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Brins Mesa - Soldier Pass Loop

Intermediate
 4.7 (34) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A loop run that includes all of Brins Mesa Trail and Soldier Pass Trail.


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Map Key

8.0

Miles

12.9

KM

94%

Runnable

5,066' 1,544 m

High

4,500' 1,372 m

Low

970' 296 m

Up

970' 296 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

19%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

No real parking at suggested start. Only accessible via 4x4. Involved ~two-mile hike on Dry Creek Road before starting at suggested trailhead. Better start trailhead with parking close to trail at point where Brins Mesa Trail and Jordan Trail meet.

Overview

This loop starts from Dry Creek Road (152), also known as Vultee Arch Road. To access the Brins Mesa Trailhead from the side requires a high clearance 4x4 vehicle. There are some amazing views from atop Brins Mesa and as you enter Soldier's Pass.

Need to Know

Start early in the morning. There is a lot of sun exposure so bring a hat, sun block, and plenty of water.

Description

For this loop, I started this from Vultee Arch Rd. to W. Park Ridge Drive. In this direction, the trail starts off flat and crosses a dry creek bed several times. The trail is relatively easy to follow. This section passes through junipers that offer some shade. Eventually, the trail begins to climb exiting the creek bed and junipers. After about one mile, you'll have great views of the surrounding red rock.

The top of the mesa is really a pass as you are surrounded by higher elevation red rock. After passing a large peak near the trail on the right, the route begins to descend steeply. This would be a very difficult section if you run in the reverse direction. Short switchbacks take you down the bottom where the trail levels off again as you approach the trailhead at W. Park Ridge Drive.

Just before the parking area, on the right, you'll see Cibola Pass Trail. Turn right here and follow the trail for about a half mile until you reach the junction with the Jordan Trail. The two trails merge so just continue straight. After about another half mile you'll reach the Soldier Pass Trail. You can't miss this as it has constructed stone cairns and signage. Turn right here.

Soldier Pass Trail begins to climb gradually for about .25 mile when you reach Devils Kitchen, a sink hole with a large block of sandstone balanced on the side. About another .25 mile up the trail, you'll pass a series of seven potholes carved in the sandstone by water runoff.

The trail continues uphill and begins to get steeper. After about one mile from the trailhead, you can see Soldier's Pass Arch. Because of the open country, this remains in view for another half mile as the trail begins to get very steep. The Arch is difficult to spot but at mid-day you can clearly see light shining on the ground behind the arch. Access to the arch can be gained from the Brins Mesa Trail.

The trail begins to even out and turn to the right where it will end on the Brins Mesa Trail. Turn left and follow Brins Mesa Trail back to the trailhead on Vultee Arch Road.

Contacts

Shared By:

John Maurizi with improvements by Jacqueline Rollande

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 34 votes

#258

Overall
  4.7 from 34 votes
5 Star
74%
4 Star
24%
3 Star
3%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#13

in Arizona

#258

Overall
79 Views Last Month
9,269 Since Jul 7, 2017
Intermediate

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72%
7%
21%
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Photos

Brins Mesa
May 14, 2019 near Sedona, AZ
It will be hard to keep your eyes on the trail with views this good on the descent from Brins Mesa to Sedona.
Jul 8, 2017 near Sedona, AZ
Devil's Kitchen sinkhole is definitely worth checking out!
Jul 7, 2017 near Sedona, AZ
Towering cliffs north of Brins Mesa.
Apr 13, 2021 near West Se…, AZ
Atop the mesa
Jul 21, 2021 near Sedona, AZ
Mountains towering above from just below Brins Mesa.
Apr 13, 2021 near Sedona, AZ

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Check-Ins

Mar 18, 2020
Veronica Gerhard
Dec 7, 2019
Caitlin Kelly
Apr 29, 2019
Kellan Morgan
Fun trail! Beautiful views pretty crowded 5mi
Apr 16, 2019
Heidi Caldwell
Such a sweet loop! Started at Adobe Jack trailhead, ran up to hop on Soldier Pass trail and hit this stunning loop!
Mar 25, 2019
Paul Adams
7mi
Apr 22, 2018
Jaci Dick
7.9mi — 1h 19m