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Mescal Mountain, AZ

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Guide 15 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona NW
3.5 of 5 by 6
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,517 feet
Elevation Gain 524 feet
Accumulated Gain 524 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.62
Backpack No
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30  2018-06-16
Mescal Mountain - Long Canyon
15  2018-06-16
Mescal Mountain - Long Canyon
15  2018-06-16
Mescal Mountain - Long Canyon
7  2014-05-03
Long Canyon Trail #122 - Sedona
10  2014-03-16 Uncharted
5  2014-02-02 trekkin_gecko
7  2013-02-18
Deadmans Pass
7  2012-11-13 boneboyj
Page 1,  2
Author pbaenzig
author avatar Guides 9
Routes 28
Photos 211
Trips 20 map ( 96 miles )
Age 82 Male Gender
Location Sedona, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Culture Nearby
A short version of long
by pbaenzig

This hike to the top of Mescal Mountain is a good side trip with Long Canyon. I find it rewarding enough to be considered a hike by itself. The minimum hiking distance is about three miles round trip, but you can easily add a mile or two exploring the top.

Mescal Mountain is a mesa with a reasonably flat top. It is a bit like nearby Doe Mountain -- a smallish mesa separated from the main mountain group by a pass. Boynton Pass separates Doe Mountain from Bear Mountain, Deadman Pass separates Mescal Mountain from the nameless-on-maps mountain between Boynton Canyon and Long Canyon. Both mesas stand about 500 feet above the surrounding terrain.

The hike to Mescal Mountain starts at the Long Canyon #122 Trailhead on Long Canyon Road, about 0.6 miles after the stop sign where Boynton Pass Road branches off to the left (SW) and Long Canyon Road to the right (NE). The trailhead is on the left side of the road as you come around a curve. There are spaces for a half dozen cars and one of those tri-part information panels with usually incomplete trail information.

The trail is obvious, a wide, sandy old jeep road. It heads through open terrain in a northwesterly direction. You're walking near the edge of a golf course on the right. It seems to be a pretty noisy place; there always are mechanical devices operating there, pumps and mowers and construction equipment. This aural pollution will follow you all the way to the top of Mescal Mountain.

After about 0.6 miles you come to an an old fence where the trail seems to split: two trails straight and a bit to the right (the Long Canyon trail), one less prominent trail to the left (W). This is the trail to Mescal Mountain. It's an unofficial trail, but it's generally quite obvious and has lots of hiker made cairns. You also see the cliffs of the main body of Mescal Mountain ahead and to your left as you hike along and slowly gain height. The trail is working its way to the base of an outlying arm of the mountain (on your right) with some impressive redrock cliffs and overhangs. In about a quarter mile you start climbing up to a saddle. Just before you get to the top of the saddle, you have to do some light scrambling over slickrock and you'll also see a small ruin which, I'm told, is a vandalized Indian ruin. Once on top of the saddle you already have a great view down to Deadman Pass. You also have the questionable pleasure of admiring the large, green golf course at Long Canyon and the expensive ticky-tack boxes of the Enchantment Resort at the head of Boynton Canyon.

Several trails lead from the saddle; at least two of them seem to to merge later on and get you to the top. Look for the foundations of a stone ruin, then pick one of the trails that leads south and up; if you come to a unclear part of the trail, always pick the branch that leads up. You're hiking a moderately steep scrub and rock slope up to the bottom of the actual cliffs. Once you arrive at the bottom of the cliffs (and I mean really close to the bottom, you touch the cliffs with your shoulders as you walk), turn to your left and follow the cliffs until the trail leads you to the spot where you will have to do a bit of climbing. It's easy climbing, even for a total wuss like me with a pronounced fear of heights. You're climbing up a crack in the cliff for about ten or fifteen feet, with lots of foot and handholds in firm, grippy sandstone. You then come to a relatively flat area, hike for a few feet, and climb another ten or so feet. After the second climb, you're now on top of the mesa. The spot where you come over the edge is marked with a cairn -- try to remember its exact location or you might find it difficult to get back down. I didn't pay attention and had a hard time finding the spot.

Spend some time exploring the top of the mountain; I found it more dramatic than Doe Mountain because the mesa is more broken up. I did my hike on a hot August morning and it was bearable, but you're exposed to the sun all the way. I decided that next time I'd do it in the afternoon or evening: you should have more shade and the light might be more dramatic for photographs.
Originally posted 08-16-03 as a Trip Log

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2004-06-04 pbaenzig
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    Sedona Trails 2018
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
Mescal Mountain
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Mescal Mountain - Long Canyon
Mescal Trail
Semi dreaded this one heading in. Turned out to be a winner. Red rock views galore over a red rock course that holds your interest. Overcast and sprinkles are the ticket in June.

Deadmans Pass
Once again better than anticipated. The views, weather & company synced well.

Long Canyon Trail #122
Like Fay Canyon the forest alone has merit. Just a good hike if you follow the trail. Any scramble you survive will probably net a better experience. Ruins will be the main attraction for most. Looked similar to other rock pueblos but the approach was an impressive short adventure. Scratched a 17 year itch just enough to rekindle a quicker return. Speaking of which, there is some trophy poison ivy in this canyon.

