak Creek, head north on AZ-179 about six miles or less to the Morgan Road roundabout. Take Morgan Road to the right (east) for about one-half mile to the dirt road. Take the dirt road in and to the right. The first parking spots are about 450 feet in from the paved road with more parking further in.

Warning: Read and heed the warning below.

Hike: This description is of an "out and back" hike. This description breaks the outbound portion (the same as the inbound portion) into three components: the Broken Arrow trail to the fork, from the fork to emergence onto the rock, and a short component focused on the rock itself.

The initial leg of this hike is coincident with the first 0.98 mile of the Broken Arrow Trail (#125). As you drive into the main parking area, you'll see the Broken Arrow Road/Coconino National Forest sign. This sign notes that this area is "MANAGED IN COOPERATION WITH PINK JEEP TOURS." The association with Pink Jeep Tours provides for some interesting diversions on the trail as, at several points, you may be able to watch a jeep climbing up or wobbling down a fairly steep 4X4 trail, to the amusement/terror of the tourist occupants. Near the start of the trail, you'll see a metal sign with "TRAIL 125/BROKEN ARROW" cut through the plate. Nearby, you'll see the regional Forest Service informational map with the obligatory "You Are Here" arrow on the smaller schematic map to the right. You notice that the schematic map reminds you to "Please follow the Cairns!" After diligently studying the maps, follow the trail 0.05 mile to the registration book on the left. Of course, it's a good idea to sign-in. As you walk along the trail, about 0.10 mile later, you'll see one of the only fancy plastic "National Forest Trail" markers. Just beyond that marker is a cairn, one of many you'll see on this trail. A short 0.11 mile later, you'll be in a good position to see (to your left) the markings left on a stone trail by the rubber tires of 4X4 vehicles. The trail then proceeds roughly south for 0.25 mile and then hooks east and eventually down for 0.16 mile. At the bottom of the incline, you'll have an opportunity to leave the trail and take a detour to the left to look into the Devil's Dining Room. The Devil's Dining Room is a sinkhole 25 to 30 feet wide and 90 or more feet deep. The mouth of the sinkhole has been surrounded by a barbed wire fence for the safety of visitors. It is believed that the sinkhole is a major underground roost for bats. Proceeding south again, then east, for a total of 0.33 mile, gets you to what I call "The Fork," where you can go to the right to proceed to Chicken Point or veer to the left to head off to Submarine Rock.

Of course, we take the left tine to go to Submarine Rock (all told, a 0.88 mile hike from this point). About 0.12 mile later, you find yourself on one of the several wide stone expanses where the red rock that underlies all of the soil in these parts is exposed. Obviously, this is a great place to stop for some yoga, so that's what you do. After accomplishing the crane pose (bakasana) and the dancer's pose (natarajasana), you continue with the hike. After 0.19 mile (during which you head east then arc out and down) you come to a point where you can see Submarine Rock in all its glory. After you cross a 4X4 trail and 0.02 mile later, you see a cairn with a sign sticking out of it telling you that Submarine Rock is ahead. You proceed northeast to the base of the rock then out a ways into the forest then back to the base of the rock. At that point, after traveling about 0.21 mile from the cairn/sign, as you're walking across bare rock, if you look up and to the right, you'll see a more direct path to the northern prominence of Submarine Rock. I'd imagine folks have taken that route to the top, but it's advisable to continue forward on the trail to take the "safer" route. Just 0.11 mile later, you have a great view of the huge rock outcropping that prominences at (34.833236, -111.744362). A short 0.05 mile later, you emerge from the forest onto the base of Submarine Rock.

From the base, it's a fast 0.04 mile to the "top" of the southern prominence of Submarine Rock. Looking northwest, you will see the northern prominence of Submarine Rock (and likely some people taking in the view from that local high point). You can get to the base of the northern prominence by walking about 0.12 mile northwest across Submarine Rock. (Note: the following is provided for informational purposes only. I am in no way suggesting that you go to the northern prominence. Any action taken is at your own risk.) From this point, there are a number of ways to mount the northern prominence, but one of the easier ways is by making your way up the lip below the prominence a little west and to the left of a split in that lip. Hop across that split and follow it to the right a bit until you come to a reasonable grade up which you can pop to the top. From this vantage point, you can look southeast to the southern prominence. Perhaps you'll see someone taking a picture of you and you can take a picture of them, too. Of course, you'll also be treated to excellent views of Sedona and beyond and of the red rocks area all around you. Dismounting is accomplished by using a slightly different path. Rather than going back the way you came up, proceed down a bit beyond the lip and look for an place to the right/east of the split in the lip where you can easily slide down into the little crevasse. My track contains hints on how to accomplish both the mounting and dismounting of the northern prominence.

This description makes use of material from the Coconino forest service, Wikipedia, FS - Trails, and FS - #125.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2012-03-05 paulshikleejr
  • wilderness related
  • Sedona Trails 2018
    region related
    Sedona Trails 2018
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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Submarine Rock
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Tres Sumideros
Joe had us hunting for holes in the ground in Sedona. He mapped out 3 hikes to hit 3 of the 6 or so Sinkholes up there.

First up was my favorite hike in Sedona. The Munds Wagon Trail/Hangover Trail Loop. I've done this one numerous times, as I like to show off Sedona to out of town guests with this one. A CW direction for the first time yielded different views. The "Sinkhole" on this one we'd passed withing 100' of every time before, not knowing it was there. Without knowing what you were looking for, this one is easily missed. Tight to get to it, but it appears to open into a 4' tall x 10' wide x 30' deep cave. I crawled down to the mouth of it, but did not go in.

Next up was the Broken Arrow Trail to Submarine Rock Trail. This was a first time on this one for me. This sinkhole was much more impressive, easy to find/hard to miss, but also fenced to keep us riff raff safe. This one was about 40' x 40' and not sure how deep. Submarine Rock was actually pretty cool. When we got there we shared the rock with the contents of 4 pink jeeps. After lunch, when we left, we had it to ourselves.

The final destination on the day was another new Sedona destination. The Turkey Creek Trail was never on my radar. Sinkhole #3 put it there. The sinkhole, a hundred or so feet off the trail, was also fenced off. This one's opening was about 25' x 15'. It skinnyed down to a 4' x 8' opening to the darkness below.

The rest of this trail was pleasant, with the highlight being the saddle after the climb. Great views from a different angle of Sedona.

Submarine Rock
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Tres Sumidero Hoyos
Munds Wagon Trail #78
Best when the creek is running. Some will bicker it parallels a road popular with jeep tours. Snazzy views regardless.

Hangover Trail
Clockwise for a change offered new views. Either direction is outstanding.

Broken Arrow Trail #125
Old school tourist attraction until you discover High on the Hog & Hog Heaven put it to shame.

Submarine Rock
Nice to swing by after a good twenty years. Jeep tours eat it up. Lots of people exploring upon arrival. We lunched. Shockingly just one guy on vessel as we departed the voyage.

Turkey Creek Trail #92
Easily ten times better than my extremely low expectations. Glad I did it, might hit it again someday. Tough to suggest with a slew of world class hikes nearby.

Near prime weather hiking in the Sedona vicinity, nuff said.
Submarine Rock
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
Ah..first trail run in a wind tunnel. :sweat:

We were supposed to get snow Christmas day so I wasn't sure I could get a run in that day. So even though it was overcast and the the winds were supposed to be in the high 20s, I decided to go for a trailrun. :y:

The forecast called for rain at around 11am (halfway through my run) but didn't actually get some precipitation until after 12nn. Saw a few groups of hikers already going down on my way up Chicken Point and only saw 2 other groups at Broken Arrow.

