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David Miller, AZ

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Guide 15 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona NW
4.1 of 5 by 11
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 0.95 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,679 feet
Elevation Gain 571 feet
Accumulated Gain 571 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.85
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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7  2018-11-03
Brins Mesa Trail #119
8  2018-04-30
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
15  2018-02-17
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
11  2017-11-25
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
3  2017-08-23
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
13  2014-05-02
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
8  2012-05-24
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
22  2011-11-05
Bear Sign / Secret Loop
Page 1,  2
Author Jim_H
author avatar Guides 55
Routes 44
Photos 7,651
Trips 1,615 map ( 9,681 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → 10 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:14am - 6:26pm
Official Route
8 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Culture Nearby
Short Connector, or Great Views before the Canyon
by Jim_H

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.

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2010-03-06 Jim_H
  • wilderness related
  • Sedona Trails 2018
    region related
    Sedona Trails 2018

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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
David Miller
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a very much needed mental getaway. always wanted to do the bear sign/secret loop but wanted some extra miles so i started from the jordan trailhead and used brins mesa (thanks for the idea @hikerdw)

brins mesa is always a pleasant trail, imo, and especially coming back down late in the day with the sweet views. predictably saw nobody after the soldier pass cutoff.

quick walk along dry creek road and trail

bear sign is pretty awesome, especially up canyon with some pretty big trees, shade and occasional neat views. poison ivy is ready and raring to go. hated to see it end so soon

david miller...holy smokes. who knew? talk about short and sweet. really great views from the saddle, especially if you climb up the little high point. the wind this day, and especially on the highpoint was :o

secret canyon kind of goes by fast, but held it's charm from what i remembered (last hiked it probably 13 years ago).

the whole way back was very smooth, quiet and pretty relaxing really. i think i saw maybe 4-5 people on brins mesa coming back?. nobody at all on dry creek or the loop. coming down the end of brins mesa late afternoon/early evening is a treat.
David Miller
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Yolanda, Carey, and Maria joined me for a ride up to Sedona to do the Bear Sign / Secret Canyon Loop. The dirt road in was worse than I remember from last year when I drove up to Brins Mesa Trailhead. We parked at Secret Canyon and then hiked up the road to Dry Creek / Bear Sign Trailhead to start the loop in a counter clockwise direction. Tall trees lined the canyons up to the saddle of David Miller trail. We explored north from the saddle to find a nice panoramic view above the thick manzanita and a fire ring. Returning on Secret Canyon Trail there were few trees, mostly manzanita. Great loop!
David Miller
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After getting in a longer easy tread hike last Sat I wanted something less mental blah. This was the first hike of the day. If I felt okay we could tag on Devil's Bridge afterwards to fit in with the hip social tourists.

FR 152 was the shock of the day. Once upon a time I scraped a Ford Escort down it, that would be difficult now with a tow truck. Apparently when they made the berm at the start years ago they stopped all maintenance and the jeep tour$ rejoiced. 4wd and good clearance now or 4wd and pray. There are some good sized steps now.

Tread of the loop was easier than anticipated. On the bright side the scenery was stellar throughout. More shade from pines than anticipated. Lots of Arizona Cypress on Bear Sign, which is my favorite tree.

Last Saturday I was suffering energywise. I've lost quite a bit of weight since the accident and obviously don't have the reserves of the good ol' days. Nobody loves eating more than this cowboy. Since it turned into an olympic sport taking 3-4 times longer to chew I eat a lot less. Granted this wasn't a big hike but it was killing me early on last time. So I ate breakfast, which is not something I ever do. It made a world of difference. Just one ten minute break was plenty and only because I can't multitask yet.

I haven't seen much scenery since starting back hiking as I have to concentrate on the footing constantly. This loop is so scenic it screams at you even with your head down. This little loop exceeded my expectations, the road is not for everybody.
David Miller
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Did a lollipop loop hike starting from the Jordan Road Trailhead. Hiked Brins Mesa, 152c, then the official Bear Sign / Secret Loop, returning back the same way. Bear Sign Canyon and the short David Miller Trails were the highlight IMO. Lots of flying insects the entire hike but it is that time of the year for them. Afterwards we had pizza at the Sedona Pizza Company and then stopped in at Oak Creek Brewery for a cold one.
David Miller
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Nice little hike. Added this on after hiking Vultee Arch. Left my truck at the Vultee TH and did this hike clockwise to get the road out of the way first. That Davey Miller mile really kicks the cardio. Steep switchbacks going up and coming down. Nice views from the top of the David Miller trail. Dry Creek Road 152 was a lot rougher than I remembered. Taking it fast will definitely knock a few fillings loose. Wildflowers - Some penstemon, geraniums, white composites, and yellow composites.
David Miller
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I started my Memorial Day weekend a little early and headed up to Sedona for a night. My plan was to do a short backpack and then hike a variety of trails. I picked this loop because I wanted to camp at the Secret-David Miller trail junction. I remember there being a campsite there from a Secret trip last year. It is a short and easy two mile hike that I knew I could do in the dark.

