Heading to AZ, yay! But need help

@Ziacat , great news about getting booked! You are going to have a fantastic time :heart_eyes:

Just don’t forget to tell us allll about it once you return … and have a chance to catch your breath :wink:

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Yay!!! I’m excited for you. I remember you having to cancel your previous trips and I don’t blame you for being gun shy, but you deserve to enjoy this trip. Keep us posted on your planning and where you’ll be hiking. If you end up going to Sedona, I think this article is a pretty good overview of a lot of the best hiking trails:

When I was there I did Boynton Canyon with Subway Spur, Fay Canyon with Arch Spur, the Birthing Cave, and part of the West Fork trail. All except Boynton Canyon were fairly easy, and we did them with our then three-year-old. I wanted to do more, especially Soldier Pass and Devil’s Bridge, but they seemed less small child friendly, and we only had so much time. West Fork Trail is an out and back so you can do as much or little as you want, and we didn’t end up going that far. It was really nice though because it’s shaded and cooler than a lot of the others, and almost like a toddler-friendly version of Zion’s Subway.

One thing about Sedona though is that it’s gotten insanely popular. Most trail heads have limiting parking which fills up early, and the trails do get pretty crowded.


Thank you, OrbitOrange, you are so kind. I love the pictures also, beautiful! And I appreciate the tips and link. I’m going to read the article more closely when we’re closer to going to decide which trails. I don’t think we’ve hiked any of the ones you did except the West Fork, which we have done numerous times. It always seems like when we’re going to Sedona we’re on our way to someplace else, and don’t have a lot of time. We hiked Devil’s Bridge 20 years ago (gosh I feel old typing that). I found this pic that had the date with it. Sorry for the not great quality, it’s a pic of a pic :laughing:, we still were digital free.

I know now that it has gotten very crowded, but we were lucky then, because we were the only ones on the trail. Can you imagine that? Although I had written in my notes that it was very hot. We tried to hike it again in 2015 around New Year’s day, and it was so packed we didn’t even bother to try to park. Instead we did Long’s Canyon with a cut off to Deadman’s Pass trail. That was a great hike, but I want to do something different this time, so I’m going to check on the ones that you did. This pic is from Deadman’s Pass.

I’ve also always wanted to hike around Bell Rock. I think we never do it, cuz it’s always really hot and really crowded.

But of course what I’m most excited about is Grand Canyon. It feels kind of like home to me. And then I imagine we’ll be hiking around the Phoenix area, but my friend’s boys are very hike savvy. Thank you again!


@Ziacat I love these old pictures, especially you on Devil’s Bridge. How cool! And how nice to have the trail to yourself; those days are sadly gone. Although I was lucky to get the Boynton Canyon subway to myself for about half an hour before the next group got there. Everything I read about it says it gets super crowded and definitely don’t expect to have it to yourself at all, so I didn’t. But I hiked it first thing in the morning after we flew in, and since I was still on east coast time I got there crazy early. I got to the parking lot at 5:45 in the morning, and to the subway by 6:40 and was the only one both places. By the time I got back to my car at 8:30 the lot was full and people were circling like sharks. I think the rule for all the popular trails is pretty much go early, which helps with the heat as well. I loved West Fork and was sad we didn’t get to see more of it. I also really wanted to get to Slide Rick State Park, or some of the other swimming holes that look really fun, but unfortunately we didn’t get to that either.


You are so right about hiking early. We do that in Zion, because it is packed now. The last time we were there we were on the shuttle by 5:30 in the morning to hike Observation Point Trail. Many years ago I did Angel’s Landing, and there were not many people on it. Besides the fact that it was scary on the way up, I wouldn’t hike it again, because now it is just JAMMED with people, and that doesn’t seem safe AT ALL. But I am glad people are enjoying our parks!

One more pic…this is the North Rim of the grandest canyon on earth!


@Ziacat, your photos are breathtaking! Please feel free to share more :slight_smile:

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We went to the Grand Canyon last spring for my son’s spring break; it was his first time and our third. It really doesn’t ever get old at all! :kissing_heart: This time we took a mule ride along the rim and did a lot of hiking. My son really enjoyed it, also. Sadly, they no longer do the trail ride down to the bottom! Not unless you are doing the overnight trip to Phantom ranch; employees there say that the Bright Angel Trail is so crowded now that it is not safe to have both mule riders and the people sharing the trail anymore. Another victim of popularity that the Parks have gained since COVID-- they said they had just stopped that ride in the last couple of years.

Not sure if it has already been mentioned here, but we stayed at La Posada in Winslow, and it has a beautiful gift shop which includes old pawn turquoise and jewelry, pottery, and weavings. Definitely worth a stop or a stay to an awesome place. I bought a pawn ring there. We made a brief stop at Cameron Trading Post and a few roadside stands also.

Shameless photo share!! Desert Watchtower and panorama at Mather Point.


Gorgeous photos! I love La Posada, but we won’t have time. We stayed there soon after they first opened up during the remodel, but it was only partially redone. We visited since it was finished, and the owners did an amazing job of restoring it to it’s former glory. I hope to stay a night at Cameron Trading Post Hotel. I have a few pieces of pawn jewelry from there (along with a nice Santa Clara pot and Hopi earrings), but I think chicfarmer said it’s changed quite a bit, and now I’m hearing the Hopi House isn’t the the same anymore either :weary:

I didn’t know there were no more day rides down the canyon. One year my hubby was listening to the trail guide’s lecture to those riding down. There was a Japanese boy with his parents who couldn’t speak any English. The guide said, “nope, can’t do it, you were told all of you have to understand English, because it can be dangerous.” They weren’t allowed to take their ride, but that probably made someone else happy!

The last time we were there, we were at the North Rim, and they were still doing day trip rides from there. Way less people.


Thank you, chamekke! These were all taken with different types of cameras. That first one was with a good non digital. The sky doesn’t look wonderful (I’ve learned sky is such an important part of photos), because it was hazy and hot that day. The 2nd one was with my camera phone, and the 3rd one of GC was with our really nice digital point and shoot. It was so worthwhile to spend the money on it for travel. I made sure it had a viewfinder (and makes the clicking sound that old school cameras make :laughing:). There’s nothing better than having a viewfinder in your camera for the very sunny desert Southwest.

I’m adding one more, which is possibly my favorite one of GC. I took it back in the mid-90s when we hiked to the bottom. The quality isn’t great, because it was a cheap camera, and it’s in a picture frame so that’s why it looks a little glary.

I took this about halfway down the South Kaibab trail. The Kaibab is shorter, but steeper. It’s best to go down that, and then up Bright Angel which is longer but less steep. Can you see the little tiny person?

When you see the person it puts the whole place in scale.


And thank you to all for joining in on this discussion. It’s been fun! And if any of you love photography like I do, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a subscription to Arizona Highways. It is a fabulous magazine with the best photos ever.



:laughing::joy: How did I not see that coming?? :joy:

Or maybe I should be asking, how did I not see her on the trail :flushed: but she is a bigfoot after all…

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Well played gentlemen! :rofl:

Must be something about the name Steve…


LOL @StevesTrail and @Steve. :joy::rofl::grin::smile::sweat_smile:

@Ziacat I hope they’re still doing the day trip down from the north rim…we took that one in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed it; however, I’d like a do-over since floods had washed out a bridge on the trail about halfway down and we had to turn around there! Seems like I’m just not destined to get to the bottom by mule.

La Posada’s renovations seemed complete when we were there last April. What an amazing and unique property. Wish we’d had more time to spend there than an overnight.

My photos of the Canyon have definitely improved over the years as filtering out the haze with digital tools has come about. Older pics I took with a camera were definitely hazy and yellow in comparison.

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I heard they stopped the mules (if you planned on riding) due to the post-COVID increase in visitors along the trail. If true, plan on walking and bring some good hiking boots. Something to check on.

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Oh, we aren’t riding; hubby is not a horse person. We have hiked a lot on both rims. Even though I’m a rider and love horses, I’ve never really wanted to ride down. I prefer hiking there. I would like to hike to the bottom again and camp, but it was really complicated getting a campsite permit the last time we did it; and my husband says he’s not in shape for that anymore :laughing:

I believe I’ve been to the Grand Canyon around 20 times in my life. So I’m pretty familiar with it.


Just a quick note about Flag. In case you haven’t done it, there’s a scenic driving loop to Sunset Crater and Wupatki, where you can walk the paths.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=75213. What I love about the Flagstaff area is going around and by the San Francisco Peaks.

There’s a wonderful historic mansion in Flag if you like touring such, one of the best Arts and Crafts buildings in the US and filled with Stickley original furniture:



We have been to Sunset and Wupatki several times (I love them both), but not to the Riordan Mansion yet. It looks really interesting, thanks for the link (did you see it’s closed for snow at the moment? :laughing:). Would you believe I also haven’t been to the Museum of Northern Arizona? We always seem to be out hiking or staying there on our way to someplace else.

Wupatki is really lovely. I remember standing by one of the outlying ruins looking back across the high desert towards the San Francisco Peaks, and feeling a warm breeze blow. I can almost imagine I am there now…

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It’s funny you mention good hiking boots, @StevesTrail. You would not believe how many people I have seen start down the trail in FLIP FLOPS, with NO water :flushed: My husband actually stopped a lady a half mile down the Kaibab in flip flop type sandals (with a baby !!!), and suggested she turn around and walk back uphill for a little bit to see what it felt like; she did, and decided to not go any further. It feels so easy going down people forget, or don’t realize, how hard it is going back up.