Even though it's a bit out of season now (getting hot down there...), I'm posting a list of my favorite trail runs down in Sedona. I seem to have had a few email requests lately for my 'best of' list of Sedona trails and this is what I have come up with in response. Figured I'd get it up on the blog to make it a bit easier for people to find some classic Sedona trail running when searching the web...well, classic in my book anyway. All this stuff is subjective, of course. There are a lot of great trails down there! Hope this helps some folks and let me know if you have further questions or comments on any of this stuff. Already thinking about running down there again next winter...
My Top 8 Favorite Trail Runs in Sedona
1. Hot Loop/Jackass Canyon Loop starting at Jackass Canyon TH or Woods Canyon TH
Awesome back country loop that doesn't get a lot of traffic. Can be hard to find the trail without detailed directions in your pocket. Go early as this is a hot one.
From Jackass Canyon TH: 16.7 miles round trip
From Woods Canyon TH: 22.7 miles round trip
2. Brins Mess/ Secret Canyon Loop Link Up
Start at either Midgely Bridge (Jim Thompson Trail TH) (longer) or Brins Mesa TH (shorter) and go Jim Thompson, Brins Mesa, FR 152, Dry Creek, Bear Sign, David Miller, Secret and then back down FR 152 to Brins Mesa and back. Awesome views of all of Sedona and all the different vegetation types. Good stuff.
From Midgely Bridge (Jim Thompson TH): 21.8 miles round trip
From Brins Mesa TH: 15.8 miles round trip
3. Loy Canyon Trail to the end of Secret Mountain Trail
This trail is in one of my favorite canyons in sedona and goes from true low land sandstone desert to ponderosa pine forest high country and back. Cliff dwelling ruins are in the cliffs along the trail if you look for them. Pretty cool. Off the beaten path but good trail.
15.4 miles round trip
4. West Fork
This is the coolest canyon in Sedona. Well, it's actually in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Sedona. Makes you feel like your in Zion and there is a creek flowing the whole length of the canyon to dip into if it is warm. Spectacular!!!
6.6 miles round trip unless you want to wade and bushwhack further up canyon
5. Broken Arrow to Cathedral
Park at Broke Arrow TH. Follow, Broken Arrow, Little Horse, Bell Rock Pathway, HT, Templeton, Baldwin loop and back to Templeton and back the way you came. Really good trails for running. Some cool slick rock, a creek, amazing open views and rolling terrain. Classic Sedona.
16.3 round trip
6. Girder Trail Loop
Start at Girder Trail TH and link into a bunch of trails that all loop on each other in super open desert and shallow canyons. My favorite loop of this bunch is to start at Girder Trail TH and go Girder Trail, AZ Cypress, OK, Dawa, Cockscomb, Rupp and back again on Girder. Sometimes water is flowing sometimes dry in the canyons. Great views and fast trails.
Loop described is 10.2 miles round trip
7. Airport Loop and trails to the west
Start at Airport Loop TH and do the loop to do the short bit and then link into some really good loops to the west to add miles. My favorite link up is start at Airport Loop TH and do Airport Loop counter clockwise to Bandit Trail, Old Post Trail to past the first junction with Carroll Canyon and then at second junction with Carroll Canyon and follow it back to Ridge Trail and Bandit back to Airport Loop and finish the rest of the Airport Loop back to car. I love these trails even though they are right in the middle of the city...but you wouldn't know it! Great views!! and again...amazing trails.
7.3 miles round trip but more can be added by linking into some other trails out by Carroll Canyon
8. Boynton Canyon
Great trail and spectacular place to be in the back of the canyon where the trail ends. Worth it on an easy day or whatever.
6 miles round trip (after getting back to the car run over Deadman Pass Trail and run up another rad canyon, long canyon, to add another 8.2 mile out and back if you feel up for it)