New Year, New Trail, New Hike
On a gorgeous sunny day in January, the Sedona Westerners were introduced to a new hike developed and led by Harry Schermer and Linda Schermer, and tail-gated by Diane Luce and Hadji Hadji-Agha. Entitled Crescent Moon Loop, the route began at the Carroll Canyon Bridge on Chavez Ranch Road. Going up the wash to the first bend, the hikers paused to admire the high sheared sandstone wall and slick rock base that nature seems to have carved into a performance center suitable for a dance or a poetry reading.
Continuing up the wash, the group came to a junction of the new extension of the Herkenham Trail, which comes in from the left from the Old Post Trail, and crosses the wash. Why name the trail after Norm Herkenham? Why not? He has contributed so much in so many ways to the quality of life in Sedona that a trail name is the least that can be done. It was the Forest Service that bestowed Norm’s name on the trail. This trail originates near Sedona High School, descends to the Old Post Trail, and with the new addition, continues to Red Rock Crossing. It is one of the last segments needed for completion of the approximately 26 mile Sedona Loop hike, which encircles the city. Norm Herkenham conceived and helped the Forest Service lay out this route. And it’s a beautiful new trail! Thank you, Norm!
Turning right onto the trail, the Westerners soon crossed the unpaved part of Chavez Ranch Road and headed toward a high open area of sandstone. Arriving at the cliff edge of the sandstone, the hikers saw that they were on a bluff overlooking Crescent Moon Ranch, and with a panoramic view of the Red Rock Crossing area and Cathedral Rock.
Taking the trail down to the road, the hikers went over to Oak Creek and walked upstream then stopped for a snack break next to where splashing water runs into a quiet pool. Here the sounds of the running water combine with a scenic view of Cathedral Rock to create an elevated state of well-being. Next, continuing upstream, the group paused to take in the multiplicity of artful rock stacks at Buddha Beach. After passing through a wooded area, we left Oak Creek and climbed back up to the bluffs to complete the loop around Crescent Moon Ranch. Descending this time to the Carroll Canyon wash, we hiked upstream in the dry wash to the bridge where our hike began.
The Sunday Drover hikes are half-day, usually starting at 1 p.m. They may range from easy to brisk in pace, depending on length and leader. They usually include a scenic view spot for the apple break. This route included views of Capitol Butte, Cockscomb, “The Pyramid”, “Napoleon’s Tomb”, and more. This new hike, at 4 miles and 300 feet elevation change, with its wonderful views throughout the hike, made for an excellent addition to the Drover hike list.
The Westerners always welcome new members! If you are interested in joining the club, log onto our website www.sedonawesterners.org. You may also join by attending the next monthly meeting which will be on Thursday, February 11th, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.