register help

Jack's Canyon Trail #55, AZ

159 30 3
Guide 30 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona SE
2.9 of 5 by 13
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 6.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,281 feet
Elevation Gain 2,047 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,143 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 13.94
Backpack Yes & Connecting
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
10  2019-04-27
Hot / Jack's Loop
35  2019-04-27
Hot / Jacks Loop
6  2019-03-23 te_wa
8  2018-07-28 BiFrost
2  2018-01-14 friendofThunderg
5  2017-08-12 friendofThunderg
24  2017-05-03
Woods Canyon #93 to Pine Valley Ridge - Sedona
7  2016-09-15 NoPal
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:14am - 6:25pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

You'll want to hike this trail all the way to the end and then some to gain access to the unique views it offers. Jacks Canyon Trail leads up the bottom of a rocky desert gorge where the vegetation is mostly high chaparral. Watch for desert cottontails and black-tailed jackrabbits scurrying through the thorny underbrush. Most likely you'll see some top-knotted Gambels quail, too, and hear them crowing from their hiding places as you pass by. Extensive stands of Arizona cypress carpet the canyon floor along with catclaw acacia, false palo verde, and banana yucca.

The trail starts by skirting the boundary of an outlying subdivision. It then follows an old jeep trail to Jacks Canyon Tank where it drops into the drainage bottom and proceeds along its moderate climb by crisscrossing the dry streambed. At the upper end of the canyon, the trail leaves the streambed to switchback to a high saddle connecting the Mogollon Rim and Munds Mountain. The views are good here, but they're even better a short, steep climb up the Munds Mountain Trail #77. From the top of Munds Mountain the panorama of the Red Rocks Country is as complete as it gets, including parts of Oak Creek Canyon, all of the major rock formations around Sedona and even the San Francisco Peaks in the distance.

According to the 2018 FS map camping is not allowed on the lower portion of this trail but is allowed up in Munds Mountain Wilderness.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
  • description related image
    guide related
  • book
    area related
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
    area related
    100 Classic Hikes - 2007
  • 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
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
It was Munds the long way today with C.J. We started to a fairly cold morning, but the conditions were great overall. We took probably the longest break either of us have taken on a hike in awhile, but the view point on Munds where we had our lunch is a tough spot to leave.

We only saw two other hikers the entire day and although mundane at times the Jacks Canyon portion went pretty quick both directions. There is not much water out there right now and only a few patches of snow, but it was just enough to keep the dogs happy. The last couple miles seemed to drag on a little, but overall we enjoyed the longer day. I really need to check that Lee Mountain off the list one of these days.

Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Blanco and I hit Munds Mountain from Jack's Canyon Trail today. We got an early start (6 a.m.) to try to beat the heat and any storms.

Jack's Canyon Trail left with me with mixed reviews. Its destination is worthy, if using it to summit Munds, however, the trail could use a little work and is not overly scenic for the area. In particular, there are a few annoying acacia in the first few miles that could be trimmed and there may be a few spots up canyon where one has to do a double take to locate the trail where it crosses the main drainage. We saw a black bear about three-quarters of the way up, but I was focused on keeping Blanco off of its heals and never even got out the camera. Oh well, seeing a black bear is hardly an occasion anymore these days, although, it was my first sighting in the Sedona area, so it was a pleasant little surprise. We enjoyed an extended break and lunch on Munds and then headed back the same way we came. It got a little warm towards the end, but the conditions were generally nice. Only two spots with standing water along the trail and Blanco made good use of both of them. I did not see any other hikers on the trails all day.
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Woods Canyon #93 to Pine Valley Ridge - Sedona
Woods Canyon and Beyond

This hike features a moderately rigorous collection of less-commonly-used trail sections, starting at the Woods Canyon trailhead, taking Woods Canyon to the Hot Loop Trail just up the Horse Mesa, traveling back down to pick up Jacks Canyon, then using an fairly obscure connector link to loop through the Pine Valley Ridge and Pine Valley Trails, then backward the same way (skipping Horse Mesa) to the Woods Canyon trailhead. We hike about 16 miles, with an accumulated elevation change, round trip, of about 2900 feet.

The hike offers a bit of everything – open shrublands, rim forests, tree-covered mesas, expansive views, red-rock creek beds, Sedona real estate, the horses at Jacks Canyon trailhead, Courthouse Butte – but not a lot of anyone thing. We get the varied, and a reasonable amount of spectacular.

One item, though, does occur a lot – gates, of all types. After passing, close them, both an obvious courtesy and moreover standard hiking etiquette.

The hike starts at the extreme southern end of the Visitor Center south of Oak Creek village. A trailhead marker near a single boulder announces “Woods Canyon,” followed then by an old-style metal marker with “Trail 93” cutout, then a gate, and tall grasses.

