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Rattlesnake Canyon - Sedona, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona SE
Rated
2.8
2.8 of 5 by 4
 
7
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,167 feet
Elevation Gain -1,080 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5-6 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.4
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Seasonal Waterfall & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2017-01-14 MountainMatt
3  2017-01-14 JoelHazelton
6  2017-01-11 MountainMatt
35  2008-05-09
Woods Canyon Trail #93 - Sedona
Hiker Gal Lauren
5  2005-10-20 desert_boonie
14  2001-04-28 joebartels
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:01am - 5:22pm
Route
 
0 Linked
 
Water
Nearby Area Water
Hot Loop to Woods Canyon Red Ledges
Hot Loop to Woods Canyon Red Ledges
3.3 mi away
8.0 mi
1,100 ft
Lee Mountain
Lee Mountain
3.3 mi away
Hot Loop Trail #94
Hot Loop Trail #94
3.4 mi away
11.3 mi
2,709 ft
Hot / Jacks Loop
Hot / Jacks Loop
3.6 mi away
19.0 mi
2,900 ft
Jack
Jack's Canyon Trail #55
3.6 mi away
6.8 mi
2,143 ft
Rabbit Ears
Rabbit Ears
3.9 mi away
2.8 mi
400 ft
Woods Canyon Trail #93 - Sedona
Woods Canyon Trail #93 - Sedona
5.2 mi away
5.3 mi
615 ft
Big Park Loop
5.2 mi away
2.2 mi
176 ft
Bell Rock Trail
5.3 mi away
3.6 mi
355 ft
Bell Rock
Bell Rock
5.3 mi away
2.2 mi
609 ft
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Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Nice Alternative
by joebartels

Rattlesnake Canyon is the lower tributary to Woods Canyon. The trail data given reflects a hike from the rim to Woods Canyon and back. The canyon is named after the rigid ride to the rim which rattles your nerves. Okay, I made that up! One thing for sure, you won't forget the ride.


The road actually goes down a couple switchbacks before you must park. It's steep but the tilt inward would likely put your nerves on end. There is plenty of room to turn around at the end if you dare. I highly recommend parking at the first sight of the canyon.

Where the road ends you'll have to search a bit for the trail going down. Best described as at the end to the left. This really isn't a maintained hiking trail so it's likely to be overgrown. The route is for workers to service the water gauging station. The trail quickly works down to the bottom of the canyon. An early morning start puts you in the shade. The trail takes you right down to the gauging station. Another twenty feet or so and you come to a steep waterfall. There wasn't much water flow on this trip. It appears to be an awesome site when the creek is flowing.

Now comes the big obstacle. A thirty foot waterfall with canyon walls on both sides. One thing for sure, it's steep! I looked at it and decided to pass. However, I do believe it can be negotiated. It appears to be easier getting up than going down. Should you be nuts enough to give it a go, read that little disclaimer at the bottom of this page. Since I didn't complete the hike I can't say for sure what you'll encounter. The canyon appears to be a small boulder scramble most of the way to Woods Canyon. If my estimates are correct you should come out just south of "Red Rock Beach" in Woods Canyon.

If your a wimp like myself just check out the canyon going away from the waterfall. There's nothing spectacular to mention. The trek is a constant boulder scramble. If you're just passing by to Flagstaff, the hike down to the waterfall is less than an hour roundtrip.

joebartels
  • Sedona Trails 2018
    region related
    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.

Permit $$
None


Directions
Map Drive
or
Road
Strictly 4x4

To canyon trip
From Phoenix head north on I-17 exit on 306, the Stoneman Lake exit. Head back under I-17 and pretend like your heading back to Phoenix. Don't go to fast though. FR 647 takes off to the west of the exit ramp. It's unmarked and not clearly seen. From the cattle guard it's 0.6 miles to a T in the road. Soon after the cattle guard just a tenth of a mile in you go through a ravine. This may be impassible to cars when muddy or rutted. Continue on the T as mentioned. Hang a right and follow another three quarters of a mile into the canyon. It's rocky rutted 4x4 the last 0.5 miles into the canyon. So if you're in a car you'd need to walk the extra distance. You may be wondering where the canyon is going in. Rest assured it cracks open right when you get to it. The road then turns down into the canyon for a short distance. I didn't take the last turn into the canyon. It's steep and monsoon clouds where forming in the sky above.
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