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Taylor Cabin via Dogie Trail - Sycamore Canyon
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mini location map2017-03-24
15 by photographer avatarJohn9L
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Taylor Cabin via Dogie Trail - Sycamore CanyonSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 24 2017
John9L
Backpack19.66 Miles 3,336 AEG
Backpack19.66 Miles2 Days         
3,336 ft AEG
 no routes
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Tough_Boots
Kyle and I headed out to the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness for a few days in the backcountry. Our original plan was to make a clockwise loop spending night one at Taylor Cabin and night two at Buck Ridge Cabin and then return via Casner Mountain. Our plan changed when the mostly dry Sycamore Creek rose 2-3 feet overnight. We decided to play it safe and hike out.

We drove out on Friday morning and navigated FR525 and 525C to the Dogie Trailhead. The roads were a bit wet and 4WD helped with traction. The hike in went well. The trail was muddy but drying out as the sun shined overhead. We made our way and were eager to see the creek. Roughly four miles in the creek comes into view and we could tell it will not be an issue. It's mostly dry with sporadic large pools. We continued on and found the creek dry at the crossing. The last three miles to the cabin began to drag but we pushed on and arrived around 3pm.

The rest of the afternoon was spent setting up camp and relaxing. We were the only ones at the cabin and selected the prime campsite behind the corral. The site is shaded and has a nice fire ring. Water was a short walk down trail. There was a huge pool just below camp. The creek had a slight trickle. Our plan for day two was to hike up canyon where we had to cross the creek at least five times and then make the big climb towards Casner Mountain. We settled in for the evening with a nice campfire and pleasant temps.

I went to sleep relatively early and thought to myself how quiet it was. I could barely hear the creek trickle. I fell asleep and slept hard. At some point in the night I woke up to the sound of the river raging. I wondered if it was the wind but had a feeling it was the water. I went back to sleep and decided to check on conditions in the morning. I woke up around 7:30am and headed out to check the creek. I noticed right away it's way higher. I would guess it rose 2-3 feet overnight. Our plans were in jeopardy.

Kyle and I took time in the morning. We got the fire going again and had breakfast and talked about our options. We were confident we could get across the river if it doesn't rise any higher. The thought of five unknown crossings up canyon was not in our best interest. We decided to play it safe and hike out. Once that was decided we packed up and doused the fire and started the hike out around 9:30am.

The return hike went well. The hike started with puffy clouds and the sun shining through. We made good time as we paralleled the creek. It had a strong flow but we could tell the crossing was doable. We continued on and arrived at the crossing. We scouted the crossing and decided to cross just below the trail. I brought hiking poles for this alone and they proved very helpful. I made my way across and had water up to my knees. Kyle worked his was across and Lily crossed like a pro. She went up creek just a bit from Kyle and swam diagonally as the current carried her down roughly 15 feet. She eventually climbed out with no incident. Kyle completed the crossing and we took a short break.

The final five miles were very enjoyable. The cloud cover built and a light rain fell. It was perfect hiking weather. Roughly a mile from the TH we passed a couple with two dogs. I recognized the guy as Elias Butler. He coauthored Grand Obsession which is one of my favorite books. I went a little fanboy on him but kept my cool. It was great meeting him in person! The last mile flew by and we headed back to Phoenix. The road out was mostly dry and easy going.

This was a great trip and good company. It was too bad we couldn't make the loop but it was truly the best option for us. It gives us a reason to go back another time. I really enjoy this area and could see myself making a trip every year or so.
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