We reached Doc Campbell’s early morning, feasted on microwaved burritos, and eagerly unpacked a box full of food I had dropped off. My appetite is dangerous at the moment; I can’t eat enough. I devoured one bag of beef jerky, supposed to last three days, before dinner.
Patrick ‘Wideangle Pondl, whom I knew from the PCT, his wife Ratna, a new friend called Lia, Hojo and I soaked in the hot springs by the river for at least three hours, soothing our tired muscles. A perfect end to a good day.
From Doc Campbell’s there was a four-mile road walk to the Gila Cliff Dwellings, which has been on my must-see list for years, and it didn’t disappoint. A mile-loop trail hops over a creek before rising to the caves themselves. It’s easy to see why the inhabitants made them their home. With fresh water, abundant plant life and game running around, the sheltered caves must have offered a good life to those living there.
Map Of Sedona Hiking Trails Photo Gallery
We had two route options from Gila. The first followed the Gila River Canyon once more, which Wideangle, Ratna and Lia followed. HoJo, unimpressed with our initial foray down there and the river crossings, proposed we take an alternate trail of the CDT known as the High Route, and what a gem it turned out to be.
Because of our late start we only ventured five miles but the air was cooler, and the only sound a gentle whisper of the wind passing through the pines.
The High Route came into its own the following day, further validating our choice. A crispy trail wove through the dappled shade of trees, occasional creeks surprising us as they meandered through the dust. It was blissfully quiet, and we saw no-one all day.