Winds were supposed to be in the high 20s, I thought no big deal. :o
By the time I made it up to Chicken Point things got real. I had to run after my cap about 20 yards after the wind blew it off my head (time to wear it under the hood?). Reminded me of the summit of Wheeler Peak those gusts. ... nenk (warning if you are wearing headphones you might want to turn it down a little bit). No debris though for the duration of the run. Winds eventually calmed down at the juncture of Chapel Trail. I saw only 1 other group of hikers going up as I was going down. The guy had a tripod..wonder how that photo shoot turned out. :D

The trail was not muddy at all, just nice and cushy beneath my feet. Surprisingly there were a few Pink Jeep tours out on the trail that day. I did not see any at Chicken Point by the time I was heading back.
Clouds were big and gray, sun peeking just slightly, it snowed later that afternoon.
Submarine Rock
rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
first time on this trail. we went out to chicken point (stunning), then did an out and back on High On the Hog (spectacular) and on the way back hit Submarine Rock. great network of trails in this area. loved it

as is typical in sedona everything is well signed and easy to follow. all kinds of possibilities to make loops out here
Submarine Rock
rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
Twin Buttes Loop via the Hogs
I had put together a Broken Arrow hike for a day hike last year but it never came to fruition due to weather. After realizing the error in our thoughts that we could handle mid 30s and wind at Camp May south of Mormon Lake, I went back to fine tuning a route for us to take on Sunday. I spent several hours with route manager and on the MTBproject site uploading some of their routes, I put together a map and then decided we would do the southern half this time. That way we could check out some of the other sites along the way.

Two things I learned from my time on Route Manager: it's hard to join routes sometimes as it will join you back to the TH. One thing everyone should know when you fiddle with Route Manager is to save your work as you go. Second I put in way points at both trails when they would intersect so HAZel would go off incessantly when we hit an intersection. So use only one waypoint for the intersection such as at the Broken Arrow and White Line rather than one waypoint at each (as I didn't know which way for sure we would approach an intersection so I wanted to cover my bases ](*,) ). Kelly found HAZel very amusing today. A couple times I was thinking a shotgun might be an appropriate end to her ranting (HAZel that is).

Now onto the hike. All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW. What an awesome day of hiking! The trails are in wonderful shape everywhere. The Hog Trails are particularly impressive with some of the natural paving stones they did. I'm sure some of this extra fine construction would not have been done if it were just hikers but since they are biking trails, a little extra effort was obviously used which is just fine with us (especially on Hog Heaven).

We started from the Little Horse TH so that way you don't have to go into Sedona. It was a nice morning as we ambled our way toward and onto the Little Horse Trail which goes on the northeast side of Little Horse Park. Your views are of the Two Nuns to the NE and Lee Mountain to the east. While looking at one of the trail map signs a local asked if we had any questions and told us about a little side trail we could take off of from Marg's Draw (that's for next time). Soon you are walking alongside and in a drainage. Sedona has the bestest drainages; Kelly and I are always impressed by them. It started getting windier as we gained elevation and made our way to Chicken Point. We didn't beat the jeeps but that's okay. We took some obligatory pics and then continued on to Broken Arrow Trail.

I knew the White Line was near and then I recall HAZel was babbling but I wasn't listening (it was also very windy and hard to hear). So part way along the Broken Arrow I asked Kelly if we could go back and try to find the White Line and she was game. The White Line is almost immediately at the Broken Arrow/Little Horse intersection behind Chicken Point. You can see the white line in the rock too. So up we went and though we didn't follow the route because I didn't include it on my map, we just kept going vertical.

We missed part of the route that went off to the right and just went straight up. We would see bike tire marks so figured we were close enough. There really aren't any cairns up here so you're on your own. (However, if you add the route to your map, you can follow it). The views over to Munds Mountain are pretty cool up here but it was SUPER windy so we went down. Oh, I heard one of the jeep drivers call the mountain (when you're looking north at it) a camel but I thot it looked more like a snail. Apparently The White Line is notorious for this :o :

We continued on the Broken Arrow north to the Submarine Rock but took a slight detour over to another little formation that I found out is called Mushroom Rock. Of course Kelly climbed up to the top; I just circled it. Other folks came by so we took on our way. It's kind of sad how the tires have turned the red bedrock to black. From here you can make a beeline for Submarine Rock but Kelly and I continued to follow the trail. It intersects with the Hogs but we would come back to that. The trail starts to descend and you cross thru some cypress forest and bedrock before coming to the road. You cross that and go down and up a drainage. Here you make your way around the other side (east) of the submarine. I found the birds to be very active through this forested part of the trail. You eventually end up at what I think is the stern and you climb up on it.

