Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Pine Flat Car Camping, Sedona
May 25-28, 2018
clipbord Trip Report : May 26-29, 2017
Trip Report : May 25-28, 2018
Do you know, the average low and high temperatures on Memorial Day weekend in Phoenix are 75.2°F - 102°F? How about Oak Creek? Well, the average low and high temperatures are 53.2°F - 85.8°F. So what is your decision for the Memorial Day weekend? Phoenix, or Oak Creek Canyon?
Oak Creek Canyon is the top tourist attraction among the red rocks of Sedona.
Oak Creek Canyon is often described as a small cousin of the Grand Canyon because of its scenic beauty. The drive up Oak Creek Canyon has been described by Rand McNally as one of America’s Top 10 scenic drives. Oak Creek Canyon is also one of many people’s favorite places to go in the HOT summer in AZ. And Pine Flat is my favorite campground in Oak Creek Canyon.
For this car camping trip, we will stay at Pine Flat Campsite for 3 nights and 4 days (May 25-28). For those four days at Oak Creek, we will hike Bear Jaw-Abineau Canyon Loop (7.4 miles), Inner Basin (6.7 miles), Vultee Arch Trail #22 if the weather is cool enough (exploratory hike).
At this moment we reserved 11 sites at Pine Flat (there is no group campsite at Oak Creek Canyon) for nights of May 25-27.
Friday, May 25:  Meet in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. We will leave at 7:30 AM to go to Vultee Arch Trail (exploratory hike) if the weather is cool enough. After the hike we will have a quick lunch, fuel up gas in Sedona and head to our campsite, which is short drive from the Sedona. After arriving the campsite, set up tents and be ready to relax and enjoy the cool night.
Vultee Arch.
Typical Pine Flat Campsite.
Saturday, May 26:  Leave at 7:30 AM, drive to Bear Jaw-Abineau Canyon Loop Trailhead to do our 7.4 mile loop hike at 8,536 to 10,284 feet. It is exploratory hike. This hike offers a stunning view of the north slope of San Francisco Peaks. We will just take our time to enjoy the cool weather there. After returning to the campsite, we will enjoy our one-of-a-kind AZ Trailblazer Potluck.
Bear Jaw-Abineau Canyon.
Bear Jaw-Abineau Canyon.
Sunday, May 27:  Leave at 7:30 AM, drive to the Inner Basin Trailhead and enjoy our cool and awesome Aspens tree. It is only 6.7+ miles at 8600 feet to 9400 feet, but it is beautiful. It will take 4-5 hours. We will pack a simple lunch. We should be back to our campsite before 3 PM. For those hard core hikers, you can hike few more trails if the temperature is not too hot in Sedona (Fay Canyon is partially shaded trail, and it is easy and pretty). Or for most of us, we can just sit by the creek, drink beer, read books, fish, or snooze in the tent.
Inner Basin Trail.
Fall Color of inner Basin.
Monday, May 28:  Today is last day of our camping trip. For those of us who want to do one more hike before heading back to Phoenix, we could do a short hike cross from our campground – CookStove Trail #143. It is only a mile, but an elevation gain of 940 feet. Or we can hike the West Fork of Oak Creek (6 miles). We are planning to leave our campsite at 1 PM or earlier (disassemble the tent and pack all our equipment). For other hiker who just want to soak in the cool air, enjoy a relaxing morning and skip the hike, or just want to pack up and leave and get home, that is also a great plan.

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updated June 5, 2018 © Copyright 2018, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.