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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Jim Thompson Trail #124, AZ

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Guide 16 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona NW
3.3 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,381 feet
Elevation Gain 235 feet
Accumulated Gain 580 feet
Avg Time One Way 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.58
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25  2019-06-01
Wilson Mountain Loop
16  2019-06-01
Wilson Mountain Loop
13  2016-03-23
Morning Glory - Sterling Loop
3  2016-03-23
Morning Glory - Sterling Loop
19  2016-02-13
Wilson Canyon Trail #49
14  2014-05-21 TWA
7  2009-09-18 georgesteel
4  2009-01-02
Brins Mesa Trail #119
Page 1,  2
Author jmzblond
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 121
Trips 64 map ( 491 miles )
Age 49 Female Gender
Location Scottsdale, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Sep, Apr
Sun  6:14am - 6:26pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Hidden Surprises
by jmzblond

Likely In-Season!
This is a one way trail that connects the trailhead at Jordan Road (trails that include Brins Mesa trail, Cibola Pass trail, and Jordan trail) to the Wilson Mountain trails. It is also a trail with some history. It was built in the 1880's by Jim Thompson as a wagon road to travel through Oak Creek to his homestead in the Indian Gardens. As it is an old wagon road, the trail is a bit wider than most and very well-defined. I encountered more mountain bikers than hikers on this trail, and that was only 4 bikers and 2 hikers.

I started at the Jordan Road trailhead after just hiking the Brins Mesa trail. My intention was to see just how good of a connecting trail it is to Wilson Canyon/Mountain as I didn't have any information on this specific trail. It was a beautiful December day and about 1:00pm. The trailhead was clearly marked and easy to find. Manzanita and pine trees line both sides of the trail. I had only hiked about a quarter of a mile when I came to a gate across the trail. On this day, the gate was open so I proceeded through. There are only slight elevation changes on this trail which open up the views all around... the city of Sedona, Thunder Mountain, Coffee Pot Rock, Chimney Rock, Mormon Valley, Steamboat Rock, etc. Its amazing the things you can see in such a short period of time. There are also many areas along this trail where its obvious that, when water is running off the rocks above, you are walking on the top or in the middle of waterfalls. At one point, I heard a familiar trickling sound. It was faint, but distinct so I ventured off trail a little and, sure enough... a little waterfall and a small creek!! Then shortly after, about a mile and a half along and just to the west of the trail, I found two rather large pools of water.

Around the 2 mile mark, Wilson Canyon and Wilson Mountain loom just ahead. Here, the trail loops around the top of an overlook area. One could turn around and head back to the trailhead, or venture down into the canyon swithbacking a few times, crossing over, and connecting with the Wilson Mountain trail. Regardless of your decision, this was a surprisingly wonderful trail... a relaxing and peaceful out-and-back hike, or a nice way to connect other trails to the Wilson trails.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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.

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

2003-02-08 jmzblond
  • wilderness related
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  • Sedona Trails 2018
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    Sedona Trails 2018

Coconino FS Details
This trail can be hiked from either the Wilson Canyon Trailhead (as described here) or the Jordan Road Trailhead (see map below). From Midgley Bridge parking area, start along the road past the picnic ramada. At .1 miles, bear right onto the trail marked by large rock cairns. It gradually climbs, then descends to the canyon drainage. At .6 miles, pass the fork signed for Wilson Mountain Trail and 100 yards further, take the left fork signed for Jim Thompson Trail. It immediately begins a .2 mile moderate climb. Bear right as you top out and after 100 yards, take the left fork (to the right is a path onto Steamboat Rock). The trail is wide and nearly flat with sparse shade as it follows an old road along the base of Steamboat Rock and past Steamboat Tank on the right at 1.5 miles. Nice views.

At 2.25 miles, the trail passes through a cattle gate, becoming narrower and more shaded as it gently descends into Mormon Canyon. At the bottom, the trail bends right into the canyon a short way before joining the start of Brins Mesa Trail on a closed road at 3 miles. The Jordan Road Trailhead parking area is 150 yards south (left) down the road just past the gate. Return by the same route for a 6 mile roundtrip hike or hike one way in either direction with arranged transportation.

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
Jim Thompson Trail #124
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Morning Glory - Sterling Loop
Finally got a loop around Wilson. jj felt a little uneasy driving up noticing I was wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt. "Off trail on this hike?"... no worse, the overnight low is 31 :scared:

55 degrees starting just before 9am and not much over 60 all day. Hiking weather.

Saw a few individuals heading over Wilson Bench. First time on Jim Thompson. Nice, nearby trails are nicer. Cibola is one of the nicest non water trails around Sedona.

