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Spring Break Trip: Grand Canyon/Sedona

On Saturday morning March 23 we will leave and head to Cottonwood Arizona. Cottonwood is located about 20 miles south of Sedona and will used as our base camp from Saturday through Wednesday while we hike and do a bit of sightseeing near Sedona in what is referred to as Red Rock country. On Thursday we will leave Cottonwood and go to Williams, which is near Flagstaff, where we will stay for two nights before we head home on Saturday March 30th. Before we head over to Williams we will do a bit of sightseeing on Thursday before we travel to the Grand Canyon to hike and or sightsee on Friday. If you do not want to join us in Williams or bad weather prevents us from hiking the Grand Canyon on Friday we can extend our stay in Cottonwood.

Lodging Accommodations

Cottonwood: Those of us camping will be staying at Dead Horse Ranch State Park which is one mile from the town of Cottonwood and is located on the Verde River. Dead Horse State Park has over 150 sites for RV’s and tent campers. My plan is to stay in the Blackhawk Loop part of the campground which is a tent only area. If you would like to join me in camping here you can do so by making reservations via the Arizona State Parks online website at http://azstateparks.com/Parks/DEHO/index.html

Dead Horse Ranch Park also provides cabins for those who might be interested…and…for those not interested in a more primitive or rustic experience I would suggest you check out one of the many hotels in Cottonwood. If you would like to know more about the campground go online and check out Dead Horse Ranch State Park. There are showers and numerous other amenities at this state park which is why I chose this area. Plus, the daytime high temperatures should be in the upper 60’s to low 70’s with nighttime lows in the 40’s.

Williams: On Thursday morning we will pack up and head to Williams before we hike to the Grand Canyon on Friday. I have made reservations to stay in Motel 6 in Williams which is located about a half hour south of Flagstaff. There are numerous campsites in the Flagstaff/Williams area if you would prefer to camp… but…just to let you know…the average night time lows for Flagstaff/Williams during this time of the year is in the mid twenties!

Sedona Itinerary


Sunday’s Tentative Schedule:

BoyntonCanyon and Spires: seven mile, very moderate hike through deep red canyon.

Devil’s Bridge: Two mile easy hike to a geological wonder.

Photo of Devil's Bridge


Monday’s Tentative Schedule:

MontezumaCastle National Monument- located near Camp Verde, Arizona, in the Southwestern United States, features well-preserved cliff-dwellings. They were built and used by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people, northern cousins of the Hohokam, around 700 AD. It was occupied from approximately[masked] AD, and occupation peaked around 1300 AD

Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing: Cathedral Rock is the most photographed area in Arizona outside of the Grand Canyon. This is three mile round trip hike but may be longer if we choose to explore the area.

Chapel of the Holy Cross-The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic chapel built into the mesas of Sedona, Arizona, which was inspired and commissioned by sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude. In 2007, Arizonans voted the Chapel to be one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona, and it is also the site of one of the so-called Sedona vortices.

Bell Rock Loop is a short loop hike to one of the most photographed and visited mountain/rock formation in the Sedona area.

Cathedral Rocks



Tuesday’s Tentative Schedule:

West Fork Oak Creek Canyon Trail: Six mile round trip hike along Sedona’s most romantic and magical trail which traverses along a gentle stream through lush greenery and red rocks.

Exploration of Slide Rock State Park: The park is known for it’s natural water slide worn into the smooth sandstone of the creek which is used by swimmers during the summer months. The swimming area has sloping, water sculpted slick rock formations with rock-rimmed pools connected by chute cascades.

Slide Rock State Park


Wednesday’s Tentative Schedule:

Bear Mountain: Five mile round trip hike of 1800 feet elevation gain “or” Munds Wagon Trail which is an eight mile moderate hike from high desert to high country with great views.

Jerome Sightseeing opportunity: Jerome is located high on top of Cleopatra Hill (5,200 feet) between Prescott and Flagstaff is the historic copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona. Once known as the wickedest town in the west, Jerome was a copper mining camp, growing from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community.

Bear Mountain Meadow during Spring


Thursday’s Tentative Schedule:

Thursday we will pack up and head to Williams to spend the night for two nights while we hike in the Grand Canyon on Friday. On our way to the Williams I would like to visit Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon National Monuments if we have time.

SunsetCrater Volcano National Monument- Sunset Crater is a volcanic cinder cone located north of Flagstaff in U.S. State of Arizona. Sunset Crater is the youngest in a string of volcanoes that is related to the nearby San Francisco Peaks.

