Great trail for beginners. Description is for a 3.75 mi RT hike with 450 ft accumulated gain to Chicken Point and back.
Head out on the Bell Rock Path south. What I believe to be the best view of Courthouse Butte is yours from the beginning. Little Horse Trail turnoff is a little over a quarter mile in. Turn left onto Little Horse. You leave the wide Bell Rock Path and enter single track heaven.
Enjoy the Sedona forest trail heading towards Madonna and the Praying Nuns. The southeastern edge of Twin Buttes is home to the nuns. The trail takes you around the eastern portion of Twin Buttes. Near the two mile mark you pass through a gate. Chicken Point is up to your left. Broken Arrow Trail along with Jeep tours and mountain bikers make this one popular spot. The views are awesome. Walking out on Chicken Point gave me the feeling of being in an Indian Jones spoof somewhere in Utah.
Standing out on Chicken Point look up to your right. The nuns look like a fun scramble up. Forget it unless you are into dangerous territory. Loose rock on steep sandstone slopes is a recipe for disaster. If you plan on scrambling up to the Nuns, PRAY hard. No POINT in loosing your life for a view of Cathedral Rock. Return back by the same route.
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.
Coconino FS Details
Little Horse Trail begins as part of the Bell Rock Pathway. Follow this wide trail southward for 1/4 mile. Here, at a signed fork, take the old jeep road branching to the left and marked with basket cairns. The road drops to cross a dry streambed, climbs a bit and ends at the 3/4 mile point. The trail continues to the left and climbs moderately, topping out on a large, flat expanse. Turn to the right here. The level trail leads into a stand of Arizona cypress and intersects a trail on the left coming from the chapel as it nears the "Madonna and the Nuns" spires. Nice views. At 1.4 miles, it passes through a gate.
Continue for 150 yards passing the base of the knobs of Chicken Point on the left. Take the path left for a short climb onto the bare rock for wonderful views. This point is used by jeep tours via Broken Arrow Road. Return by the same route for a 3 mile roundtrip hike or exit the area by going north on the Broken Arrow Trail with arranged transportation at its trailhead. The hike can also be extended eastward from the base of Chicken Point into the Wilderness area (no bicycles allowed) on the Jim Bryant Trail. Little Horse Trail is mostly unshaded and hot in summer.
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.