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Short Connector, or Great Views before the Canyon
This is a short trail that can be used to make a spur to a small high point from which awe-inspiring views can be had, or it can be used as part of several trails to make a loop in the upper Dry Creek area. It is usable year-round, and water is plentiful when the snow is melting.
The David Miller Trail is reached fastest from the Secret Canyon Trailhead. Numerous creek crossings might deter some if they are running high with water, but they are dry most of the year. The water is great for dogs if you bring yours along. Start at the trailhead and begin hiking the Secret Canyon Trail. After 2/3 of a mile, you will pass the H.S. Canyon Trail. Continue on the Secret Canyon Trail, and at approximately 1.75 miles from the trailhead, you will come to the junction with the David Miller Trail. This is right about the location the Secret Canyon Trail turns to go into the canyon.
Once on the David Miller Trail, the hike becomes shady and runs along a small seasonal creek. You'll cross it a few times and begin to climb gently at first. You encounter some ponderosa pine and douglas fir, but it will mostly be classic Sedona vegetation. After a half-mile, you'll begin to climb. Soon you will reach a series of reasonably steep sandstone switchbacks. At this point, the views start to open up. Not too much further up the trail, you will reach a nice viewpoint that provides excellent views of the region. Continuing, the trail gains a little more elevation before it tops out and descends quickly into the canyon. Near this summit, there is a fine outcropping of Coconino Sandstone, which makes a great place to walk over to and get some unobstructed views of the Rim above you. You descend into a small valley from the trail's summit, where you will meet the Bear Sign Trail. The valley is filled with dense pine and fir and would be a fine hike to reach in summer after climbing the hot south slope of the David Miller. There is also a seasonal stream in the valley. Unless making the loop, return the way you came.
The David Miller Trail is short but worthy of a hike in its own right. However, if seeking a longer hike, or a loop hike, it can be incorporated into a loop using the Secret Canyon Trail, the David Miller Trail, the Bear Sign trail, the Dry Creek Trail, and a short section of the Dry Creek Road (FR 152) south of the Vultee Arch Trailhead. Camping is an option in the upper reaches of the Bear Sign "valley." With the snowmelt in late winter and early spring, it could be a peaceful secluded spot to spend the night in Sedona.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.