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Vultee Arch Day Hike
Sedona - Sterling Canyon
September 21, 1996
by Jeannie Van Lew
vultee
Motorolans visit the Vultee Arch.
    We arrived at the parking lot of the Vultee Arch/Sterling Canyon Trailhead around 11:00 AM. We signed the Forest Service guest book and began our trek to the arch. The trail was well defined and shaded by towering pines. The trail goes 1.7 miles along the bottom of Sterling Canyon. It is easy to follow as it basically goes along the creek bed. The creek is dry most of the year. About 0.75 mile in, there are tall, white sandstone cliffs on the right with Douglas firs growing in the clefts.

The group first sighted the 40' arch from below. Surprised to sounds f a harmonica, we saw that Mike Clayton was up the side of the canyon wall waving down and laying for us. We took note of the plaque there commemorating Gerald and Sylvia Vultee who died n a plane crash not far from the site in 1938. We then headed up the trail to meet Mike, our trailblazer.

Once there, we broke out apples and other snacks, and Mike continued to serenade us. Since it as early yet, we chose to return to the Sterling Canyon trail and follow it up to the saddle. We criss-crossed the dry creek bed, lined with Sycamore and oak, then began the assent following the witch backs along the side of the canyon.

Most of the group made it to the top, while a few decided to pause and enjoy the scenery. Upon returning, the group decided to stop in Sedona and grab a bite to eat. We sat on a porch overlooking Oak Creek and watched the moon rise over the red rock cliffs opposite us. We ate sandwiches and toasted our new found friends to end a delightful day.


Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, Phoenix, Arizona
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updated July 23, 2012