Fellow Phoenicians: What I’m about to say is scary and unfathomable, but, we are quickly approaching summer AKA if-you’re-going-to-hike-you-better-do-it-before-the-sun-comes-up weather.
Last summer I checked my weather app every morning. I would look at Phoenix, then Sedona, then Flagstaff. The temperature difference from Phoenix to Sedona/Flag would always be about 20 degrees and I kept promising myself I would just hop in the car and go up for the weekend. I never did it.
But this year is going to be different! I’m going to take advantage of those cooler temps and get up north to keep my hiking butt in shape so I don’t have to repeat the experience of re-entrance to hiking that I had this year (Hint: not good. Can’t breath. Someone help. Water).
Thanks to all my visitors this month (Hi, sister-cousin! Hi, Dad!) I was able to get up to Sedona twice and Flagstaff once for days of exploring and hike scouting. If you’ve never been to Sedona, you need to go. Just driving in your chin will fall to your lap. The scenery is gorgeous, all those red rocks and they actually have some water and green things there. Desert win.
Since I took a total of three days up in that area this month, we covered a lot of ground. I want to share it all with you, even if you don’t care (the pictures are pretty?), so I’m going to break it up in a few different posts, starting with this one: The Devil’s Bridge Hike.
Here’s the basic info: The last mile of road leading to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead is treacherous. I really don’t think you could do it in anything but an off-road vehicle, Jeep or a truck. Needless to say, little baby Ferne (my 1999 standard Honda Civic) wasn’t about to make that trek. Luckily there is a parking area just before the paved road ends. It’s then a one mile walk to the trailhead to make a two-mile, one-way hike (four miles total). For me, that’s the perfect length, so I was glad we had the option to do a little extra.
Plus, the hike to the trail head was really pretty. We wound through a big, open area with great views of the red rocks and then ended up hiking the last bit along the road, but it was still nice. Once you get to the trailhead, you start gaining more elevation. But I will say it’s a pretty steady, not terribly steep climb until you get to the very top. The very last portion of the trail is a little loop. If you go left, you can get under the bridge before going to the top. If you go right, you go straight to the top. I thought going under the bridge was definitely worth it, but getting up to the top of the bridge was a bit of a scramble that way. So it might be best to go see the underside of the bridge, then go back to the right side of the loop to hike to the top.
Being up on top of the bridge was one of the most fun experiences of my life. The bridge itself is majestic. A giant wall of rock with a big arch in it, creating what looks like a thin layer of rock that could collapse beneath you at any minute. Once you’re actually standing on top of it though, you realize it’s so much stronger than it appears and completely safe.
Across from the bridge is some nice flat rock and a stream—it’s the perfect place to hang out, mingle and take photos of the bridge from. The day we were there, there was a big group of the most fun people. Maybe it’s because we were all out in nature and not at work, but there was such a sense of community. We all took photos for each other, chatted, laughed and even cheered on those who were too afraid to stand on the bridge for a picture. I started a slow-clap chant for Scott until he finally walked out to get a quick shot with his wife. One of my biggest achievements to date. Good job, Scott, I’m proud of you!