Hello all! I'm looking for some advice. I'm planning a two-night backpacking trip in early October to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. I don't really have a preference on the trail section, as long as there is water but the issue is that the earliest I can leave from Phoenix is 4pm Fri (returning Sun) which would place me at any trailhead at or past sunset. I read that all the roads getting to the Wilderness are 4x4 recommended. Does anyone have any feedback on the road conditions and whether one road is better than another? I certainly don't want to be driving out on difficult roads after dark,
and starting a hike that late isn't ideal either... but my group will have headlamps! We are hoping to hike only a few miles in to get a campsite rather than sleeping at the trailhead.
My backup plan is to backpack the Secret Canyon Wilderness, which I have done in the past, but I would really prefer to explore a new area in Sedona. I also would park at the paved trailhead if I were to do Secret Canyon — that stairstep part of the 4x4 road makes me too queasy, even though I have 4WD. Are the Sycamore Canyon roads that
Anyway, thank you in advance for any feedback!!