We made this our first AZ summer 6 pack hike. What a great hike. The weather was spectacular, neither too hot nor too cold. We parked in the Encinosa parking lot and after a little looking found the trailhead right to the north of the entrance from 89A. From the moment we made the first turn away from the road we couldn’t get over the amount of green. The wilderness was very alive and thriving. We took a very leisurely pace up, stopping often to take in the beauty of the Red Rocks of Sedona and the vibrant colors of the woods. The views are often and truly spectacular.
This hike provides a variety of scenery with lots of younger oaks growing dense, some higher desert and lots of evidence of the 2006 fire. The remnants of the fire provide some cool contrasting colors with the green against charred stumps and logs.
When we reached the last intersection near the top we decided we would hit both outlooks. We took off to the left and headed out to North Canyon Overlook which is a 3.0 mile out and back. It was a nice hike out through lots of burned and fallen trees that we found quite beautiful in their own unique way. The N. Canyon Overlook is impressive but not as powerful as the Sedona Overlook. We sat on the edge for a bit, prepped a hot meal, then headed back to the junction and the Sedona Overlook. WOW! Really a great payoff view. The wind at the overlook was strong and the only time we felt chilled. We found some fallen trees back from the overlook to provide some wind block and enjoyed our now fully cooked lunch.
With the afternoon getting on we took some last looks over various spots along the overlook and then headed back down the trail. We commented often to each other that the trail felt totally new hitting it in different light conditions which provided us more great views to enjoy.