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Munds Mountain Trail #77, AZ

266 33 2
Guide 33 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Flagstaff > Munds Park SW
4.4 of 5 by 15
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,400 feet
Elevation Gain 400 feet
Accumulated Gain 733 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.87
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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8  2018-07-28
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
23  2018-04-21
Casner Canyon with Munds Mountain
11  2018-04-21 joebartels
2  2018-01-14
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
9  2017-10-28
Schnebly Hill & Munds Mtn
5  2017-08-12
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
8  2016-12-04 friendofThunderg
11  2016-12-04 John9L
Page 1,  2,  3
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 213
Routes 824
Photos 10,825
Trips 4,256 map ( 21,429 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Jun, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  6:11am - 6:31pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Visual Encounter
by joebartels

Likely In-Season!
The views from Munds Mountain will never leave your mind. Stunning overhead views include Bear Wallow Canyon among countless landmarks. A mass profile of Wilson Mountain couldn't be more perfect. Top it off with a jaw dropping view of Oak Creek Canyon snaking it's way up to Flagstaff in front of the San Francisco Peaks!

Three trailheads access Munds Mountain. I speculate most would come up on the Schnebly Hill Trail accessed off Schnebly Hill Road. The long approach is up Jack's Canyon. The approach given here is the easiest if you have a four wheel drive vehicle.

Getting to the trailhead is an adventure in itself. (see directions below) Go through the barbed wire gate and hook it back together behind you. It's unlikely you'll be able to spot the trail so read carefully, just kidding it's a breeze. Jacks Canyon is obviously close to the west with Munds Mountain rising above. There's a saddle over to Munds Mountain. Just head right for it. It's about a 20-25 degree angle out from the fence line to the west. Soon you will find yourself on an overgrown trail. Follow this across the saddle. First you will see the backside of Schnebly Hill Trail #158 sign as it comes in from the northeast. Crossing the saddle you have a great view down Jack's Canyon to the south. To the north and northwest are slightly hidden views of the red rock of Bear Wallow Canyon. Next you will see the collection of signs for Munds Trail #77 and Jack's Canyon #55-S. Jack's Canyon Trail heads straight down on loose footing. Head up the Munds Trail straight ahead.

It's a hearty ascent. The good news is it's short so I believe most could make it up without trouble. On the way up there's a short ridge section, best described as totally cool. Continue on... Near the top is some of the finest oak leaves around. The leaves where perfect (healthy green, disease free & not a single insect nibble). On top of Munds Mtn is a nice open field. A few twisted junipers accent the landscape. The trail goes for a while then fizzles out. The ground is a maze of dried up crevasses you'd expect to see in southwestern Arizona.

Follow the official route or just hang a right and head for the edge. As stated above, the views are awesome.

2018 Update
The trail across the mountain is easier to follow now. It's easy travel and worth the effort checkout other views or Lee Mountain. The only issue is game trails fork off all over the place. Utilize the Official Route for peace of mind

2001 HAZ Story
I wanted to explore around on top some more but it wasn't in the cards on this trip. Munds Mountain wasn't even part of our plans for the day. Originally we planned on hiking down Jack's Canyon just about two miles. Then planned on taking a steep ravine up the east ridge separating Woods Canyon about mid point. We had a precisely loaded trail in the GPS to cut right over to the Indian ruins in Woods Canyon. The ridge (which extends down into Horse Mesa) has a steep ravine on the Woods Canyon side and an even steeper ravine on the Jack's Canyon side. All went according to plan with one exception. The prickly Emery Oak shrubs among others coupled with THICK Manzanita and plenty of the dead variety took it's toll. My heart was set but I could tell my partner Tony wasn't happy. Okay, backtrack here a second. All didn't go well. I first misjudged the ravine and we were off track by a hundred yards. So we had to bushwhack more of the mean brush then necessary. After a half hour, we ended up only a third of the way. We headed back down. I could see Tony get excited as we would now have time to ascend Munds Mountain on the way back.

We headed back up Jack's Canyon. For the record, don't waste your time on this canyon. It's not that it's terrible, there's just much better hiking around the area. There is a nice level camp spot along the way and lots of shade too. With other sources saying the lower section is more or less boring I don't believe I'll be returning.

Back up on the saddle I was pretty sure a monsoon was rolling in. I didn't want to disappoint Tony so I kept on going up without stopping. I have to admit it was more than I expected. Originally I was saying, I've seen all this stuff man it's no big deal. Then I stepped out on the edge of the rim and my mind changed quickly. Within minutes it began to rain. I shot photos rapidly in sequence, basically hoping to capture a shot. We headed back down. The thunder paused out of rhythm. Then came the down pour. We could here the truck alarm across the canyon so it wasn't hard figuring the way back. All was good except the rain mudded up the road. It was a fun ride home, to put it mildly.

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.

2001-07-14 joebartels
  • wilderness related
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 of 20 deeper Triplog Reviews
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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Rocked the Casner & Munds Mountain
Casner Canyon Trail #11
No bridge over Oak Creek, nearby World Class red rock hikes and no selfie destination keep all but the curious adventures out. We didn't pass a single hiker on #11 in either direction. If this hike was in the San Tans, cars would be lined up for miles on nice weekends.

Schnebly Hill Trail #158
Fan for life. The upper end sports pines and killer views.

Munds Mountain Trail #77
Typical experience. Low spirits over the sarin getty stretch are all but forgotten when Bear Wallow blows your mind. Fittingly I've hiked Munds with some of my favorite peeps.

Packs a lot of punch being one of the shorter drives from the valley.

one nice area of phlox
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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Casner Canyon with Munds Mountain
We drove the 6 miles in from I-17 on Schnebly Hill Road in to get to our starting point. Unless you are driving a rental car, the last mile would be best in HC 2WD.

We saw frost on the way up, 38 degrees at the start felt great.

Down Casner Canyon Trail #11, it's 2.5 miles to Oak Creek. The trail is in much better condition than I expected. The upper 2/3 yield some pretty nice views on Wilson Mountain and the Mitten Ridge area, but the magic happens the closer you get to Oak Creek. The riparian area and the geology, well... rocks.

If you plan on continuing to the Alens Bend Trail #111, plan on getting wet crossing Oak Creek. We turned around and headed back up.

Back at the Vista Overlook, we took the FR153A to meet up with The Schnebly Hill Trail #158. A nice trail with more good views of Sedona.

Munds Mountain Trail #77, starts with a bit of a climb. We opted to take some use trails to get to the top of this mountain. There are plenty of use trails, as it seems to support quite a few elk. Up top, traveling North to South, follow any of these to the views that you really came for. The views on the Southwest section, are hard to beat. We had some lunch here and then decided to try to and get access to a ridge for some more views.

Views from the SW end of Munds Mountain :next: [ youtube video ]

On the return, we also opted to take some use trails to meet up with the trail again. It worked out, but some would not like the last .1 mile.

Safety First..ish

Munds Mountain Trail #77
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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.

Munds Mountain Trail #77
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Schnebly Hill & Munds Mtn
Followed Joe and Eagle's track. As Joe described, this is and excellent hike! Oaks were yellow and red. GPS track is a must. Route finding across Munds was difficult and, at places, just a push through the path of least resistance. Our boots/socks were full of sticky, pokey debris, so wear gators if you got them. Long pants recommended if you have an aversion against leg shredding brush. The ascent up Munds from Schnebly is FANTASTIC! Steep, rocky, and switch-backery with great views into Casner and Jack's canyons. We went all the way to the end and found more dramatic views down into the Courthouse Butte and Cathedral Rock. Yolanda, Carey, and I had the best time on this seldom hiked trail.
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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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.
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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Lee and I wanted to get out for a moderate hike in the snow and he suggested Munds Mountain overlooking Sedona. I thought that was a great suggestion so I looked over some triplogs and photosets and built a route for us. I wasn’t sure how our driving access would be after the storm one week before so I came up with two different approaches to reach the trailhead. The driving route most people take is off FR 801 which can get rough according to several reports. I looked over a map and saw you can also take 153A. I figured we could hike this road roughly two miles to reach the trailhead if needed.

Lee, Claire & I met at the Happy Valley Park n Ride and made the drive up. As we neared the Schnebly Hill turnoff we noticed lots of snow. This was going to turn into an adventure! We drove the few miles down the snowy & muddy Schnebly Hill and turned off onto 801. The road was covered in snow & ice and was very muddy & rocky. We decided to bail on this option and continued another half mile to the west and parked off FR153A. From there we started the hike in. This turned out to be easy road walking and we hit the true trailhead within an hour.

Once on the Munds Mountain trail we had to cross the barb wire fence. We found the gate later more to the north near the tank. We hit the trail and dropped to the saddle at the top of Jacks Canyon and then made the 400 ft climb to the summit of Munds. Once up top we spotted a herd of roughly a dozen elk. We admired the views and then headed south on the Munds Mountain Trail. The going was easy but a bit hard to follow with all the snow & mud & game trails. Our goal was a plateau that juts out to the west overlooking Sedona. We went off trail and headed for this plateau. It took some work to reach the point but was well worth the effort. We were greeted with epic views over Sedona! We took our lunch and admired this wonderful spot.

