This ride is a great compliment to the Chuckwagon - Mescal - Long Canyon
Loop, and can be pieced together with that for one long loop or ridden separately of course. Either way, though all of these trails are rated similarly as intermediate-level difficulty, they are unique in their own way and highlight some of the best riding in the West Sedona / Dry Creek Area.
Need to Know
There are lots of turns in this featured ride. Though the trails are generally marked well, its a good idea to use MTB Project mobile app
along the way.
This featured ride begins at the Long Canyon Trailhead on Long Canyon Rd. Start off with Mescal
. After the initial climb, the trail turns east where a flowy dirt section feeds into a superb slickrock traverse skirting the foot of Mescal Mountain. As the slickrock section ends, the trail rounds the corner and eventually begins descending sharply with some quick turns down to Deadmans Pass
. Take a left on this wide trail to connect with Aerie
Trail at the Boynton Canyon TH.
The first section of Aerie
is mostly dirt, with lots of banked and bermed turns. This rolls great even when you are climbing! After about a mile youll cross over Cockscomb
near the Fay Canyon TH. Stay straight here and youll begin the climb up the north side of Doe Mountain. This section has a few steeper rocky sections and some excellent views (including Bear Mountain to the north). After this climb, youll be rewarded by a nice descent down to the Aerie
trailhead. Begin Cockscomb
No major elevation changes on Cockscomb
. In about a mile, you'll arrive at an intersection with Western Civilization
Trail. This is along the north slope of the rock formation that is this trails namesake. Go left here and cross a new subdivision road. At the next intersection (with Rupp Trail
), stay left for about one mile where you'll arrive at another T-intersection. Take a right on Dawa Trail
here. Several sections of this trail have been rerouted on the descent down to Dry Creek. Once you reach Dry Creek, you'll be at the lowest elevation on the ride, and find some refreshing shade under some trees. Cross the creek and take a right on Arizona Cypress Trail
. Follow the wash for a bit, crossing it two more times, and bear left (East) after the second crossing at an intersection with an unnamed connector trail. Stay on AZ Cypress, for a short but slow climb out to Girdner Trail
. The trail here has an open feel with a with rocks and gravel tread.
After turning left on Girdner Trail
, you'll continue to climb, and pass several other trails that can easily be worked in as options: Two Fence Trail
, Anaconda Trail
, and Snake Trail
When you reach the road, cross over to reach the Dry Creek parking lot off of Vultee Arch Rd. (F.R. 152) and the upper end of Chuckwagon
. Follow Chuckwagon
downhill for approximately one mi. to Dry Creek, take a left at the fork on the Chuckwagon Connector
) and your starting point on Long Canyon Rd. Note: The Chuckwagon
loop is not reviewed in this ride, but very easy to work in for an additional 3-4 miles if you are feeling good at this last intersection.
History & Background
The Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition (VVCC) has been very busy working on the trails in this area of Sedona. In the Boynton/Long Canyon area, many of these trails are relatively new. According to the Coconino National Forest Red Rock Ranger District, 45 new trail miles were added in the district between 2010-2013, bringing the total miles on Sedona-area USFS lands to more than 170. Some of the newest trails include: Chuckwagon
, Anaconda Trail
, Snake Trail
, and Aerie
VVCC is working closely with the Red Rock Ranger District to improve the system of trails all over the Sedona region. The Sedona bike shops are also very supportive of these efforts and have donation jars for the trail fund in the shops. See their website (vvcc.us/
) for a schedule of the workdays and give them your support!