Soon, though, the trail evolves to a mixture of open shrubland of low plants and common Southwest pinyons, juniper and other short trees. This continues as you rise slowly on Woods Canyon trail, the canyon itself formed by mesas to your left and right. The mesas might be considered unremarkable: low, flat, with gently-sloping tree-covered sides – no towering cliffs, only a little of the deep reds or browns or oranges, few bands or striations revealing geologic processes. But this unremarkableness brings a wonder – what would a 300 million year time lapse reveal about why Woods Canyon presents to us tree-covered green, while in a dozen miles Courthouse Butte will present to us a completely different view.

After about 1.8 miles, you reach the Hot Loop junction, marked nicely by a sign post. The ascent pitches up to a moderate incline, bringing you after about .8 miles to another nicely marked “T” junction of Hot Loop, with one leg of the “T” ascending to Horse Mesa. Go right and follow that up (about 1.3 miles) until you judge yourself close enough to the northern rim of the mesa to go north off trail (a short bit) to overlook Jack’s Canyon and the formations beyond. Rest a bit, you will have climbed 1200 feet, but mainly to take in the view and work a few pictures.

Your view across Jacks Canyon provides an expansive panorama of Lee Mountain, Courthouse Butte, and Bell Rock. Beneath you, in Jacks Canyon itself, lies the eastern edges of Oak Creek Village, including estates on roads sufficiently private that no Google street view exists. Far in the background rise Doe, Bear and Black mountains.

Travel back down, to the “T” junction, and now proceed north. This portion of the hike weaves through the wooded slopes of Horse Mesa and the smaller mesa that stood to your left on the beginning of the hike. Of interest, red rock occasionally breaks through the vegetation, hinting that the slopes consist of rock eroded down from strata once above the tops of the mesas.

About 2.8 miles after leaving the viewpoint on Horse Mesa, the hike reaches the horse trailer area at the Jacks Canyon trailhead. With good fortune, you might observe a couple horses being groomed and readied for riding. The estates of eastern Oak Creek village will also appear to the north.

Now pick up the interconnector. This will not be reached by taking the Jack Canyon trail. Rather, look for an unmarked single red trail a couple dozen feet more north than the trailhead for Jacks Canyon. Proceed a short distance on the interconnector, cross the road, pick up the connector again, and proceed up a short hill to a gate. Here, you stand up-close to a large estate, of intriguing architecture. The gate marks the start of Pine Valley Ridge trail and a continued gentle incline.

Proceed about .9 miles, and at the bend of the trail, take a short trek off-trail to the rim for wide view of the escarpment on a southern exposure of Lee Mountain, as well as an angle view on the infamous Rabbit Ears formation. Most of us lack a deep knowledge of geology, but even the casual observer can see the bands, layers and striations in the escarpment, formed as Sedona alternated between sea, beach, river and inland environments circa 275 million years ago.

At this point, one can drop down on a relatively uncataloged “Rabbit Ear” trail, or continue on Pine Valley Ridge, to arrive at the eastern side of Courthouse Butte. Again, geology will be evident, as will a bit denser crowds. You can peruse Courthourse Butte and Bell Rock on the typical trails, as you like, but when done take Big Park Loop south to an unmarked junction with Pine Valley Trail (GPS 34.794682, -111.747949). You will travel back about 1.5 miles on Pine Valley, until you “T” into Pine Valley Ridge. Go right, and shortly you will be at the gate to the interconnector. Proceed back to the Visitor Center, but eliminating the spur up to the top of Horse Mesa. Even though you traversed these trail sections earlier, the sun will now be at a different angle, and you view will be from a different viewpoint, and the time will be later in the day. So don’t be in so much of a hurry to not practice a bit more photography, or nature viewing, or geology study, or whatever your fancy.
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
The Hot Loop trail is not a loop, rather named for branding cattle. Yet you can make a nice loop with Jacks Canyon Trail #55. We hit this clockwise heading up Jack's Canyon. It doesn't irk me as it did in the past. The trail is brush free save maybe a twig or two. It sports a few minor route finding moments crossing the creek. What I enjoy most is how the trees come into play after gaining only 500 feet of gain. By 850 feet up you are in a nice forest with a few of my favorites, the wicked cool Arizona Cypress. The views behind you get pretty red rock sweet as you approach the saddle.

Connecting over to the Hot Loop is a dream these days. Bomber sized caged cairns direct you over. A decade or so ago it was a live oak nightmare wade.

Believe this was my first time doing the Hot Loop Trail #94 as a through hike. It was nicer than memory served. The distant views heading down are outstanding. Last year about this time ( rainier cherry season ) we did a Jacks-Munds-Lee loop. It was cool to see the route we took down off Lee Mountain.

Started w/4 frozen quarts, using 3.75. It was overcast for the entire ascent. Clear yet breezy heading down with puffy clouds accumulating. Only got hot at the end. The humidity on the other hand would make posting this as a swim within reason.

