Site Menu
Latest Comments

Broken Arrow and Other Sedona Trails
November 2009

Thanksgiving is near.  Brenda and I head out to Arizona to see family and drive a few of Sedona's jeep trails.

The 800 mile drive from Santa Rosa to Sedona is best done in two days. Our first leg takes us as far as Hemet, CA and the home of my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Roger. This is the first time we've seen them since they moved to Hemet from Minden; we are impressed with their proximity to numerous golf courses, including the one at the near end of their street. We take a day here, hanging out and touring the teeming metropolis of Hemet. On our second night, Roger cooks his awesome spaghetti and I go back for seconds!


Click for larger   image 
Roger and Nancy; notice that their property is on the edge of the desert - they've seen all kinds of wild animals on the other side of that fence!

Monday morning arrives and we say goodbye to Nancy and Roger. A quick jaunt north from Hemet on Lamb Canyon Rd (Hwy 79), then east on I-10, which will take us as far as Phoenix. Before dropping down into the Palm Springs area, we stop at a gas station and notice that the General Patton Memorial Museum is right next door. They have an exhibit with a bunch of old tanks and other military hardware, all surrounded by a chain link fence. Plentiful flags flap in the breezy air; I can almost hear the marching drums. I didn't get any tank pictures, but I do try to catch one of a raven sitting on a dead end sign; it flies off just before I can snap the shutter.

Click for larger   image 
Dead end ravens.

The next 350 miles are uneventful and we arrive in Sedona around Noon. After making the rounds, reconnecting with friends and family, we meet up with Guy and take an evening hike up Sugarloaf, is a 15 minute walk from Guy's back door. Sedona isn't terribly big; lots of folks live near, if not adjacent to, public land. After watching the sun dip below the horizon, we head back to dinner and a well-deserved sleep in Ed and Mei Wei's guest room. They leave for L.A. in a few days; we'll be house sitting and caring for their dog Daisy, who you'll meet shortly.

The next day Guy and I take a short hike around Cow Pies, an area of puddled slickrock about half-way up Schnebly Hill Road. We bring Daisy and she scouts diligently ahead of us all afternoon. Even though Daisy is a little hyper at times, once out in the red rocks, she calms down and acts very much like the dedicated scout, sniffing the trail ahead, always looking back and checking in with her people. She makes me miss having a dog of my own.

Click for larger   image 
Looking south from Cow Pies towards Oak Creek.

Click for larger   image 
Prickly Pear and red rocks.

Click for larger   image 
Guy and Daisy lead the way.

Click for larger   image 
Rock texture up close; looks like one of my dad's abstract paintings.

Click for larger   image 
Pinon Pine and rock formation (Anyone know this rock's name?).

Click for larger   image 
Looking down at Schnebly Hill Rd. To discourage passenger cars, the Forest Service has been letting the road deteriorate significantly. Most cars can still make it, but many more folks will likely turn back, leaving the road to the Jeeps.

Click for larger   image 
Daisy hangs ten.

Click for larger   image 
It gets windy later, blowing us to the right of this frame!

Click for larger   image 
Looking east into Sedona; Capital Butte (aka Thunder Mountain) is highest on the left.

Click for larger   image 
Back at the parking lot; we borrow Ed's 4Runner as it is familiar to Daisy.

The next morning Brenda and I awake eager to drive Broken Arrow, which is perhaps Sedona's best known and most popular Jeep trail. I've ridden it on my mountain bike many times, but this is my first time behind the wheel of a jeep. Of course, you probably remember that Brenda drove for Pink Jeep Tours, and has taken folks on Broken Arrow more times than she can remember.

Click for larger   image 
Recent construction blocks the old turn-off from Hwy 179; it's nice to see the old sign still hanging in there.

Having disconnected the sway bar and aired down the tires already, we waste no time in hopping on the trail. Our early start pays off and we have it to ourselves all the way to the turn-around at Chicken Point. The morning is crisp and clear with no wind. The sun gradually peeks at us from over the rim; the shadows playing on the red rocks are beautiful and remind us why we love Sedona so much.

The obstacles on Broken Arrow are definitely more technical than my last jeep trip, yet because the slickrock provides excellent traction, they prove both easy and fun. I manage to bang the transfer case skid plate two or three times, but that's what it's there for!

Click for larger   image 
First climb, grrrrrrrrr.

We continue up the trail, driving deeper and deeper into the red rocks. Jeep spoor makes it clear that this trail is well-used. Even though we haven't seen any other Jeeps yet, we know they are coming. Where ever the trail goes over slickrock, the surface is black with tire rubber. On a busy day, Pink Jeep alone probably runs a tour here every 15 minutes.

