Munds Wagon, Hangover, and Cow Pie Lollipop Hike
This is a moderately difficult loop hike near Sedona. I say moderately difficult because while the statistics are not bad, it goes over some pretty exposed routes over sandstone where a fall or getting lost are more possible than a simply moderate trail. The dropoffs are beautiful, yet breathtaking. Wear good grippy shoes. The trail is dog-friendly and I did it with chihuahuas.
The trail starts where the pavement ends at a parking are on the left side of Schnebly Road about 3/4 miles out of downtown Sedona. The first part of the trail winds up the creek on the Munds Trail.. The sound of the jeep tour cars accompanies you as you have the trail to yourself up the beautiful creek with periodic small falls in the right season. After abound 1.5 miles, you reach the Hangover Trail. Bikes take the Hangover Trail from the north to the south because there is simply no room for two bikes to pass on parts of the trail. The bikers I met were thrilled with the crazy exposed parts, and it's rated double black diamond for bikes. We, hikers with dogs, did it from the south to the north (clockwise) which I think is best so we'd have the steep climb first as well as see the bikes coming at us instead of behind (though we made it to the top before seeing any bikers on a Friday.)
The Hangover trail heads up to a saddle between two mesas where it transitions from a dirt trail to white diamonds painted on the bare sandstone. The trail markers ascend steeply up the hill, and it's often good to think like a hiker instead of a biker so that you can zig zag up the hill. Once you've climbed over the shoulder of the mesa, the trail goes back to rocks and dirt. The trail then goes through some nice overhanging rock features before finally reaching another saddle. Views are continue around you. After a snack on the broad flat mesa, you descend bare sandstone for another 3/4 mile before finding dirt trail. Another 3/4 mile brings you to the Mund Wagon/Cowpie junction right next to Schnebly road. The Munds Wagon trail crosses the road goes down a bit and recrosses the road before winding back to the junction with the Hangover Trail where you started the loop section. We met some bikers at the top saddle and then met them again coming down at this trail junction - they were the one to regale us with this. Good times! You then continue back down the Munds Trail back to the parking area, another couple miles.
All in all, a vigorous and challenging hike with soul-expanding views in beautiful Sedona.
From central Sedona, go south on 179 just past downtown, over the bridge to the traffic circle. Take the second exit onto Schnebly Road. Drive up the road about 3/4 miles to the marked parking area on the left with visible pit toilets. The trailhead is on the north side of the parking lot. There's a Red Rock fee for parking.
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