Beautiful and spiritual Boynton Canyon

January 8, 2016

Cy Elliott
by Cy Elliott

The sky was clear blue, the air was breezy and the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees as the Rustlers group of Sedona westerners began hiking from the Boynton Canyon trail head. This was the kind of day that makes us all grateful to be in Sedona.

The hike began along the trail on the edge of Enchantment Resort for the first segment which is dusty and open then continued deeper into the canyon. The group had to stop for a couple for clothing adjustments as the weather warmed up.

The trail wound its way through the manzanita and scrub oak brush as the canyon narrowed, the cliffs became more evident and the views became more dramatic. The group turned west into a wooded and shaded area along a wash and continued to a climb into a canyon. The boxed end was enclosed on three sides by vertical Coconino sandstone cliffs rising up to 1,200 feet above.

Deep in Boynton Canyon looking toward Wilson Mountain in the distance

At the destination of the hike that was the end of the trail, the group stopped and sat among the rocks on the side of the canyon for lunch while enjoying the expansive views before returning to the trail head. The hike covered about 7.5 miles with a total elevation gain of about 1000 feet.

Boynton Canyon or Che Ah Chi, the Apache name, was sacred to both the Yavapai and Apache people. It was believed to be the legendary birth place of both nations. The Yavapai and Apache tribes were forcibly removed from the Verde Valley in 1876, to the San Carlos Indian Reservation, 180 miles southeast. About 1,500 people were marched, in midwinter, to San Carlos. Many lost their lives. About 200 Yavapai and Apache people returned to the Verde Valley in 1900 and have since intermingled as a single political entity. Hikers may, at times, have come into contact with Native American folks visiting the canyon as a pilgrimage to honor their ancestors.

New Age hikers come to the canyon to experience the spiritual energy generated by the Boynton Canyon Vortex which is one of the four main vortexes in the Sedona area. Some say the twisted or spiral growth of the trees is from the influence of the vortex.

The Saturday morning hiking group, the Rustlers is a new group beginning this season. The hikes are about the same hiking level and the Tuesday morning group, the Dogies and the Sunday afternoon group, the Drovers. It is a hike for members that want an intermediate hike on the weekends.


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