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Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-04-27
36 by photographer avatartibber
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Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ 
Mescal Mountain Loop, AZ
Hiking5.51 Miles 552 AEG
Hiking5.51 Miles   2 Hrs   41 Mns   2.18 mph
552 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
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Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I needed to take care of some business in Sedona and asked Greg if he'd like to come along and we could do this hike. Google took us on a short cut from Cornville Rd (off of I-17) the back way via Page Springs which is a windy/narrow connector to 89A but it was fun to go through an area I've never seen before.

We got to the TH but it wasn't the TH I thot. It is brand new so we had to do a little investigating before heading on our way. The mountain was to the north of the TH so it was just a matter of how to hook up with the trail to take us around the mountain. Once we figured that out, we more or less waited to reach a junction to take us west that never came as we were on the Mescal Trail from the get-go.

There was lots of Goodding's Verbena from the start and it's not one of my favorite smells so I was glad when the bulk of that ended. It's sure pretty to look at though and we saw lots of FeatherPlume too (feather dalea). The views to the north toward Maroon Mountain area is very pretty as you make your way west to the flank of Mescal Mountain. As we got closer to Mescal Mountain, Greg spotted a cave so that kept our attention for a bit. On my zoon into the cave, I saw a rope which I didn't see while taking the picture.

By this time you have nice views to the south of Thunder Mountain and to the west of Doe Mountain. I decided to do some filming today as I haven't been doing much of that with my city hiking. This is a pretty area for sure altho it does look dry to me. The amount of ocotillo you see on this southwest side is surprising. I did get a Common Ear Lizard to do some posing for me so I got some good pictures. We would encounter several bike riders and other hikers including a couple from Michigan that we would hike with for a bit.

My favorite part of this hike is rounding the corner with the view toward Boynton Canyon. This area of the mountain is nice as well. The light seemed a little harsh today so the photos weren't that good; however, the movies are fine. We encountered a few hikers at the base of Deadman's Pass Trail that I thot was a hill but it's really not. When I first hiked it in 2017, I was with Kelly and maybe her pace made me think it was a hill :lol: . So that went better than I hoped. From there it was a cruise down the Long Canyon Trail where we saw quite a few more hikers; some inquired whether we had been to the Birthing Cave.

As we were going down the trail I thot we should be over to the right (west) more and that was indeed the case as at the end of the Long Canyon Trail at the paved road, there is a connector that takes you back over toward Mescal Trail. I had forgotten about that junction sign on our way up as I can't remember using that connector before when Mia and I did this hike counterclockwise in 2019.

I like the hike from this new TH. There seems to be ample parking as they also have lined parking on the road. However, this TH is also used for access to the trail for Devil's Bridge. Oh, and FYI, driving by Dry Creek Road was loaded with cars on a Wednesday morning.

We had lunch at Stagecoach Sedona which replaced the Olde Sedona Bar and Grill where I've eaten a couple times. My excerpt from last May's trip report: "and we had a great dinner. The reason I'm telling you about Olde Sedona is they have a Homestyle Chicken dinner like no other and we were quite surprised and delighted." Well they completely renovated the place so I was pretty shocked. They did a fabulous job (see photo) and we did enjoy our food so I would recommend it; altho the prices are obviously a little higher now.

Video 1: [ youtube video ]
Video 2: [ youtube video ]

WATCH: 5.16 miles (4469 low point, 4724 high point) 122 avg bpm, max 158 (18% Zone 3, 66% Zone 2, 15% Zone 1) burning 948 calories. Starting temp 69.8 and clear with 14% humidity, slight breeze finishing at 12:08PM.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Kachina Woman Spire
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
tons of Goodings Verbena and Featherplume (Feather Dalea) and in some areas, Blackfoot Daisy. The Banana Yuccas and Century Plants were just starting to bloom. One area along Long Trail had Evening Primrose.
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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