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Morning Glory Spire, AZ

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Guide 33 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona NW
4.6 of 5 by 5
Warning! Technical climbing skills required. Risks include serious injury to death.  Risks are not eliminated by skill.
Climb Consensus (28) → View
Difficulty 4th
Climb I Boulder
Rock Sandstone Good
Length 60 ft 4 Pitches
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Difficulty 5 of 5
Route Finding 4 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,453 feet
Elevation Gain 609 feet
Accumulated Gain 770 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.25
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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13  2016-03-23
Morning Glory - Sterling Loop
3  2016-03-23
Morning Glory - Sterling Loop
7  2016-02-20
Cibola - Soldier - Brins Loop
15  2016-02-20
Cibola - Soldier - Brins Loop
11  2015-06-01 BobP
14  2014-10-02 Jim_H
15  2014-02-15 Hikergirl81
20  2011-05-30 martinz
Page 1,  2
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 55
Routes 44
Photos 7,651
Trips 1,608 map ( 9,661 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:08am - 6:37pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A Glorious Spire
by Jim_H

Likely In-Season!
If you've done Capitol Butte and you like the scrambling you encountered on that, you might like to try Morning Glory Spire. This small formation sits just off of the Soldiers Pass Trail and is not often climbed since it isn't very tall, or high. It does offer some pretty nice views, and is pretty fun. This climb has some great views of Capitol Butte's north face.

From the Soldiers Pass Trailhead, take the trail to the large sinkhole known as the Devil's Kitchen. Proceed around the sinkhole and you might see a rappel anchor on the north to northwest side. Finding it isn't important, but it is neat to see. At this point you are on the south side of Morning Glory. Continue on and climb up over the red sandstone hill and make your way to the north side of the spire. There are some rough trails, but nothing is really well defined. It may be helpful to look for the Ocotillo growing on the east side of Morning Glory near it's base, and once you have found them, try to climb up and move further to the north.

Eventually, you will arrive at a fairly well defined climbing trail. Take it as it climbs steeply and over some loose sand and scree to the bottom of the climbing area on the north to northeast side of Morning Glory. You may have to do a little route finding if a trail takes you to a view point and a dead end. Just before you get to the base of the first pitch, you will go underneath of some branches from an Arizona Cypress and then take a right up to a tall pinyon growing at the base of pitch one.

Climb up this first pitch of relatively easy 4th class climbing that is about 20 feet in length and take a left towards the summit. There should be a climbing trail which is visible that will take you where you want to go. Follow it to another small pitch of 3rd class climbing and then proceed to the only hard part of the entire climb, the 4th class pitch which is just left of, or in a small angled chimney. If you go left of it, there are numerous small holds that you will be able to use and a narrow ledge about 2/3 of the way up this pitch. After the difficult section there is one last pitch of 3rd class climbing that will take you to the summit block. It is small, but you'll enjoy gaining it. Descent is either by the route you came up, or using one of the rappel anchors which are on or near the summit. It looked like you would want at least a 60 meter rope to rappel.

No protection is needed, including helmets. There are rappel anchors on the summit and just off of it, in case you would rather not down climb.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2009-08-27 Jim_H
  • Sedona Trails 2018
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    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 of 18 deeper Triplog Reviews
Morning Glory Spire
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Morning Glory - Sterling Loop
Finally got a loop around Wilson. jj felt a little uneasy driving up noticing I was wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt. "Off trail on this hike?"... no worse, the overnight low is 31 :scared:

55 degrees starting just before 9am and not much over 60 all day. Hiking weather.

Saw a few individuals heading over Wilson Bench. First time on Jim Thompson. Nice, nearby trails are nicer. Cibola is one of the nicest non water trails around Sedona.

Up and down MG Spire in 1h 15m at a nothing special pace. Couldn't clear the first pitch last month due to a chest injury earlier in the month. Healthy made all the difference. The first pitch was no trouble up or down. The slant up higher was as I remembered. First look it appears a bit sketchy. One or two steps into it and it seems impossible to have trouble unless you jumped out of the crack and off the wall.

Sink hole, seven super sacred pools then off to the arches. Morning light was the ticket last month. Just fair this round, almost dark inside mid day. Crossed paths with a group of interesting people, really just wanted to keep

First time on the west side of Brins. Most probably like the red rock east but the west is cypress tree canopy. A pleasant surprise. Up Vultee and down Sterling. The scariest part of the hike was the last mile along the highway. No shoulder and cars whizzing by ultra close.

not much, very isolated
Morning Glory Spire
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Cibola - Soldier - Brins Loop
All prepared we took off down the Jordan Trail. It is a very nice tunnel through Arizona Cypress. A little over a quarter mile in we realized we didn't prepare so well. Jordan wasn't on the itinerary :lol:

Back on track we took Cibola over and cut up to Morning Glory Spire. Did MG with Jim_H and johnr1 back in 2009. All I remembered was the slanted chimney was scary at first but solid. Forgot about the approach onto the deck. Denny got up no problem. While I could get up, getting down with a recent chest injury seemed like a bad idea. Bruce was my saving grace. Knowing he let go of Denny on Battleship didn't secure my confidence... lol

It'd been 15.5 years since I last hiked Soldier Pass #66. It's a touristy hoot and I love it. We got up above the arches which is fun and easy.

Brins is okay, not my favorite. It was loaded with people so that was cool.

2009 MG video ... beBM
Morning Glory Spire
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Cibola - Soldier - Brins Loop
Joe came up with a figure eight loop this week, that turned into two hikes. Denny was in early, so this week it's the Three Stooges in Sedona.

After we pulled into the trail head in the Range Focus, we were off like a heard of turtles in the sub 40's temps.

