Schnebly Hill Road at Moonrise


I’ve written about Schnebly Hill Road before.  In 2007, I made a great hike up to Mitten Ridge, then caught the sunset at the Merry Go Round.  That sunset was so spectacular, I wanted to experience it again, at the same spot, on this trip.  I didn’t quite make it there, though.  When I reached the first few bumps of Schnebly’s incredibly rough surface, the sun was already down, and the moon was up.  But what a moonrise it was!

Thankfully, you don’t have to drive very far beyond the end of the pavement on Schnebly Hill Road, to reach a nice viewpoint. Once the rocky road surface begins, you’ll only need to go about a tenth of a mile to reach a wide turnout, where you can view some dramatic hills.

I’ve never been happy with pictures I’ve taken of the full moon.  They never seem to capture the awesomeness of that perfect circle hovering just above the horizon.  In the picture above, you can imagine that this was a great moment, but you can’t really appreciate it.  That’s why you should always plan your Sedona vacation with the moon in mind.  Check the lunar calendar, and find out when the moon will be full, and do some research on moonrise and set times (if the moon comes up at 4am, you probably won’t be there to see it).

There was a nice sunset that evening, but as I mentioned, I was just a few minutes too late.  Still, the sky was beautiful as I looked back towards the city of Sedona.

Once again, I recommend you check out my previous visits to the Merry Go Round and Mitten Ridge, for a better appreciation of what Schnebly Hill Road has to offer.

Note: This page was first published in 2008.

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