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Boynton's Backyard, AZ

Guide 25 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,500 feet
Elevation Gain 1,705 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,854 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 18.87
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack Yes
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21  2020-09-29 John10s
15  2020-07-18
Sedona splorin
11  2017-01-01
Boynton trio
5  2016-09-04 lwbenso
13  2013-09-15 VolcanoCLMBR
17  2012-10-27
Boynton Hart Well Loop
30  2012-10-27
Boynton Hart Well Loop
13  2011-12-07 sneakySASQUATCH
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Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 829
Photos 12,070
Trips 4,849 map ( 24,809 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Sep, Oct, Mar, Apr → 7 AM
Seasons   Early Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:14am - 7:44pm
Official Route
7 Alternative

Solitude in Coconino Valley
by joebartels

This hike explores the real Boynton Canyon. The popular maintained trail takes you to a tributary box below Bear Mountain.

The hike starts from the Boynton Trailhead and follows Boynton Trail for 2.15 miles. Here you will see the trail departing left from a well defined (light-colored gravel), usually dry creek bed. Jump off the trail and follow the creek up.

It's 1.65 miles up to the turn around point. I found it remarkably easy hiking up the creek. Along the way are several beautiful views of the canyon walls and some sizable spires. A few times on the way up, cairns lead you out of the creek to avoid obstacles. A bathroom size boulder blocking the creek is encountered first. The later two or three scrambles out of the creek didn't appear as necessary. On the other hand, the trail through the woods is well-defined for a nice change of pace.

There's plenty of bear scat throughout the canyon. However, I didn't find it as evident as going off-trail in the Dry Creek labyrinth of canyons. At one point, a few rocks fell from a wall where an animal was scurrying above. Later I was practically run down by a few bucks bolting through the canyon. I heard them from a distance and went to grab my camera. Next thing I know, they took an unexpected turn towards me. I went from oh cool grab my camera mode to quickly find a blocking tree mode.

The canyon walls and trees provide suitable shade in the beginning. Approximately two-thirds in from the turnoff, the shade gives way to an impressive open view of a high canyon wall on your left. Tree cover soon returns, and the final leg is on a well-defined trail to creek left. The incline steepens a tad, but nothing of concern.

The payoff for this hike is impressive views back down the canyon. The vantage points aren't plentiful, but you will know the sweet spot when you come to it. The bonus for this hike is to continue into what I've dubbed Coconino Valley. The walls are 800 feet high on both sides. The sheer wall on your left is Lost Mountain, to your right is Secret Mountain. Oh, by the way, you are standing in heaven.

According to the 2018 FS map camping is allowed after 2.5 miles in which should be outside the green line. For clarification, at least a quarter-mile after leaving the trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2007-03-07 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 $$
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.

Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness
see map for camping restrictions

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Boynton Trailhead
From the Sedona 'Y' go Southwest on 89A for 3 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn Right on to Dry Creek Road and follow 2.8 miles to Boynton PASS Road. Turn Left on to Boynton PASS Road and follow 1.5 miles to Boynton CANYON Road. Turn Right on to Boynton CANYON Road and follow a quarter mile to the trailhead parking area on the right. If you go to far you will end up at the entrance to the Enchantment Resort.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 129 mi - about 2 hours 18 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 234 mi - about 3 hours 46 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 36.2 mi - about 1 hour 1 min
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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