- Long Canyon loop is an ideal first ride in Sedona; moderately challenging with plenty of smooth singletrack to get your legs prepared for everything else in the area.
The ride is a figure eight loop starting with a counter-clockwise tour of Chuckwagon
that tranistions to a clockwise combination of Mescal
, Deadmans Pass
and Long Canyon Trail
As with every ride in Sedona, the views are spectacular in every direction.
Start at the access point along Long Canyon road just south of Long Canyon trailhead. Take the Chuckwagon Connector
down the hill to the intersection of Chuckwagon
. This portion is a loop itself and youll be pedaling in a counter-clockwise direction. The first third of the ride is rolling, playful trail that contours in and out of slickrock washes. Along the way there a few techy challenges that require some extra strength to get up rock steps.
The middle part of the loop is a gradual and climb and descent through the intersection with Brins Mesa trail. Stay left to continue on Chuckwagon
, crossing a drainage and the road before climbing again up a small hillside.
The route levels out and heads south after a quick punchy climb up a section of exposed slickrock. From here the trail twists and turns through the pinion/juniper forest towards Long Canyon. A few sections of the gradual descent are loose and rocky so judge your speed accordingly.
Loop across the road from the Long Canyon Trail
. Cross the road and turn left on Mescal
to continue the ride. Youll be cranking on the pedals right away to get up the initial climb. Its short, rocky and quickly transitions back to rolling trail.
tops out and then travels toward Mescal
Mountain, a gigantic butte. Youll be traversing the southern side along a long continuous slickrock ledge. Theres one big push to get onto the rock from dirt. Its a little off camber so some will have to dismount and push up. Once on the sandstone surface youll pedal along a fairly level elevation, occasionally going up down or around short sections of steps or boulders. There are two optional splits on the slickrock traverse. Difficult is the easier line while Expert is for very experienced riders who are comfortable with off-camber and exposed moves.
rounds the butte on the west end, the view becomes breathtaking into Boynton Canyon. Take in the scenery before a somewhat rowdy quick descent to the end of the trail. Turn right here to start the trek back to the trailhead via Deadmans Pass
. Alternately you can turn left to add miles, connecting to Aerie Loop
starts with a sandy grind up a few steep and crumbly pitches. Youll top out in the middle of a wide canyon. The beauty of the surrounding landscape definitely makes up for the trail. The descent is mellow and uneventful. Stay right when you hit the Long Canyon Trail
and continue the mellow descent.
The route finishes on easy going with long sweeping turns on sandy trail. Near the end the singletrack changes to doubletrack as it reaches the Long Canyon trailhead. To reach the parking area where ride began you can either hop on the road or ride Mescal
to the first intersection and turn left to cruise out to the access point on Long Canyon Road.