Cibola
Pass-Jordan Trail Loop

A juniper-framed view on Cibola Pass Trail
Mitten Ridge formations seen from Cibola Pass Trail.

As implausible as it may seem, some people driving through Sedona are in a hurry. It happens,
though, but it’s no excuse to forfeit a hike in order to beat the traffic or
catch a flight. Many of Sedona’s trails
offer drive-up-and-hike convenience and clever connectivity that accommodates those
who have only a couple of hours to indulge in a picture-perfect jaunt. Take, for instance, the Cibola Pass-Jordan
Loop.

Sugarloaf and Chimney Rock seen from Jordan Trail.

When hiked from the Jim Thompson trailhead that’s located just a short
drive from Uptown Sedona, this heavenly trek that slices through forests at the
southern edge of the Red Rock Secret Canyon Wilderness, gets you in-and-out of
the good stuff pronto.

Huge agaves grow along the route.

As the average
hiker moves at about 2-3 miles per hour, it’s possible to whip through this
2.2-mile circuit in just over an hour—provided you can limit ogling and photo
stops. The hike scrimps on length but splurges on scenery and workout value. From the parking area, start hiking at the
Cibola Pass post near the fee pay station. Continue a few yards to a three-way
junction and continue straight ahead on the Cibola Pass trail. Hiking the loop
in this direction gets the steep climbing out of the way within the first
half-mile.

A shady spot on the Jordan Trail

The abrupt but not-too-difficult climb is a mashup of switchbacks
and flat rest areas overlooking the deep cuts of Mormon Canyon and layers of
sheer wilderness mesas. The signature
feature along this section is the hand-shaped, russet stone tower that caps
Mitten Ridge.

A scenic point on the Jordan Trail

The route makes a brief passage though the wilderness area on
slickrock slopes with stunning juniper-framed views before dipping into a shady
drainage. At the 0.7-mile point, the
circuit meets the Jordan Trail junction.

A slick rock passage on the Jordan Trail

Time permitting, take an optional
0.6-mile roundtrip venture, by heading right to see Devil’s Kitchen—an
impressive sandstone sinkhole. To stick
with the quick-trip plan, go left at the junction and make a swift ramble on
the Jordan Trail through a 1.5-mile pocket of fragrant cypress, giant agaves
and oak-fringed bluffs. You’ll be back at the trailhead in a flash with dusty
boots and time to spare.

Goodding's Verbena blooms April through September.

LENGTH:
2.2 miles

RATING: moderate

ELEVATION: 4520 – 4682 feet

GETTING
THERE:

Jim Thompson
Trailhead:

From the State Route 179/89A traffic circle in Sedona, go
right onto 89A and continue 0.3-mile to Jordan Road on the left. Go 0.8 mile on
Jordan Road, turn left onto Park Ridge Dr. and continue 0.5-mile to the
trailhead on the right. The last half mile is on a gravel road with potholes
but is suitable for all carefully driven vehicles. A $5 Red Rock Pass is
required. There is a restroom and a pay station at the
trailhead.

INFO: Coconino National Forest

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coconino/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=72038&actid=50

Red Rock
Pass Information:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5416207

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