It's hard to believe I've never been on this trail before seeing as I've lived in Arizona since 1968. What a gem! It's definitely a Sedona hike but without as many red rocks, as much direct sunlight, and no pink jeeps. The addition of flowing water, Ponderosa Pine and other large species of trees give this hike a great vibe. Being north of town it is hopefully also free of something that has always given me great cause for alarm...vortexes and those dreaded harmonica virgins that so many spiritual advisers claim exist there. :-)
We arrived at the Call of the Canyon trailhead at 7:45 and were the first ones in. A brisk but greatly appreciated 47 degrees at the start. Lots of smoke in the air (Museum Fire?), but a breeze came up and it cleared out quite a bit by the time we were coming out. One younger couple passed us about a mile and a half in and after that we had the place to ourselves until the hike back out. Lots of groups coming in as we left with what I would call a late start. It was really getting warm by this time. So many folks had no water or hats. No telling on how far they were going though. Mainly Europeans mixed with locals with the predominate fashion statement being tie dye tee shirts and strange looking sandals the likes of which I have never seen I should have taken a photo. Around every bend I was half expecting to see naked Tai Chi in the woods. Hey, it happens up there.
We went up the canyon trail and followed the creek for a little over 4 miles. The views just kept getting better and better but Mrs. SloFolks started giving me "that look" so I knew it was time to turn around. Good thing too, because the sand walking and the small amount of bushwhacking we did was taking it's toll on me too. I was pretty tired when we got back to the parking lot. We finished off our trip with massive burritos at El Rincon at the Tlaquepaque Center in Sedona. See Photoset.
Quick side story...on the way out to the parking lot we ran into a woman with her very young son and they had found the mother load of ripe, sweet blackberries. She was picking high and he was getting all the low ones and they had amassed close to 15 qts. in stainless steel buckets. I demanded to see her "permit" and told her I had to confiscate the ill gotten fruit. I could have pulled it off had I been able to keep a straight face for just a minute or two longer! We stopped at Rock Springs Café on the way down I-17 and bought a pie instead.
One thing to note if you are going to hike this trail...LOTS of poison ivy and oak. Enough to keep you from venturing off of the trail a lot especially if you are wearing shorts. Some of it was face high. That got my attention! Also, I found that the AEG was greater than what is commonly listed in the guide and other online sources. We are both looking forward to doing this hike again in the autumn to see the color change.