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Dry Creek Trail #52 - 13 members in 18 triplogs have rated this an average 3.6 ( 1 to 5 best )
18 triplogs
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Apr 10 2021
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 Guides 18
 Routes 71
 Photos 466
 Triplogs 50

65 male
 Joined Dec 26 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 10 2021
GrangerGuyTriplogs 50
Backpack19.30 Miles 2,179 AEG
Backpack19.30 Miles1 Day   3 Hrs      
2,179 ft AEG27 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
I have had my eye on this area for some time, well before I started my little project to hike and photograph all the designated wilderness areas in Arizona. I am trying to hit these areas in season, not to hot, not too cold, and early April was a great time for this hike. I saw that a guide was needed for Bear Sign Canyon, as well so I added that into this trip.

I debated at length, should I drive to the trailhead, or leave the Cherokee at the end of the pavement. There were so many frightening comments about FR 152, I decided to walk it. It turns out, at least as of this writing, if you can negotiate the rock berm at the end of the pavement, the rest of the road will not give you trouble. Just take it slow. But, who knew? I saw many and varied 4x4s on the road, all the way to the end.

However, I think the Lord wanted me to walk FR152. A couple miles in, I was passed by two hikers while I was taking some pictures, and then I caught up with them a little later. Turns out, they were headed for the Devil's Bridge trail, and had walked right past it. I set them straight and they headed back. Coming out, I ran into a young couple who had no idea where they were, or even how they got there. I invited them to walk back with me to my car, and I would drive them to wherever they had parked. This offer was accepted.

This year in April, there was plenty of water along this route. However, not all water is at the indicated places on the water charts. Sometimes it is significantly up or downstream.

Dry Creek Trail and Bear Sign Trail are positively lovely! A great mix of red rock and various trees. This was my first exposure to the Arizona Cypress. I thought it was a juniper, but the cones got my attention. Same family, different genus. I found Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, Maple, Oak, and something I would swear was salal, but it really doesn't belong here.

On the Bear Sign / David Miller part of this hike, I was surprised to see a couple with their dog. Did not expect to see anyone. They hiked all the way up Bear Sign #59 to the formal end of the trail and continued on. The David Miller Trail is pretty steep on both sides. The soles of my boots are getting worn, so it wasn't that fun.

Once down to the Secret Canyon Trail #121, I saw several backpacking parties. I headed up the canyon to its narrows and a little beyond, before I decided I had had enough. I camped on a nice flat area not far from water.

I finished out the trip on Secret Canyon Trail. That is one of the nicest, easiest to walk trails I have been on recently. At times it felt like walking on a carpet.
Jul 04 2020
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 Routes 22
 Photos 416
 Triplogs 67

39 male
 Joined Apr 18 2009
 Anthem, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 04 2020
LostTriplogs 67
Hiking6.82 Miles 991 AEG
Hiking6.82 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   2.20 mph
991 ft AEG      5 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw ...
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw Mountains - Prescott Arizona
Partners none no partners
Started from the Vultee Arch trailhead shortly before 6am to beat the holiday rush and the forecast high approaching 100 degrees. I wish I had found this loop a long time ago! You get a little bit of everything on this hike: wide open red rock views on the Secret Canyon side, and a cool forest walk on the Bear Sign side. Did not see a single person on the hike, just the way I like it.

Secret Canyon trail is in great shape and very easy to follow. The southern turnoff for HS Canyon is signed, but the trail looked faint at best. I completely missed the northern HS canyon junction and have no idea if it's actually there; just like everyone else it looks like. David Miller west of the pass is a little brushy and faint in areas, east of the pass it's better and looks like there's been some very recent trail maintenance. Bear Sign and Dry Creek are in good condition as well.