WalnutCanyon National Monument- Walnut Canyon National Monument is a United States National Monument located about 10 mi southeast of downtown Flagstaff, Arizona.The canyon rim elevation is 6,690 ft; the canyon's floor is 350 ft lower. A 0.9 mi long loop trail descends 185 ft into the canyon passing 25 cliff dwelling rooms constructed by the Sinagua, a pre-Columbian cultural group that lived in Walnut Canyon from about 1100 to 1250 CE.


Friday’s Tentative Schedule:

On Friday we will hike the Kaibab/Angel Bright Loop Trail in the Grand Canyon: This hike is a 13 to 16 mile loop hike with 4,700 foot elevation gain. For those who don’t want to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in one day there are numerous other trail possibilities along the rim.

Hiking along the Kaibab Trail



Saturday: We will head home on Saturday.


Join or login to comment.

  • Patricia H.

    Thank you Bill for all your effort to make this trip as awesome as it was! I appreciate you and all the others I got to hike with.

    1 · March 31, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Your welcome Patricia and so glad to hear you had a great time and were able to join us...hope you can join us for future adventures.

      April 1, 2013

  • Denise D.

    Really enjoyed our short time with you guys, hopefully next time I will be there for the duration!

    2 · March 31, 2013

  • Jerry K.

    Thank you Bill for putting this together... Was a killer trip... Enjoyed seeing all my hiking buddies and meeting new ones... Looking forward to seeing you all again when I return after my surgery...

    1 · March 31, 2013

    • Bill B.

      It was great that you could join us Jerry and I think I speak for everyone when I say we are rooting for your speedy recovery so you can join us soon. I'll be keeping in touch with you my friend...Bill

      March 31, 2013

  • Paul

    Nice to hike with part of the group, hope you enjoyed the Grand Canyon!!!!!

    2 · March 31, 2013

  • Tony S.

    Thanks Bill, great trip, good people and one more check mark done on my Bucket List.

    March 30, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Your welcome Tony...It was great to see you back in action at full speed again...

      March 30, 2013

  • Bea C.

    Great trip with great folks!! Thank you very much Bill.

    1 · March 30, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Your welcome Bea...and...so glad you could join us.

      March 30, 2013

  • Tony S.

    Stephanie Foe

    March 22, 2013

  • Jerry K.

    Like Bea I'm heading out on Friday and spending night where ever I end up. See you at the campgrounds.

    1 · March 21, 2013

  • Linda

    Unfortunately I will not be able to join you. My daughter and grand kids are coming down from Oregon for spring break. I don't want to miss spending time with them. Disappointed about Sedona but will look forward to the redwoods trip.

    March 21, 2013

  • Bea C.

    My plan is to leave sometime on Friday, stay in Laughlin for the night, then drive up to the campground after breakfast on Saturday. That way, I am not tired all week from that long drive. I also plan to stay for the entire adventure, meaning that I will be traveling back to Bakersfield early Saturday morning on March 30th. I am more than happy to carpool from Bakersfield, but since I thought I would be driving alone, I decided to leave Friday instead of Saturday. So, if anyone wants to carpool and leave on Friday instead of 'so early' on Saturday then contact me. Otherwise, see everyone at the campground. Bea.

    March 18, 2013

  • Linda

    After talking with my daughter she is now thinking of coming down from Oregon next week for her kids springs break. (free babysitting for her) I am holding on to my campsite reservation until she confirms and will let you know by the end of the week. I will be going straight to Cottonwood from Camarillo so my plans will not affect anyone else if I have to cancel.

    March 18, 2013

  • Denise D.

    Ever changing plans, my daughter wants to check out Arizona State in Tucson - so we're going to Sedona, but might leave Friday for Tucson, then up to Sedona Sat.

    March 18, 2013

  • Tom A.

    When will we decide who we're going to carpool with

    March 17, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Tom, everyone has already been actively pursuing carpooling with others. Suggest you post you are looking for someone to carpool with immediately. I don't arrange carpools but allow everyone to work this out with each others...

      March 17, 2013

  • Kerry

    My RSVP is somewhat tentative, but I am planning on going.

    March 16, 2013

  • Tracy E.

    I reserved my campsite. I don't know how much space is in the tent sites but I should have room for an additional tent, if anyone is looking to share spots.

    March 5, 2013

    • Tracy E.

      Sounds good Stephen> Do you know if we are staying Wednesday Night in Cottonwood? I only booked the site until Wednesday.

      March 7, 2013

    • Bill B.

      We will be staying in Williams at a hotel for two nights while we hike the Grand Canyon.

      March 7, 2013

  • Tom A.

