Short Connector, or Great Views before the Canyon
Overview: This is a short trail that can be used to make a spur to a small high point from which very impressive 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.
Hike: The David Miller trail is reached fastest from the Secret Canyon Trailhead. There are numerous creek crossings that might deter some if they are running high with water, but most of the year they are dry. 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. It is at this point that the views begin to open up, and not too much further up trail you will reach a nice view point which provides excellent views of the region. Continuing on, the trail gains a little more elevation before it tops out and descends quickly in to 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. From the trail's summit, you descend into a small valley 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.
Loop Option: The David Miller is short but worthy of a hike in it's 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" and with the snow melt in late winter and early spring, it could be a peaceful secluded spot to spend the night in Sedona.
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.