Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
North Wilson Mountain Day Hike
when Trip Report : November 2, 2019
  Trip Report : April 6, 2013
where Sedona
the hike     This is an exceptionally scenic hike up the north face of Wilson Mountain, a volcanic basalt outcropping that is the highest mountain in the area, offering some of the most spectacular views to be found anywhere in Red Rock Country. The first part of the hike goes along red rock paths through mesquite, Manzanita, and lots of prickly pear. The first mile of this trail is a relatively gentle climb through a heavily-forested side canyon. But at the one-mile mark the serious hiking begins as the trail begins a very steep pitch up the north face of the mountain, gaining nearly 1,300 feet of elevation in a half-mile.
    We eventually top out on a level area known as First Bench, a broad plateau running along the east side of the mountain, where we’ll take a break and enjoy the spectacular views to the north of Sedona and the surrounding Red Rock Country, Oak Creek Canyon, and Munds Canyon. At the far end of First Bench and just under two miles from the trailhead the trail intersects with Wilson Mountain South Trail #10. From here it’s a short hike out to the rim with more terrific views. From First Bench it’s another mile of hiking through heavy timber and 800 feet of elevation to the Tool Shed where fire-fighting crews store their equipment. After the Tool Shed it’s a relatively level 1.5 mile hike out to the mountain’s North Rim, where the trail abruptly ends at a sheer cliff face, offering what Sedona Hikes describes as a “soul-stirring view” with the San Francisco Peaks sitting on the distant horizon. The Brins Fire of 2006 burned over 5,000 acres in this area, including parts of North Wilson Mountain and the area around Vultee Arch and Devil’s Bridge, in addition to much of Brins Mesa.
•  Sturdy hiking boots
•  At least 3 liters of water
•  Rain poncho
•  Hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•  Lunch or snacks
•  Camera
distance 12 miles
time 5-6 hours
EC +-2250' elevation change
elevations 4,750' (Encinoso Picnic Area) to 6970' (Wilson Mountain)
type round trip
starting at
Encinoso Picnic Area 34° 55.505' N,  111° 44.132' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Wilson Mountain North Trail #123
rating "B"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost $5 per vehicle for a Red Rock Pass, plus sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5/non-member.
NOTE: If you have a Senior Pass that will work in lieu of the Red Rock Pass.
weather Sedona
meet 6:45 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.
•  Take I-17 north past Camp Verde to SR 179 (Exit 298).
We will stop at the Ranger Station on the east side of SR 179 just before the Village of Oak Creek for our Red Rock passes. Restroom facilities are located here. Even if you already have a Red Rock or Senior Pass, we will all stop here before heading out to the trailhead.
From Sedona, at the 179/89A junction, take 89A north towards Oak Creek Canyon.
At 5.3 miles from the junction and near MP 379.5 you will come to the Encinoso Picnic Area on your left. We will park in the Encinoso Picnic parking lot. The Wilson Mountain Trailhead is located at the north end of the parking area.

Schedule of Events Arizona Trailblazers Home Page

updated November 3, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.