Forest - Doe Mountain
To reach the next stop, continue driving down Forest Road 152-C. The pavement will soon turn to dirt, which just like everything else around here, is bright red. There are quite a few more trails to select along this stretch of road. I chose to hike up Doe Mountain.
From the base of the trail, you can look up and see your destination. The Doe Mountain trail takes you all the way to the top of this mesa.
The trail clings to the side of the mountain, and takes you around several switchbacks. The path is a bit steep, and gives you a great workout. It's about 1.3 miles to the top, but it goes by quickly.
The view from about halfway up the trail.
The top of Doe Mountain is quite a treat. When you reach the mesa's rim, the trail branches out in several directions. You're basically free to roam around wherever you like. Just be sure you make a mental note of where the trail ends, so you can easily find your way back.
What an incredible view! Walk to the edge, and you'll see the valley open up right in front of you.
From here you can see the trailhead, and if you brought your binoculars, you might even be able to spot your car. The parking area is in the center of the above picture, alongside the road.
Expect blustery conditions at the edge of the mesa. Even a light breeze is multiplied as it climbs the canyon walls. Step just a few feet from the edge, and the winds will be calm.
You'll find an interesting desert landscape atop Doe Mountain. Cactus and small scrub brush grow, along with the occasional taller tree.
This may look like a dead tree, however, it's actually only about a foot tall. The landscape is covered with them. I assume they come to life later in the year.
You'll find plenty of cairns built in various places at the top of Doe Mountain. Yes, I even added a few stones to this pile near the end of the trail. I don't know why, I guess it was all that vortex energy in the air.
Before tackling one final trail for the day, I returned to Sedona for some lunch, at the excellent Oaxaca Restaurant. You'll find it along Rte. 89A in downtown Sedona. The food is almost as good as the view from the dining room.
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