Boynton Canyon Trail

Coconino National Forest, Arizona

Distance2.7mi
Elevation Gain1,084ft
Trailhead Elevation4,543ft
Top5,051ft
Elevation Min/Max4517/5051ft
Elevation Start/End4543/4546ft

Boynton Canyon Trail

Boynton Canyon Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Yavapai County, Arizona. It is within Coconino National Forest and Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness Area. It is 2.7 miles long and begins at 4,543 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,084 feet. This trail connects with the following: Deadman's Pass and Boynton Vista.

Boynton Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is a very popular hike into a spectacular red-rock canyon that ends below the towering cliffs of Bear Mountain in the Red Rock–Secret Mountain Wilderness.

This is a well-known hike that skirts a large resort for its first mile, so don’t expect a wilderness experience. The upper part of Boynton Canyon is spectacular and makes up for the initial section of the hike. The Boynton Canyon Trail climbs along the north side of the canyon to avoid the resort and then drops into the canyon. Here a spur trail to the resort joins from the left."

"This is a very popular hike into a spectacular redrock canyon that ends below the towering cliffs of Bear Mountain in the Red Rock–Secret Mountain Wilderness. This is a well-known hike that skirts a large resort for its first mile, so don’t expect a wilderness experience. The upper part of Boynton Canyon is spectacular and makes up for the initial section of the hike.

This is a well-known hike that skirts a large resort for its first mile, so don’t expect a wilderness experience. The upper part of Boynton Canyon is spectacular and makes up for the initial section of the hike. The Boynton Canyon Trail climbs along the north side of the canyon to avoid the resort and then drops into the canyon. Here a spur trail to the resort joins from the left. The Boynton Canyon Trail follows the drainage to the north-west. In another half-mile or so, both the canyon and the trail turn toward the southwest, and the noises of the resort are left behind."

"Boynton Canyon is considered one of Sedona's most scenic canyons and a powerful vortex site. The canyon has lush riparian vegetation, towering red sandstone formations, hoodoo rock spires and ancient Sinagua Indian cliff dwellings dating back to 1,200 A.D.

The view from these ruins is stunning. The sandstone and limestone sculptures loom 1,000 feet high on both sides. At the mouth of the canyon sits Enchantment Resort."

"Located within minutes of Sedona, Boynton Canyon is a popular hike for locals and visitors alike. Entering a highly scenic canyon boxed in by large red rock buttes and cliffs, this trail accesses some truly outstanding scenery. Wildlife is plentiful and the flora is fascinating. A Red Rock Pass is required for trail use.

The route begins by skirting to the east of a resort that sprawls across the mouth of the canyon. For this first mile the trail traverses dry foothills before dropping back into the canyon bottom. Some minor grade changes can be expected in this first section, but once the canyon bottom is reached, upstream from the resort, the hike is mostly level."

"If you’re up for a short hike and love the red-rock country near Sedona, then take a trip to the Secret Mountain Wilderness, which is part of Coconino National Forest, to see the cliff dwellings of Boynton Canyon. Once you get past an imposing resort at the base of Boynton Canyon, you’ll venture into some truly spectacular scenery.

Striking red cliffs rise from the green canyon bottom and meet the blue sky above. Such scenery attracts many hikers to the area, but few visitors climb up the sides of the canyon to see the cliff dwellings; you can expect to find a fair amount of solitude among the ancient buildings."

Boynton Canyon Trail Reviews

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7/20/2018
Sedona is one of my favorite spots in the west. The hike isn't too hard but it can be really hot in the summer so be prepared to bring a lot of water, sunscreen and a hat. The views of the red Sedona mountains are amazing. Great spot to take pictures!
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7/10/2018
This is a very special place. Be warned it is unbearably hot in July and much more pleasant in the early morning or cooler months. There is a mix here of flat trail and rock scrambling, making it a challenging but rewarding hiking experience. The end of the trail is the rockiest with some elevation changes. Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks and enjoy the vortex!
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3/28/2018
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7/25/2009
The trail is as advertised. We did bring our dog and I'm not sure the end is meant for a dog. When you reach the end of the trail, the rock outcropping slopes down and if a dog mis-stepped on that ledge that could be it! Just becareful, we found the distance to be closer to 7 miles roundtrip. Very cool ending, very worth it!
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5/1/2009
easy trail but it is beautiful, Red rock on both sides of the canyon. nice afternoon stroll.
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3/10/2008
Trail was lovely with a nice mix of red rock and sandy path terrain. The best views are at the end of the trail, just beyond the 'trail's end' sign to the right. Here you'll enjoy spectacular vistas from the rim of a tall red rock formation. The trail is relatively crowded--at least in mid-march. Water supply and good hiking shoes are a must. Trail is mostly flat and easy with occassional patches of steep terrain.
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11/7/2007
Fun, scenic trail. Must climb the rocks at the end for great veiw back across the canyon. Shady, and lots of places to rest. Take a lunch, and enjoy.
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11/4/2007
Very fun trip. From the trail head to the very end is 3.7 miles according to our GPS. The trail head is at N34.91002 W111.84939 and the very end is at N34.92408 W111.87831. Totally worth the trip. We took our girls (4 and 6) and they made it in and out with no problems though the 4 year old was getting a little tired by the end. The foliage changes several times along the trail and goes from desert all the way to pine forest. The end is definitely worth it.
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8/28/2007
The Boynton Canyon trail is a memorable hike up a beautiful canyon once you get past the first mile. The first mile of the trail climbs on a ridge over the Enchantment resort - a huge sprawling complex of buildings that choke the entrance to the canyon. My wife and I were a bit put off by the resorts signs on the trail that said hikers must remain on the trail and not to even thing about walking through the resort to the trailhead. There was also a mention of armed guards and video cameras! But once past the resort, the magic of red rock country reappeared and we were very pleased with the hike. The trail is mostly level until the end where you cross a wash and then start to climb to the top of a low ridge. Be sure to finish the "climbing" section at the end of the trail, because the views from the ridge are magnificent and folks have built a "cairns garden" on the exposed rock. Also, be sure to have more then half your water supply left at the turnaround because the last mile before reaching the trailhead (going by the resort again) is mostly shadeless.
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8/9/2007
The scenery and the canyon are beautiful, and the hike itself is a nice easy hike with some short up and downs. The entire experience was marred by the presence of the resort with its mowers, weed-whackers, and vehicles making constant noise. Once past the resort and deeper into the canyon, the trees grew taller and the views of the rock diminished, but it was a much more restful and enjoyable hike.
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Trail Information

Coconino National Forest
Nearby City
Coconino National Forest
Parks
Coconino National Forest
Coconino National Forest; Red Rocks - Secret Mountain Wilderness Area
Sedona Ranger District, Coconino National Forest
Local Contacts
USGS Wilson Mountain
USGS Wilson Mountain, Loy Butte
USGS Wilson Mountain; Coconino National Forest
Wilson Mountain USGS quad
Local Maps