Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Best Hangover Ever

The goal for the day was an 8.6 mile lollipop loop on the Munds Wagon, Cowpies and Hangover trails then back to Munds Wagon trail. The Hangover Trail is a fairly new addition to the official Sedona trail system; it's a double black diamond mountain bike trail so we knew from our experience (hiking) the Hogs Trails the other day that this should be an interesting walk.

If you decide to do this lollipop loop, don't make the mistake we did that turned our hike into 11.5 miles! Since the Hangover Trail is not yet on the the local trail maps we relied on the article linked above for our directions...but I did not print it out. I skimmed over the fact that one must take the Schnebly Hill Rd turn off from the Munds Wagon Trail at about 2.8 miles in order to access the Cowpies Trail. Sedona needs to put a little sign under the Schnebly Hill Rd sign that says "to Cowpies Trail"!

Here's a look at our great day on the trail. We had a little weather come through the night before so we enjoyed a dusting of snow along the shady parts of the trail. The pictures along the Hangover Trail don't adequately depict how scary some of this would be on a mountain bike...believe me it IS a double black diamond ride!

Looking up canyon, on our left were fabulous red rock formations.
Little did we know we would cross over the middle of the distant set of red rocks
and come back on the left of the round topped rock in the center.

Check out the little arches at each end of this fin!

By the end of the day those sun shafts will have melted all the pretty snow.

A beautiful scene looking down the canyon we ascended...
unfortunately the oozy red rock in the center is the Cowpies we bypassed!

The cowpies are enormous!

Notice the warning for mountain bikers...

The mountain on the opposite side of the canyon sported white stone.

A look back up canyon as we depart the cowpies.
The trail is now riding sandstone ledges, sometimes narrow.

We followed white paint tag marks on the rock as they zig zagged
a way up the rocks to the pass on the left above us.

The pass was impressive and dramatic!

The view on the other side was incredible.
The Midgley Bridge on Hwy 89A is in the center with Mt Wilson rising above it.

A look back at the saddle we crossed.
The trail took us down the rock face of the saddle about 50 feet then we started a
traverse of a shelf lined with trees.

This is the trail we now found ourselves on, basically a treed shelf overhung with rock...the Hangover.

The trail goes between the rock and the tree and drops off the edge...
imagine riding your bike here...

This is deceptively smooth looking...
often the drop offs or strategically placed rocks made the trail treacherous.

Another look back at the saddle we crossed.
Our trail is in the horizontal band of trees.

We've now come around the mountain far enough we have views of Sedona.

We could see our trail would cross between our rock face and the one opposite us...
but we had no clue how it would get down our rock face...

The white tags started zigging down the rock face...

Then the tags went straight DOWN the rock face!
Imagine yourself riding a bike down this...or pushing it up!

Follow the vertical white tags!

Ahhhhh, now we're back on "level" rock.

A colorful look back at the valley North of Sedona.

This one was about to burst into bloom.

These colors are untouched...can you see why we love this place?!


  1. Wow! What gorgeous scenery you encountered on this hike. Your energy and ambition to take this on astounds me. Thanks for doing such a great job documenting the various challenges of the hike.

    Sedona is sure a magical place. Have you spent any time in the vortexes? I always wanted to find one and meditate there just to see what happens.

    1. We hiked to a vortex on another trip to Sedona some years ago. Plenty of people there sharing the space with you. Frankly, I find nature in general to be a spiritual place so I am happy just being out in this beautiful place soaking up the good vibes!

  2. Im constantly envious of your hikes out west what with all the stunning beauty surrounding you!

  3. I am giddy with excitement. Can't wait to try this hike!! I found I was holding my breath at one point as I read. Who would dare to ride a bike in that one area!! That would be suicide. I can't even believe they ever suggest it for bikes.

    If all else fails use the butt it! I even have a pair of shorts that wore through.

    Wonderful photos, Lisa:) But that last one almost looks 3-D...gorgeous!

    1. We are so happy we chose to spend a stretch of time here. Every single day holds so much fun and beauty! I know you can't wait to return!

  4. What a great hike! No mountain biking for us on that trail!!!

    1. Yep, on foot is the way to go! I forgot to mention that we saw 3 guys who had rented bikes on the trail...they looked like they were over their heads!

  5. After Joe gets his stitches out on April 11... We are headed to Sedona. Should arrive on April 14 th for a month! Your post sure sparked the "hitch itch" .....we can hardly wait!

    1. Lucky you! Too bad you arrive the day after we leave the area, would have enjoyed meeting you two. I tell you, I could spend an entire season here...

  6. That's an amazing trail. The picture of Hans standing on that narrow sloping ledge makes my hands sweat! I had no idea this much hiking was available in Sedona. Looks like we're going to have to go back.

    1. And mountain biking! It's not all as gnarly as this for bikes! ;-)

  7. Crazy fun you two!!! Beautiful!

  8. What a beautiful trail. Found you through Allison's blog, can't wait to do some back reading of the places you've been!

  9. Wow, that is a cool hike. Sure hope the weather improves so that we have time to stop and do this hike. We were in Sedona back in January 2005 and stopped long enough to do one hike. We still owned a house and only had a weeks holiday and were headed up to the Grand Canyon to hike to the bottom and back. Always hoped that one day we would have more time in this area.

    1. We loved this area so much we'll return for another one month stay sometime soon!