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Baldwin Trail, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona SW
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,950 feet
Elevation Gain 161 feet
Accumulated Gain 330 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.65
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
18  2018-05-01
Sedona Hike
7  2018-04-07 amy1300
12  2018-01-22
Cathedral Rock Loop
15  2017-04-09
Cathedral Rock Loop
31  2017-04-09
Cathedral Rock Loop
48  2017-04-09
Cathedral Loop Plus
9  2017-04-08
Cathedral Rock Loop
2  2016-12-11 xthine
Page 1,  2,  3
Author AZHikr4444
author avatar Guides 7
Routes 0
Photos 632
Trips 83 map ( 529 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Cave Creek, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Apr, May, Oct, Nov → 9 AM
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:15am - 6:24pm
Official Route
6 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Simple Subtle Red Rock Stroll
by AZHikr4444

Overview: Starts across the road from the Red Rock Crossing (Crescent Moon) parking area near the end of the Verde Valley School Road. It heads east and soon drops down a bit to the valley floor, near but out of sight of the creek. At 1/2 mile, it meets the end of the Templeton Trail. The Baldwin Trail forks sharply right and climbs moderately through a draw between Cathedral Rock and a red rock butte. Nice views of Cathedral Rock and back to Wilson Mountain. It levels out and then begins a gradual descent to the southwest and ends at Verde Valley School Road at 1.6 miles.

Hike: The Baldwin Trail is a nice, easy "family" type of hike located to the southwest of Cathedral Rock. It originates off of Verde Valley School Road, near the parking apron intersection of FS Road 9216B, cuts through a pass between Cathedral Rock and an unnamed butte, and terminates at the Templeton Trail. It provides a bit more subtle access to Cathedral Rock, and allows time and energy to climb into the cliffs or just hang around the creek. Feel confident that you could bring even your laziest "back east" cousins on this trek- and they'll still enjoy themselves.

To find the trail, park at the medium size lot at the beginning of FS Road 9216B, which is roughly 4 miles in on the left side of Verde Valley School Road, just a half mile or so after the pavement ends. Go back out to the main road, walk to the right and hike about 100 ft- on the left you'll see a rusty sign, about knee high, proclaiming this the Baldwin Trail. The trail meanders through a nice red rock pinyon pine flat dissected by cool crevasses, almost like little Hobbit canyons, and then abruptly heads north northwest, almost parallel to the road. Soon it spins to the east and begins a gradual climb into the red rock cliffs of an unnamed butte directly southwest of Cathedral. The climb is very easy- with close switchbacks and wonderful open views. Soon the trail will briefly follow a zigzagging split rail fence barrier (apparently there to protect an unwary hiker from falling into another narrow rock chasm), and then tops out with a magnificent view of Cathedral Rock. The trail is marked up to this point by cute little foot high cairn baskets, but for some reason they disappear after you top out. No worries- the trail is very easy to follow.

Now the trail drops gradually into the pass, contouring the base of Cathedral Rock. A nice little stroll takes you through a typical red rock environment with gentle undulations until it passes through a fence and suddenly ends at the signed Templeton Intersection. Listen and you can hear Oak Creek beckon. Just a short walk to your right on the Templeton Trail brings you to Oak Creek with a great swimming hole and rope swing, and the cairned cutoff up into Cathedral Rock itself.

A loop hike can be made by following the Templeton as it curves west-southwest ending a half mile later at Verde Valley School Road. Simply hike the road back to your vehicle. This trip I decided to make this an out-and-back, savoring the evening light and the silence of the surrounding cliffs.

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2007-01-18 AZHikr4444
  • Sedona Trails 2018
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    Sedona Trails 2018

Coconino FS Details
The Baldwin Trail starts across the road from the south side of Red Rock Crossing (Crescent Moon) parking area near the end of the Verde Valley School Road. There is no way to drive across creek to north side of Red Rock Crossing. It heads east and soon drops down a bit to the riparian zone valley floor, near but out of sight of the creek. With many side trails accessing swim spots on Oak Creek. At 1/2 mile, it meets the end of the Templeton Trail. The Baldwin Trail forks sharply right and climbs moderately through a draw between Cathedral Rock and a red rock butte. Nice views of Cathedral Rock and back to Wilson Mountain. It levels out and then begins a gradual descent to the southwest and ends at Verde Valley School Road at 1.6 miles. Great biking trail loop.

