We decided to take the long way back from Phoenix and pass through Sedona to finish a hike we had attempted way back in April. Sedona has a wide array of hikes to choose from but we selected Brins Mesa Loop because the trailhead is conveniently located close to Sedona Uptown and its known for its stunning vistas of the red rocks.
Getting to the trailhead is very simple just follow Jordan Road and then continue on the dirt road for 1/2 mile. The road to the trailhead can be bumpy but is easily passable in a passenger car if you go slow and take your time. At the trailhead don’t forget to pay for a Red Rock daypass at the automated machine (credit cards accepted).
The trail goes north from the parking lot steadily climbing for the 1st mile following the valley. As you begin the climb up to Brin’s Mesa make sure to stop and look back you are rewarded with epic views of Sedona’s famous red rocks.
We had tried to hike this same loop back in April but were thwarted by a huge rainstorm. It’s a short steep but rewarding climb up to Brin’s Mesa. As soon as you crest up on the mesa the immediate scenery changes dramatically as its mostly barren on top. The trail begins a slow sloping decline to the north. At about 2 miles in you reach a junction with Soldier Pass. We didn’t have time to continue north towards Devil’s Bridge so we made the turn south on Soldiers Pass trail. You quickly drop in elevation following a creek with occassional peek-a-boo views of the dramatic rock formations.
As we dropped through Soldier’s Pass we lost the sun and temperature quickly and abruptly dropped. We kept hearing this hollering and we were able to spot a group of foolhardy teenagers that had scrambled to the top of a spire rock formation. Must be a great view up there but a very dangerous scramble and at this point they were definitely climbing down in the dark. Eventually the trail flattens out and you reach the “Sinkhole”. At this point the trail directions were a bit screwy as there were several poorly marked trails heading east back to the parking lot. We took the Jordan trail but I believe it should have been marked Cibola. A short climb up over Cibola Pass and we were back to our car just as the last ray of sun dipped below the rocks. This is a great short hike in Sedona if you only have 2-3 hours and want to experience the red rocks of Sedona.
Distance: 5.5 miles
Elevation: 1300 feet