|Boynton Canyon Hike|
The hike begins on the outskirts of town, just before the entrance to the Enchantment Resort. Its a national forest trailhead with a nominal fee though the honor system. Many mountain bike trails and hiking trails leave from this lot. Here's a map-
Leaving northeast from the parking lot, the trail quickly comes to a "T" and the vortex/trail is well marked. The second junction is encountered shortly after the first and if you bear right, this goes to the actual vortex of Boynton Canyon. As some consider this a deeply spiritual place, it is best to experience this side hike in quiet reverence.
Hiking to the actual vortex offers a fantastic view of both the canyon and the greater Sedona area. This can be easily done in less than an hour though it is a little steep at the end. We preferred to keep hiking deeper into the canyon.
The trail rounds the resort which actually doesn't detract too much from the overall experience. Canyon walls loom over the trail with dramatic repose. Once the trail leaves the resort area, wilderness abounds. There's an intermittent creek which runs nearby the trail but was dry this time of year. Nevertheless, an abundance of wildlife kept us company as we hiked deeper into the canyon.
Boynton Canyon has well deserved fame and though many hikers hit this trail, few actually hike beyond the first mile or so. Despite its notoriety, the trail is long enough to diffuse the less serious hikers while those seeking silence and stillness are rewarded when they hike an hour or two from the trailhead. What I liked the most about this hike (and hikes in Sedona in general) is that there isn't really a specific destination that we hiked to. Walking under the shadow of ancient canyons is the destination and the awe stayed with us for hours.
We spent a lot of time reflecting on our first foray into Red Rock Country. It had been a great sampler of all the destination has to offer though we had an ongoing list of what we'd like to come back to. The hikes we did were the classics though we would have loved to have done some of the less-explored routes further outside of the city. In an unusual turn for me, I would have also liked to have spent more time at our resort. Lastly, I think I would have liked to have invested in a more big ticket activity like a morning hot air balloon ride or renting a 4x4. Certainly there's a lot to return to.
With some more research, I found that we came at a perfect time of year- shoulder season. In mid-May, the weather is hot but not blistering. All we had to do was make sure we got an earlier start to our hikes. Our resort would have been far more expensive had we stayed even two weeks prior to our trip. For our next trip, I think we would enjoy coming in October when the fall colors make the canyons even more gorgeous. Until next time, Sedona!