Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hiking the Hogs



For our last hike in Sedona we wanted to check out one of the areas where the expert mountain bikers ride. Hans and Lisa recommended several trails, so we picked the Hogs, just a few miles south of town. We started at the Mystic trailhead in a swanky neighborhood on the road to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Sedona landmark visible from Hwy 179.

A glimpse of the chapel from the trailhead.


We took the Mystic trail to Hog Wash, then turned off on Hog Heaven and made a loop with High on the Hog, Broken Arrow and back on Hog Wash to Mystic, for a 5 mile hike.




High on the Hog and Hog Heaven are rated double black diamond trails, meaning only insane adrenaline junkies would ride a bike here. We saw one young woman biking on the Mystic trail, but none on the more difficult trails. We tried to take a couple photos to show how tough these trails are, but it doesn’t look as bad in the pictures. We would never even consider riding them, as it was challenging enough just hiking. Much of the trail is on exposed ledges with steep drops, so a fall could be devastating.



I found this information about the trails which officially opened in the fall of 2014:                                  

In recent years, a spirit of cooperation has emerged between the U.S. Forest Service and the Sedona mountain-biking community. The Hogs were social trails that had been around for a couple of decades but were technically illegal. Instead of trying to eradicate the pathways, the Forest Service put together a plan to adopt them. Using grant money from PeopleforBikes, a Colorado-based organization, and aided by an army of volunteers — mostly bikers — the trails have been rebuilt and improved, and signs have been installed.

At the trail intersections there is good signage and maps so it’s hard to get lost, although we did take a wrong turn once, which we discovered in about a quarter of a mile when we reached a parking lot. These trails have excellent views that would not be appreciated on a bike.


There is a lot of variety, from views of Sedona to vistas of Munds Mountain Wilderness.



Reminiscent of Many Pools in Zion.







We came upon a couple of the famous Pink Jeeps on the Broken Arrow trail. It sounded like they were having fun.



And got to see some more mansions among the red rock.


We only saw six other hikers and would highly recommend these trails if you want to get off the beaten path of the more touristy hikes in the area. We did all those when we were here on previous visits so it was great to find some less popular trails.

Today we move north near Flagstaff to meet up with friends.


  1. Such beautiful views and scenery. High on the Hog and Hog Heaven...what interesting names for those trails.

  2. I never tire of the views in Sedona. I sure do miss the red rocks! Looks like a nice hike on a beautiful day:)

    Enjoy Flagstaff! Have you been to Waputki NM north of Flagstaff or Walnut Canyon NM? Both are very nice ruins.

    1. We missed those national monuments when we were in Flagstaff the first time, but it feels like we were there after reading your posts :-) Not sure I can talk Jim into any more ruins so soon after the two we just visited!

  3. It's always good to get away from the crowds in Sedona! It is amazing what some people think is bikeable!

    1. No way would we attempt to ride those trails, and wouldn't have even if we were 30 years younger! We really did enjoy hiking there, though. Thanks for telling us about it!

  4. I think I was a insane adrenaline junkie back In my 20's. Now I am a sane, tired old lady.
    We saw that same mansion. Ridiculous.

    You two took some gorgeous photos. Sedona is a beautiful place, but a bit overpriced for us. Safe travels.

  5. I'm always so surprised at how many trailheads in Sedona are in neighborhoods. You sure found a beautiful trail, thanks for sharing the incredible vistas. Not surprised there weren't riders on those crazy trails!

  6. We hiked those trails the last time we were in Sedona. It is amazing how the biking community has collaborated with the Forest Service. I'm like you, I would not take a bike on most of those trails. Hiking was challenging enough on some of them.