Sterling Pass

Coconino National Forest, Arizona

Distance1.5mi
Elevation Gain2,030ft
Trailhead Elevation4,851ft
Top5,969ft
Elevation Min/Max4851/5969ft
Elevation Start/End4851/4851ft

Sterling Pass

Sterling Pass is a hiking and horse trail in Coconino County, Arizona. It is within Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness Area and Coconino National Forest. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 4,851 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,030 feet. This trail connects with the following: Vultee Arch Trail #22.

Sterling Pass Professional Reviews and Guides

"A less-used trail below the impressive cliffs on the north face of Wilson Mountain, in the Red Rock–Secret Mountain Wilderness."

"A less-used trail below the impressive cliffs of the north face of Wilson Mountain, in the Red Rock– Secret Mountain Wilderness. After leaving the highway, the Sterling Pass Trail
climbs steeply up a drainage and through a fine stand of
ponderosa pines.

It skirts a dry waterfall and begins a series of short, steep switchbacks. There are occasional views of the massive cliffs that form the north side of Wilson Mountain. There are occasionalviews of the massive cliffs that form the north side of Wilson Mountain. The hike ends at Sterling Pass, the sharp
notch between the Mogollon Rim and Wilson Mountain."

Sterling Pass Reviews

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8/16/2006
This is a beautiful hike which is great exercise. It is a good elevation gain on the first mile or so. The veiws looking back over the canyon are breath taking. Once at the top you descend down through trees to the red rock country. Continue on to Vultee Arch for a spectacular hike. August can get fairly hot even in Northern Arizona so I suggest getting on the trail by 8:00am. