ello fellow adventurers! Anymore, if you are traveling on I-17 north on the weekend, you need to be on the road no later than 8:30 a.m. or you will get stuck in nasty traffic. Getting up early is worth it, though, and you can see the sun rise over the Bradshaw Mountains. Sedona is definitely worth the effort, and we are so lucky to have it nearby.
We chose a trail that would be too hot in the summer, and we suggest you do it sooner than later: Brin’s Mesa. The trailhead is located off Jordan Road in Sedona and has a nice, large parking lot.
Note: You can gain access from the Vultee Arch Road, but it’s a rough four-wheel drive road via Dry Creek and adds another 1.5 miles hiking to the trailhead. The Jordan Road is easy access for any vehicle and has human restrooms. You will need a Red Rock’s pass for either. The Jordan Road parking lot has a machine that accepts credit cards and dispenses passes.
There are two choices with the Brin’s Mesa trail: up and back or a loop. The up and back would be 4.5 miles, and the loop is 5.5 miles. We highly recommend the loop because hikers will see parts of Sedona they can’t see from paved roads. By the way, bicycles are not allowed, but dogs are welcome on leash.
From the parking lot, follow the signs for the Brin’s Mesa trail. It starts off easy, but then there are 1.5 miles of stairs. It isn’t super steep, but it is a steady incline all the way to the top of the mesa. Between the sand and rock, this would definitely be too hot for doggies in the summer, and there isn’t much shade. Enjoy this gem while you can!
Those with weak knees or ankles may want their hiking poles. The steps are sturdy, but some are big steps, especially for little dogs. Remember, we take multiple steps for each of yours. I was getting a great workout—and was loving the bouldering.
The views do not end. The only access to Brin’s Mesa is by hiking it. When we got to the top, it was like another world. The terrain changed, and we had 360-degree views. Incredible! We found a ledge to sit on, had our lunch and soaked up the sounds of nature. The trail traffic was picking up, and we saw more folks and their dogs making the trek.
After a little rest, we turned onto Soldier’s Pass trail to climb down the 1.5 miles of steps. What goes up, must come down! Soldier’s Pass trail follows a four-wheel path, so you may hear Jeeps and see dust.
This side of the trail passes the Seven Sacred Pools, which was a total let down. I guess if they had water in them, they would be fun to play in, but without water, they are just divots in the rock. There was a Jeep tour group there, and they were noisy, so we pressed on to the left following the Soldier’s Pass trail, not the four-wheel drive road.
Look to your left, and you will see Soldier’s Caves across the way. You will then come to the Sink Hole, which is a huge hole in the ground. I guess the rock gave way through the years and created a big opening. There are no guard rails, so watch your step. Follow around the sink hole and continue on the trail but at least the steps are behind you. Mom’s knees didn’t like the downhill steps, but I did just fine.
A confusing part of the trail is after the Sink Hole. Hikers must take a connector trail from Soldier’s Pass to Cibola Pass Trail, which travels to the parking lot. The trail is called the Jordan Trail, but it adds 2.5 miles. Pay attention and turn left at the Cibola Pass Trail off the Jordan Trail. Continue on Cibola to the parking lot.
This was one of the most spectacular hikes we have ever taken in Sedona. Again, this would be too hot in the summer, but right now is an excellent time to explore Brin’s Mesa — either hiking to it and back or doing the full loop. Just bring plenty of water.
More people were ascending to the parking lot as we headed out. We were glad we started early because as we drove home, I-17 north was a parking lot from Sunset Point to Anthem. Those poor people were trapped! We’ve been there, and it isn’t any fun. I took a most lovely nap and was ready to run around the house when we got home. Mom and dad were tuckered out. Ha! Until next time, adventure on!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help me share my great adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, executive recruiter, business consultant, coach, fitness expert and author of nine published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever.