Sedona Westerners in the Red Rock News

January 24, 2014

Boynton Canyon


by Paul Cooley

Starting the New Year off on the right foot, the Sedona Westerners' Mustangs stepped into Boynton Canyon on January 2nd on a bright and beautiful red rock morning for a 6 mile hike, round trip. Boynton Canyon was known as Che Ah Chi by the Apache Indians who once occupied the canyon and regarded it as having spiritual significance.

Our group was led by Bill Brown and tailgated by Bob Bareuther. The initial excursion into Boynton Canyon necessitates a walk along the side of Enchantment Resort, on the left, with towering rock ledges on the right. This section of the hike provides a striking contrast between ancient rock formations and the building establishments of modern man. Hiking along the path at various intervals the Mustangs were able to catch intriguing views of possible archaic caves inhabited centuries ago by the Sinagua Indians.

Our hike had been skillfully scouted in advance by the hike leaders to insure a safe and efficient climb to our lunch destination high on a rocky point with a view back toward Long Canyon and Sedona. A sharp eye could pick out snow patches still clinging to the shadowed portions of Bear Mountain from a mid December snowfall as we socialized and re-energized at our lunch roost. As always, we picked out unusual rock formations and either guessed at their names or christened them with new names of our own, which would surely be forgotten by the time of any subsequent venture to the same venue. One of the safety requirements of Sedona Westerns is that the hikers wear lug soled hiking boots on all club hikes, and on this hike especially, our boots were tested for their ability to grip the sandstone rocks beneath our feet at often precipitous angles.

On several occasions on our journey through the canyon, we would hear the tell tale "thump-thump" of an unseen helicopter, and then be surprised as it either appeared looking like a dragonfly suspended out in the distance of a void in a side canyon, or as it suddenly gained the crest of a nearby peak and descended into the canyon directly overhead. I imagined that the passengers were looking down on us and were envious of us, the Mustangs out and among the wilds of the canyon, as opposed to being a passenger confined to a seat in the helicopter simply as spectators from their perch in mid air. On the return to the trail head, we began meeting other hikers starting out on their excursion and many of them, curious of us, stopped to ask if we had been up on the ledges or to ask us what they could expect to see on their hike. As is the duty of the hike leader, all Mustangs were accounted for at the end of the hike before any of us would head home or back to the Posse Grounds.

If you are interested in joining the club, please go to our website at or just come to one of our monthly meetings. The next one will be on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 7 pm at the Sedona Elks Club, 110 Airport Road.