The Secret Canyon Trail is of moderate length, leading into the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. The first two miles follows an old road bed, that is fairly flat and easy going. The rest of the way, the trail meanders in and out of the canyon bottom. Vegetation varies from chaparral to mixed conifer along this typically dry water course.
The signed trailhead is across the usually dry streambed of Dry Creek west of the parking area. The trail immediately enters Wilderness. The wide, nearly flat trail leads into the wide canyon mouth with nice views, but no shade from the desert scrub vegetation. At 2/3 mile, HS Canyon Trail branches off to the left. Continue ahead for Secret Canyon. At 2 miles, continue ahead (west) as the trail drops down to cross a drainage. It climbs gently for the next 3 miles beside the canyon drainage, frequently dipping down to cross it.
There is shade from oak and ponderosa and nice views of red rock formations. At 5 miles, the streambed turns sharply left a short distance to an interesting "chute". Return to the trail which continues ahead, climbs sharply, then levels out. At 5.5 miles, there is a deep ravine and a series of pools in the solid rock streambed. An unmaintained trail continues on. Return by the same route for an 11 mile hike. The entire length of this hike is enjoyable and rewarding, so hike as much or as little as you'd like for the day. The trail can be very hot in summer.
See also, Secret Canyon Loop Trails
Uses: Hiking, horses. (Bicycles prohibited in Wilderness)
Hiking time: Allow 6 hours round trip
At a Glance
||The road to Secret Trail is very primitive and suitable for high-clearance vehicles only.
||Red Rock Ranger District - 928-203-2900
Location: About 42 miles south of Flagstaff (12 miles west of Sedona) on paved and graveled roads.
GPS (Map): 34°55'48.1"N 111°48'24.1"W
USGS Map: Wilson Mountain
Access: Drive 27 miles south from Flagstaff to Sedona on US 89A. Continue through Sedona to Dry Creek Road (152C) at the west end of town. Turn right on Dry Creek Road and drive for two miles to Forest Road 152. This road is rough; high clearance vehicles recommended. It is not recommended during wet weather. About 3 miles up this road on the left (west) side of the road is a two-track road. Turn onto this road. There is a trailhead sign at the junction of these two roads. The parking area is approximately 200 feet behind the sign.
Click map graphic for PRINTABLE view.