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Desert Canyon Scenic Loop

Basics
Location:
40 miles south of Flagstaff; 13 miles south of Sedona
Setting:
Desert
Surface:
Rough Dirt or Gravel
Suitable Vehicle:
Passenger Car
Length:
25 mile loop
Time:
3 1/2 hours to all day
Season:
Drivable year round

Description

The Desert Canyon Scenic Loop features scenic desert country where you'll see colorful canyons, lush oases, picturesque ranches, and some off-the-beaten-path Indian ruins. The route skirts the lower elevations of Arizona's rim country where red rock canyons spill out from under thick basalt flows. The road cuts two of these canyons and offers access to a third along the way.

Roadside signs point the way to a number of hiking trails and a few spur roads leading off into the backcountry. There is a campground and picnic area at Wet Beaver Creek Crossing and another along West Clear Creek at route's end. A primitive road leads to an undeveloped campground and recreation area at the mouth of West Clear Creek Canyon. A short side trip leads to Montezuma's Well National Monument, a large spring surrounded by cultural sites.

Keep an eye out for road runners, coyotes and javelinas as you drive. The road is a bit rough, but if you go slow it's not too bad.

Details

Location:
40 miles south of Flagstaff; 13 miles south of Sedona
Setting:
Desert
Surface:
Rough Dirt or Gravel
Suitable Vehicle:
Passenger Car
Length:
25 mile loop
Time:
3 1/2 hours to all day
Main Roads:
National Forest 618 Rd and AZ-260 W
Season:
Drivable year round
Additional Details:
To get there:

Take 1-17 to the exit for Hwy 179, about 10 miles north of Camp Verde. Turn east, under the highway onto Forest Service Road 618. Follow this road along the base of the Mogollon Rim 13 miles to FSR 9 (the General Crook Road) and turn west (right) 9 miles back to I-17.

FSR 618 is graveled and suitable for passenger cars; however, it can become soft and slippery when wet. FSR 9 is paved.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Take 1-17 to the exit for Hwy 179, about 10 miles north of Camp Verde. Turn east, under the highway onto Forest Service Road 618. Follow this road along the base of the Mogollon Rim 13 miles to FSR 9 (the General Crook Road) and turn west (right) 9 miles back to I-17.

FSR 618 is graveled and suitable for passenger cars; however, it can become soft and slippery when wet. FSR 9 is paved.

Customizable Directions


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Sedona Sedona Sedona
Central ArizonaSedona is known by many as "Red Rock Country” and is a magical place of art and culture located in Central Arizona. Friendly locals and beautiful surroundings make this quite the popular destination.
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