Scenic USA - Arizona

Merry-Go-Round Arch

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Merry-Go-Round Arch - Sedona, Arizona

Photos by Rob Jones
Wilderness Vagabond - Trip Reports

   A network of hiking trails, numbering in the dozens, are woven throughout the Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon landscape. Here among Arizona's red-rock country hiking doesn't get any better. And just to the south of Sedona, at the Y junction (Routes 89a and 179), hikers head to Schnebly Hill Road. This destination marks the start of a deluxe half day hike to Sedona's Merry-Go-Round Rock. The first trailhead along Schnebly Hill Road provides access to trail #78, Munds Wagon Trail. Once a cattle-drive path for William Munds, this route was rediscovered West Mitten Ridge Arch - Sedona, Arizona and converted into another hiking trail, laced with scenic views and tilted with a moderate grade. Nearing the rock carousel, you'll notice a small arch peeking from the base of the Merry-Go-Round Rock. Other features on the route include the Cowpies and a crest known as the Mitten Ridge.
   With its vivid sandstone monuments and perpetual blue skies, the Sedona area is exceptionally scenic ... and most visitors are in the mood for sightseeing. So if hiking is not your forte, just add four bone-crunching miles to the Schnebly Hill Road drive. Here a shorter path leads out to the Merry-go-Round Rock, the Cowpies and the Mitten Ridge Archulettas. There is a daily fee if you stop in the Coconino National Forest, which includes Schnebly Hill Road. Recreation passes and permits may be purchased at the visitor centers in Oak Creek and Sedona.

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