The Rustlers Hike

February 03, 2017

By Angela LeFevre

A beautiful view looking east towards Wilson Mountain from the Aerie Trial

On a bright and chilly December morning in Sedona, a small group of keen Westerner hikers, ready to brave the cold, met at the Posse Grounds to embark on “Aerie Trail and More”, a somewhat easy hike in the Rustlers Hiking Schedule.

The hike is easy because it has little elevation gain, but it is 5.5 miles and, at the brisk pace set by hike leader, Paul LeFevre, the group enjoyed a challenging work out.  The hike circumnavigates Doe Mountain and offers some beautiful views of the area west of Sedona.  All the hikers marveled at the  360 degree expanses of terrain, including views of Cockscomb, Thunder Mountain, the Mogollon Rim, Mescal, Casner Mountain and Dead Man’s Pass. In addition, the towns of Jerome and Cottonwood could be seen in the distance.

The Aerie Development was once known as “The Tree Farm”. It is now comprised of some impressive houses which reflect the beginning of a housing development in the area.

The group was a little concerned about the possibility of very muddy conditions, due to the previous day’s rain.  But, the trail condition was excellent. There was very little mud or clay and the group experienced great hiking conditions.

After a couple of hours of some exhilarating hiking, the group stopped for a break in the sun on a rocky outcrop.  Christmas cookies were passed around and enjoyed, as the group took in the expansive view of Thunder Mountain in the distance.

With a little sustenance in their stomachs, the members of the group dusted down and continued their hike, taking in more incredible views of the area.  The hikers did not meet much in the way of other trail users.  This is a favorite trail for bikers, but no encounters were made probably due to the cold and  chilly air.

The group completed the hike around Doe with few problems except maybe some weary legs.  It was a very enjoyable hike, with exceptional views, great company and wonderful December weather!

If you are interested in joining the club, visit the Sedona Westerners at or just come to one of our monthly meetings. The next one will be on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Saint John Vianney Parish, 180 St. John Vianney Lane in Sedona.

Sedona Westerners, written this week by Angela LeFevre, appears every Friday in the Sedona Red Rock News.


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