I’ve had a request to do this hike, and it’s been quite awhile since we’ve done it in the class. The last time we did was just after a snow storm, which left a fresh layer of snow on the trail. This added a whole new dimension to the hike! Autumn is a wonderful time to experience this beautiful area, and hopefully there will still be some fall color to enjoy in late October. I’m betting that we won’t get snow this time.
WHEN: 8:30 a.m.; Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015. Estimated duration: 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
MEET AT: Encinoso Picnic Area
From Sedona, drive north on 89A for about 5 miles. Watch for roadside signs; picnic area is on the left. Parking at trail head is limited, so we’ll car pool from there. Anyone leaving their car at Encinoso will need to display a Red Rock parking pass.
DESCRIPTION: Moderate hike with some steep sections, ~5 miles; CEG 1900′. Out and back hike, maintained system trail to arch.
The hike starts just across the road from the Manzanita Campground. It begins a steady climb to Sterling Pass. As you gain elevation, the views into Oak Creek Canyon open up. Once at the pass, we’ll go down the other side through a lovely forested area, and meet up with the Vultee Arch trail, to follow it to the arch. Return the way we came.
TRAIL GUIDE: Sterling PassTrail #46 to Vultee Arch