Spring Finally Comes to the Drovers in Long Canyon
April 21, 2023
By Jackie Pinho
Spring brought warmer temps, a clear blue ski, budding wildflowers, and an opportunity for the Drovers to hike under this beautiful overhang in Long Canyon.
After a cold and extremely wet Winter, the Drovers were excited for a sunny Spring day and a Sedona hiking adventure. With temperatures in the 50’s and not a cloud in the sky, we carpooled to the trailhead off of Long Canyon Road, where the hike rules were read and introductions were made. We welcomed two new members to our group who were from New Hampshire and visiting Sedona for the first time.
As we were ready to embark on our hike, a terrible screeching noise drew our attention. Two young ladies were parked on the side of the road and their car was unable to pull out of their space. In typical Westerners fashion, a few of our members came to their rescue and helped them return to the road without injury. This reminded me that the Westerners are not only stewards of the land, but good Samaritans as well.
Leaders Sandi Heysinger and Dick Williams began our trek on the Long Canyon trail which led us past the Ice Cream Cone formation and deeper into the canyon. We ventured onto a side trail that brought us past an interesting cave and into a secluded area for our snack break. We enjoyed beautiful views, the sounds of trickling water from the ledge above the grotto, and interesting conversations.
After re-fueling our bodies, we joined the main trail again for a short time until we took another turn up the other side of the canyon. After a steep and winding climb, we were rewarded with yet another location where Mr. Purtyman left his mark. This one had a stunning view back across the canyon. He seems to have been everywhere in the Red Rocks.
After traversing the very steep downhill we had just come up, several of our adventurous hikers took on the challenge of scrambling across a ledge, up a very steep and slippery slope, over and around boulders, and up a small crack to what appeared to be an old movie prop from times gone by. There were several interesting chambers here also, and one of them even seemed to have a skylight.
By this time the temperatures were warming up to a balmy 65 degrees and we were ready to head back. It was interesting how much cooler it felt as we went in and out of the shaded portions of the trail.
The trip back down Long Canyon was pretty uneventful, although we did see many more hikers heading up the canyon than when we started. There also seemed to be good number of families with small children on the trails. It is always great to see young kids on our excursions, with their boundless energy, reminding us of what we used to be able to do…
We all returned to the trailhead happy and safe. Overall, the hike was a success with 6.5 miles of length, 700 feet of elevation gain, and memories created with old friends and new.
The Sedona Westerners always welcome new members. We have hikes multiple days of the week for all abilities. If you are interested in joining the club, please visit our website at sedonawesterners.org. You will find an interesting history, the whole season’s list of planned hikes, and a handy membership link. It only takes five minutes to sign up and start your new adventures here in the Red Rocks.