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Making Friends on the Broken Arrow Trail, Sedona, AZ

Broken Arrow Trail

The Broken Arrow Trail in Sedona is a great trail to follow. I took this trail up to an area called Chicken Point on our March 2020 trip. I ended up making this a loop trail by returning down Broken Arrow Trail and then across High on The Hog Trail and finally down Twin Butte Trail to the parking lot.

Information

According to the hiking guide I used, Broken Arrow Trail in Sedona is listed as a moderate 3 mile in and out trail to Chicken Point. Since I turned it into a loop, I took Broken Arrow to Chicken Point which is about 1.5 miles then followed Broken Arrow back to the High on The Hog Trail which adds another 0.4 miles according to the sign map. Following High on The Hog Trail to Twin Buttes is 3 tenths of a mile. Finally taking Twin Buttes Trail back to the parking lot is another 0.8 miles. This makes for a total of 3 miles. My fit bit tracked this at 3.69 miles as I lost my way for a short time and had to retrace my steps. This trail took me 3 hours and 15 minutes. That is with taking lots of photos and having to retrace my steps.

I would consider most of this loop easy with the exception of some areas on Broken Arrow Trail which are moderate and also some areas on High on the Hog Trail which are definetly more moderate. High on the Hog is not a trail to take if you do not like heights, drop offs, and areas that require careful stepping. It’s probably not good if you have weak ankles or knee problems. All of these trails are well marked and the paths are packed dirt and rocky in areas. Occasionally you will be walking on top of larger boulders with some big reaches stepping up and down.

If you don’t want to hike up to Chicken Point, Pink Jeep Tours will take you there on one of their tours. I have not been on one, but I heard they have amazing tours!

Location

The Hike

I arrived at Broken Arrow trailhead in about 8:30 am and it was a perfect day for a hike. Beautiful sunshine and a cool breeze in the air. The Trailhead was easy to find and there was only a couple other cars in the parking area. I would guess it fills up fairly early as there were only about 20-25 parking spots. This hike was again well marked with wire baskets filled with rocks and also signs and trail maps. I found out this is the norm for most trails in Sedona.

Broken Arrow Trail

The Broken Arrow Trail, per my guide book, was part of the area where the 1950 James Stewart movie Broken Arrow was filmed. Normally this is a heavy traffic trail but I didn’t see anyone else for almost the full hike up to Chicken Point. The trail has some beautiful panoramic views and I practiced using my pano tool on my iPhone camera! I know, it’s been around for a long time, but hey, newish for me! The hike was easy and I loved every bit of it.

Chicken Point

Chicken Point is the end destination for the Broken Arrow Trail. It gets it’s name from years ago when Jeeps used to be able to circle around a large rock on the point. This would put the Jeep close to the edge with a steep drop off. Supposedly you were “chicken” if you didn’t do it. This practice is no longer permitted.

Taken from Chicken Point

When I got there, several Jeeps had just arrived. I never did get a good picture of the rock in the middle of chicken point because Jeeps kept coming and going with lots of people. I did get views from around the point though.

Chicken point is a beautiful area. Looking out from the end of the trail you can see bell rock in the distance.

Bell Rock From Chicken Point

To the west you will see some jagged rock formations and part of Twin Buttes.

Back on Broken Arrow Trail

I planned on following Broken Arrow Trail back down. At a fork in the trail, looking at the signs I was chatting with an older man. He told me not to take Broken Arrow Trail down. He said if I followed him he would show me a more beautiful trail and then show me the turn off for the parking lot. The trail was well populated at this time and I felt safe so I followed him on the High on the Hog Trail.

High on the Hog Trail

I found out my new friend was 83 and an avid hiker. He lived in Sedona for many decades. He literally flew across the trail. I seriously had a hard time keeping up! Well actually, I could not keep up!! He would be ahead of me turn around and holler, “come on now, almost done”. It was so much fun. The trail was not easy with lots of drop offs and narrow areas. It took a lot of careful stepping for me, yet he kept flying! He chatted along the way, telling me how it used to be in Sedona, before all the “crazy people”.