It was nice to be back in this area: the Vultee Arch trail was the first "real" trail I hiked in Arizona nearly 20 years ago, and probably what spurred my love of hiking. Then the road turned into what it is today, and there's no way my old 1996 Saturn could make it down here now. High clearance is definitely required, preferably with a short wheelbase. 2WD could probably be done with careful driving and a dry road, but I was definitely a lot more comfortable with 4WD low.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light


dry H S Canyon Dry Dry

dry Secret Canyon Dry Dry
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Nov 23 2019
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 Guides 7
 Routes 160
 Photos 701
 Triplogs 199

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 23 2019
ShatteredArmTriplogs 199
Run/Jog13.28 Miles 1,711 AEG
Run/Jog13.28 Miles   3 Hrs   59 Mns   3.33 mph
1,711 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Made the decision yesterday to head up to Sedona today. Originally I thought of doing Wilson Mountain, but then decided it might be fun to take the Jeep out for a spin... So decided on some combination of Dry Creek, Bear Sign, and whatever else I felt like doing.

Started out with the Dry Creek out-and-back. Despite the rain a few days ago, Dry Creek was mostly dry. Like a lot of the other canyons in the area, a couple miles in, you're treated with nice mature Ponderosa Pine forest. It actually got quite chilly in this section, and despite the nice verdant forest, I had a hostile encounter with a shindagger. No gushing or anything, but a subtle reminder that I should probably start bringing a first aid kit on these sorts of trips.

After 3+ miles, the trail was still going, but I wasn't really sure if this was still the official route. Decided to head back down to Bear Sign.

From the Dry Creek junction to David Miller, Bear Sign is much better maintained and less scratchy than Dry Creek. I found this trail to be more enjoyable overall (although there were so many leaves on the ground in Dry Creek, it may be worth checking out a month or so earlier in the year...). After the David Miller junction, the trail gets a lot harder to follow, and I quickly lost it, along with my interest in continuing up the canyon.

The first quarter mile or so of David Miller was the only steep section of the day, and the saddle granted a nice view to the north and to the south. The original plan was to take a detour through HS canyon, but I wasn't sure where the trail was (my maps indicate that it forms a loop, but who knows if that's accurate). Might be easier to try from the south end.

Was a good day. Once past the Devil's Bridge circus, there was lots of solitude, and I managed to go 12+ miles on a Saturday in Sedona without seeing another human. Chalk that up as a win!
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1 archive
Apr 30 2018
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 Guides 93
 Routes 389
 Photos 4,131
 Triplogs 3,390

47 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2018
fricknaleyTriplogs 3,390
Hiking15.92 Miles 2,073 AEG
Hiking15.92 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.62 mph
2,073 ft AEG      10 Mns Break10 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
a very much needed mental getaway. always wanted to do the bear sign/secret loop but wanted some extra miles so i started from the jordan trailhead and used brins mesa (thanks for the idea @hikerdw)

brins mesa is always a pleasant trail, imo, and especially coming back down late in the day with the sweet views. predictably saw nobody after the soldier pass cutoff.

quick walk along dry creek road and trail

bear sign is pretty awesome, especially up canyon with some pretty big trees, shade and occasional neat views. poison ivy is ready and raring to go. hated to see it end so soon

david miller...holy smokes. who knew? talk about short and sweet. really great views from the saddle, especially if you climb up the little high point. the wind this day, and especially on the highpoint was :o

secret canyon kind of goes by fast, but held it's charm from what i remembered (last hiked it probably 13 years ago).

the whole way back was very smooth, quiet and pretty relaxing really. i think i saw maybe 4-5 people on brins mesa coming back?. nobody at all on dry creek or the loop. coming down the end of brins mesa late afternoon/early evening is a treat.
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hi
1 archive
Feb 17 2018
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 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

17 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 17 2018
Tough_BootsTriplogs 755
Backpack14.00 Miles 1,957 AEG
Backpack14.00 Miles2 Days         
1,957 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
John9L
Nice easy backpacking trip though a little cold and damp. I'd do this again though maybe in a different season.
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Feb 17 2018
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 Guides 84
 Routes 695
 Photos 17,531
 Triplogs 1,704

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 17 2018
chumleyTriplogs 1,704
Backpack18.37 Miles 2,902 AEG
Backpack18.37 Miles2 Days         
2,902 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
John9L
Tough_Boots
We played pedestrian pinball on the way to the trailhead. If it was up to me, the FS should dynamite the bridge and return this place to some level of normalcy. The road condition has deteriorated significantly since last I drove it, and I'm guessing it is probably very much on purpose. It was nice to crawl it in 4-low, and we stopped to help a kid get his jeep back on the road after leaving it dangling off the side of a steep ravine overnight.

