Do you want an easy hike that will make your jaw drop without leaving you panting? Well, hang your Red Rock Pass from your rearview mirror and head to breathtaking Fay Canyon!
The parking lot for the trail lies across the street, so don’t let the sign reading “Fay Canyon,” yet pointing to the roadway, fool you. Hopefully, you wore high-profile boots. The first part of the trail is sandy, and you’ll feel like you’re walking on a beach, not heading to the mountains.
The trail is a bit of a Sedona rarity — you experience very little elevation change. While you’ll hit the occasional rocky patch, you won’t encounter any areas where you need to boulder. Always wear suitable hiking shoes — this is the wild, wild west, and we have snakes. Big ‘uns. However, if you want to practice a bit of grounding, this trail offers plenty of silty softness without a ton of thorns (or goat heads — shudder).
It’s impossible to lose your way on this trail — it’s wide and well-maintained. You’ll find a number of smaller side trails, but most lead to nowhere. However, some give you a bit of a rock scramble where you can get some great views. You can also warm your freezing paws like twin five-legged lizards.
If you head out early in the summertime, you’ll enjoy the heavenly shade. Please note that this area is located in a heritage site. You might stumble upon some ruins — look, don’t touch! Other hikers have spotted bears in the area. If you pack a snack, cool, but take your trash out with you. This is not only the kind thing to do — it protects these majestic creatures. When bruins become accustomed to human food, authorities need to euthanize them to protect visitors. 🙁
You can’t miss the end of this trail — you’ll see the sign. However, if you want to enjoy more spectacular views, you can do a bit of bouldering over the rocks littering the finale. The entire walk is only a hair over a mile one way. Even if you’re a novice, you can tackle this canyon hike in under an hour — but we suggest giving yourself more time to take in the view. Who knows? The spirits of your ancestors may bless you with a rainbow.
Getting there: From Highway 89A, take Dry Creek Road to the first stop sign. Go left. Head to the next stop sign at the crossroads of the Enchantment Resort/Boynton Canyon Rd. Turn left. Follow the signs to the Fay Canyon parking area. You will need a Red Rock Pass to park. There is an enclosed port-o-san-style trail toilet in the parking area. Gas up before you go — the last gas station is Speedway just north of Dry Creek Rd. on 89A