Monday, October 27, 2008

Bell Rock

We were ready to leave the Grand Canyon behind for this trip, and start heading back toward the Phoenix airport. Neither of us had sore muscles this morning, proof that we did more conditioning for the hike up than for the hike down.

We drove through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona.

On the way north earlier in the trip, we'd fallen in love with Bell Rock in Sedona. I don't know what it is about it, but we had to get a closer look.

We decided to take a loop hike around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.

The scenery around Sedona is beautiful.

See the couple dwarfed by Courthouse Butte in the photo below? Turns out they are badly lost - they were headed toward the parking lot we just left. But actually, their car is parked about 3 miles in the other direction. A helpful hiker familiar with the area pointed them in the right direction. They were the first of 3 lost groups we met.....and we only did two hikes in Sedona.

Cococino National Forest manages this land, collecting parking fees and distributing an information packet that contains a map. If you go, try to find a better map, because the map is very inaccurate. There are many social trails in the area, and the trail signs do not match what's on the map. The trail signs also do not have distances on them for the most part. It's easy to get lost.

Fortunately, we're doing a loop around a very prominent rock, so we're pretty confident we can find our way.

It's nice to hike with just one bottle of water, instead of the 4 (heavy) liters of water we were each carrying in the Grand Canyon!

Courthouse Butte is bigger than Bell Rock. The hike we take loops around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte in 2 - 3 miles.

On this hike, we do make it back to the starting point with only a little confusion about which trail to take.

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