I would appreciate a critique of my proposed plan for our trip to Sedona the first part of May.
Background: My husband and I will be driving from Texas and camping at Pine Flats. We will have our trail crazy but, senior dog with us. Our prime objective is to hike and take in the sites. We typically go on a big trip to Colorado each year but, this year my husband has to take more vacation so, I added a trip to Arizona (thank you Uncle Lee for gifting me with a subscription to AZ Highways). We are experienced hikers in our late 40’s but, we live at sea level and our dog is getting on in years. In the past I would have picked trails based on their scenic potential only but, now I’m trying to find something that we (and the dog) can enjoy and is also scenic. I don’t want any trails that may require bouldering or such. While we are both fit, our dog (55 lbs) just can’t do that anymore, even if he thinks he can. I’ve already told my husband that our dog will have to stay on the leash (neither of them is going to be happy). We (and by that I mean my husband) always carry water, a collapsible bowl and treats for the dog.
Sunday: Arrive in Oak Creek Canyon stopping at Oak Creek Vista to buy a Red Rocks Pass
Monday: Hike the West Fork trail in the morning, lunch back at the campground, if it’s not too hot and we feel we have the energy, hike the Cookstove trail from the campground
Tuesday: Hike the Boyton Canyon trail and then Doe Mtn trail, return to Hwy 89 via FR 525. We will probably just eat GORP for lunch. I noticed that there are a couple of wineries in Cornville on Page Springs Road. Would these be places we could go in hiking gear? We’d leave the dog in the car and only stop if it wasn’t too hot to leave him there.
Wednesday: In the morning, hike the Courthouse Butte loop. I was thinking in the afternoon we’d head up Schnebly Hill Road (we have a 4x4 Xterra and DH is an experienced off road driver). Is there someplace on the way or reasonably close that we could pick up some sandwiches (vegetarian friendly a plus) for lunch? Alternately, would it be safe to leave a small cooler in the car? I noticed that the Forest Service website mentions not to leave anything of value in your vehicle at the trail head. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this warning before (we camp in the NFS a lot). I don’t want to have to drive all the way pack to the CG.
Thursday: Hike the Airport/Tabletop loop. Pick-up something for lunch. I’m looking for suggestions again. Go to the Crescent Moon picnic area to eat and check-out Red Rock crossing. Possibly do laundry later in the day at the Laundry Basket.
Friday: Drive the Desert Canyon loop stopping at Wet Beaver Creek to hike on the Bell Trail.
Saturday: Pack-up and hit the road.
Where are some good places to watch the sunset? I like photography and will bring my tripod. I would prefer someplace we can drive too or maybe a short walk. We have headlamps but, I don’t want to be coming down a long, steep trail in the dark.
Is there anything else that’s considered a must do? I feel like I do have some room to add something else. I was thinking about Jerome but, maybe I’ll leave that for next time. I’d like to visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross, though I’m hesitant to do so in shorts. Maybe, I just won’t tell my mom about that. Are there any places that we could stop for a beer in the afternoon that are dog friendly with an outside patio or such?
Thanks in advance for your help. Kelly