Sedona: Chuckwagon Trail, Devil’s Bridge

Our mission on the second day was to see Devil’s Bridge. I borrowed a Sedona hiking guide from my friend, The Other Kate, and this was the only section she’d bookmarked. Unfortunately following the directions in the book led us to discover that it had been published in 2002 and a lot has changed since then. Because we could no longer drive up to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead (at least not in a Mustang), we parked in the lot for several trails in the area and selected Chuckwagon as our approach. Here’s what we saw as we began.

Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Please note how carefully I was sheltered from the sun. It was chilly, yes, so I definitely needed the light jacket. But between it and the hat, no sun was going to hit me! I did manage to come home without any sun-related impact to my skin. The extreme dryness is a different matter.

The trail wasn’t always terribly easy to follow. The landscape in Sedona is rather like the Moon: where a footprint falls, it’s going to lie for a long, long while. That means that anyone who takes a wrong turn is likely to cause future wrong turns by people scanning the ground for tracks to follow. At one point we thought the trail was turning and head up a steep ridge. It wasn’t until we climbed all the way up and down the other side that we discovered a dead end. The trail, it turned out, had begun to follow a creek bed (no tracks).

Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Here’s our first view of Devil’s Bridge. We didn’t really realize what we were seeing from down there.

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Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Nope, I didn’t like the ascent one bit. Steps were helpfully carved into the rock. But they were so very steep.

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And here’s the bridge. See the sunlight through the bottom?

Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

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Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Here’s the view from underneath.

Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Chuckwagon Trail and Devil's Bridge, Sedona

To maximize our daylight ours, we decided to follow the Jeep trail back to the parking lot. We ran into this little family of three, who had received wrong directions and were a good four miles from their car. We gave them a ride, naturally.

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