Dry Creek :next: Bear Sign :next: David Miller :next: Secret Canyon made a nice alternate on the way up, but we returned on the direct path on Secret Canyon only.

Plenty of water in all the canyons and side drainages, but little to no flow anywhere. It was a little chilly with all the wet ground, but despite ice on some of the pools, it did not drop below freezing overnight.

We went upstream about a mile and a half beyond the end of the trail, and there are a few really picturesque spots. Sometime I'd like to try the entire length of this canyon from up near Hidden Cabin. Who wants to shuttle!? :lol:

The poison ivy hadn't leafed out yet, so we pretended it wasn't there. :pray: :oops:

If you're looking to hook up with an instagram model, I recommend hiking Dry Creek Road on a weekend.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bear Sign Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout No flow but plenty of clear pools in bedrock

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Secret Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Plenty of pools the entire length of canyon, probably from recent rains. Trickles in most side canyons
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two scoops!
2 archives
Nov 25 2017
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 Routes 98
 Photos 6,093
 Triplogs 1,148

54 male
 Joined Apr 25 2011
 Goodyear, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 25 2017
NightstalkerTriplogs 1,148
Hiking7.70 Miles 131 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   4 Hrs   15 Mns   2.41 mph
131 ft AEG   1 Hour   3 Mns Break13 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Yolanda, Carey, and Maria joined me for a ride up to Sedona to do the Bear Sign / Secret Canyon Loop. The dirt road in was worse than I remember from last year when I drove up to Brins Mesa Trailhead. We parked at Secret Canyon and then hiked up the road to Dry Creek / Bear Sign Trailhead to start the loop in a counter clockwise direction. Tall trees lined the canyons up to the saddle of David Miller trail. We explored north from the saddle to find a nice panoramic view above the thick manzanita and a fire ring. Returning on Secret Canyon Trail there were few trees, mostly manzanita. Great loop!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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Feb 29 2016
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 Guides 2
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,486
 Triplogs 944

female
 Joined Apr 28 2010
 Tucson, AZ
Blacketts RidgeTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 29 2016
uphill_junkieTriplogs 944
Hiking7.51 Miles 2,380 AEG
Hiking7.51 Miles   3 Hrs   41 Mns   2.80 mph
2,380 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
A member of SACC wanted to find people to hike with during the weekdays, so I readily volunteered since I'm usually out by myself. He'd never done Blackett's before, so we hiked that, then ended up talking to this super nice older couple on top from Ouray (we had a lot to talk about!) for about an hour! Then we headed over on the Phoneline Trail to the Link down to the Creek trail to get a bit more in. He was a lot slower than I would've hiked, but it was nice to have company. :D
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No pants!
Feb 27 2016
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 Guides 10
 Triplogs 432

61 male
 Joined Feb 25 2002
 Scottsdale
Dry Creek Trail #52Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2016
TimTriplogs 432
Hiking4.50 Miles 560 AEG
Hiking4.50 Miles   2 Hrs   5 Mns   2.16 mph
560 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Getting to the Vultee Arch Trailhead proved as entertaining as the hike. Forest Service Road #152 is a whole lot more rugged than I remembered it. When I got home I check my trail logs and the last time I was back here was in 2003 and I easily made it in a Ford Mustang. That wouldn't have been the case today as there are many spots where a passenger car would high center. I was in a Jeep Cherokee 4x4 but any high clearance vehicle would do, although I did bottom out rather hard once when I wasn't paying attention and caught a bad line. On the drive To the Vultee Arch Trailhead, I saw only a couple of cars at the other trailheads so I had the place to myself. Maybe the Forest Service has let the road fall into disrepair as a way of crowd control? It took me roughly 30 minutes to travel the 4.25 miles to the trailhead so it is pretty slow going.