The Jeep accessible trail ends at Chicken Point, though it is possible to continue on foot via the Little Horse trail. It is here that we meet our first jeep, a rented Wrangler driven by a nice guy from the Midwest. I am envious of his maps; freebies from the rental company. I check out the one he has for Greasy Spoon, another trail I hope to do before heading home.

Click for larger   image 
Brenda catches a call from Kay; I walk around taking pictures.

Click for larger   image 
Parked on Chicken Point; it's still early at 9am in November and the winter shadows reach west.

Click for larger   image 
Brenda salutes the sun; the Seven Warriors in the background at the left.
Click for larger   image 
Trailhead 61 - is this like Bob Dylan's Highway 61?

Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God says, "Out on Trailhead 61."

After exploring Chicken Point and taking lots of pictures, we jeep up and head back down the trail. The return trip includes many interesting ramps, steps, and tippy sections, with plenty of slickrock thrown in for good measure. After a half a mile or so, we take a left at a fork, and loop around towards the staircase.

Click for larger   image 
The hand-dandy "Tilt-o-meter" indicates the Jeep's nose is pointed up about 22 degrees.

Click for larger   image 
Climbing 22 degree slickrock is a piece of cake; I wonder how steep the Jeep could climb if a guy like me was interested in really trying...

Click for larger   image 
You could drive round and round this little rock all day; after stopping for pictures, we continue.

One of the most technical sections is a short little steep piece on the way back from Chicken Point. We stop and take pictures of the Jeep in various stages, much to the appreciation of two hikers who watched our every move.

Click for larger   image 
Ready for the descent.

Click for larger   image 

Click for larger   image 
I climb out to take this pic; Brenda hops into the driver's seat.

After this small bit, we come to the Giant Staircase, a series of stair steps that make me feel like I am standing upright with my toes on the brake pedal. Since there are other jeeps waiting, I don't stop for pictures. Perhaps early some day when there's no traffic, I'd like to see if I can climb up the staircase - it looks fun! I promise to take pictures if I do.

Click for larger   image 
I find a twisty section and see what the Jeep can do with it.

Click for larger   image 
Now that's articulation!

Click for larger   image 
Whoops, was I supposed to go another way?

All told we pass six or eight other jeeps, most of them pink. We both agree that Broken Arrow is worth the effort.

Later in the day I take an hike with Guy and Bruce to a couple arches out beyond the end of Soldier's Pass Rd. There's about a mile of technical jeep trail to get here, including a detour to a large sink hole. As with Broken Arrow, I've done all this before on a mountain bike, but not driving a Jeep. The trail proves interesting and fun, but less challenging than Broken Arrow. We leave the Jeep at the trailhead and in about 40 minutes reach the arches. As the sun drops lower, we climb up into and above one of the arches, and are greeted by the generous beams of a late afternoon sun.

Click for larger   image 
The first arch.

Click for larger   image 
Bruce atop the second arch, which is set back into the rock face.

Click for larger   image 
On top of the arch with Guy and Bruce; you can't see it in this picture, gut this platform is actually on top of a large arch.

The next morning Brenda and I take a hike before meeting up with everyone for Thanksgiving dinner. We leash up Ed's dog Daisy, who is VERY EAGER, and jump into the Jeep for the drive out Vultee Arch Rd. Our destination is Devil's Arch, a short hike from the road.

Click for larger   image 
Daisy in the Jeep - "Can I get out now? Please please can I get out now?"

The day is fabulous: clear sky, warm air, and very little wind. Many other folks enjoy the trail with us; most of those we meet are like us - visitors from out of the area. Daisy is well behaved and we enjoy her company.

Click for larger   image 

Click for larger   image 
"Enough with the pictures already - this is a trail and it's meant for walking!"

Click for larger   image 
Sweet Brenda.

Click for larger   image 
A tourist from Minnesota took our picture.

Click for larger   image 
Looking up at Devil's Arch; not sure of the origin of the name, we didn't see any devils.

On the return trip we pass about 60 people heading up the trail, thinking whew, we sure missed the crowd! We jump in the Jeep and head back to town and Thanksgiving. The evening is a success with all attending contributing greatly to the merriment.

Click for larger   image 
Thanksgiving dinner.

The next day Guy and I jump in the Jeep and head out in search of Greasy Spoon (aka Pipeline Rd.). It is another beautiful Sedona day, warm but not too hot, clear skies, and the usual stunning redrock vistas everywhere. The first few miles of the trail are pretty mellow and we soak up the afternoon, chatting about life and taking in the scenery. We poke along, stopping every few hundred yards to take pictures and let Daisy check to sniff things and run around. As our pace isn't very rapid, six jeeps pass us by, four from Pink Jeep Tours and two rentals, everyone enjoying the afternoon and in good spirits.

Click for larger   image 
Greasy Spoon trailhead, Coxcomb on in the background on the left.

Click for larger   image 
The first Pink Jeep of the day.

Click for larger   image 
Two yellow rental jeeps pass by and head over the rise.

