Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bell Rock and Courtyard Butte Hike

On Monday, Nov 14, we headed to Sedona to take in some hikes among the red rocks.  First we stopped at the Red Rock Ranger Station to get some maps and pick up a pass.  There are numerous hikes in the Sedona area and a Red Rock Pass is required.  We got the annual pass for $20.  The revenue from the sale of these passes goes entirely to signage and trail maintenance and it shows.  

From the Ranger Station we proceeded a few miles down the road, thru the village of Oak Creek, to the trailhead for the Bell Rock and Courthouse Loop Trail.  Its an excellent hike, easy to follow and at 4 miles a nice distance for this early in our hiking season.  While the elevation gain was only 250 ft I’m sure we went up and down that 250 ft about 10 times.  At some point it was like doing stairs.  By the end my knees and quads were so sore it felt like I’d walked about 10 miles.  But the views were great and it was a very enjoyable morning. 

One of the nice things for us about most of the trails here is that you can take your dog.  The rules are simple.  Keep them on a leash and pick up after them.  We even met a volunteer on the trail and he thanked us for keeping Charli on a leash.  We saw some other people on the trail that felt that that rule didn’t apply to them.  Just after we left the parking lot Charli decided to leave a large deposit.  We dutifully bagged it and carried it with us.  About half way along the trail we stopped for a water break.  About 30 minutes later Lori realized that she hadn’t picked up the bag of treasure.  OOPS!!  It was left sitting beside the trail in a nice bright blue bag.  It was too far to go back so hopefully someone else picked it up for us.  Our Apologies.  

The area around Sedona has 4 natural Vortexes.  “These are swirling centres of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth.  The energy is supposed to interact with who a person is inside.  It supposedly resonates with and strengthens the Inner Being of each person that comes within about a quarter mile of it.  If someone is at all a sensitive person it is easy to feel the energy at these vortexes and it can be an uplifting experience.”   No shit!  I took this right out of the tourist guide.  Bell Rock is supposed to have one of these Vortexes and I felt nothing other than the awe of the view.  Not sure what that says about me as a “sensitive” person but we intend on going back and making an attempt to get a little higher up.  Perhaps I’ll feel something stirring from within.   

A view of Bell Rock from the trail.

Courthouse Butte

A closeup of Courthouse Butte.   Looks like someone got up there with a chisel and took away a section of rock and then sanded it smooth.

The variation in the colours of the rocks with the green vegetation and the blue blue sky provides great contrast.  Almost like working in primary colours.  Looking forward to an occasion when a nice fluffy white clout can be thrown in.  You will see some of those in an upcoming post.

Courthouse Butte.

A great example of the trail.  Vegetation all around us providing some much needed shade.  The strategically placed rocks provide an easy climb although by mile 4 the knees and quads were starting to burn.
The vortex on Bell Rock is stronger the higher up you go.  We kept hearing this drum.  Finally was able to zoom in on this fella half way up Bell Rock using the rhythm of the drum and the energy of the vortex to get in touch with his inner self.  Perhaps that was my problem.  No drum.

We took a climb up Bell Rock but only got a short distance and decided the rest of the climb would have to wait for another day.

 Ho Hum.  Another picture of red rocks, blue sky and green vegetation.

Next up a Jeep Safari.