After lunch we started our return and made steady progress back to the high point and then continued back to the trailhead. Once back the road was very muddy as it was mid-afternoon and was fairly warm. We sloshed and slipped our way back to Lee’s Xterra. We were both glad we didn’t try to drive any closer as the mud might have been an adventure trying to drive out. We were back to the Park n Ride around 4pm.

Munds Mountain is a fantastic hike and I would definitely go there again. The views are epic and we only saw one other person the entire day. Thanks Lee for the suggestion and thanks for driving!
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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I went out looking for snow today with @clairebear and John9L and it was a success! This area is slowly starting to intrigue me and I had brought up the option of Munds to John earlier in the week and he was also interested. John put the route together and pinpointed a pretty amazing turn around and lunch point.

We ended up taking an alternative route to the trailhead of Munds after the first quarter of a mile of the more commonly used road proved to be a little rougher than what we wanted. It takes a lot for me to turn around on a road, but it was probably going to be a soupy mess of snow, ice and mud by the afternoon and I was slightly worried about getting out later. After bailing on that road we pushed up to another forest road, drove in several hundred feet and walked the rest of the road to the TH. The road ended up being pretty pleasant in spots and the dogs reveled in the snow, so nobody seemed to mind the extra miles. We missed the gate on the way in to start Munds near the TH, but found the trail pretty quickly anyways. The climb went from a tad warm on the south face to chilly and snowy on the northern portions. Once we hit the top we came across several elk, explored some viewpoints and made our way to John's chosen lunch spot, which proved to be pretty superb. A quicker hike back and more fun for the dogs.

This hike ended up being a little gem for me and I really enjoyed it. The views cant be beat and it is a perfect distance to view Sedona from on a Sunday.
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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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.
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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Yeager Merry Munds
Joe came up with some winners for this week.

None were.... Write Home...., Must Do.... OMG hikes...., but all surprised in one way or another.

The first surprise was that Joe was looking for an 8a start from the Valley to take advantage of the predicted monsoon clouds over Sedona. We normally have the roads to ourselves when we drive north on a Saturday... Not today.

We started over by Jerome and the Yeager Canyon Area. We started this loop clockwise on #28 to get the majority of our elevation completed before it got any hotter. Views were Nice looking back, on the way up. I was Surprised up top to be hiking on the Yeager Cabin Trail in the Deciduous trees. They provided an nice break from the sun. A pleasant area. These two trails and the Little Yeager Trail that we descended on were all in real good shape having been recently worked on.

Next off to Sedona and the Marry-Go-Round Trail. Not much of a hike, but something that needs to be done at least once if you are on Schnebly Road. We saw a Bride and Groom in full garb, returning from the top having just completed taking pictures with their Photographer. It was 90+ at that point and I felt sorry for how they were dressed.
Easy climbs and Nice views from the top.

A half mile up the road was the TH for the Schnebly Hill Trail. You could see it carved out of the hillside from the Merry Go Round Trail, and with the heat I was not looking forward to the steady climb. I was pleasantly surprised that as exposed as it appeared, there was occasional shade up to Committee Tank. After that, the tree cover actually got thicker.

I expected the top of Munds Mountain to be barren, but once again, there was occasional shade and because of the time of day, it was quite pleasant. We passed an abandoned hunters camp from November, with a couple of tents, water, Mountain House Meals, and boots on the way to the South end of the mountain. The views off the South End of the Mountain made the walk across the top completely worth it. We made it back to the Truck just as the sun was set.

No monsoonal moisture or clouds ever showed up.

Joe, Thanks for throwing this one together.
Munds Mountain Trail #77
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Schnebly Hill & Munds Mtn
Schnebly 158 wasn't listed on site. Surprisingly this turned out to be quite the winner in my opinion. The upper end albeit short lived is about as good as hiking gets anywhere. That being oak and pine shaded trail with panoramic views of Sedona. Queue it up for early October and this is what you'll be hiking through

Munds remains one of my favorites. The atmosphere on this trip was not choice as sort of expected. I know the true power of Munds and will return to experience it's secret magic that puts those silly vortexes to shame.

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
Strictly 4x4

To hike
Take I-17 north out of Phoenix to exit 320(exit 200 is McDowell for reference). Go west on Schnebly Hill Road to FS#108. Go straight, left, right and stop at fence. By the way, you'll never figure it out with those directions. I have no clue on distance, it's maybe 4 or 5 miles of jeep trails. Just whip out a map and set you're GPS for N 34 51.703', W 111 42.172'
$17 3L Hydration Bladder
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