Mooney Trail No. 12

Area Status: Open

This trail was originally built to drive cattle to and from summer pastures on the rim and is still used for this purpose. Because of this relationship to ranching, this is a wide, well constructed trail. The trail begins next to Black Tank at the junction of FR 525C and FR 9551. The trail turns due north along an old Forest road. that runs along the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness Boundary. The old road ends at Sebra Tank and the foot path begins.

Note: the old road (FR 9551a) is closed. Driving motorized vehicles on this old roadbed is prohibited. The old road runs along the Wilderness boundary. Bicycles and other mechanized vehicles should be careful to stay on the trail and not ride off-trail into Wilderness. The free Motor Vehicle Use Map shows which roads are designated for motorized travel on the Forest.

From Sebra Tank the trail follows Mooney Canyon for about a mile at which time it starts a steep ascent to the top to the rim. Views are outstanding not only from the top but all along the way. Shade is available in the riparian zone of the canyon but once on the slopes of the canyon, shade becomes scarce. The trail tops out at the junction of Taylor Cabin Trail and Casner Mountain Trail. These trails offer some alternatives to returning by way of the same route. Please note that this can be a very hot hike during the warm months. Take plenty of water!

Rating: Strenuous

Hiking time: Plan on a full day.

Notes: No motorized or mechanized vehicles in Wilderness. No motorized vehicles on the two-track portion of the trail running between FR 9551 and the Wilderness boundary at Sebra Tank.

At a Glance

Open Season: Year-round. Snow may be present at upper elevations in the winter.
Usage: Light-Medium
Closest Towns: Sedona, AZ
Operated By: Red Rock District - 928-203-2900

General Information


Location: About 40 miles south of Flagstaff (10 miles west of Sedona) on paved and graveled roads.

GPS (Map): 34°54'23.0"N 111°57'49.8"W

USGS Maps: Loy Butte

Access: 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 5 miles to the trailhead. Watch for the directional trail sign on your right along FR 525C next to Black Tank. Proceed through pass-through gate and metal "Mooney Trail #12" sign and follow FR 9551. Head east on FR 9551A. The road will swing north, leading to the wilderness boundary sign. The trail closely follows Spring Creek with many water crossings before making its ascent to Casner Mountain road #8.


  • Red Rock Recreation Guide [PDF]: Info on hiking, biking, camping, and more in Arizona's magnificent Red Rock Country. Download the guide or pick one up at the Red Rock Ranger District Visitor Center.
  • The Digital Travel Map Whether you're driving, hiking, riding, or exploring, you will find this full-color, GPS-enabled map a handy reference to have on your mobile device. The map show trails, recreation sites, major landmarks, and forest roads. (Important Note: The Travel Map erroneously shows trail access on FR 525. There is no trail access at this location. It will be updated on the 2017 Travel Map.)
  • Forest Service Topo Map (FSTopo Geo-enable PDF): Loy Butte (345211152)


Click map thumbnail for larger view.

Mooney Trail Map


General Notes:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.6 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
4506 at trailhead