There weren't too many people aboard so we wandered around admiring its enormity. There were great 360 views from here. I got one really awesome photo; well several actually ;) . The agaves had buds but were not blooming yet. They sure were pretty though. We continued north on the sub and went up to the bow. It was super windy and a bit chilly so we went off the side to have our snack and take a quick break. It was nice and cozy in the cubby hole we found. Getting up and down from the bow on the south is just a little tricky.

Well that was fun. So we walked back to the stern and took our trail back to Broken Arrow where we headed south from the intersection to get to the Hog Trails (I think these are new as of 2014?). There were some pretty cactus blooming along the way and a person-sized agave that distracted us. The Hog intersection is slightly up from the Broken Arrow on some bedrock. The view from this intersection is pretty nice as well. So now it was time to see what High on the Hog was all about as it took us toward Hog Heaven (FYI these are one way trails for bikers E to W). I found this interesting when researching:
High on the Hog and Hog Heaven are rated double black diamond for bikers. This is the international symbol to make sure your affairs are in order before you start.

High on the Hog trail continues back to the northwest and almost immediately reminded us of the Hangover Trail. The views of the Munds Wilderness are simply outstanding :y: . The trail hugs the side of the butte as it contours very nicely to join you up with Hog Heaven in 1/3rd of a mile. There is also the intersection with the Twin Buttes Trail.

You now are heading west on Hog Heaven. The slick rock along a couple sections of this trail are pretty cool and as you look to the north you can see the Crimson Cliffs and Wilson Mountain. A little further along as you get closer to the pass we were enamored with the pools of water and the cliffs across the way with their geographic horizontal lines and varnished vertical lines. Soon you reach the saddle which puts you between the Twin Buttes to your south. You contour around the side as you make your way slightly down Hog Heaven. Here is where some of that fancy paver construction came into play that even included banking. Kelly and I were duly impressed by these. As you unwrapped around the other side the views to the NE mountains opened up. After getting distracted by cute lizard pics, we stared in amazement as more and more of those mountains appeared. It was the most beautiful rock outcropping (a finger of Munds Mountain where Marg's Draw is). But wait it gets better cuz as you continue along you can now see the Capitol Butte area too.

In slightly under a mile you reach the intersection with Hog Wash Trail (yes HAZel, we heard you the first two times). You can take the Hog Wash east back to Broken Arrow if you choose but our loop continues winding around the west side of the Twin Buttes. After walking thru a little more of the forest we came to Pig Tail Trail. As we were hiking on this I had found an old route from the Twin Buttes Loop hike desc GPS one could take instead of dropping onto Mystic. Well that route doesn't exist anymore as it's been blocked off so we ended up having to take Mystic. Once we were down to the floor level of course the terrain changed from the trees to the bushes and prickly pear. We took a break before turning south; across the way was Airport Butte.

We intersected up with the Mystic Trail and took it south to Chapel Road. We ran into a family just starting their hike for the day. You do have views of Cathedral Rock but the lighting was not the best at this time of day. Once at the road, you do gotta pay attention to the traffic as there isn't much space to walk. I did find where the old trail came out. On the way to the Chapel I found it easier walking on the south side and I'm sure glad I did as the house with the telescope dome had an incredible garden 8) to spy on. The driveways were quite impressive too.

The Chapel parking area was very crowded. The picketpost gate to the trail is off to the east side of the parking lot. From here you head east below the Twin Butte on the Chapel Trail. It climbs a bit but has lots to show you along the way including views of Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock to the south. The trail is a little rockier in sections. We passed what we think was an intersection to a climbing trail. We did encounter a small hiking group during this part of the hike before reaching the intersection of Little Horse in about 3/4 mile from the Chapel area.

