Find A Trail. Start Your Search Here:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Cibola Pass-Jordan Trail Loop

Cibola Pass-Jordan Trail Loop
A juniper-framed view on Cibola Pass Trail

Mitten Ridge formations seen from Cibola Pass Trail.
As implausible as it may seem, some people driving through Sedona are in a hurry. It happens, though, but it’s no excuse to forfeit a hike in order to beat the traffic or catch a flight.  Many of Sedona’s trails offer drive-up-and-hike convenience and clever connectivity that accommodates those who have only a couple of hours to indulge in a picture-perfect jaunt.  Take, for instance, the Cibola Pass-Jordan Loop.
Sugarloaf and Chimney Rock seen from Jordan Trail.
When hiked from the Jim Thompson trailhead that’s located just a short drive from Uptown Sedona, this heavenly trek that slices through forests at the southern edge of the Red Rock Secret Canyon Wilderness, gets you in-and-out of the good stuff pronto.  
Huge agaves grow along the route.
As the average hiker moves at about 2-3 miles per hour, it’s possible to whip through this 2.2-mile circuit in just over an hour—provided you can limit ogling and photo stops. The hike scrimps on length but splurges on scenery and workout value.  From the parking area, start hiking at the Cibola Pass post near the fee pay station. Continue a few yards to a three-way junction and continue straight ahead on the Cibola Pass trail. Hiking the loop in this direction gets the steep climbing out of the way within the first half-mile.
A shady spot on the Jordan Trail
The abrupt but not-too-difficult climb is a mashup of switchbacks and flat rest areas overlooking the deep cuts of Mormon Canyon and layers of sheer wilderness mesas.  The signature feature along this section is the hand-shaped, russet stone tower that caps Mitten Ridge.
A scenic point on the Jordan Trail
The route makes a brief passage though the wilderness area on slickrock slopes with stunning juniper-framed views before dipping into a shady drainage.  At the 0.7-mile point, the circuit meets the Jordan Trail junction.
A slick rock passage on the Jordan Trail
Time permitting, take an optional 0.6-mile roundtrip venture, by heading right to see Devil’s Kitchen—an impressive sandstone sinkhole.  To stick with the quick-trip plan, go left at the junction and make a swift ramble on the Jordan Trail through a 1.5-mile pocket of fragrant cypress, giant agaves and oak-fringed bluffs. You’ll be back at the trailhead in a flash with dusty boots and time to spare.
Goodding's Verbena blooms April through September.

LENGTH: 2.2 miles
RATING:  moderate
ELEVATION:  4520 – 4682 feet
Jim Thompson Trailhead:
From the State Route 179/89A traffic circle in Sedona, go right onto 89A and continue 0.3-mile to Jordan Road on the left. Go 0.8 mile on Jordan Road, turn left onto Park Ridge Dr. and continue 0.5-mile to the trailhead on the right. The last half mile is on a gravel road with potholes but is suitable for all carefully driven vehicles. A $5 Red Rock Pass is required.  There is a restroom and a pay station at the trailhead.
INFO:  Coconino National Forest
Red Rock Pass Information:

No comments: