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Stirrup to Saddle Up

Saddle up, pardner! There’s a new trail in West Sedona. It’s relatively short — the direction I took only has you wandering in the woods for a mile. Still, when you see a path so shiny and fresh out of the box, it doesn’t have a completed sign yet, you take it!

The trail goes up and down a little bit. It’s enough to elevate your heart rate, but not enough to make you break a sweat on a 50-degree day. Along the way, you enjoy stunning views of Thunder Mountain and Cockscomb in the distance. In wet weather, trickling creeks will play relaxing spa music to accompany your journey.

I turned on Saddle Up. You’ll usually figure out the reason for the name of this trail quickly enough. From the apples, I’d say it sees regular equine traffic. If you retrace my steps, you’ll exit in a residential neighborhood. If you’re not from around these parts, it can prove tricky to find your way out. You could reverse your route, of course. I recommend staying straight on Stirrup, though, until it connects with Girdner further up. You’ll get a significantly longer hike, but you’ll exit the woods along the parking area on Dry Creek Road.

Getting there: Take Highway 89A north from Cottonwood. Turn left at Cultural Park Drive to the Centennial/Girdner Trailhead parking. Take Girdner trail to Stirrup.

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