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Courthouse Butte Loop Trail
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mini location map2009-11-20
31 by photographer avatartibber
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Courthouse Butte Loop TrailSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 20 2009
tibber
Hiking4.00 Miles 110 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   2 Hrs   30 Mns   1.60 mph
110 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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mjmr89
After finishing up at Devil's Bridge we (my brother, cousin and niece) headed to this trail. We went to the north Bell Rock Trailhead (MP 309.8?) where around 2 PM we picked up the Bell Rock Pathway (which looks like it can also be found at the first vista pullout south of Sedona). The other trailhead (MP 306?) is on the the southside of Bell Rock. I think that is the main trailhead for this hike. The reason I bring up the 2 trailheads is that if you are following a hike description, it might get confusing if you come in from a different trailhead than the description. You won't get lost and you will still end up where you should; but be aware of that if you're a stickler for following directions :guilty: .

There was a drum beating as we hiked around to the right side (west) of Bell Rock. My brother thot it was a CD playing but apparently someone was up on the Rock pounding, I mean beating the drum. It may seem cool to some but after awhile :roll: ... We quickly made our way on this wide road, I mean trail, and were soon on the south side of Bell Rock/Courthouse Butte.

I thot we would be hiking closer to these rock formations on the southwest side but that didn't happen. However, I think we blew by the turn east. The others were too far ahead of me talking away so I couldn't get their attention. I saw a Courthouse Loop sign facing a north/south direction so I thot maybe we were on the right track even tho a smaller trail split to the east. I've looked at various kinds of maps and my pictures but just can't be sure.

On the S.Eastern side of Courthouse Butte we crossed over an empty stream-bed, altho it had a couple puddles in it and headed north toward the Wilderness boundary where you can bang the marker and it echoes throughout the area & sounds much better than that drum :D . I read where someone said "After you give the marker a big thud, people nearby will think that Bell Rock just rang" ;) .

Just before this area, my niece ran into a BLM co-worker of hers from OR. I thot she was kidding but he works in her same BLM office building. They parted company after a short visit and we anxiously made our way to the Spaceship Rock so that my brother & his niece could do their alien walk :whistle: . We climbed up on top from the back (north) side. The traction is quite good going up and scooting back down. Once again we were in the shade but we took photos anyway, had our oranges and enjoyed the view for a little while. Lee Mtn is to the east? and you can see the Rabbit Ears rock formation to the SE.

As we continued from the east to the north side of Courthouse Butte you could see Mitten Ridge in the far distance to the northeast and a closer view of Cathedral Rock to the northwest. I am sure I took way too many pics of Cathedral Rock but there were several different vistas that created some interesting scenes.

We finished our hike around 4:30 (same as the trip description time - I think that's a first for me :DANCE: ) just as the sun was starting to sink behind the rock formations to the west. But our great day wasn't over yet as cousin Dennis said he would buy dinner. We found a great place in the Village of Oak Creek called the Blue Moon (east side of the road to the south of Ace Hardware). It was a wonderful diner that even served breakfast at dinner time. I had one of the best patty melts I've ever had. They have all sorts of great pop including real black cherry and orange cream. They also serve pizza.
_____________________
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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