First up, was the Morning Glory Spire, in all it's Morning Glory. Joe'd done this one before, so he led the charge. We all scrambled up to the base of the first climb and made it up the first climb. Denny made the next step up, but Joe and I decided we could probably make it up, but getting down was iffy. Denny went a bit farther, but ultimately came back and we guided him down.

Next it was off to the sinkhole, a real interesting feature. We hiked past the 7 sacred pools, then it was off to an arch that Joe had us checking out. For me, this was the highlight of the trip. Unassuming viewing from the outside, you could actually easily climb up inside of it. We explored inside and the used the arch to climb to the top. We spent a lot more time here than planned. Well worth it.

We took a side trip down a spur trail to check out some additional sweet views, then down, down, down back to the parking lot. We decided to drive to an improvised hike two, instead of hiking to it. Good times as always in Sedona. We are so lucky to have this area so close to us.
Morning Glory Spire
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I didn't have time to hike Capitol as planned, after stopping to pick blueberries and then to buy and eat apples, and then there was lunch at the Open Range Grill, so MGS it was. I was really tired and my legs are pretty sore from off trail Humphrey and Philomena Springs hiking, too. Guess I'm out of shape. Enjoyable, but I'm not comfortable on rock in the Altras, which are useless on anything but a smooth trail. Not sure I would have enjoyed Capitol, either, as that is steep.
Morning Glory Spire
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It was a fee free day in Sedona, and with me moving and having let my federal passes slide, I jumped at the chance to head down and take in an old favorite. It was nice being back on old glory. Surprisingly, there was hardly anyone at the trailhead, and after this I went over to the Long's Canyon TH where there was also basically no one there. Surprising given the people in town. I walked about 1/2 mile of the Long's Canyon trail intending to do Mescal Mt, but turned back. Haven't been in Sedona in a long time, and I don't even remember my last time on this, so it was nice being back there.
Morning Glory Spire
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I have to give props to Jim_H. He did a great write up and the pics he posted made the route up pretty easy to follow. I talked a couple of my friends into going after I saw the pics of this hike online. We took a little longer route to do a little practice scrambling...since the guys I went with are not a big fan of heights. Once we made it to the East side of the Spire we jumped on the trail and made our way up. I have to say that this has to be my favorite hike only compared to Angels Landing in Utah. The little bit of climbing at the top and the fact that it is not heavily traveled made it great. The chimney was great and the holds were easily to find. In my personal opinion the 1 pitch was a little more difficult then the chimney. Now, out of 3 of us...only 2 made it to the top. The other guys just psyched himself out...he was not a fan of heights & climbing with a little bit of exposure.. So it is not just your everyday hike..But the view is so worth it. I saw two rappelling stations..One just before the first pitch (you rappel down a crack..which is the one in the pics) & another one after the first pitch and just before the second pitch. For the rappel we used a double line 60M rope off the bolts and rings in place. On a side the bottom of the rappel there is brush everywhere and not much of a path to get back to the trail. All in all...Great Hike/Climb
Morning Glory Spire
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Wife and I scouted this the week prior. Got to the first "pitch" and knew we weren't going any farther. I contacted a climbing friend (Jamie) and we tackled this with relative ease on 3/19/11.

The first class 4 section (at bottom, near tree start point)is easy going up and tough coming down (blind footing); the second class 4 section (the "crux") was tough going up and easy coming down...(of course I was sporting my vintage "Reebok" climbing shoes for the crux. Jamie easily ascended with trail joggers.)

I'm a rather stout fellow at 250lbs; thick at both the shoulders and ahem...rear end. My first attempt at the crux failed miserably, as I was too dang big to squeeze through the crack in the chimney...(small guys, like Jamie, would have no problem and can take advantage of the bomber holds inside chimney). I was frustrated and almost told Jamie to summit w/o me, but he coaxed me into attempting to climb the face which has a number of small ledges for decent footing. (Doubt I have made it w/o my stiff climbing shoes.) Getting down this section seemed much easier, glad Jamie was there to assist. Solo attempts for non-climbers would definitely be dangerous.

I'm not real fond of heights :scared: and this summit had plenty. The stiff wind kept me glued to my seat. (see pics) :) Great views and a beautiful day.

Started about 11 am and had plenty of time to hike up Cathedral Rock afterwords.
Morning Glory Spire
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I took someone out who did alright, but didn't make it to the top. I did, and they waited. Still a real nice outing on this scenic little monument. Hot for the day, unexpected warmer than I thought it would be.
Before heading to the western points, I stopped at Chavez Crossing. Almost good enough to swim, but I hadn't planned on it and didn't want to get wet.
Morning Glory Spire
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Kinda hot out. I took a guy from from school who could probably do more of this sort of thing since he had an easy time with it. Nice and dry, reminded me of last year in late August. On the way down to Sedona, we stopped at Cave Springs and ate some good black berries. They're much better this year with the rain, and abundant, too.
Morning Glory Spire
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It took a while to do this as I tried to coax another HAZer up, but they didn't make it. Oh well, better to try and fail than not try at all. I made it, but I also enjoyed the relaxed pace as the humidity was intense and for some reason it makes it really hard for me to breathe. It got hot when the sun came out, and that was welcome.

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
Paved - Car Okay

To hike & climb trip
From the 'Y' in Sedona ( 179/89A ) follow 89A 1.2 miles Southwest to Soldier Pass Road. Turn right and follow 1.4 miles to Rim Shadow Drive. Turn right again and look for the parking area on the left with in a .25 miles. The parking area is closed for the evening, leave time to be back by the gate closing.
page created by Jim_H on Aug 27 2009 7:23 pm
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