Hiking in Arizona
Read all about my hikes in Arizona’s Grand Canyon and the Sedona area.
Offering more than 100 hiking trails, Sedona is known as the Day Hike Capital of America. Many of the shorter trails can be combined to one long day hike, as I did on a sunny November day when I linked as many as 7 trails to reach Secret Canyon and Sterling Pass in one day.
Wilson Mountain is the highest mountain in the Sedona area. It is actually a mesa, and offers great views from overlooks at the north and the south side. I combined the North and South Wilson trails into one solid day hike.
The Cathedral Rock Trail is one of the classic hikes in the Sedona area. It’s an adventurous hike with some scrambling to a spectacular viewpoint. The hike takes about one hour out and back. I combined the trail with 4 other trails, creating a nice day hike circumnavigating the larger Cathedral Rock formation.
The Papago Wall and Slide is, according to many, the most demanding section of the Escalante Route, Grand Canyon. Preparing my hike I consulted many trail reports and video’s online, but most of the descriptions I found were at least partly mistaken. This is my attempt at a guide to the Papago Wall and Slide.
The fifth and final day in the Grand Canyon was a continuous climb to the South Rim. A strenuous path past copper and uranium mines on rugged debris, steep rock stairs and icy snow.
At day 4 of the Escalante Route I said goodbye to the Colorado River as I ascended to the Tonto Platform and beyond to the Hance Creek oasis.
Day 3 of the Escalante Route was the shortest of all, but it featured two of the most spectacular sections of the route: the 75 Mile slot canyon and the Papago Wall and Slide.
Departing from Tanner Beach, the first part of the Escalante Route is pleasantly easy. The second half, starting with the Dox Traverse, is more strenuous but offers the most impressive views of the Grand Canyon.
Hiking down the Grand Canyon on the Tanner Trail is time traveling through a billion years of rock sediments, while passing many different climate zones. Starting with snow at the South Rim, I ended at a desert oasis with my feet in the Colorado River.
For the Escalante Route in the Grand Canyon I carried a lot more weight on my back than on other hikes. Some of the extra load consisted of luxury items, but most of it was absolutely necessary for canyon hiking. The cold night temperatures and harsh wilderness terrain necessitated special gear.