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Thursday, October 2, 2008


Oak Creek flows at the base of the rim
Limestone formations along the trail
Oak Creek cascade

East Pocket Fire Tower

A.B. Young Trail after the Slide Fire, May 2014
UPDATE: This trail sustained major damage from the May 2014 Slide Fire. This hike has everything --water, high-desert ridges, a grueling climb and a pleasant traipse through a pine and oak forest to the historic East Pocket fire lookout.
The trail begins in the Bootlegger Day Use Area near site number two.  From there, descend the flagstone stairs to Oak Creek and follow the generic trail markers to the creek. Boulder-hop the water and head toward the stone retaining wall where there’s a metal “A.B. Young #100” sign.  The ascent begins immediately through a cool, creek-side environment that quickly transcends into a pine forest. After about the half-mile point, the trail leaves the shade and begins switch backing up steep sun-drenched cliffs on its way to the 7,196-foot West Rim of Oak Creek Canyon.  Many spectacular rock formations and great views of the narrow canyon open up as the trail gains elevation.  Once on the rim, follow the carins into the forest to the wooden “A.B. Young/Oak Creek” sign that marks the official end of the trail. To reach the East Pocket fire lookout, continue for just under a mile following a series of huge rock cairns. Staffed by a USFS worker during the fire season, visitors are welcome in the funky old 1930s-style wooden tower.

LENGTH:  6 miles round trip
RATING:  difficult
ELEVATION: 5,100’ – 7,196”
FACILITIES: restroom
FEE: a Red Rock Pass is required: there’s a permit kiosk at the trailhead that takes paper, plastic and coins.
From Phoenix, take I-17 north to the Sedona-Oak Creek exit 298 for SR179.  Head left (west) on SR179 and continue to the Sedona “Y” intersection of SR 179 and US89A. Veer right (north) through the traffic circle and continue 8.8 miles to the Bootlegger Day Use Area near milepost 383. Roads are 100% paved.
INFO:  Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest, 928-282-4119

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