How many Sugarloafs does AZ need?
Overview: Out of the numerous mountains in Arizona named Sugarloaf, this one in Sedona is definitely not the most impressive. The hike to the top is not a classic Sedona adventure, and there are many better hikes in the nearby area. The views are good, but let it be known, very influenced by the surrounding cityscape. However, it's a short, easy hike up a small knoll that serves as a great place to hit up if you're passing through town and only have time for a half-hour excursion. It's also good to know that this area isn't over-run by tourists, the most frequent users of this area seem to be locals that live in the neighborhood bordering the forest.
Hike: From the small trail-head nestled in the back of a neighborhood, look to the north and the closest hill looming above you is Sugarloaf. The trail heads north. A forest service panel shows a map of the "Sugarloaf Loop" which could be considered to make this hike slightly longer with a tad more variety. Keep heading north. Any junctions with official trails are signed, but it gets pretty confusing, especially with all the social trails criss-crossing. The infamous Sedona rock barrel cairns attempt to keep you on the "right" route, but don't count on it. Basically stay right at all the junctions to stay close to the base of Sugarloaf. A fun alternate option is to scramble up the slickrock all the way to the top, or part way and catch the trail again as it nears the summit. Anyway, the trail will eventually come to a T, turn right and then catch the trail shooting south up to the summit. Pretty soon, you're there! Like I said, the cityscape plays a major role in the view, but you can pretty much see all the major Sedona landmarks. Coffee Pot, Morning Glory Spire, Capitol Butte and Chimney Rock are all in great view with more distant views of Munds Mountain, Wilson Mountain and way out to the west, Mingus Mountain. Not a bad place to swing by a catch the sunset.
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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.
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