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Carroll Canyon Area Trails

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Trail Ratings
Overall Trail Rating
1 = Poor 5 = Outstanding

Scenic Views
Route Finding
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Technical Difficulty
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Trail Access
1 = Easy 5 = Hard to get to

Old Post, Ridge, Carroll Canyon, Herkenham Trail

This interconnected series of trails lie within Sedona, but are mostly well out of sight of developed areas. They are accessed from three trailheads shown below. A loop hike can be made combining parts of two trails and one-way hikes can be made using arranged transportation at a second trailhead. These trails have easy to moderate grades with little overall elevation change and are well signed, but have little shade.

The 2.7 mile Old Post Trail starts from its north trailhead off Shelby Road, turns west after 100 yards at its junction with the Ridge Trail, and continues for .4 miles, then turns south. The end of the Carroll Canyon Trail is intersected .1 miles later. The Old Post curves west, gradually ascending with nice views to the north. It tops out, turns south and descends for .4 miles to its intersection with the other end of Carroll Canyon Trail. The Old Post bears right, goes west a short way on level ground, then descends to the south. As the trail bottoms out, it meets the end of the Herkenham Trail. There are good views of Cathedral Rock and Courthouse Butte. The trail ends after another .6 miles at the Chavez Road trailhead.

The 2.0 mile Ridge Trail starts from its northern junction with the Old Post Trail. After 150 yards, the Bandit Trail, a half-mile long connector to the Airport Loop Trail, forks to the left. The Carroll Canyon Trail is joined for 1/4 mile before it branches right and the Ridge Trail continues south on a moderate ascent for the next half mile beside the slope of Airport Mesa on the left. There are good views to the north. It tops out, then descends over the up-thrown rock of the Cathedral fault. For the last half-mile, the trail descends gradually along a ridge line before ending at Chavez Ranch Road.

Northern access to the Carroll Canyon Trail is gained by following the Old Post Trail west from its Shelby Road trailhead for .4 miles. The Old Post turns south and after another .1 mile, the 1.8 mile long Carroll Canyon Trail begins, branching to the left and going southeast. later, it is joined briefly by the Ridge Trail. Then the Carroll Canyon Trail forks right, crosses the Carroll Canyon wash twice, and ascends to an area above the canyon's shallow gorge. The trail turns west, still overlooking the scenic canyon, doglegs across a wash and climbs moderately to the south with good views to the north. It turns west again and descends along the Cathedral Fault and ends at its intersection with Old Post Trail.

The Herkenham Trail starts at its trailhead on the east side of Upper Red Rock Loop Road across from the high school and gradually descends to the southeast with good views of Courthouse Butte and Cathedral Rock. After crossing a wash at .75 miles, it levels out and ends at 1.1 miles at the Old Post Trail, .6 miles north of the trailhead on Chavez Ranch Road.

Rating: Easy / Moderate

Hiking Time: 1 to 4 hours, depending on route used

Uses: Hiking, bicycling, horses

At a Glance

Open Season: Year 'round
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Sedona, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock District - 928-203-2900

General Information

Latitude: 34.833347

Longitude: -111.81049

Length: 1.5 to 5 miles depending on route

Elevation: 4011 at Old Post south TH


USGS Map: Sedona

Location: 38 miles south of Flagstaff in scenic Red Rock Country.


  • Old Post and Ridge Trails, north trailhead: From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 89A west 1.9 miles west to Shelby Drive on the left. Go .5 miles to a business driveway on the right just past Stanley Steamer Road, with 3 designated trailhead parking places. Trail access is obscure, and goes through a private land easement for a short distance where the trails begin at a kiosk just to the south.
  • Old Post Trail, south trailhead: From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 89A west 4.2 miles to Upper Red Rock Loop Road on the left. Go south 1.7 miles. Turn left on Chavez Ranch Road. Go .15 miles to the trailhead turnout on the left.
    • GPS- Old Post South Trailhead: N34° 49' 59.7714", W-111° 48' 37.296"
  • Herkenham Trailhead: From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 89A west 4.2 miles to Upper Red Rock Loop Road on the left. Go .25 miles south and turn into the third high school driveway on the right, just past the school buildings, to designated trailhead parking.

General Notes:

Bell Trail #13

Carroll Canyon Trail Elevation Profile


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