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Mescal Mountain Loop with Chuckwagon, AZ
mini location map2017-11-26
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Mescal Mountain Loop with Chuckwagon, AZ 
Mescal Mountain Loop with Chuckwagon, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 26 2017
Hiking9.86 Miles 1,081 AEG
Hiking9.86 Miles   5 Hrs   9 Mns   2.14 mph
1,081 ft AEG      32 Mns Break
1st trip
Time to see how the knee would do so I found this hike, even though Kelly had done part of it before. I made a bigger loop with little ups and downs through Sedona's beautiful redrock country. My knee did well but I gave out at about the seven mile mark; plus it got a little warm. We drove up the back way via Cottonwood and took one of the last few spots at the Boynton TH.

We headed up in the very cool shade of Deadmans Pass Trail with great views to our north. We encountered about 6 other hiker/bikers on this stretch. As we came toward Long Canyon we got to see some yellowing tall trees where we hooked up with the Chuckwagon Trail. This trail is only a few years old.

We continued east as we stayed high above Dry Creek below but had nice vistas every which way with the main one being Lost Wilson and Wilson Mountains. We spotted Devil's Bridge so I did some zooming altho you wouldn't know it was the Bridge unless you knew it was the bridge if you know what I mean. We saw some houses just before we dropped down into the creek bed. What a great backyard they have :) . It was interesting terrain down here before we climbed back up to once again see our vistas and eventually start heading west.

We had lunch at a scenic overpour with views toward Maroon Mountain. As we continued further it almost felt we were on a bit of a ridge/plateau. We could see Doe Mountain in the distance as well before we hooked up with the Mescal Trail and started heading north and west. Coming up from the drainage at the Mescal TH is when the sun started getting to me and I began losing my mojo. We were nearing the seven mile mark and agreed to take a break when we reached that mark but ended going a little farther and taking advantage of the last shade before you head around Mescal Mountain.

Oh Mescal Mountain, you are a beauty. Not only the mountain itself but the views along the way continue to dazzle; especially as you round the long corner and head north. And that's when it really dawned on me why Kelly didn't object to doing this trail again. The trail around the mountain is nice and only has a couple pay attention to your footing moments. We saw a rather large cave that looks like it might be fun to check out and of course Kelly does want to summit it one day.

It got a little warm as we finished off so I was glad we were done. Plus I'm still a bit weak after nearly a month of any good solid physical activity. (A note, it does seem the bikers go counterclockwise.) We both enjoyed our beer. We were presented with two rock hearts by a gentleman walking around the parking lot. It's supposed to bring us something but I can't remember what. Anyway, it was a thoughtful gesture.

Thanks again Kelly for a great hike and your patience. At least with the slower pace you have lots of great stuff to look at.
Later we headed to That Brewery in Cottonwood but they don't serve food and with it being Sunday, other options were closed. We ended up eating at the Black Bear Diner and come to find out, they have a few other franchises here in the Valley. The drive back was not bad except for going up the hill as it was backed up clear to the intersection we came out on. Fortunately, it stayed steady and we made it back with only one other minor slowdown.

Video 1 - Deadman's Pass onto Chuckwagon Trail via Long Canyon
Video 2 - Chuckwagon Trail
Video 3 - Chuckwagon Trail onto Mescal Trail
Video 4 - Mescal Trail and Mountain
Leaves shimmering 21 second video -
Arizona Cypress
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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