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Steamboat Rock - Sedona, AZ

Guide 13 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,714 feet
Elevation Gain 550 feet
Accumulated Gain 600 feet
Avg Time One Way 1-2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.5
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
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4  2013-10-20 PrestonSands
30  2012-04-28
7  2012-04-28
Damifino / Steamboat / Wilson
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 829
Photos 12,070
Trips 4,849 map ( 24,809 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Sun  5:13am - 7:44pm
Official Route
3 Alternative

All aboard!
by joebartels

Follow Wilson Canyon Trail about 0.55 miles.

Named after a trapper that chased a bear into this canyon. The bear turned on Wilson. Without a charge in his muzzle-loading rifle, he climbed a juniper. The bear dragged him out and killed him. Lesson learned.

Rumors crested around 1914 as reports surfaced of old man Wilson haunting the canyon. Scribbled legend has it that spooked horses pranced in terror as the apparition circled noisily. Locals Tex Ownby and Wright Clark fiddled a tale the noise was the rifle dragging around, slamming against the rocks.

Hang a left
Take a left on Jim Thompson Trail and follow for two-tenths of a mile. Jim was just a rancher, and this segment is safe!

Steamboat Rock is a half-mile off-trail up the slickrock. Cairns may help if you stumble upon the correct set.

Check out the final route up the rock. Switch the map to satellite for a good overview. For the intrepid researcher that reads descriptions, here is the full route. The out-n-back is a 2.6mi / 810aeg hike.

Too scary for some. Similar to playing around on Papago Buttes in Phoenix, one must be careful and know their limits. It is a class 3 scramble if you find the correct route. Which means you could die from a fall. If it seems too risky, don't do it. Remember, it's usually more difficult getting down than up.

I haven't done the top. I'd imagine it's class four or above. Nevertheless, the views from near the top are well worth the moderate effort for this hike. Amazingly, it hasn't become more popular.

Many of the Sedona area hikes are short tourist jaunts. Bruce and I incorporated Steamboat into an 18 mile loop in 2012. Lack of waterfalls and dancing girls will keep this one under the radar.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2015-12-28 joebartels
  • wilderness related
  • 2021 Verde Valley Trails
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    2021 Verde Valley Trails
  • 2021 Verde Valley Area
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    2021 Verde Valley Area
  • 2021 Sedona Trails Map
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    2021 Sedona Trails Map

One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.

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.

Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness
see map for camping restrictions

Map Drive

To Midgely Trailhead
From I-17 exit on 298 and head west towards Sedona. From Downtown Sedona head north on Highway 89a for approximately 3 miles to Midgley Bridge. There's ample parking on the north west side of the bridge.

Location: 22 miles south of Flagstaff (2 miles north of Sedona) on paved roads in scenic Oak Creek Canyon. Elevation ranges from 4600' to 6900'.

Access: Drive 22 miles south of Flagstaff or 2 miles north of Sedona on U. S. 89A. The trailhead is just north of Midgely Bridge where you'll find a small parking lot and a monument to Richard Wilson who was killed by a grizzly in this area in 1885.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 123 mi - about 2 hours 4 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 228 mi - about 3 hours 32 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 26.5 mi - about 40 mins
page created by joebartels on Apr 29 2012 11:28 am
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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