Mescal Mountain
Heading in this intrigued me slightly more than the mountain bike trail around the perimeter. The pitch up albeit different than the scree chute to Brown's Peak rates a similar effort. Serious class 3 but not really class 4. Which means most will tackle it without hemming and hawing. The views up top are good. That said the perimeter trail is just as impressive in my opinion.

Sedona was a big piece of getting me interested in this despicably boring activity. Three previously traveled areas this year alone have netted unexpected new views and interest.
Mescal Mountain
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Mescal Mountain - Long Canyon
The break in the June weather, moved this hike up on my list. Temps 70's and light to medium drizzle for a good portion of the day, made for some interesting cloud formations.

All of these trails were new to me and Long Canyon's been on the list for awhile. Starting at the Mescal TH, on the Mescal Trail, we were all surprised by how nice this trail and views were.

Deadmans Pass Trail is all about the views. The entrance to Boynton Canyon, Dutchwoman, Mescal Mountain and the entrance to our first set of adventures, Long Canyon.

I had a set of ruins and a 70' tall ladder on the agenda to find, with a few other ruins and a trip past the end of trail as options.

We took Long Canyon Trail to "Butt Rock" and started the 700' climb past the three sisters. The views got better the higher we got. The ruins are a pretty well preserved 3 room structure. There are corn cobs, hemp and shards in the area. They sure picked a sweet spot. The best part of this spot is it's echo. I've never heard a location that echoed like this one. [ youtube video ]

Next up, was to look for the ladder. I'd seen photos of it, and a cryptic idea of the location. The area we searched was a bust. I need to do some more research.

We skipped the search for more ruins to go past the "End of Trail" and look for a way up and out of the canyon. There is a well worn path for a good portion. There is a steep climb, head through a subway, up again and go.

We retreated from Long Canyon and decided we'd finish the day with trip to the top of Mescal Mountain on the way back. The initial climb from Deadmans Trail, was more of a matter of finding a way through the brush. After the initial climb, we made our way across the ridge to the final climb. Looking at it quickly from afar, it did not look like it was going to happen. We got up to the edge and Karl found a path up. Good views for sure up top. Getting down was surprisingly much easier than getting [ youtube video ]

We saw only a handful of people all day.
Good times in Sedona
Mescal Mountain
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Judy and I up in Sedona for 3 days. Did the Mescal, Long Canyon, Deadman's Pass, Mescal loop counter clockwise. Nice easy hike with great views and easy up's and down's. Great for your friends that don't hike much as there's little elevation change. Well marked off of Long Canyon Rd.
Mescal Mountain
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On day two of our Sedona hiking we parked at the Mescal Trailhead and headed over to Devil's Bridge via the Chuckwagon Trail which I got the idea from trekking gecko's trip log, thanks! To our surprise we were able to enjoy the destination to ourselves which was very nice. From there we hiked back to the trailhead and then crossed Long Canyon road and headed over to the Long Canyon Trailhead and up Long Canyon trail. Really enjoyed this canyon once we actually got into it. Stopped and had a quick snack, changed the socks, and returned the same way. The morning was heating up pretty good, my phone showed 81 with a realfeel of 93.

Note to self, time to switch out of the goretex boots for the year, man they were hot. Glad I brought a change of socks on both hikes.
Mescal Mountain
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up early sunday morning to do this loop
deadman's pass to long canyon to mescal trail
took a side trip up vista trail
think there's a vortex up there
23 degrees to start with, maybe upper 30s when i finished
no wind, so it was fine
no people until i got back on deadman's pass
Mescal Mountain
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great morning hike with my mom and my brother
deadman's pass, long canyon trail to the road, then mescal trail along the base of mescal mountain and back on deadman's pass
there is a connector trail that skips the road, but we didn't realize it at the time
mescal trail must be relatively new, and there are several other newer trails in that area
if anyone know how long it is, chime in, as i am just guessing at the mileage on this loop
one stretch of mescal follows a ledge halfway up the mountain and it was super cool
my mom did pretty well on that part, even though she doesn't care for slanted slickrock with a dropoff :o
the mountain is definitely climbable, too
a nice hike capping a great weekend in sedona with family :)
had lunch at the mesa grill on airport mesa - cool spot
Mescal Mountain
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Headed out to Long canyon and did a little side excursion to Mescal Mountain. Great day to hike--Long Canyon was very peaceful(except the helicopter tour every hour :? ) Trail was shady, lots of tiger swallowtail butterflies.

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
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From the Sedona 'Y' ( 179/89A ) go Southwest on 89A for 3 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn Right on to Dry Creek Road and follow 2.8 miles to the stop sign. Take a right and follow 0.6 miles to the trailhead parking on the left.

Location: About 32 miles south of Flagstaff (2 miles west of Sedona) on paved roads. The elevation ranges from 4517 to 5047 feet.

Access: Drive 27 miles south from Flagstaff on US 89A through Sedona to Dry Creek Road. Turn north (right) about a mile and a half to Long Canyon Road (FR 152D) and north (right) again about 0.5 miles to the Long Canyon trailhead on left.
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