The natural beauty of Sedona with dramatic red rock formations of spires, arches, pinnacles and cliffs are a hiker’s dream to explore. There’s a trail or a walk for every level of ability in Sedona.
We’ve hiked a big variety of trails all over Sedona, but the clear standout on our last visit is my new favorite, the Hangover Trail, a hike with simply stunning views. We did this trail as a loop connecting the 3 trails of Cow Pies, Hangover and Munds Wagon to make a terrific 5 mile loop hike.
“Do you have a high clearance vehicle?” Why yes, we do…and boy do you need it if you want to drive on Schnebly Hill Road!
I wanted to hike the Cow Pies and Hangover Trail and start from the Cow Pies trailhead off of Schnebly Hill Road, a spectacularly scenic, and spectacularly rough, road. Best suited for 4 wheel drive vehicles, we had the comfort of the big 4×4 Yukon and took that road, well…spectacularly slow. But more on that rutted, rough road later.
The Cow Pies formations are just a quick hike off of Schnebly Hill Road. When you see these enormous, flat rock mounds you’ll see why they are called Cow Pies!
Fun Fact: These circular sandstone formations are a famous Vortex site.
You can walk from formation to formation on the Cow Pies, we wandered over to the edge of one and then headed up to the Hangover Trail.
If you thought the views from the Cow Pies were terrific, just continue on up past the Cow Pies to the Hangover Trail. My new favorite trail, the Hangover is also a technical Mountain Biking trail – steep and slick in many parts, the rating is Double-Black Diamond for cyclists. This sign points the way uphill to the Hangover Trail.
The trail hangs just below Mitten Ridge, a series of jagged red rock formations at the top of Bear Wallow Canyon. Don’t forget to look back for the view of the end of the tree lined Bear Wallow Canyon.
Every step of this hike is filled with fantastic views, and unexpected views, like the crazy rocks on one slope that look like they were machine cut.
When you round the ridge to the north side you get a terrific view of Midgley Bridge and Highway 89A far below.
The north side of the Hangover Trail hugs the mountain, it was steep going in places and I was amazed that mountain bikers could bike this!
The trail circles back around to Bear Wallow Canyon, with distant views over north Sedona.
Eventually you drop down through the Ponderosa Pine forest to the intersection of Munds Wagon Trail, next to Schnebly Hill Road.
Munds Wagon Trail
An old cattle route out of Sedona, Munds Wagon Trail made the last leg of this spectacular loop hike. The scenic trail follows Schnebly Hill Road, crossing a dry creek and also Schnebly Hill Road.
The entire loop was 5 miles and took us 3 1/2 – 4 scenic view filled hours, including a leisurely stop for our picnic lunch high on the north side of Hangover Trail.
Schnebley Hill Road
The views along scenic Schnebly Hill Road are wonderful, but not that great for the driver! The road is extremely rough with huge exposed rocks in the roadbed. You have to be very alert to negotiate the best way through many parts of this deeply rutted and rocky road. You need a 4×4 high clearance vehicle. We managed just fine in the 4 wheel drive Yukon, just very slowly.
No 4×4 High Clearance Vehicle?
Good news though, you don’t have to be a 4×4 owner to enjoy the Hangover Trail, just park at the Munds Wagon Trail parking lot at the end of the paved part of Schnebly Hill Road and walk up Munds Wagon to the Hangover Trail intersection to just hike Hangover, or walk all the way up Munds Wagon trail to the Cow Pies to include Cow Pies in the loop, like we did on this spectacular hike.
Tip: If you want to experience a bumpy, rough ride in an open jeep, there are Jeep tours that go out Schnebly Hill Road on a 1.5-2 hour Mongollon Rim tour to Merry Go Round rock, another mile past where we parked at the Cow Pies trail head.
Spectacular Hikes and Trails for Everyone
We’ve hiked a lot of trails in Sedona and the Hangover Trail was one I just loved. The trail can be a little challenging and steep in parts but the views were worth it!
If this trail doesn’t fit your ability, look at the Hiline Trail with it’s fantastic views of Cathedral Rock or the Fay Canyon Trail, an easy, short and very scenic trail.