One bright April morning, I set out in search of the elusive owl clover. I’ve heard tales of a heavenly blanket of the stuff out Jack’s Canyon way during certain years. Alas, this was not to be one of them — but that didn’t mean my phone lacked camera fodder. The desert was in bloom, shades of purple, orange and yellow blanketing the red soil like a study in sunset.
The Jack’s Canyon parking area gives birth to the Rabbit Ears trailhead. You can also reach Little Rock via the same route. Both run parallel to Lee Mountain towards Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte while also creating a rough oval loop.
If you want a longer hike, the full loop takes you roughly six miles. However, here’s a pro-tip: Park one vehicle in the Jack’s Canyon parking area and a second at Bell Rock Pathway, just up from Circle K. That way, you can choose either route for a shorter hike. Rabbit Ears is a bit shorter and takes you closer to the mountains. Little Rock is a blast for mountain bike enthusiasts.
If you start from the Jack’s Canyon area, the hardest part of either hike is making it up the initial hill. You get the full force of the morning sun as you make your ascent. Once you traverse the summit, however, you’ll find it easy going with a slight downhill grade for most of the rest of your hike, barring a few gently rolling hills.
When you reach the end of either trail, you’ll emerge on the Big Park Loop. Follow it south to head towards the Bell Rock Pathway parking area. Head north to emerge at Courthouse Vista. Alternatively, go back via the trail not (yet) taken to complete the loop.
As always, feel free to use any of the images on this page. However, we appreciate the link back!
If You Go: Take the I-17 north to the Sedona Hwy 179 exit. Turn right at the second traffic circle after entering town onto Jack’s Canyon Road. Follow this road to the parking area about three miles on your right.