Arizona Hiking Gallery
Boynton Canyon Hike
Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness, Sedona, AZ
October 15, 2006
Gallery contains 63 photos
Gallery last updated: 11/19/2006
Right from parking lot the red sandstone buttes provide striking views. The trail skirts just to the left of this formation.
On this hike I'll take the Boynton Canyon Trail to its end in a box canyon with side trips on the way back along an unnamed and unmarked trail, along the Vista Trail, and finally out Deadmans Pass Trail.
Most of the Boynton Canyon Trail is in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. Although, much of the wilderness experience is disturbed by the trail skirting the large Enchantment Resort and by frequent intrusion of helicopters, biplanes and airplanes giving aerial tours of the canyon.
The morning sun lights up the walls on western side of the Boynton Canyon as storm clouds begin to gather overhead.
Boynton Spire stands guard at the entrance to the canyon.
Yucca, prickly pear, manzanita grow below the towering sandstone walls.
As I hike up the canyon the skies are darkening while the sun lights up the interesting red rock formations.
Looking back down the Boynton Canyon Trail.
There are a few cliff dwellings in the cliffs along the trail, possibly up in the caves in this photo (at center and extreme left.)
A wonderful layered sandstone formation with spire.
This sandstone formation is streaked vertical stripes of "desert varnish".
The clouds have opened up and the rain is coming down along the manzanita-lined Boynton Canyon Trail.
A view of the cliffs through the drizzling rain.
Red sandstone cliffs topped with a lighter cream colored layer.
A rainy view of imposing cliffs from the shelter of a large alligator juniper.
Beautiful fall colors of a rain soaked Gambel Oak (Quercus gambelii) leaf.
Unlike the Gambel Oak, the Emory Oak (Quercus emoryi) is an evergreen and its leaves remain green in the fall.
Rain splashed lupine leaves.
Dry stream bed (actually it's wet due to the rain but not flowing).
Boynton Canyon Trail below sculpted sandstone cliff.
Brilliant red Bigtooth Maple (Acer grandidentatum) leaf.
Peering through the Ponderosa Pines(Pinus ponderosa) at the sculptured sandstone walls.
Colorful and spiky bud of an Arizona Thistle (Cirsium arizonicum).
Wonderfully sculptured sandstone walls.
Three tiers: Mossy red sandstone at the bottom, deeply carved red sandstone in the middle, capped with a cream colored sandstone on top.
A view of the cliffs of Bear Mountain through the trees.
Heavy streaks of "desert varnish" where water trickles down the red sandstone.
At the end of the trail is a sandstone shelf where stone towers proliferate. Do they help channel the mystical energy?
The box canyon at the end of the Boynton Canyon Trail.
One of the more interesting stone towers overlooking the canyon.
A trickle of water flow down the shelf from the morning's rain.
Red sandstone pinnacles through the trees.
View of sandstone formations from an unmarked side trail.
Spectacular views of the surround cliffs as the trail climbs up from the canyon floor.
Looking over Boynton Canyon to the cliffs beyond.
Interesting sandstone formation - almost a pillar.
Passing by the edge of the Enchantment Resort on the return hike.
Hawk soaring over Boynton Spire.
The Vista Trail circles around to the other side of and up to Boynton Spire.
A view of the cliff from the Vista Trail.
A view toward Sedona from the Vista Trail.
An old gnarled juniper tree.
Boynton Spire from the top of the Vista Trail.
View from the Vista Trail looking toward Lost Wilson Mountain and Wilson Mountain.
I've returned from the Vista Trail and I'm now making my way up the Deadmans Pass Trail with some incredible view of sandstone buttes.
Lost Wilson Mountain from Deadmans Pass Trail.
Mescal Mountain from Deadmans Pass Trail.
Late afternoon light on Boynton Spire.
All images Copyright ©2006 Terry Wright. All rights reserved.