Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Dogie Trail Day Hike
when Trip Report : April 1, 2017
where Sycamore Canyon Wilderness
the hike     Although we’ve done several hikes over the years in the expansive Sycamore Canyon Wilderness area, including the Sycamore Rim Trail, the Parsons Trail, and the Kelsey-Dorsey Loop, we somehow missed this little gem of a hike.
    The Dogie Trail is the designated Hike of the Month in the June issue of Arizona Highways. The magazine describes the trail as one of the most accessible and also one of the most beautiful of the 16 established trails in the 58,475 acre Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. Established in 1972, this is one of the oldest designated wilderness areas in Arizona, and Sycamore Canyon is the second largest canyon in the entire state, only behind the Grand Canyon.
    From the trailhead we immediately start climbing to a high ridge with expansive 360 degree views and then pass through a gate before entering the official Wilderness Area. We soon begin a gradual descent through a forest of juniper and pinon pine and eventually start seeing increasing numbers of ponderosa pine as we continue to gain elevation on the trail.
    The trail passes by a long-abandoned corral and a large vertical window in one of the more prominent mesas in the canyon, before becoming increasingly steeper and dipping in and out of a deep wash. The trail eventually comes to another high ridge, where we will begin the final descent that will take us to the normally dry Sycamore Creek, lined with massive sycamore and cottonwood trees.
    We’ll cross the creek here and continue up the opposite side for another ten minutes or so until we reach the junction with the Sycamore Basin Trail. We’ll stop for lunch here and enjoy the panoramic views, before retracing our steps back to the trailhead.
    The Dogie Trail is described by Mangum, Richard & Sherry, Sedona Hikes (9th ed.), Hexagon Press, 2008, pages 98-99.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 11.0 miles
time 6-7 hours
EC +-2150' elevation change
elevations 4,800 feet at the trailhead to 4,158 feet at Sycamore Creek
type round trip
starting at
Dogie Trailhead 34° 55.359' N,  111° 59.701' W
on trail 100% — Dogie Trail #116
rating "B+"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost Sharing gas expenses with the driver. The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member. NOTE: Red Rock Passes are not required for this trail.
weather Sedona
meet 6:00 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride. We’ll leave promptly at 6:15 AM. With one pit stop along the way, total drive time from I-17 & Bell Road to the Dogie Trailhead is about 2.5 hours. Total distance is about 112 miles.
    NOTE: The early meet time is necessary due to the extra time it will take us to navigate the 11.5 miles of rough forest roads to reach the trailhead, in addition to the nearly 11 miles of exploratory hiking we’ll be doing today.
•  Go north on I-17 to exit 287 onto SR 260 (Camp Verde exit).
•  Go northwest on SR 260 to Cottonwood.
Turn right (northeast) onto Highway 89A in the Cottonwood area.
Continue driving northeast on Highway 89A for 8.8 miles to FR 525 (Red Canyon Road).
Turn left onto FR 525 and drive for 2.8 miles to FR 525C (Sycamore Pass Road) at an unmarked forked junction in the road.
Make a curving left turn onto FR 525C (look for the sign on the right side of the road into the turn). Curving right here will take you to the Indian ruins.
Continue driving on FR 525C for 3.2 miles to the junction with FR 761 (Bill Gray Road). Bill Gray Rd. curves to the left. Stay to the right on FR 525C.
Then continue driving on FR 525C for another 4.1 miles to the junction with FR 9529.
Make a gentle left and continue driving for 1.0 mile to the junction with FR 9528. Total driving distance on FR 525C is 8.3 miles.
FR 525C terminates at the trailhead, with ample parking for about a dozen vehicles. Restrooms are not available at the trailhead.
NOTE 1: There are numerous side roads branching off both FR 525 and FR 525C. Ignore all of these and stay on FR 525 until the junction with FR 525C. Then stay on FR 525C until reaching the trailhead.
NOTE 2: High clearance vehicles are required for these Forest Service roads, especially FR 525C. Recent rainfall can make driving even more hazardous.

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updated April 17, 2017 © Copyright 2017, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.