Find A Trail. Start Your Search Here:

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Transept Trail

Many slick rock passages define the Transept Trail
Forming a natural divide between State Route 179 and the hyper-busy trails that loop around iconic Bell Rock in the Village of Oak Creek, the north-south running ridgeline known as the Seven Warriors is home to a pair of trails known for their edge-hugging exposure. 
Transept Trail traces the cliffs of the Seven Warriors ridge
The Hiline Trail that’s part of the Yavapai Vista Trail System, scoots along the ridgeline’s eastern slopes while the newer Transept Trail traces the less congested western side. There are several ways to access the user-created route that was adopted by the forest service in 2018. The most direct way to is begin at the small trailhead along Verde Valley School Road. 
Mayan Maiden formation is a must-see feature along the trail
This less aggressive approach offers a more gradual, smoother gradient than its east side counterpart as well as equally heady views.  The first half-mile makes a steady but mild ascent through cypress-juniper woodlands and jumbled drainages. At the 0.2-mile point, keep an eye out for the Mayan Maiden rock formation that stands at the base of a mass of russet pinnacles to the south. The conspicuous natural sculpture looks convincingly like an elegantly- dressed woman emerging from the stone.
Looking south on the Transept Trail
Views of Cathedral Rock from the Transept Trail
Hardy agaves line the trail
Beyond the Mayan Maiden, the easy walk transitions into a more moderate haul defined by slickrock passages and high-step climbs over crumbling sandstone shelves. Although some slippery loose rock, tricky turns and short sections with stomach-churning deep drop offs require extra effort and steady nerves, the payoff of hiking close to the edge is unobstructed vistas of Cathedral Rock, House Mountain and the flood plains of Oak Creek.  The Transept Trail ends at the 3.2-mile point where is connects with the Hiline Trail. From this high point junction on the nose of a beveled rock jetty with 360-degree views, there are several ways to extend the hike or make a long loop.  Consult the forest service map for details. 
Juniper trees shade the lower part of the trail
High desert woodlands on Transept Trail
Transept Trail is an adopted user-crated route
LENGTH: 6.4 miles out-and-back
RATING: moderate-difficult
ELEVATION:  4,200 – 4,570 feet
From State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek, go 2.1 miles west (left through the traffic roundabout ) on Verde Valley School Road to the parking area on the left. The trail begins across the road.

No comments: