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Casner Mountain Trail No. 8


View along Casner Mountain Trail No. 8

Originally built to maintain power lines, Casner Mountain Trail offers spectacular views of the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness and Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness and the Verde Valley. The trail follows an old jeep road which still provides access to the power lines and off-highway opportunities for motorized vehicles. Wildlife is abundant, particularly in the winter months. Watch for elk and deer. An occasional bear and even mountain lion are spotted.

The trail begins in high desert vegetation and switchbacks up the side of Casner Mountain. Once on top of the mesa, pinyon/juniper with open grasslands are the norm. Take lots of water especially during the summer months.

  • Hikers and mountain bikers: The ascent is very strenuous and accounts for about 2 miles of the total length. However, once on top the hike/ride is really quite easy to moderate.
  • Motorized vehicles: Casner Mountain Trail is designated as a motorized trail with very rugged conditions along a narrow ridge with limited opportunity for two-way traffic. Gates are closed year round.
    • OHV (less than 62 inches wide): The trail is open year-round between FR 525C at the bottom, and FR 538B, where the trail enters the Flagstaff Ranger District at the top. There is room to go under or around the gates. During wintertime FR 538B and other roads in this region of the Forest are closed. Check the Red Rock Ranger District Road Status for the status of the gates at either end of Casner Mountain Trail #8 and do not pass the upper gate onto FR 538B when the area is listed as closed for the winter.
    • Full-sized motorized vehicles (greater than 62 inches wide): A permit is required. The road is only open for permitted access between May 16 and October 14. Please see additional details below.


Photos & Multimedia


At a Glance

Current Conditions: 2018 Season: No more large vehicle permits available! All permits for the 2018 season have been issued. Permits are only required for vehicles 62 inches wide and larger. Vehicles less than 62 inches wide may continue driving the trail by going under the gate or using the pass-through to the side of the gate.
Permit Info: 2018 Season: No more large vehicle permits available! All permits for the 2018 season have been issued.

Permit required for vehicles greater than 62 inches wide. The permit is free, and must be made in advance. Permit processing may take two to six weeks. Call the Red Rock Ranger District at 928-203-2900 to request a permit.
Open Season: Year-round. Snow may be present in winter. Roads beyond the upper gate are closed in the winter.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: This is a motorized, multi-use trail open year-round to hikers, mountain bikers, and motorized vehicles less than 62 inches wide. The trail is only open May 16 to October 14 by permit to vehicles greater than 62 inches wide.
Closest Towns: Sedona, Arizona; Flagstaff, Arizona
Operated By: Red Rock Ranger District 928-203-2900
Information Center: Gates: Casner Mountain Trail Gates are closed year-round. You may take your OHV (less than 62 inches wide) or bikes under or around this gate. If you have a full-sized vehicle, you will be given the combination for this gate when you are issued a permit. The gate policy for this trail is an exception on this forest. 

General Information

General Notes:

Hiking rating: Moderate to strenuous

Hiking time: Plan on a full day/overnighter.

OHV: Maximum OHV width is 62 inches. (OHV and bicycles must remain on the trail. The Red Rock-Secret Mountain and Sycamore Canyon Wilderness boundaries come up to the edge of the trail on both sides. Mechanized vehicles are prohibited in Wilderness areas)



Location: About 48 miles south of Flagstaff (17 miles west of Sedona) on paved and graveled roads.


  • From Flagstaff via Sedona: Drive 30 miles south from Flagstaff through Sedona on US 89A. Five miles past Sedona turn north on FR 525 and follow the signs to Sycamore Pass. Turn west on FR 525C and continue for seven miles to the hikers' trailhead. Watch for the trailhead sign on your right where the power line crosses the road.
    • Motorized vehicle access: Continue 1/3 of a mile past the hikers' trailhead. Turn right on FR 9529 for approximately a 1/2 mile to a yellow gate.
  • From Flagstaff via Woody Mountain Road: Drive Woody Mountain Road (FR231) to 231A, to FR538 to FR538B. There is a gate just before the junction with Taylor Cabin Trail. Park in the nearby parking area (do not block the road). The last mile is extremely rough. A high clearance vehicle is required, or park when it gets rough and hike the last mile.


  • South Trailhead (via Sedona) (Map): 34°55'07.8"N 111°58'44.5"W
  • North Trailhead (via Woody Mountain Road) (Map): 34°59'09.8"N 111°56'46.1"W




Click map thumbnail for larger view.

Map showing Casner Mountain Trail Detail map of Casner Mountain Trail No. 8


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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OHV Riding & Camping

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OHV Road Riding

Special permit program for full-sized vehicles

The Red Rock Ranger District offers permits for full-size, high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles (over 62" wide) for use of this trail between May 16th and October 14th. A free permit is required. Permits will only be issued for groups with at least three vehicles and not more than ten vehicles. Group size may not exceed 25 persons. Only one permit will be issued per calendar week. Allow two to six weeks for permit processing. Permits will not be issued for commercial use, nor for overnight camping. The gates are closed and locked, but permit-holders will receive the combination. Call the Red Rock Ranger District at 928-203-2900 to request a permit.

Reservation required?: Y
Permit required?: Y
Areas & Activities

Featured Events


  Area/Length : 
7.0 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4837 at south/lower trailhead