Synopsis A most enjoyable loop. Slightly brushy for a quarter mile tops heading down #94. If Sedona didn't have such a smorgasbord of other awesome hikes I'd rate this much higher. No water anywhere as expected. jj did spot and cool off from a rancher faucet near the corral at the trailhead. Heading in I thought I was going on a fourteen mile stroll, as typical I don't research much. When I saw a sign near the trailhead stating 22 I looked over at jj and said seriously. He said about 19 which was spot on.

posted on an old school desktop
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
Jack's Cyn - Munds - Lee Mtn Loop
Jack's Canyon is growing on me. It used to curl my nose. The lower half is just okay. Not maintained real well and better hikes are nearby. The upper end is really more of a gem with cypress and a bit more character.

Didn't spend time on Munds as Lee Mtn was the target with finding a route down to make a loop. Bruce and I stopped at the saddle separating Munds & Lee last year. Today jj and I found there is a very good trail that skirts the west. Figured as such too. We passed, shocking to myself, a group of about six seniors. They said they went to the edge of Lee as an out and back. Believe they parked up near Committee Tank.

The views out west from the saddle are special. Once on Lee we saw a small herd of five trophy rack Elk in the distance, perhaps more.

We pressed on Lee, biting our nails to the edge. Bruce can't go a week without a bad joke so bear with me.

After working our way across Lee we found an intriguing butte tagging onto the side of the mountain. The class four practice was too tempting to pass up. The views were remarkable so it was definitely time well spent.

Heading down we bombed out then found a way to make it work. Would you believe there are some amazing elk trails for a good portion. jj swears they're manicured by hikers. Apparently not good enough to keep me from making a bad turn halfway down. Which made the final leg more trouble than probably necessary... my bad

Temps held respectable. We got mini showers plus two hail storms up top which dropped the temps to almost chilly for a bit. I enjoyed and will undoubtedly be back for more in the future.
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
My son & I enjoy distance trail running and found this to be a decent workout. The canyon isn't gorgeous, but its pretty enough, and the trail rises at a nice grade and isn't so rocky so it can't be run at a fairly even pace. There are some sandy spots here and there, especially at the beginning. The short trip up Munds Mountain to catch the red rock views to the north is a must.
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
Working on hiking as many hikes as I can in book, 100 Classic Hikes in Arizona and this hike is one of them. As stated by others the first few miles is along a residential road, plus it has recent fire damage. Wish there was water in the creek that runs in the bottom of the canyon, but none this trip. We turned around and headed back at the point the trail starts a steep up hill climb. With so many really nice hikes in Sedona no need to do this one. Hike is also listed in "50 Hikes in Arizon", by Martin Tessmer.
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
I really wanted to hike Munds Mountain today, but didn't have a 4x4 at my disposal this trip, so I started out from this TH. This trail isn't exactly what I've come to expect from Sedona hiking, but I made the best of it. The TH is an unmarked gravel road off of Jacks Canyon Rd. Where the TH should logically be located is a tacky, high-end subdivision full of overpriced shacks that you're forced to hike around for the first few miles. And to make it even worse, local fence construction charred this area pretty bad last June. :twisted: Did I mention that the first mile or so is along the road to this subdivision so you can see the baboons that live there. The trail is also very sandy and eroded in sections and horses marching thru here doesn't help it any. But a few miles in, fallen trees near the wilderness boundary put an end to that and you're finally past the housing and charred forest.

Things start to improve a bit in the middle section of this hike. The trail is alongside the drainage with multiple crossings that sometimes requires some route finding, boulder hopping, and fallen tree bypassing. The trees provide shade, but block most of the views of Lee and Munds Mountain. At least the first half of the trail is relatively flat.

The tail end of the trail is the only redeeming section of this hike. You start climbing out of the canyon towards the saddle and are able to look back and see the long canyon you just hiked up with fall colors in affect. Near the saddle is a great place to have lunch and soak in the expansive view while you imagine what spectacular views must be visable from on top of Munds Mountain that's looming above you. 8)

Mileage and time are from the TH up to the saddle and back, minus the Munds Mountain part. Total trip was approximately 19 miles in 9.5 hours.
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
"Well, I have no idea where I am at trail. Over three hours into the hike and I have not hit the end. One of those times I wish I brought a dang map. The trail all but disappeared when I left the bottom and working my way the east side. Cattle tracks and dung scattered throughout. However, in the rock, scrub oak covered steep landscape, cairns lead the way. To what I have no idea."

"So I decided to stop on this rock outcropping, eat lunch of tuna and crackers, with trail mix. On top of that, get my bearings."

From my hiking journal.

And thus I terminated my hike forward and after a brief respite, decided to turn back, my hike incomplete, for now; I had told the folks at home I would be back by early afternoon.

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.

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
Drive south 30 miles out of Flagstaff on US 89A to the Rt 179 intersection in Sedona. Turn left at the traffic light and drive about 7.3 miles to Jacks Canyon Road (FR 793). Follow this road about 1.9 miles, turn right and follow to the trailhead at 34.785091, -111.732759 (coordinates according to the USFS)
help comment issue

end of page marker