“A great trail to get you into the heart of the wilderness.”
— Condor77 77
No motor vehicles.
Features: River/Creek — Views — Wildlife
This trail can be hot and dry in summer. 1 hour each way.
Location: 25 miles south of Flagstaff (2 miles north of Sedona) on paved roads in scenic Oak Creek Canyon. The elevation is 4400 feet at the trailhead.
Access: Drive 25 miles south from Flagstaff or 2 miles north from Sedona on US 89A. Park either on the west side of the highway across from a road blocked by a closed gate or at the Grasshopper Point recreation Area. If you park at Grasshopper, you'll have to follow Allens' Bend Trail to its intersection with Casner Canyon Trail. Allen's Bend Trail starts at the north end of the Grasshopper Point parking lot.
Bring your wading shoes for this one. You'll be wading clear, cool Oak Creek early in the run. According to historians, this trail was built to provide cattle grazers a means of getting their stock from the water on the canyon floor to pastures on the canyon rim. Today, it is used by runners and equestrians for access into the heart of a landscape that most people see only through their telephoto lenses.
After crossing Oak Creek, the trail leads a short way up the floor of Casner Canyon before turning up the canyon's north slope. It then continues a long and sometimes steep climb to the canyon rim about a half-mile north of the Schnebly Hill Road overlook. The route it follows is a scenic one, right through the middle of some of the rock formations that make up the spectacular view from Sedona and Highway 89A. Because shade is sparse, this can be a hard, hot climb on a sunny day. Bring lots of water along with your camera.