Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Girdner Trail Day Hike
when Trip Report : October 14, 2017
where Sedona
the hike     The Girdner Trail combines the very best of Red Rock Country with a scenic trail winding through dense juniper groves and offering sweeping vistas of soaring sandstone cliffs, pinnacles, and buttes.
    After a mile of hiking, we begin a gentle descent into Dry Creek Canyon and eventually join an old Jeep road. There will be multiple crossings (at least 12) of this normally dry creek bed which would likely be impossible to cross after a heavy rainstorm. So we’ll watch the weather carefully before attempting this hike and get the latest weather forecast the night before.
    Continue hiking along Dry Creek for another two miles, beneath the shady canopy of massive Arizona sycamores and cottonwoods lining the creek bed. After one final creek crossing, the trail begins ascending out of Dry Creek toward higher ground, with more great vistas along the way. Several trails branch off to the left or the right from the Girdner Trail as we continue hiking for another 1.5 miles before finally linking up with Dry Creek Road, opposite the Vultee Arch junction.
    We’ll stop for a lunch and rest break somewhere beneath the shade of the sycamores and cottonwoods, before reversing course and returning to the Girdner Trailhead on the same trail.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 8.2 miles round trip
time 4-5 hours, depending on photo stops
EC +-700' elevation change
elevations 4,500 feet at the Girdner Trailhead to 4,300 feet in Dry Creek Canyon
type round trip
starting at
Girdner Trailhead 34° 51.151' N,  111° 49.898' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Girdner Trail
rating "C+"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost NOTE: Red Rock Passes are not required at this trailhead.
Sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member
weather Sedona
meet 7:00 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 7:15 AM. With one rest stop along the way at the McDonald’s in Cottonwood (the one on the east side of 260 and just south of Highway 89A), total drive time from I-17 & Bell Road to the Girdner Trailhead is about 2.5 hours. Distance: 204 miles.
•  Take I-17 north to SR 260 (Exit 287).
Continue driving NW on SR 260 to Cottonwood.
In Cottonwood watch for the McDonald’s on the east side of 260 just south of 89A. We’ll make a quick pit stop here since there are no restrooms at the trailhead.
Drive northeast on 89A for 14 miles to Cultural Park Place at the stoplight and turn left.
Continue driving for roughly 100 yards and watch for dirt parking lots on both sides of the road.
The Girdner Trailhead is located off the parking lot on your right. Park and begin the hike from here at the large 3-panel trailhead sign.

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updated October 23, 2017 © Copyright 2017, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.