There are three access points for the Baldwin Trail.
1) Red Rock Crossing (Crescent Moon) parking area near end of Verde Valley School Road (4.8 miles from Route 179).
2) Valley School Road 4.0 miles from Route 179 (no trailhead parking).
3) Templeton Trail
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 17 deeper Triplog Reviews
Baldwin Trail
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Sedona Hike
this is the one i couldn't wait for. modified the Bruce/Joe loop by tagging on some excellent additional trail miles and circling around behind cathedral. there was a big storm front moving in that evening so i knew i was on the clock a little bit for this one.

started off messing around up on the beautiful bell rock. went up the lower chute and decided in the interest of time (ie storm) to call it there, for this trip. i will be back for the top one day. scrambled down and around on courthouse butte. took a minute to figure out the unmarked loop out to the rabbit ears. the way out is a bit of a rocky slog, but once you hit the high point, loop around to magnificent view of the rabbit ears and bring it home on the much more entertaining northern leg, this becomes a much more worthwhile excursion!

scenic traverse on llama and little horse over to chicken point for the next high yield part of the hike. views from chicken point are always wonderful. broken arrow is great, then the absolutely fantastic high on the hog and hog heaven trails. man i love these two trails. completed the loop around the mountains on hog wash, mystic and chapel trails. headed back to 179 then crossed under it on little horse and the surprisingly nice HT trails.

next up was probably my most anticipated part of the day looping over to, up/down, then around cathedral. the templeton trail is underrated in my opinion and the segment from HT to cathedral junction, i found to be lovely. this is when the weather really moved in. i contemplated bailing on going up/down cathedral since i've done it numerous times. instead i decided to just put on my bobby rockets and blast up and down. more templeton awesomeness to the creek, then short but sweet crossover on baldwin to the Hiline trail. Folks, we have another sedona winner with the Hiline Trail. completely awesome trail, with sections remniscent of the hogs/hangover. the weather was pretty crazy at this point so i had to keep it moving, but this was really outstanding. i had earlier notions of adding a few extra miles at the end with looping made in the shade and slim shady, but it was pretty clear it was time to call it a day. and i was getting sick of the wind at this point too. ha

outstanding big day out there, without that many people all things considered. my gps screwed up on me for a while on the little horse and broken arrow trails, so the numbers associated with my gps route are not right (a little too low, especially the elevation). for those interested, the route is good though.
Baldwin Trail
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This was day 2 of a 3-day stay near Sedona in the red rocks. I joined a hike/learning opportunity co-sponsored by the Grand Canyon Trust (based in Flag, works on preservation of the entire Colorado Plateau) and the Natural History Institute (based in Prescott). The event was called "Natural History of Sedona and the Edge of the Colorado Plateau." The trail mileage of Baldwin Loop trail is tiny, but we detoured off the trail several times, both to minimize impact of our large group (24 people) on other trail users, and to have some shady places in washes and such, for discussions to take place. The hiking speed calculated by HAZ is going to look ridiculous, but much of the time we were standing still, listening -- I didn't time those periods. Among things I learned: The Mogollon Highlands area, being a place of contact between very different life zones (the higher Colorado Plateau vs the Basin and Range, pinyon-juniper country below the rim), is one of the most species-diverse places on the planet. For example, it's the most southern place that Utah Junipers are found, and also the most northern place for ocotillo. I learned to identify Arizona cypress, which likes to grow in washes where it gets a bit more water and some shade for part of the day from the rock walls (blue-green foliage, shaggy bark, and spherical cones - it's the only woody cone-producing species that has these round cones, rather than elongated ones). In the dry wash, rocks of Coconino Sandstone and the Schnebly Hill Formation mingled with dark gray rocks, and we saw a couple of dark gray bands of rock in one of the bluffs above. A young geologist who was with the leader team (named Kellen) explained that these gray rocks are basalt, the result of a lava flow that came all the way to Sedona from the San Francisco Peaks. That must have been something to see.

The group event lasted from 10AM to 4PM, and then I hiked a couple extra miles to the end of the road, to see Red Rock Crossing and the surrounding area. (I'd never been there yet.) The Crossing itself was crowded with families with children, and I did some wading in Oak Creek, too, to cool off. I recommend it highly, as a way to end a warm hiking day.
Baldwin Trail
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Visiting friends in Sedona. I wanted to do the Baldwin Loop but when we reached Hiline Trail junction we elected to take it. This part of the trail is double diamond for mountain bikers and it's posted 'one way'. Bikers were coming toward us and it was fun to sit on the side of the trail and watch them come down some very steep sections of trail. We hiked out and when I had enough we all turned around. Parked at the Baldwin Trailhead on Verde Valley School Rd and hiked the Baldwin trail and a short section of the hiline. With Sue, Rich and Judy.
Baldwin Trail
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Cathedral Loop Plus
Kelly and I planned a Sunday hike in Sedona. I put together two options, the other included and in and out on Huckaby to Marge's Draw and a visit to Snoopy. We, however, opted for the Cathedral Loop. I did some further Rx and a route was born. I emailed the Mays to see if there were available and now the plan came together.

