Sunday, February 22, 2009

Broken Arrow Trail

Saturday morning we decided to take the Jeep out on another adventure. One of the most scenic trails in all of Az, according to our Off Road book, is the Broken Arrow trail that leads to a place called Chicken Point. We had been there before on a hike and had seen the Pink Jeep tours driving over the red rocks so we decided to give it a try. The first thing you run into is a wall of rocks at the very beginning of the trail. This is meant to discourage people in their rental cars from getting in over their heads. Once you get over that obstacle, you soon find yourself on a huge slab of red rock. We got out of the Jeep as we had the place to ourselves for a few minutes and we strolled around.

From this spot, there are great views into the canyon and then panoramic views across to the red rocks around Sedona. We were there in the morning, so the sun was shining on the formations towards Sedona and the rocks in the canyon were back lit with lots of nice shadows.

The guide books rate this trail a 7 of 10, mainly because of a very steep, ledgy slickrock hill. The trail itself is one-way and this stairway is near the end. You pass this end of the loop when the trail becomes one-way. You are advised to walk up part of the stairway to determine if you want to continue or not, because you will need to exit the trail by that stairway. Onward we plunged.

A bit further there is a side trail to a large sink hole called Devil's Dining Room. There is another such sink hole in town called the Devil's Kitchen. The sink holes are caused by water leeching thousands of feet down into the soil and finally eroding a layer of limestone deep under ground. Once the limestone leeches away, there is an empty space that needs to be filled. (Nature abhors a vacuum). The ceiling of that hole collapses, then the ceiling of the hole above collapses, and so on and so on until the last ceiling near the crust of the earth collapes causing the sink hole. Got that? This one is about 100 feet deep and you can see all the many layers that make up the red rock formations.

We left the Devil's Dining Room and ventured further up the trail. Soon we encountered a 4WD club called Flagstaff4Wheelers and decided to follow them. They seemed to be up to no good. We were the last of a parade of 13 Jeeps that made their way to Chicken Point where we were treated to a great view towards the Village of Oak Creek. From there we tagged along as they went to "play" before they were to head out for another trail.

As the trail was One-way, I had to follow them.

The first playground was up a slickrock, around the very top of a rock called, The Roundabout, and then to the exercise of climbing the rock in the photo on the right. Believe it or not, I made it up this rock with relative ease. I just put it in 4L and let it crawl. I had to goose it a bit a couple of times to get over the first few boulders, but once I had all 4 wheels on the big boulder, it went smoothly. The path I took was a bit different than the guy in the photo. I went up the light grey path where the two guys are taking pictures.

These guys were mostly young and crazy, except for their leader who was not young but was crazy. He wasn't satisfied with his playing until he just about got wedged in a groove between two boulders. He got out of this without a tow. Needless to say, I didn't try this particular stunt.


  1. Holy socks!! That looks painful. Sent Brian the fourth picture (one on the left with all the rocks to the left of the jeeps. Says the roads in Sudan can be just as bad.

  2. OMG!!! HSL!!! Woodie is so jealous! So am I!

    We love your tales.

    We had lots of chuckles about "These guys were mostly young and crazy, except for their leader who was not young but was crazy."

    Thanks for teaching us about sink holes, etc.

  3. I forgot to sign the last comment.
    You can probably guess.
    "Woodie and Maggie"