Posts Tagged ‘Cottonwood’

Verde River Greenway

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

This weekend:  There will never be a better time to hike Skunk Tank featured in Day and Overbight Hikes – Tonto National Forest.

Don’t be fooled by my misadventures – it’s actually a cool hike.

On the subject of misadventures that turned into cool hkes, we’ll continue on the behind-the-hike series for 5 Star Trails in Flagstaff and Sedona.

Verde Greenway hikes (both of them)

HIKE DATE: May 11 2010


START TIME: 9:15am

END TIME: 2:15p


OFFICIAL MILES: 3 & 4 miles respectively

After I hiked Lime Kiln Trail [], I camped in Dead Horse Ranch State Park [], and did what would become the two Verde Greenway hikes that next day. (My partner for LKT had driven home after the hike).

I actually did 3 versions of Verde Greenway, the first being inside Dead Horse Ranch. That was a nice little stroll through the giant cottonwoods, but it was less than 3 miles round trip (and I still got lost – so probably shorter than that) and not quite cool enough to stand alone.

With some advice from the DHR gift shop, I stumbled upon the Jail Trail, and that led, literally, to everything that followed.

My observation (from somewhere in the front matter) that the more prominently posted the leash law is the more likely locals are to ignore it came from an incident at this park.

I’d liketo tell you more about the Jail but I am currently 0-6 for being in “downtown” Cottonwood when the visitor center is open. The functional downtown of Cottonwood, so you know, is the intersection of AZ 89A and AZ260. That’s where all the major retail chains are located. The historic downtown, though, makes for much better stroll.

The south and north hikes (I did them in that order) were originally conceived and hiked as a loop. Connecting those loops, though, involved about a hundred feet of possible trespassing, and my publisher is quite scrupulous about those things. So scrupulous, in fact, that I shouldn’t even describe the route in this blog (which is hosted by the publisher).

So it became two separate hikes, which worked out better anyway. The book needed more easy hikes, and the connecting route across DHRSP was not five star.

As far as I know, these trails are undocumented outside of my guidebook. I haven’t done an exhaustive search – there are a LOT of Sedona hike guides out there – but none of the usual suspects covered it.

Once again, camera incompetencies impaired video notes, but a few survive, as the You Tube clip below demonstrates.

You Tube Clip

Parson Springs Trail

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

This weekend: starting to see snow around Flagstaff, and possibly as low as Sedona. A little nippy up there, but perfect hiking weather in the high desert.

Try Ballantine Trail – one of the best hikes from Day and Overnight Hikes: Tonto National Forest.

Now on to our behind-the-hike series on the new book, Five Star Trails in Flagstaff and Sedona

Parson Springs

HIKE DATE 6-13-2010






The second crossing on this hike is a popular local swimming hole.

The hike went smoothly except for the camera. I only have two vid clips because I realized the battery wouldn’t make it. Worse, there was some sort of snot-smear on the lens. I had no chance of seeing that on the LCD screen in broad daylight, so the lesson is clean the lens at the trailhead.

You can see the smear in the You Tube clip below, and even though we tried to finesse it out, you can see it in the book photo as well.

Ben and I actually went a little further up the canyon than the trail, just to check it out. Above the springs, its just a canyon full of rocks.

Link to You Tube video

Lime Kiln Trail

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011


A hike recommendation for every weekend.

This weekend I recommend Vineyard Trail . But it would be a fine weekend to do the hike below as well.

The cold is coming down in Flagstaff, so we’re going to skip down to Sedona and cover those hikes for a few months in our ongoing behind-the-hike series for 5 Star Trails Flagstaff and Sedona.

Lime Kiln Trail

DATE HIKED: 5-10-10

COMPANIONS: K (she did not want to be identified in the book, and I’m presuming the blog either.)


END TIME: 6:30p

TOTAL MILES:  14.6 (but some mileage didn’t make the original GPS reading).


I dropped the flag on my GPS unit at the Lime Kiln site, which was about .4 miles from where I left pavement in Dead Horse Ranch State Park. In my defense, there are several routes through DHRSP  that will lead to this point.

Even at 14.6, its the single longest one-way mileage in the guide.

Part of our decision to do the trail south-north (really SW-NE) was for the reasons listed in the book: we didn’t want to face late afternoon in the low desert (highs that day were in the 90’s). The other reason was that K came in from north, and had only the one day.

If you are camping in Dead Horse, then you want to start at Red Rock State Park. Enjoy the park (there’s a fee) then park you car outside the gate anyway (because they lock them at 5pm). You’ll need a Red Rock Pass for this. If you’re starting up Schuerman Mtn by 11 am, you’ll be back in camp before dark.

This is ABSOLUTELY a car-shuttle hike.

Here’s the YouTube clip

The term “redneck cul-de-sac” made it all the way to the next-to-final draft.

I had to make a second trip to pick up description and GPS data for Equestrian Trail S. I don’t have a date for that – it was tacked onto another hike day.