Sunday, December 21, 2014

Brins Mesa, Chuck Wagon, Devil's Bridge, Soldiers Pass, Jordan, Cibola Trails - Sedona, Arizona

December 21, 2014

Miles: 15.6
Time: 7 hours 55 minutes
Elevation gain: 4,605 feet (cumulative)
Max elevation: 5,089 feet

Year to date miles: 536.8

Map: Sedona Outdoor Recreation Map

Parking: Jim Thompson Trailhead on Park Ridge Road.
There is around a .5 mile drive on a dirt road - which we were able to do (slowly!) with a normal car.
Red Rocks parking pass required.

Restrooms: In parking lot
Post Hike Dinner: Picazzo, on 89A (vegan friendly restaurant)

Hike Directions:
From parking lot, follow signs for Brins Mesa Trail.
At around 1.2 miles there is a 4 way intersection.
Turning right (which we skipped) is a side trail across Brins Mesa.
Continue straight on the Brins Mesa trail.
Pass intersection with Soldiers Pass trail, staying on Brins Mesa Trail.
Cross over 2 jeep roads.
Turn left onto Chuck Wagon Trail.
Turn left on Devil's Bridge Trail.
Follow Devil's Bridge Trail to end (bridge).
Turn around and retrace steps on Devil's Bridge Trail.
Turn left on Chuck Wagon Trail.
At intersection, leave Chuck Wagon Trail, and turn right onto Long Canyon Trail.
Cross 152D (there was parking here, which wasn't indicated by our map - very confusing).
The sign on the other side of the road says to Mescal Trail.
At next intersection, turn right towards Long Canyon.
Cross 152D again (map shows trailhead parking here, but it wasn't a real parking area).
This is again the Chuck Wagon Trail.the same 2 jeep roads again.
At sign for Soldiers Pass Trail, turn sharply right
Follow signs to Brins Mesa Trail, crossing ?
Pass the 7 sacred pools (interesting geological feature).
Arrive at Devil's Kitchen (huge sinkhole).
Turn left onto Jordan Trail.
Turn left onto Cibola Pass Trail (this is where we saw javalinas)
Arrive back at parking area.

Phenomenal hike. I loved every part of it.

I loved the top of Brins Mesa - we were planning on taking the side trail across the mesa on the way back, but then we redesigned our return route, so never did it. Brins Mesa has a lot of grass on it - very pretty.

The two jeep roads we passed - were crazy rutted.

Chuck Wagon Trail had a lot of mountain bikers on it.

There is a Devil's Bridge Trailhead on 152. Yes, there is a parking area there - but I probably wouldn't go on it even with a high clearance vehicle. Some people did the Devil's Bridge from there - they seemed to have rides - i.e. there were a lot of people waiting to be picked up from the parking area.

There were a lot of people on the Devil's Bridge Trail - it was the only crowded section of the hike. It was a weekend, and many people were going to the bridge. If you want a chance of a photo with no one else on the bridge, maybe a weekday would be a better bet. The bridge is fun! It isn't as scary as it looks (while you are on it at least). Some people were fine with it - others wouldn't go on it. It makes for great photos!

The Seven Sacred Pools are round "pools" going from very small to large. We almost missed them, but heard some kids playing around them, so checked it out.

The next feature is Devils Kitchen, a huge sinkhole, with informational signs on why it occurred.

After that, we came across a herd of javalinas! We had read about them, but doubted we would see any. We saw over a dozen of them coming down the trail towards us! Yikes! Luckily they were more interested in eating than they were with us. They were munching down on prickly pear cactus like crazy. I can't imagine how they can eat all of those spines! Ouch! I found out that if we talked loudly or banged our poles, they would scatter away from us. We were so excited to see them though, so after we realized they wouldn't eat us, we tried to be quiet so that we wouldn't scare them away.

This was a full days hike, but can be split out into 3 smaller hikes.

Looks like a face to me....

Brins Mesa

Devils' Bridge in the distance

Me on Devil's Bridge

For perspective on it's height

Glen being brave!

Resting off the path down from Devil's Bridge

Jeep road

Seven Sacred Pools - they increase in diameter



Having a staredown with Glen

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