With a mile and 1/2 left and a beer calling my name, I pretty much tucked my camera away :o to finish off this hike for the day. It ended up being a little longer than I had planned but that's okay as it was a more than awesome day of hiking in Red Rock Country. The trails are great and the views outstanding.

As we made our left turn on the highway, Kelly's friends happened to be in the vehicle right in front of us. We had texted them on our last break to see if we could meet up (they had been climbing). Well they usually go to the Pizza Place across from the Blue Moon (where I normally go) so we went to Famous Pizza. It was nice to meet up with them (altho I had met Fletch at the johnr1 service).

I have to say some of my pics are beautiful. The video, unfortunately, has the dust on the lens issue; hopefully that's temporary. Panasonic sent me a survey to complete about my last service. Needless to say they got a polite earful as I used every word count they allowed.

Bell Rock Pathyway, Little Horse Trail - ... ME_M
Little Horse Trail Part 2 - ... mbOI
White Line and Broken Arrow - ... TNa0
Broken Arrow to the Sub - ... BwQo
The Submarine - ... bDwE
Sub to Hog Trails - ... sox4
High on the Hog - ... UbtE
Hog Heaven - ... jM7A
Hog Heaven Part 2 - ... M7kI
Hog Wash to Chapel Hill - ... VxIo
Chapel Trail - ... 1moE
Submarine Rock
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Broken Arrow Loop
calling this the broken arrow loop, even though it was one of the shortest segments
the posted trail map calls this area the broken arrow trail system, so that's good enough
angela put together a nice loop for us, utilizing some of the newer mountain biking trails
she also had a few side trips off broken arrow trail planned
parked at little horse trailhead, taking bell rock pathway and little horse trail to broken arrow
from there, visited chicken point, an odd toadstool rock formation, and submarine rock
a lot of pink jeeps on these formations
also climbed up to the white line, coming close to the saddle between the two nuns rock formation
the mountain biking trails were high on the hog, hog heaven and a little piece of hog wash
we should have good tracks for the first two, and hopefully angela will make pages for them
they were great trails, too - scenic, twisty and fun - some similarities to hangover trail
(note to the eagle: you could add pigtail and hog wash and make at least a 15 mile day of it)
back on mystic, chapel road, chapel trail, little horse and bell rock pathway
this trail system is accessible via other trailheads
several trails yet for us to explore another time
nice work on route manager, tibber! it was a great hike
thanks for driving, too
got a text from fletch that she and mike were climbing in sedona
we happened to be right behind them going into oak creek so met them for dinner at famous pizza
nice finish to the day
Submarine Rock
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Hiked a quad-fecta with my 2 oldest kids (Cathedral, Submarine, Devils Bridge & Vultee Arch) today.

My first time on this hike...we took the road all the way to the first submarine sign, then climbed the north slopes. Pretty easy stuff. Next time will take the broken arrow trail..(I bet we easily had to move off the road for 15-20 off road vehicles...mostly Pink.)

Stopped at the Devils Dinning Room on the way back. Interesting.

Permit $$
Red Rock Pass - may or may not be required. Go to Red Rock Pass then check "When is a Red Rock Pass Required?". If you have questions contact the Coconino forest service.

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Morgan Trailhead
To get to the trailhead from the Village of Oak Creek, head north on AZ-179 about six miles or less to the Morgan Road roundabout. Take Morgan Road to the right (east) for about one-half mile to the dirt road. Take the dirt road in and to the right. The first parking spots are about 450 feet in from the paved road with more parking further in.

Note: to park here you will need a Red Rock Pass, but if you are just driving the road, you don't need a pass. If you plan to take a break or have lunch and will park for more than 15 minutes anywhere along the route, the RRP is required.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) - 120 mi, 2 hours 9 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) - 225 mi, 3 hours 49 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) - 30.4 mi, 43 mins
page created by paulshikleejr on Mar 05 2012 1:04 am
2+ mi range whistle
blow it like you mean it
help comment issue

end of page marker