Up and down MG Spire in 1h 15m at a nothing special pace. Couldn't clear the first pitch last month due to a chest injury earlier in the month. Healthy made all the difference. The first pitch was no trouble up or down. The slant up higher was as I remembered. First look it appears a bit sketchy. One or two steps into it and it seems impossible to have trouble unless you jumped out of the crack and off the wall.

Sink hole, seven super sacred pools then off to the arches. Morning light was the ticket last month. Just fair this round, almost dark inside mid day. Crossed paths with a group of interesting people, really just wanted to keep

First time on the west side of Brins. Most probably like the red rock east but the west is cypress tree canopy. A pleasant surprise. Up Vultee and down Sterling. The scariest part of the hike was the last mile along the highway. No shoulder and cars whizzing by ultra close.

not much, very isolated
Jim Thompson Trail #124
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New Year's Day hike with friends Kathy and Larry. Temps in the mid to high 30's but no wind. First time wearing my long johns since a Yellowstone trip a few years back. Started at Jordon Rd TH... On to Wilson Canyon Trail... north for a bit to make it a 6 miler and back the same way.
AVE HR: 105
% MAX: 69
Jim Thompson Trail #124
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Really liked this hike as it gives almost 360* views as you make your way to turn around at intersection with Wilson Canyon Trail. We added a little over a mile to this hike as we parked on the side of the road when we saw a trail head sign for the hike. Thought I was going to park in a parking lot?? Followed the trail trail to the parking lot...and a second trail head. NowI'm in a Red Rock Pass area. Do I need a $5 pass for my truck a half a mile or so back down the road? My new phone signature is "life is short...break some rules" but do you think I can do it? ....NO, I get the pass and walk to the truck to start the hike all over again. I really don't like getting lost finding a trail head. When you are almost to the turn around you get a nice view of Midgely Bridge.
Jim Thompson Trail #124
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Pretty sweet loop around Wilson Mountain of course linking a handful of trails together. :D I was having an off day so I skipped a sidetrip to Vultree Arch or the top of Wilson Mt and my time logged includes 2 half hour siestas along the way. :zzz:
Jim Thompson Trail #124
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Started off the New Year right with a Brins Mesa / Sterling Pass / Wilson / Thompson SUPERLOOP. From the Jordan Road TH, north on Brins to the far end on FR 152, continue up the dirt road to the Vultee Arch TH, pass the arch and up and over spectacular Sterling Pass, then drop down into Oak Creek Canyon. A quick 1 mile down the busy road (shoulder is OK for walking) to the Encinosa picnic area to pick up the North Wilson trail, up and across the bench then back down the Wilson Mtn trail to pick up the Jim Thompson trail for the return. About 17 miles total. Big views down low, a bit of ice and snow up high, yes some fire damage but sometimes it makes for better views.

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 / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To Jordan - Jim Thompson Trailhead
Jim Thompson Trailhead ( Jordan )
From the Sedona Y (Junction 89A and 179) go north east, towards Uptown Sedona, for 0.3 miles. Turn left into Jordan Rd and follow Jordan Rd for 0.8 miles to a T intersection with Park Ridge Drive. Turn left on Park Ridge Drive to the end of the pavement and continue on a fairly bumpy dirt road (but passable for passenger cars) for about 0.7 miles to parking and trailhead.

Brins Mesa West
You may want to use this trailhead if you're planning to do a car shuttle hike between the west and east Brins Trail. From the Sedona Y (Junction 89A and 179) go west towards West Sedona and Cottonwood for 3.1 miles. At the Dry Creek Road light, turn right (north) and follow the paved Dry Creek Road for 2.1 miles. You'll be looking for a well marked turn-off to the right, which is variously labeled FR 152, Vultee Arch Road or Dry Creek Road. Whatever its name, it's the only dirt road going north west in the general area. Follow the quite bumpy road (but passable for passenger cars) for about 2.4 miles, past the Devil's Bridge Trail parking area. You'll get to the Brins Mesa Tr sign on the right and will find ample parking.

Soldiers Pass Trailhead
An alternate trailhead about 1.2 hiking miles away from the Jordan Road Trailhead. You may want to use it if you're going to do one of many loop hikes. From the Sedona Y (Junction 89A and 179) go west towards West Sedona and Cottonwood for 1.2 miles to the first light and turn right into Soldiers Pass Road. Follow the winding Soldiers Pass Road north for 1.5 miles to Rim Shadows Drive. There is a small brown trail sign there. Turn right and go on for less than 0.2 miles. The names of the roads are screwy around here, but there are little brown signs steering you to the parking area. The parking is on the left, up a gated drive (only open from 8am to 6pm!) with a limited number of parking spots.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 123 mi, 2 hours 16 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 228 mi, 3 hours 56 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 29.3 mi, 41 mins
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