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Rattlesnake Canyon - Sedona, AZ

Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2.8 of 5 
no permit
69 10 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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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
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
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
Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 841
Photos 12,826
Trips 5,232 map ( 26,547 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Mar, Apr, Oct → 8 AM
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:33am - 7:33pm
0 Alternative

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 goes down a couple of 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 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 sight 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 you're 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 already heading to Flagstaff, the hike down to the waterfall is less than an hour roundtrip.

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2001-04-28 joebartels
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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 $$

Map Drive
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 you're heading back to Phoenix. Don't go too 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-quarter 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. Its steep and monsoon clouds were forming in the sky above.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills

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