The others pretty much covered this hike.I'm just glad you can now do it as a loop altho an out and back in Sedona is never really a bad thing. I was also happy we got to hike it with Wade and Mary Jo. It doubles the enjoyment as this type of hike is fun to share with others.
Trail was in great condition whether you were going up or down. Hiking it counterclockwise is the better choice as the bike traffic is coming toward you for the most part. We saw limited bike action today altho we did encounter a fellow who claimed to help design/build the Hiline Trail (Double Black Diamond).
The views were almost always great except the other side of Baldwin with the power line in the way. For 10 miles you get a lot of bang for your buck and even the hills are short-lived though steep in parts.

I think my pictures pretty much tell the rest of the story. Let's just say it's a hike you'd do over again... even the next day. I haven't even looked at the movies yet as I just finished off the video from my First Water Massacre Grounds Loop from a couple weeks ago.

Thanks to Wade, our own personal squadron commander, for driving. We had a great late lunch/early dinner at Blue Moon. Food has consistently been good there over the years and you don't have to fight Sedona traffic.

very heavy Blackfoot Daisies. moderate Cliff-Rose.
Baldwin Trail
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Cathedral Rock Loop
This has got to be one of my favorite hikes ever! Absolutely beautiful at every turn. Tibber organized and planned a great loop for us and it was one of those rare opportunities that all of our schedules worked out to hike together in Sedona. This loop gives you a different landscape and a variety of trail conditions and challenges. The highlights of the day was the climb to Cathedral Rock. Kelly (trekkin_gecko) scooted right up the channel to the top without a sweat. It was such a fun climb, placing your feet and hands in the foot holds and lifting yourself up at each step. Nothing really that difficult if you are in good shape. (Don't bring hiking sticks--they just get in the way.) This climb was more challenging for me as I am OLD and need to do training squats everyday to prepare for this type of hike. We spent a lot of time on top taking photos and watching others celebrate their successful climb. There were a lot more people on the trail as we descended. Going down looks much scarier but it is definitely a lot easier. The second favorite highlight was ascending Hiline Trail. Yikes. I cannot believe mountain bikers go down that horrendous trail. It is marked as a Double Black Diamond! Going up was not technically difficult but was physically taxing for me. I love being challenged. My third favorite highlight was at Oak Creek while we were having lunch. We watched and photographed this beautiful hawk that kept flying over the creek. It perched on a tree and after we gave up trying to get him (or her) to pay attention to us so that we could get a good photo of him/her, we decided to pack it up and hit the trail again. Just then....the hawk swooped off the limb down into the water and grabbed a fish or a frog with its talons and flew into the woods for a tasty lunch. It was awesome! No one got it on camera but it is ingrained to our memory forever! All trails we hiked on were wonderful. Some were easy, some were a climb, but the trails were well maintained. I love hiking on grippy sandstone. The day flew by because every where you look, it is GORGEOUS! I will do this hike again! Thanks Angela (Tibber) and Kelly (Trekkin Gecko) for a fantastic day and including Wade (AZWanderingBear) and I (AZBeaver).
Baldwin Trail
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Cathedral Rock Loop
Had a rare Sunday off. Got a nice invite to join Angela and Kelly on some trails MJ and I hadn't yet done. Trails were very nice, weather was perfect, and the company was great. Got to the Yavapai Vista trailhead early enough to get a parking spot. Trails weren't crowded at all except near trail heads and the creek.

Kelly insisted on the climb/scramble up Cathedral Rock Trail. Lower portions were crowded, but they thinned out nicely with more elevation. My lungs reminded me I hadn't been going uphill much lately. Need to fix that. Views at the top were extremely good.

Oak Creek is always a jewel in the desert. We took that part of the trail slowly, enjoying the small riffles and the deeper pools. We took a snack break near the feeding grounds for a fishing hawk. I missed the swoop that netted him a frog unfortunately.