At one point, he stopped suddenly and said, “My heart is in A-fib, it does that, we’ll just stop until it goes away”. He smiled and said, “No big deal” of course with me being a former ER nurse I was thinking to myself, oh crap, this could be a big deal. Nurse mode came on. I noticed his color was good, he didn’t seem short of breath, no apparent pain. He just kept smiling. I offered to check his pulse, asked if he wanted to sit, or maybe I should call for help? But no, he insisted he was fine and said his heart does this all day. Said he saw his doctor a few days ago. Less than a minute later he told me “it’s back, lets go,” and off he went!

Getting Dismissed

At the next trail marker he told me he was going to hike the other “Hog Trails” but thought they might be too much for me, since I wasn’t from around there. He pointed the way to the parking lot. With that, he was off and I was dismissed. So I started wondering if that trail was really that tough or if I was just slowing him down too much. Basically, he ditched me! I was fine with that, I was ready to go back to the hotel and have some lunch.

Twin Buttes Trail and Retracing My Steps.

I followed the Twin Buttes Trail for much longer than he told me I would. I also noticed I hadn’t seen a rock basket marker in awhile. People were talking in a distance and I knew from the rock formations I was close to the parking lot, but my trail stopped. The area I was in looked like it could be a ravine or wash when suddenly I had no trail. My map was no help. I knew I was close to the lot so I don’t think I was actually lost. I tried my iPhone GPS and sure enough there was the dot that was me, and there was the parking lot, but no suggestion as how to get to the lot.

Below is the trail I had been on and where it ended!

I retraced my steps because that seemed safe. Once I was back where my friend left me, I looked at the map and all looked well. A young couple was heading towards the Twin Butte Trail and I asked if they were going to the parking lot, they said they were and I asked if I could follow them. So off we went. We weren’t far into the trail when the trail appeared to go right but one of the couple noticed a rock basket marker to the left. Sure enough, I had missed it.

Once at the parking lot I thanked them and hopped into my vehicle. I was ready to go back to the hotel for some lunch and rest. Steve was at a conference and I was pretty sure when he finished he would be ready for a hike! That’s a tale for next week, as I prove it is possible to get “not lost” twice in the same day!

Conclusion

I would highly recommend Broken Arrow Trail when in Sedona. It has a bit of everything, scenery, great hiking, climbing around on rocks, and it was fun. As a matter of fact, I revisited part of this trail a couple of days later with Steve as part of another loop trail we did! I just had to see what the Hog Trails were like that my new friend told me would be a bit hard for me!! Look for my blog post about Little Horse Trail in one of my future posts.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. The resort was very nice. Steve’s conference was here so it was convenient to stay here. The room was comfortable with a separate bedroom and a sitting room with fireplace. The room also had a small fridge and microwave. The two restaurants were good and we enjoyed the outdoor dining. I actually ate lunch there each day. There is an outdoor area with fire pits and seating, also an outdoor games area. The staff was very courteous and knowledgeable about the area. There also is a large spa. I did treat myself to a deep tissue massage after day 3 of hiking. The gal there was great!


Planning

When planning for hiking Broken Arrow Trail, I used the Great Sedona Hikes Guidebook. I liked this book because it gave straight forward information, good directions, accurate description and include a map. This book was easy to follow and contains information on over 100 trails in the area. The photos are in black and white but there is also an icon on each hike which you can scan on your phone. These icons contain color photos of the hikes.

I also used Sedona Trails Map while following Broken Arrow Trail and the many other Trails in Sedona. This is a sturdy map that fit nicely in my bag. Easy to follow and definitely worth having.


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For more Sedona Hikes and Hiking Tips you can follow my links:

Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte Hike

Packing for a Day Hike

What to wear on a Mountain Hike

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