After hiking Devil's Bridge, I arrived at the Secret trailhead around 7:30pm. I spent the next few minutes packing up all my gear and then headed in. There was still light in the sky as I made the hike in. It quickly got darker as I progressed. After a mile or so I turned on my headlamp and continued. It was a lot different hiking in the dark. Especially from being solo.

Before long I arrived at the David Miller junction and started making my camp. There was a fire ring at the site but unfortunately the entire state is under fire restrictions. Luckily I brought two sets of LED lights. I set them up and started setting up my tent. The lights made a big difference! After everything was setup, I sat down and enjoyed a couple of millers I brought along. :D

I woke the next morning and noticed all the red rock around me. This is a beautiful spot! I spent a few minutes relaxing and then packed up my gear. I was ready to start my day.

The David Miller trail heads up hill to a saddle. I made steady progress and had to remind myself to stop so I could enjoy the views. They only got better as I made my way uphill. I arrived at the pass and then the trail immediately heads down hill. In a few minutes you arrive at the Bear Sign trail. I headed right.

The Bear Sign is a nice trail. You follow along side of a wash and cross it a few times. It was easy going heading through a forested area. I noticed numerous patches of poison ivy along the hike. I went to great lengths to avoid it. After an hour or so I was back on Dry Creek Rd which I followed back to my jeep at the Secret Trailhead.

This was a nice backpack. Once back at my jeep, I got loaded up and then headed back the way I came to the Vultee Arch trail. That was next on the list.
David Miller
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Scrapped one hike with forecast highs of 32 and snow, for another with 47 for a high and snow.

The hardest part of this hike was the road in. On normal days, High clearance is all that's needed. The snow had stopped well before the hike started, but the wet slick mud meant I'd have to change things up a bit. I decided not to chance it anymore, and parked on 152, about 2/3's of a mile from the Secret Canyon TH, 3 miles from the pavement.

I Started at the Wet Creek Trail and did a Counter clockwise loop on:
Dry Creek Trail > Bear Sign Canyon Trail > David Miller Trail > Secret Canyon Trail.

This entire trek was gorgeous, with the smattering of snow on the red peaks. The hike down Bear Sign Canyon proved to be a bit interesting, with melting snow bombarding you as you walked under the over taxed limbs.

This is a relatively easy hike, with the only real elevation gain on the David Miller Trail. The views from the saddle at the apex of this trail are breathtaking. I ate some lunch close to the top here, on a dry spot in the sun, and soaked in the views.

If you can make the trip on FR152, I recommend this loop!
David Miller
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Secret Canyon Trail #121
We, my husband Jack & I, do this hike as a loop Secret Cyn #121 and connect to Bear Sign #59 via David Miller #164.
We park at the Bear Sign/Dry Creek trailhead walk back down FR 152 to the Secret Canyon Trail Head and then our car is at the end of the Bear Sign segment. A number of people start at Bear Sign and go the opposite direction but we like to hike the hardest part first while it is cooler and then do shady section last to beat the heat. This is a beautiful hike.
David Miller
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I parked just up the road from where the asphalt ends and started walking. I hiked up the road to the David Miller and up to the view point. Passed Azbackpackr out on the trail with her family. That was unexpected. Really nice conditions today. It was also very crowded in Sedona and on the road, but the trail itself was pretty empty. Shocking! In fact, I had total isolation for the 30 minutes I spent at the summit of the David Miller. Funny when compared to the constant vehicle traffic I had on Dry Creek Road. It is a shame the Dry Creek Road is a road. It accesses some of the best views in the area. I would much prefer the FS close it to ATV and other traffic to allow people to walk it and enjoy it. Plus, they wouldn't have to maintain it, as if they did.
David Miller
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Outstanding loop hike (I went clockwise from the Secret Canyon TH), with numerous fine side trails to explore. Of these, Secret Canyon is the most popular, but HS Canyon is also very nice. I especially enjoyed continuing up-canyon on the Bear Sign trail after the intersection with the David Miller Trail - narrow, in lovely forest. Went up the Dry Creek Trail a ways - OK but not especially interesting. And of course its worth the trip over to see Vultee Arch. Will have to return in the Spring when the many creeks are running.

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
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 89A west 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road on the right. Go 1.9 miles to FS 152 on the right. Take this unpaved road 3.4 miles to trailhead parking on the left. Forest Road 152 is normally passable for any car but should be avoided in wet weather. Though some cars would make the 3.4 miles in on FS 152, I would not be able to get my Honda Civic there and I recommend a connection with another access trail or a hike up the road.
page created by Jim_H on Mar 06 2010 12:04 pm
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