This hike is not for the weak-ankled or thin-skinned. It is very rocky and requires bushwacking through scrub oak. Long sleeves and pants are highly recommended. The trail is in the sun, with little shade, so it's best to do it on a cool day. It's a steep climb, with not terribly spectacular views from the top, but its good exercise.
Park at Grasshopper Point (or somewhere nearby, if you don't want to pay the fee). From the parking, the trail starts to the North where you will see a metal sign for Allen's Bend Trail. Take this trail for 0.5 miles until you see a sign for Casner Canyon. At this point head east toward the creek. When you reach the creek, look upstream for a crossing made up of 3 logs lashed together. (This was in place in Jan. 2006.) It was quite stable and I didn't get my feet wet at all. It's 0.03 miles upstream from the mouth of Casner Canyon, so once you cross, be sure to hike downstream and start in the mouth of the canyon. There is a faint trail that leads up the hill directly across from the crossing, but don't take this- it peters out after about 0.4 miles). Once you are in the canyon (heading east), look for the trail on the right side. Follow the trail for about 0.2 miles where it crosses the streambed and heads up the north side of the canyon. From here it's an uphill slog to the rim, about 1.8 miles. At the rim, the trail continues to the south. I went about 0.2 miles more and then turned around. There wasn't much to see and the uphill part was over. I would recommend turning around at the gate and sitting on the basalt rock, which will be on your left as you are going down the trail. This was the best view, in my opinion.
Sorry I have no pictures. I brought my husband's camera, only to discover it had no batteries. I even wore my HAZ tank top for a nice summit shot! Oh well. Maybe next time.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
Coconino FS Reports Bring you wading shoes for this one. You'll be wading clear, cool Oak Creek early in the hike. According to historians, this trail was built to provide cattle grazers a means of getting their stock from water on the canyon floor to pastures on the canyon rim. Today, it is used by hikers and horsebackers for access into the heart of a landscape most people see only through their telephoto lens.
After crossing Oak Creek, the trail leads a short way up the floor of Casner Canyon before turning up the canyon's north slope. It then continues a long and sometimes steep climb to the canyon rim about a half-mile north of the Schnebly Hill Road overlook. The route it follows is a scenic one, right through the middle of some of the rock formations that make up the spectacular view from Sedona and Highway 89. Because shade is sparse, this can be a hard, hot climb on a sunny day. Bring lots of water along with your camera.
USGS Map: Munds Park
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.