This year we started a new tradition. Christmas Day is for… hiking! We are so blessed to live in the sunny Southwest and have easy access to some of the most beautiful and unique hiking trails in the world.
“We don’t stop hiking because we grow old. We grow old because we stop hiking.”Finis Mitchell, American Mountaineer
Up and out early, it was a short drive to Sedona, AZ and the Long Canyon trailhead. Today’s mission to hike to the famed Birthing Cave, where generations of Hopi children were brought into the world.
The trail was not particularly well marked and we ended up taking a wrong turn at the “Y.” Boy, am I glad we did! The easy 3 mile out-and-back of the Long Canyon Trail was filled with all kinds of desert flora, fauna and iron-rich Red Rock mountain views. We were particularly fascinated by and the story the washes told of the water flow during the monsoon season rains. Incredible, the strength of current it must take to pick up and move the giant boulders and trees!
Nearing the end of the trail, we realized that we had not, in fact, made it to our intended destination (The Cave.) Okay with us! We don’t mind getting derailed — the dog loves adventure and we often find hidden gems that we would never have seen! So, heading back to the car park with happy hearts, we again got to the “Y” in the trail and ran into fellow hikers who advised us that we were just a short hike to the Cave anyway!! How lucky!
After taking the left, and navigating a quick climb, we were there! Bucket list hike, this one. Add it to your trekking list. I know it will surely be on ours to enjoy again.
Directions Here via USDA.gov https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recarea/?recid=55340
Directions to: Long Canyon Trailhead & The Birthing Cave Drive 2 miles W on US 89A through Sedona to Dry Creek Road. Turn N (right) for 1 1/2 miles to Long Canyon Road. Turn N (right) for about 1/2 mile to Long Canyon Trailhead. Park there and hike in. On the trail: For The Birthing Cave, stay left. For Long Canyon Trail, stay right.
Here’s to you and a very Happy 2023!