The Dry Creek Trail very scenic and the creek was flowing which made for nice background music. But there were a lot of blown down trees crossing the trail and it was somewhat overgrown and faint in spots which made for slow going. On one of the multiple creek crossings I missed the trail and stayed in the creek bed which proved to be time consuming. I eventually caught the trail again on the next creek crossing. I came around one bend and to my surprise, say another hiker examining a map. Where'd he come from? Turns out he had parked on 89A and come up over Sterling Pass to the Vultee Trail as part of a large loop incorporating the Bear Sign and David Miller Trails. He was just taking a side trip up Dry Creek. His name was Karl and he was visiting Sedona for 2 weeks and hitting as many of the trails as he could from his base camping spot west of town. I continue on towards the end of the trail but I don't think I quite got there as I only went in 2.25 miles and the trail is listed at 2.6 miles. But it was getting really overgrown and I couldn't find anything that resembled a trail any longer so I decided to call it a day.

On the drive out I was a bit more careful but still managed to get some Arizona pinstriping on my Jeep. Between the Brins Mesa Trailhead and the paved road I must have come across 100 people hiking the road! There were very few vehicles at any of the trailheads and the vehicles that were there were all high clearance. I gave a lift to a pregnant lady and her husband whom had bitten off a bit more than they could chew. When I got to the paved road, both sides of it was lined with parked cars for a 1/2 mile in both directions. This place was packed! And it was the same up at the Long Canyon Trailhead where the young couple had their left their car. It was a beautiful day and my hike came in at 4.5 miles in just a little over 2 hours with 560 feet of AEG. That time doesn't include the 20 minutes I spent chatting with Karl.
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1 archive
May 02 2014
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 Routes 165
 Photos 2,907
 Triplogs 514

63 male
 Joined Aug 16 2009
 Mesa,AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar May 02 2014
hikerdwTriplogs 514
Hiking15.90 Miles 2,071 AEG
Hiking15.90 Miles   6 Hrs   40 Mns   2.77 mph
2,071 ft AEG      55 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Did a lollipop loop hike starting from the Jordan Road Trailhead. Hiked Brins Mesa, 152c, then the official Bear Sign / Secret Loop, returning back the same way. Bear Sign Canyon and the short David Miller Trails were the highlight IMO. Lots of flying insects the entire hike but it is that time of the year for them. Afterwards we had pizza at the Sedona Pizza Company and then stopped in at Oak Creek Brewery for a cold one.
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Expect to self rescue
Aug 12 2012
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 Guides 11
 Routes 88
 Photos 2,645
 Triplogs 242

90 male
 Joined May 16 2005
 Scottsdale, AZ
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2012
Al_HikesAZTriplogs 242
Hiking6.80 Miles 2,015 AEG
Hiking6.80 Miles   2 Hrs   45 Mns   2.47 mph
2,015 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Nice little hike. Added this on after hiking Vultee Arch. Left my truck at the Vultee TH and did this hike clockwise to get the road out of the way first. That Davey Miller mile really kicks the cardio. Steep switchbacks going up and coming down. Nice views from the top of the David Miller trail. Dry Creek Road 152 was a lot rougher than I remembered. Taking it fast will definitely knock a few fillings loose. Wildflowers - Some penstemon, geraniums, white composites, and yellow composites.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
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Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. Andy Rooney
2 archives
Nov 05 2011
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 Guides 9
 Routes 818
 Photos 10,980
 Triplogs 1,941

66 male
 Joined Jan 20 2009
 Far NE Phoenix,
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 05 2011
The_EagleTriplogs 1,941
Hiking8.30 Miles 1,200 AEG
Hiking8.30 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   3.32 mph
1,200 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Scrapped one hike with forecast highs of 32 and snow, for another with 47 for a high and snow.

