For our last hike in Sedona we decided on something a bit longer (7 miles) and something with a more shade as the temperatures were getting warmer after the unseasonably cool weather from the previous two days. We chose Boynton Canyon based on advice from the very knowledgable staff at the Hike House in Sedona. They are super nice and are more than willing to help you select from the plethora of trails in the area.
Note for this hike make sure you come early or be prepared to wait a long time to find a parking spot. We hike it on a Monday and we still had trouble finding a parking spot. There is no alternate parking within a close walking distance of the main parking lot and it’s a relatively small lot. It’s an extremely popular trail.
The beginning of the trail is exposed and could be sweltering on a hot day. After a 1/4 mile or so you reach a cutoff for an overlook which we saved for our return trip. We made a left to start up Boynton Canyon. Unfortunately the first mile of trail runs along the length of the Enchantment Resort which spoils the views a wee bit with their security fence and ominous warning signs about trespassing.
After the resort you follow the wash of a creek and soon change from exposed canyon land to a mix of oak and pine trees and lots of shade. This trail is especially popular in the fall when the oaks change color. Up and up you gradually follow the canyon until it dead ends. At this point you make a radical turn to the right and scramble hike up the cliff side. Within a few minutes you are out of the shady canyon and are treated to great views of Boynton Canyon. If you’re adventurous you can continue to climb up the cliffside for a better view. With the dog in tow we decided to enjoy the nice level rock slab and have a great picnic lunch.
On the return trip we made a short detour to the Boynton Canyon overlook and were treated to some stunning views of the red rocks of Sedona. It was a fitting end to our stay in Sedona to be treated to this panorama of the Southwest Canyon country.
Distance: 6.7 miles
Elevation: 945 feet