Camp Verde is in the centre of Arizona, and close to the red rocks of Sedona. We stayed at Zane Grey RV park for eleven days and we did something everyday. This post will focus on our hiking and mountain biking, and you’ll read about our birding in the next post.

Our first hike was on a crisp, clear day. We parked at the Bell Rock Vista by 8:30 in the morning in order to get a parking spot even because it is one of the most popular areas. We avoided most of the crowds however, by hiking a route that wasn’t on the posted trail maps. We started on the Courthouse Butte loop and turned at the Rector trail which goes between Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Here’s a view from that portion of the hike.

Bell-Rock hike

This is a view of Bell Rock “from the back,” not the typical view from the parking lot.

Bell-rock hike2.gif

Bell Rock again. We continued on the Courthouse Butte loop, through the section that is closed to mountain bikes. We were back at the truck for lunch.


Another day, we went northwest of Sedona to another popular hike: Boynton Canyon. Beautiful views, and we even had the trail to ourselves for a short time.


Our third hike in the area was to Bear Mountain. This sign is at the beginning of the trail, taken at the end of our hike.


Here’s a photo from the morning. Bear Mountain is the flat-topped mountain in the centre of the photo. It’s actually higher than the unnamed red rock on the right.


Here’s Doug climbing the slickrock portion of the trail, close to the top of Bear Mountain.


We did one mountain bike trail in the Sedona area. The Chuckwagon trail is rated at intermediate. Here’s a photo of one of the few easy sections of the trail.


This part wasn’t too challenging either, but we were off our bike and walking more than we would have liked. We weren’t wearing protective padding and we know we don’t heal very quickly, so we rode conservatively. Wendy had ridden this trail three years ago and was happy that she stayed on her bike for more of the ride this time.


The trail crosses Dry Creek, which wasn’t dry this time. There was no way to complete the loop without getting wet. Doug was bolder and walked across in bare feet.


From Camp Verde, it took us about an hour to get to the trailheads in Sedona, and there’s traffic and jammed parking lots to contend with, so we decided to see what the mountain biking was like in Prescott. Prescott is about 2000 feet (700 metres) higher than Camp Verde, with a cooler climate. We rode there two separate days.


Prescott Parks and Rec department maintains a spiderweb of trails; many of them single-track, specifically for mountain bikes. We love this kind of trail: flowy and fun. Here’s a view from our second ride from a bit higher on the hill.


Next post will be about our less physical activities: birding, etc.

2 thoughts on “Camp Verde, AZ and area: Hiking and Biking

  1. I loved your Sedona pictures – the red rock is beautiful! I only had my first bike ride of 2019 yesterday; the roads here are snow free, but very gravelly.


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