Westerners Rough Riders Hike Huckaby Heights

April 16, 2021

By Monica Prerost Drum

Photo Courtesy of Harold Brockwell The photo above is of a red rock formation that strongly resembles an elephant head and trunk with an open window to the sky between the head and trunk. This view of the elephant was seen by the Sedona Westerners from just be

The Rough Riders of the Sedona Westerners hiked Huckaby Heights on Saturday, April 3, 2021, a beautiful spring day with clear blue skies and warmer than usual temperatures. This was the first Rough Rider hike since the hiking season was interrupted by the Covid 19 Pandemic, so the hiker turnout was fairly high. As a result the hikers were split up into two groups. The hike started at the Huckaby Trailhead just off of Schnebly Hill Road. The Huckaby Heights hike was only about 6 miles in total length but it had some aggressive climbing and scrambling so the accumulative gain in elevation was a respectful 1900 feet. The hike leader of our group was Walter Krywucki and our tailgater was Alan Gore.

The first mile or so of the hike was relatively easy, on a compacted dirt trail through Arizona cypress, Ponderosa pine and junipers. As elevation was gained, there were expansive views of Oak Creek, Uptown Sedona, West Sedona, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Midgely Bridge, Wilson Mountain, Brin’s Mesa and other iconic landmarks. The sycamore and cottonwood trees along Oak Creek were just putting on their spring green colors, changing from the icy gray colors of winter.

As the hikers approached a string of red rock ridges, the hike included some rock scrambling and climbing to reach the summit of each ridge, followed by some careful descents before again ascending the next ridge. The group took a break on the summit of one of the ridges, exploring several rock windows along the ridge, including one that resembled an elephant’s head and trunk. Both new and old members of the Rough Riders took the opportunity here to get photos of themselves framed in the open windows or to take framed photos through the windows of other beautiful surrounding rock formations. After the break there was a brief descent and saddle crossing, and then the trail ascended back up and traversed a large section of slick red rock before the group took a lunch break on a huge open red rock plateau. From here, the vistas were of Schnebly Hill Road and its Pink Jeeps, Mitten Ridge, the Mogollon Rim, Mund’s Mountain, Damfino Pass, the Merry-Go-Round, Hangover Trail and some of the Cow Pies.

After lunch, the group descended from the plateau and followed Munds Wagon Trail that ran parallel to Schnebly Hill Road along a wash and back to the parking lot. This was a mostly shaded and cooler walk through the pines and junipers and was quite welcome after the much more sun-exposed sections of the hike earlier in the day.

If you are interested in joining the Westerners club, please visit the Sedona Westerners website at www.sedonawesterners.org/membership. Monthly meetings are only facilitated via Zoom at present until the Covid 19 restrictions are lifted. 

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