Friday, February 15, 2013

Coconino National Forest: Boynton Canyon

Last night after visiting with a friend, I left the Grand Canyon for probably the last time in a while, and headed down to Flagstaff for the night. I awoke early, ate the sub-par continental breakfast and the hit the road headed south to Sedona. I had heard a lot about Sedona, but this would be my first visit to the "Land of the Vortex".

After a scenic and interesting ride through Oak Creek Canyon I drove through the actual town of Sedona, went grocery shopping for some camping food, and then headed off to Boynton Canyon. The Boynton canyon Trail is one of the more popular trails in the area, but luckily I arrived early enough in the morning that finding a parking space was not an issue. After parking and paying the required parking fee I hit the trail. The views were immediately striking with lots of red rock canyon walls.
Red Butte photo RedRock_zps8c1bb5c0.jpg
Red Rock View photo ViewAhead_zpsd9c7c061.jpg
I slowly made my way up the canyon, skirting the boundary of some sort of "New Age" resort. Despite the resort's proximity, I entered into the Red Rock/Secret Mountain Wilderness.
Wilderness Boundary photo WildernessBoundary_zpsbb95be55.jpg
Just as the trail started to veer away from the resort I found a grouping of different colored crosses in the ground.
Vortex? photo Vortex_zpsdcc15555.jpg
Was this a religious site or just the site of one of the many vortexes in the Sedona area.

After checking out the weird religious/vortex site I headed further up the canyon.
Boynton Canyon Trail photo Trail_zps758c8ee6.jpg
Views were quite nice
Red Rock Framed by Trees photo FramedbyTrees_zpsd19ee6f2.jpg
and I soon entered into some unexpected deep and slippery snow.
Hiking in Snow photo HikinginSnow_zpsa0fb9067.jpg
The snow cover turned some hikers I met around before the end of the trail. I, however, was determined to keep on to the end. I found the end of the trail in a nice, sunny, snow-free setting.
End of Trail photo EndofTrail_zpseea2b99a.jpg
There was a tall pour-off that I can imagine becomes a waterfall after a heavy rain.
Pour Off at Trail's End photo PourOff_zps9f643203.jpg
There were also lots of agaves around.
Agave photo Agave_zps1a75a8b4.jpg
I ate a snack and rested a bit and then turned around to head back to the trailhead.

The hike back was just as scenic as the hike in.
Butte and Trail photo TrailtoRedRock_zpsebc2dd1e.jpg
Chimney Rock photo Chimney2_zps41b897ea.jpg
I decided to hike a short spur trail to an overlook of the canyon system.
Tree and Red Rock photo TreeButte_zpseb58d055.jpg
There was a nice view from there, but some strange "new age' stuff going on.
Boynton Canyon Overlook photo OverlookView_zps5c9e7136.jpg
I decided not to spend too much time there and headed back to the car.               

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