Trips & Trails: Schnebly Hill Road

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If you love the Flagstaff / Sedona area as much as we do you inevitably know of Schnebly Hill Road, a phenomenal dirt trail that has arguably the best view of Sedona one can get. If massive red rock buttes and ponderosa pine forests get you pumped, this is the trail for you.

History

Schnebly Hill Road was originally an old wagon trail built by Jim Mund. The old Munds Wagon Road is marked just below Vista Point. The Forest Service paid to improve the road in 1902. Just two years prior, entrepreneur Carl Schnebly settled in Oak Creek and made his fortune partly by transporting goods along the improved road. The town of Sedona is named after Carl’s wife.

Schnebly Hill Road is a rough, dirt road and requires a high-clearance vehicle or capable motorcycle. While it isn’t a road I would call tough, there are a few switchbacks and large rutted sections and potholes that require a bit of maneuvering to keep your ride comfortable. Camping is not available below the Vista Point, but you’ll want to camp higher in elevation anyway.

Getting There:

From the roundabout at the intersection of highways. 89A and 179 in Sedona, head south on 179 to the next roundabout. Circle around and head northeast on well-marked Schnebly Hill Road. Go about one mile on pavement to parking lot and toilet on left. The Road changes to dirt just after the parking lot.

WHAT TO KNOW:

Time: 2-3 hours

Distance: 10 miles

Fuel: available in Sedona and Flagstaff

Water: Plan to bring more water than you anticipate requiring. Anticipate more than one gallon of water per person per day, especially in summer months.

Permits: None. A Red Rock Pass is NOT required to drive this road

Other considerations: Schnebly Hill Road is closed in the winter. High clearance vehicles are required and must be street legal.


Header photo: thundermountainjeep

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Photo by Brett Willhelm

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