    Booked the last spot in Blackhawk

    1 · March 6, 2013

  • David B.

    Im realizing now I need all my vacation to climb all the 14ers in cali this year. I wish I could go on this!! Enjoy my friends...

    March 2, 2013

  • Brent W.

    Jury duty got me. See you all in the Redwoods.

    March 2, 2013

  • Kim R.

    Abel and I will arrive Monday and are staying at the KOA in Williams through Saturday. On Tuesday, our plan is to get married at the Sedona Court House in the morning. So this trip is our honeymoon! We will definitely join you on Friday for the Grand Canyon. We would also like to mountain bike (the pedal variety) if anyone else is interested in doing that. Sedona is supposed to have some very nice trails, according to Pedal America.

    February 27, 2013

  • Kathleen

    I would like to join you for the first part of the week but it's all tenative for now.

    February 22, 2013

  • Denise D.

    Thank you, Jerry and thank you Bea. I have reserved a campsite in Cottonwood, so I will get hold of you when we get closer to departure. Excited!

    February 19, 2013

  • Bea C.

    Hi Denise, I have a friendly car.

    February 19, 2013

  • Denise D.

    Really enjoyed our hike up to the Jar last monday, so excited to go to red rock country. I would like to combine two loves, and ride my Triumph there - maybe I could throw my tent into a friendly car? I've camped off my bike a good bit.

    February 18, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Denise, I'm sure one of us will have some room for your tent and "maybe" a few extra things. If you are planning on joining us in camping I would suggest you make reservations as quickly as possible. The details of where we are staying are described in the write up for this trip...

      February 18, 2013

    • Jerry K.

      Denise, I have room in my camp site if you want...

      February 18, 2013

  • Kathleen

    I would like to join you for the first part of the week but it's all tenative for now.

    January 29, 2013

  • Paul

    I will be staying in West Sedona from 3/25 until 3/28. Would be nice to join the group while I'm there.

    January 28, 2013

  • Linda

    I have got campsite #119 at Dead horse. As of now I am a for sure but my husband is a maybe. I will not be going up to Williams but head back home on Thursday.

    January 28, 2013

  • Paul

    There is a SLIM chance I might be in Sedona towards the end of March. In regards to the hikes, you will need to buy a Day Pass which is good for most, if not all, trailheads in Sedona. Food and lodging are also more plentiful in Oak Creek (a bit south of Sedona) and West Sedona which has (fairly certain) the only McDonald's with green instead of the customary yellow arches. Schnebly Hill Road is a fun drive for sightseeing, but is only suited for high clearance vehicles.

    January 27, 2013

  • Kim R.

    We actually have no idea what is there. We know we have to get into the canyon at least once and we know we want to mountain bike in Sedona at least once. Petrified Forest? Boy, I'm sure glad I know you guys! Had no idea something so cool was there. Please let us know your itinerary and we will confirm beforehand the hikes we will do with the group. Very excited!!

    January 18, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Kim, I updated and posted a tentative proposed itinerary of hikes and places to go sight seeing. You might want to check it out. A final schedule will not be posted until a week to ten days until we leave...

      January 18, 2013

  • Kerry

    My RSVP is somewhat tentative, but I am planning on going.

    January 18, 2013

  • Jerry G.

    Yes I plan to attend. I'll have some questions regarding details as time goes on. This sounds great, I have never been down into the Grand Canyon.

    January 17, 2013

  • Kim R.

    Abel and I didn't attend the planning meeting because we decided to go to the Grand Canyon months ago during Spring Break. We are staying at the William's KOA from Monday through Saturday and would LOVE to hike with you guys. We also plan to mountain bike in Sedona at least one day. We saw a Pedal America show that showed some really nice trails. Please keep us posted regarding routes.

    January 14, 2013

    • Bill B.

      Hi Kim, most of our hiking will probably be in the Sedona area because of the weather. It still is quite cold near Williams and Flagstaff. If you would like I can send you our itinerary as it unfolds.

      January 14, 2013

    • Kim R.

      That would be great. I've never been to the Grand Canyon before, so no matter how cold it is, we'll have to get in there at least once! My mom (67 years old) just hiked from rim to rim a couple months ago. I'm not ready to do that, but Abel will next September with her.

      1 · January 15, 2013

  • Anisa L.

    Hi I have never been there and not an expert on camping. I hope you guys can help me. This is not a for sure confirmation yet but I'm really hoping I can make it.

    2 · January 14, 2013

  • Belinda R.

    Sadly, I have a conflict. Have to meet the potential in-laws :)

    1 · January 14, 2013

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