Sunday, August 28, 2011

West Fork of Oak Creek

West Fork Trail 108
Sedona, Arizona
Mileage - 6.21
Time - 2:46
AEG - 200ft

When it comes to hiking in Sedona, The West Fork of Oak Creek is arguably one of the most popular destinations in the area. On Saturday, Brittney and I discovered what the hype was all about, and it didn't disappoint. Simply put, this canyon is beautiful. In just a matter of 3 miles (one way) you'll walk through a healthy forest of pines and low-lying ferns with steep red and white canyon walls hovering hundreds of feet above you on either side of a crystal clear stream. Within this space are endless photo opportunities, whether you're into taking landscape pictures or just having fun climbing on the interesting rock formations, there is something for everyone. I wouldn't want to give away all the surprises, go check it out for yourself! Oh, and did I mention we saw paw prints from a bear in the sand?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunset Crater NM

Sunset Crater National Monument
Flagstaff, Arizona
Elevation - 8,026ft

Another famous Arizona landmark was checked off the "must-see" list this weekend as we made a side trip to Sunset Crater National Monument. This area is a fascinating piece of geologic history, the surrounding landscape shows just how recently the land was shaped by volcanic activity, and most of the area is closed to hiking. Although, Matt and I did tour the Lava Flow trail to get a better look at the bizarre rock formations.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bear Jaw Trail Run

Bear Jaw/Abineau Loop Run
Kachina Peaks Wilderness
Flagstaff, Arizona
Mileage - 7.4
Time - 1:57
AEG - 1936ft

Matt and I headed up to the high country for a trail run, and a much needed break from the heat here in town. This summer really seems to be taking it's toll on me (both physically and psychologically), more so than the previous couple years. Perhaps it's the air quality that is responsible for my suffering, or maybe we're paying for the 8 months of perfect weather us Phoenicians are accustomed to. Either way, a trip to Flagstaff would hold us over for another day.

I took Matt to the back side of the San Franciscan Peaks to explore the lesser traveled trails, deeper into the Kachina Peaks Wilderness. Matt and I chose a clockwise route connecting the Bear Jaw, Waterline, and Abineau trails through a dense forest of pines and aspens. We spent two lesiurely hours enjoying ourselves in the cooler temperatures, and I took in as much fresh air as possible.