Click for larger   image 
I find an uneven spot in the road and tilt the Jeep over sideways; the Tilt-o-meter indicates we are 25 degrees to the left.

Though Greasy Spoon is a pretty easy trail overall, there are a few deep gullies that must be traversed, each with a steep climb down and back up. None of it gives the Jeep any trouble and we have fun crawling up and down the rocks.

Click for larger   image 
Entering the first gully; we turned around at the bottom and went back up just for the heck of it.

Click for larger   image 
Coxcomb with Capital Butte behind.

Click for larger   image 
Daisy and red rocks.

Click for larger   image 
The steepest section of Greasy Spoon.

Click for larger   image 
A man and his Jeep.

The next day sees Brenda and I begin our journey back to Santa Rosa. After one last stop to say goodbye to Kay and Johnny, we head south to Phoenix and points west.

Click for larger   image 
Brenda spots a 25 foot high baby playing with a tractor - it's a billboard!

Click for larger   image 
I spot this monster dirt machine as we climb west from Palm Springs on I-10 - "Hey mister, can I drive it?"

Click for larger   image 
Somewhere in L.A. on I-10; hours to go before we sleep.

We push all the way through to the San Joaquin Valley and pick up a motel at Buttonwillow, right along Hwy 5. With an early rise Sunday morning, we make it back to Santa Rosa by 11:30am.

All in all a great trip!



0 #211 Magnolia 2017-09-26 00:14
It has not till hell freezes over been easier to opt between the rewriting services,
as all consumer opinions and testimonials are gathered
in anyone part of the country as a service to you to pick
the best. Bolt bad calibre and as a end result bad endure
alongside consulting any transmission website reviews.
Unreservedly written testimonials wish influence you through the process of
selecting the song and purely transfiguration usefulness that
last will and testament angry your needs.

Also visit my site - PickWriters reviews:
0 #210 uciwlgu 2017-09-25 03:48
viagra without a doctor prescription medical school financial aid viagra without a doctor prescription:
0 #209 Aubrey 2017-09-24 06:34
Businesses are erasing the boundaries between nations and as
a fruit, communication play the essential role in expanding
your reach as entrepreneur. Communication, in this matter, is the ability to convert between any cant brace there is and the transfiguration services boom has made
it calm easier. You just have to coerce steady the company you trust your decipherment offers adequate
serving, which can be verified through checking the reviews of the fastidious one.

Also visit my website The
Word Point Translation Services:
0 #208 FelipeEpike 2017-09-21 21:12
canadian pharmacies top best
canadian drugs
prescription price comparison
canadian drugstore:
compare rx prices
dangers of taking metformin
0 #207 FelipeEpike 2017-09-21 12:54
discount pharmacy online
online pharmacy usa
generic cialis tadalafil:
overseas pharmacy forum
xanax for dogs
0 #206 Reuben 2017-09-21 10:53
PrEP Well being Program provided by appointment.

Also visit my webpage - std testing 07712:
0 #205 FelipeEpike 2017-09-21 04:59
buy prescription drugs from canada
canadian online pharmacies
canadian drugstore reviews
side effects of clonidine:
drugs without prescription
inderal la
0 #204 generic viagra 2017-09-21 04:37
sildenafil citrate 100mg
0 #203 FelipeEpike 2017-09-20 22:56
best online pharmacy
prescription cost
tadalafil generic:
canadian prescriptions
viagra porn
0 #202 GeraldHex 2017-09-20 03:20
canadian prescription
canadian online pharmacies
overseas pharmacies
amoxicillin rash:
best canadian mail order pharmacies
metformina para adelgazar
0 #201 zhvgtp 2017-09-19 00:12
health insurance usa sti rash
viagra without a doctor prescription symptoms of having a std
viagra without a doctor prescription
first aid certification
viagra without a doctor prescription:
national health care
0 #200 pftouk 2017-09-18 04:35
cheap insurance plans for individuals best medical school programs
best online pharmacies no prescription individual health care coverage
canadian pharmacy
best hospital near me
canada pharmacy:
get cheap health insurance
0 #199 svmd73 2017-09-17 20:09
the affordable healthcare act 1 medical school in the us
viagra without a doctor prescription journal of medical education impact factor
viagra without a doctor prescription
affordable medical plans
viagra without a doctor prescription:
list of stds and stis
0 #198 rubkwv 2017-09-17 03:52
basic first aid national health care act
canada pharmacy what is medical education
canadian pharmacy
stroke first aid medication
canadian pharmacy:
medical school directory
0 #197 GreggAnery 2017-09-13 22:03

Cheap Hogan Shoes Online:
Adidas Originals Tubular Runner - Mens:
Dsquared Dress Shoes:
Oakley Frogskins:
Air Jordan 7 Olympic 2004:

Add comment

Security code