Yep, it’s hot. Really hot sometimes. So what’s a guy to do when he wants to hike in the summer? He gets up at 4:30 in the morning and sets out.
What started out as a personal goal to take 7 sunrise hikes in 7 days has now surpassed 20. It wasn’t for any particular reason – mostly to break up the summer doldrums. In the desert, we look forward to summer ending. And my “for any particular reason” feeling has been well worth it. The desert is a beautiful place:
I will say that it is starting to feel like somewhat of an addiction and I have done a couple of days of “sidewalk” hiking. But in Arizona, even in the neighborhood, you never know what you will see.
Like a tarantula crossing for school:
Or a rattlesnake at “guarding” the trail sunrise:
And apart from feeling better, it is a great time to be out getting some amazing early morning views:
Had a fantasric hike in Sedona, Arizona yesterday with my wife.
I will say that this moderate+ trail was well worth the effort (and the beat – it soared to 104F). You do have areas where a little “mountain goat” is needed, so plan accordingly. As always, you can never bring enough water. This is a popular trail and it always amazes me to see folks with one little water bottle. There was actually a 911 call for a lost man who wandered off after feeling ill. Altitude and heat are a dangerous combination!
But for the trail itself – fantastic!
Photos speak for themselves
And don’t forget the payoff (this is why you are here):
I was able to have a beautiful little hike with my daughter this weekend. We had never been on the Courthouse Butte Trail, and I have to say it it may have instantly become one of my new “favorites” (I have a lot of “favorites” – no shortage in Arizona!).
I easily took a few dozen photos that were instant “keepers”. You almost cannot take a bad photo in Sedona – and even they still don’t do it justice!
For me this is the perfect “short” hike. Roughly 5 miles, it takes you, ironically, completely around the Courthouse Butte with great views of Bell Rock and the surrounding area. A bonus this time was that the century plants were starting to bloom.
Well worth it, and it might be one the “must” trails to take our visitors when the come to town. Make sure to get there early as the parking will fill up. And don’t forget the water – it is still the desert! Most folks head right to Bell Rock, but save that until the end. Until the next trail…..
There is nothing better than a nice walk in the desert after a rough week at work.
Phoenix has multiple trails around town. But for me the best variety is Apache Wash Trail. Add the fact that it is a ten minute drive from home and on the way home from work, I can’t think of a nicer hike.
Darn you Arizona! There is so much to see, but you leave us little options but to visit all of your fantastic landmarks multiple times to get a more complete experience. And what a wonderful problem to have.
A recent trip through Page, Arizona was carefully planned to take in a couple of places at a different time of day (and season) then the last time I was there. Along with Lower Antelope Canyon, one I had to see again was Horseshoe Bend. This time at Sunset.
Sunset provided a much different experience than the early morning of last summer.
But do not forget that the “wall” that provides the viewing plateau is very underrated and quite impressive on its own.
You’ll notice that the 1000 ft. drop to the bottom offers “no guardrails” and many folks often put them themselves precariously close to the edge.
Horseshoe Bend is not the only view of the Colorado River. Take a quick stop just outside of town for a scenic view of Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River.