On a recent cool January morning, the Amblers group of the Sedona Westerners met at Yavapai Vista parking area on Highway 179 to hike one of Sedona’s best new trails, the Hiline. The development of Sedona’s Scenic Road led to the construction of this new parking lot and the creation of several new trails. In addition to being great for local hikers, this is a wonderful trail on which to take visitors for at least three reasons: it is relatively new so they probably have not hiked it before, it is only of moderate difficulty, and it affords some of the most spectacular views in all of Sedona.
The network of trails leading out of the Yavapai Vista parking lot is well marked, both at the beginning and throughout the hike. The hike was led by Helen Ducharme with Chris Greene tailgating.
For this particular hike, the Amblers walked about a quarter mile up the Kaibab Trail from the parking lot, then horizontally along the Slim Shady (another relatively new trail), and finally to the Hiline. The moderate 300 feet of elevation comes mostly at the beginning of the hike, after which it levels out for the most part allowing enjoyment of the spectacular views.
As soon as the group began to climb above the parking lot, we were treated to sweeping views of the entire valley below and the rock formations that surround it. The grand views run from Bell Rock and Courthouse at the southern end, to Lee Mountain, then around to Chicken Point, the Nuns, and Twin Buttes, then extends further north to the red rocks above Sedona, and across the creek to Coffee Pot and Thunder Mountain.
Although the hike is moderate in the sense of elevation gain, there are a few short spots where care must be taken with the sloped rocks. This, however, is true of almost every trail in red rock country.
When the group rounded the final corner on the outbound trail, Cathedral Rock towered above us. Minute by minute, Cathedral came closer and closer until as the group reached the end point of their hike for the day, Cathedral filled much of our view to the north. After a little more than an hour, the group stopped to rest and to enjoy an array of delicious cookies provided by Helen Ducharme.
After a few minutes of enjoying the rest and the beautiful view, the group started back the way we came. In all, this is a four-mile hike and took two hours to complete. As mentioned above, the Hiline is a relatively new trail and is highly recommended for both local hikers and visitors.
If you are interested in joining the club, please go to our website at http://sedonawesterners.org 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.