The hardest part of this hike was the road in. On normal days, High clearance is all that's needed. The snow had stopped well before the hike started, but the wet slick mud meant I'd have to change things up a bit. I decided not to chance it anymore, and parked on 152, about 2/3's of a mile from the Secret Canyon TH, 3 miles from the pavement.

I Started at the Wet Creek Trail and did a Counter clockwise loop on:
Dry Creek Trail > Bear Sign Canyon Trail > David Miller Trail > Secret Canyon Trail.

This entire trek was gorgeous, with the smattering of snow on the red peaks. The hike down Bear Sign Canyon proved to be a bit interesting, with melting snow bombarding you as you walked under the over taxed limbs.

This is a relatively easy hike, with the only real elevation gain on the David Miller Trail. The views from the saddle at the apex of this trail are breathtaking. I ate some lunch close to the top here, on a dry spot in the sun, and soaked in the views.

If you can make the trip on FR152, I recommend this loop!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
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There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry 🦅
May 16 2009
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 Photos 14
 Triplogs 3

male
 Joined Mar 09 2008
 Buckeye, AZ
Dry Creek Trail #52Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar May 16 2009
Michael SmithTriplogs 3
Hiking4.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.33 mph
600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Yes, it is possible to hike beautiful Sedona without seeing a single person on the trail. My wife and I did this hike after reading Joe Bartel's description and we were not disappointed. The only company we had were eagles and songbirds too numerous to count. It was warm (90 deg), but the trail is shaded almost the entire way. The soft breeze blowing up the draw kept us cool. LOTS of poison ivy on the trail so we had to watch our step.
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Dec 13 2008
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 Guides 8
 Routes 12
 Photos 1,317
 Triplogs 491

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Bear Sign / Secret LoopSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 13 2008
toddakTriplogs 491
Hiking15.00 Miles 622 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.31 mph
622 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Outstanding loop hike (I went clockwise from the Secret Canyon TH), with numerous fine side trails to explore. Of these, Secret Canyon is the most popular, but HS Canyon is also very nice. I especially enjoyed continuing up-canyon on the Bear Sign trail after the intersection with the David Miller Trail - narrow, in lovely forest. Went up the Dry Creek Trail a ways - OK but not especially interesting. And of course its worth the trip over to see Vultee Arch. Will have to return in the Spring when the many creeks are running.
Geology
Geology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Coconino Sandstone
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Dec 18 2006
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 Photos 132
 Triplogs 131

female
 Joined Aug 13 2003
 Phoenix, AZ
Dry Creek Trail #52Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 18 2006
cynTriplogs 131
Hiking4.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Oct 22 2006
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 Photos 79
 Triplogs 26

female
 Joined Aug 03 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Dry Creek Trail #52Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2006
JadeEirTriplogs 26
Hiking7.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This hike was the last minute alternative to a way to crowded trip to West Fork of Oak Creek. What a blessing it turned out to be. This was a beautiful hike on a peaceful path winding along the dry creek, through arches of colorful fall trees backed by cliffs of red rock walls. I can not put to words the experience of this hike.
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Oct 22 2006
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 Photos 1,166
 Triplogs 196

65 male
 Joined Aug 04 2006
 Mesa, AZ
Dry Creek Trail #52Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2006
hikemonkTriplogs 196
Hiking7.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Sep 11 2004
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 Guides 260
 Routes 841
 Photos 13,090
 Triplogs 5,291

52 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Dry Creek Trail #52Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2004
joebartelsTriplogs 5,291
Hiking6.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   3 Hrs   48 Mns   1.58 mph
600 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It's still hot out in the ol' bone dry creek but Autumn will be wippin' out his magic wand soon. Skip the crowds and tip toe through the poision ivy.

If you come to this trailhead and decide on Vultee Arch it's like going to Walmart in California. People just don't get it, the beach is open!

I crossed bear scat no less than twelve times directly on the trail. The Beartooth map route swings right at the end compared to the route I followed.

It should probably be noted that there is a LOT of poison ivy in this canyon. Luckily I made it without incident in shorts and sandals.
_____________________
- joe
average hiking speed 2.26 mph

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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