The variety of terrain, views and abundant wild flowers on the Hiline really gave us a great ending to a very memorable hike. I expect to be back on this loop in the future. It's one of those you look forward to repeating.
Baldwin Trail
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Cathedral Rock Loop
very fun loop that has been on our radar for about a year now
@azwanderingbear and @azbeaver were able to join @tibber and i for it
we started from yavapai vista but there are other options for parking
best to go counterclockwise so that you meet the mountain bikers descending hiline head on
we added cathedral rock from templeton since wade and mary jo hadn't been up there
also took the long way on baldwin, but another time we would take the cutoff for better scenery
all the trails were nice, providing a variety of views and terrain
templeton dropped down to oak creek, where we stopped for a snack
very lush and green along the creek
saw a hawk swoop down and snatch what we think was a frog out of the creek :o
the west side of baldwin was the least interesting, but hit the hiline soon enough
great trail with a couple of gnarly climbs and a good stretch on slickrock similar to hangover trail
dropped back down to slim shady and out
saw a few hikers on templeton, tons on the cathedral rock trail, a few near the creek and some bikers on hiline
can't imagine going down those drops
perfect temps all day, slightly overcast much of the time, and slight breeze
very enjoyable day with good company
nice to get out with mary jo and wade again
angela, we've picked some good ones this year
highly recommend this hike, keeping the cathedral rock spur but taking the shortest segment of baldwin
Baldwin Trail
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Cathedral Rock Loop
Lead a hike with some of my Meetup pals today in Sedona. Parked at the Yapavai Vista trailhead and headed north on Hermit Trail which parallels 179 up to the Templeton Trail where it crosses under the highway. Followed Templeton to Baldwin and enjoyed some snacks along Oak Creek. Completed the loop on HiLine to Slim Shady and Yapavai Vista trail. Great day, great hike. HiLine was definitely the highlight of the loop!
Baldwin Trail
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Cathedral Rock Loop Sedona
Park at the Yavapai Vista parking area. Note that the parking area can only be accessed from the southbound lanes of SR179. From the ranger station, head north on SR179 5.5 miles to the Back o Beyond roundabout at milepost 310. Go completely around it and head back south towards Phoenix for 1.5 miles and take a right into Yavapai Vista, a little past milepost 309.
We started at the Yavapai Point on the Yavapai Vista trailhead. There are several converging trails here, so be watchful. You are taking the Slim-Shady trail to the HiLine. Most of the elevation occurs on the HiLine section of this trail.
Both the HiLine and the Slim-Shady trails continue somewhat opposite directions (Slim-Shady roughly parallels the highway, while the HiLine generally runs east-west). When you hit the HiLine trail, head west (left). The trail is best done in this clockwise direction.
The trail intersection is clearly marked; don't be alarmed by the sign that cautions "Extreme Difficulty" - this is for mountain bikers only. And we encountered more than a few, especially as the day went on, so I conclude that this may be a popular network of bike trails as well.
The trail is clearly marked and in most places very well worn. In the few places where you are hiking on the sandstone, there are white symbols that show the main trail...but as I said, the bikes have also clearly marked out the path...
About 3 to 3.5 miles in you will intersect the Baldwin trail. This is also the "exit" for the HiLine trail if you are on a mountain bike. Bear to the right (north/northeasterly); this is the eastern segment of the Baldwin trail. After about 1 mile you intersect the Templeton trail and are in sight of Oak Creek. About 100 paces to the right (going east) on the Templeton trail, the trail goes right down to the creek, and this makes a pleasant lunch spot. (We actually went about 100 paces to the west and came down to the creek at that point, but it wasn't as comfortable as we had expected.)
Oak Creek was running quite high the day we went, to the point that any ideas about crossing it or even cooling off were quickly set aside. But the views of Cathedral Rock from this point are spectacular.
After an extended break, we continued down the Templeton trail to the east. Once you climb out of the canyon - along a very well-worn and heavily used stone trail - you are over halfway through this hike.
Continue on the Templeton and you are going east, with Cathedral Rock on your right. Once you intersect the Cathedral Rock Trail, you may want to add an addition mile or so (plus associated elevation gain/loss) by hiking up the Rock, but our group was just enjoying the views so we passed on without attempting the Rock trail.
There was some ups-and-downs for the next couple of miles, but the trail was still well-marked and well-trod.
At the intersection of the Slim-Shady trail, turn south (right). Follow the Slim-Shady back to the intersection of the Yavapai Point and then down the Yavapai Vista trail back to the parking lot.
Some of our group missed the turnoff and continued down to the end of the Slim-Shady, which is the we had an additional mile back, hiking along the road.
Baldwin Trail
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Day two Sedona. Started out on Baldwin Trail off Verde Valley School Rd at a small parking lot near Turkey Creek Trail. From here you can get to the Baldwin loop without driving to the Baldwin Trailhead. At junction of Templeton Trail we went right toward Cathedral Rock trail. At the Cathedral Rock Trail we turned around. For a short portion of Templeton you hike along Oak Creek...very nice. We enjoyed this hike for the variety it offers.

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
Paved - Car Okay

To Red Rock Trailhead
Take I-17 north out of Phoenix to exit 298 (exit 200 is McDowell for reference). Follow 298 to the Village of Oak Creek. Turn left onto Verde Valley School Road. Follow nearly to the end. A signed parking area is on the left. Parking at the end of the road is not allowed.

Verde Valley Road is dirt but easily doable in a car. One fork in the road has confused a few ( or at least the first group I sent in ) When you come to a fork in the road with signs stating 'no bridge' on the left, be sure to take the right. It's true there's no bridge on the left but they should of just posted tourist go right.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 118 mi - about 1 hour 59 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 223 mi - about 3 hours 29 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 52.9 mi - about 57 mins
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