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Saturday, September 18, 2010

DRY CREEK TRAIL

sycamores near their peak color on October 24
DRY CREEK TRAIL #52 Red Rock Secret Canyon Wilderness, Sedona Like a messy artists palette dripping with happy mistakes, Dry Creek trail is like a study in raw pigments applied with a random, liberal hand. Part desert canyon, part New England woodland, this hybrid hike features the best of both worlds. Broadleaf trees ablaze in tawny hues stand side-by-side with cactuses and agaves as if placed by a designer with a knack for using exotic accessories to enliven a familiar space. Following the rugged bed of Dry Creek, the trail is rocky and slippery where it jumps from one bank to the other. It’s easy to loose the trail at these points, so to stay on track, follow the series of rock cairns (piles of stones denoting the route) surrounded by an under story of crimson maples and scarlet sumac. BEST TIME FOR FALL COLOR: mid-October. For weekly reports, call the Forest Service Fall Color Hotline, 1-800-354-4595 or visit.fs.fed.us/r3/recreation/fall-colors/fall.shtml LENGTH: 7 miles one-way RATING: moderate ELEVATION: 4,800 – 5,600 feet BEST SEASONS: September - May BEST TIME FOR FALL COLOR: mid-to-late October DISTANCE FROM PHOENIX: 135 miles GETTING THERE: From the "Y" intersection of AZ 179 and AZ89A in Sedona go left (toward Cottonwood) and continue 3.2 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn right, go 2 miles to Vultee Arch Road (Forest Road 152), hang a right and continue 4.5 miles to the Dry Creek #52 trailhead located past the Vultee Arch parking loop on the left. A high clearance vehicle is required on FR 152. FEE: Red Rock Pass--$5 per vehicle is required INFO: Coconino National Forest, Red Rock District 928-203-2900 http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/recreation/red_rock/rec_redrock.shtml#trails MAP: http://www.redrockcountry.org/maps/map-graphics/red-rock-map-9-05.pdf

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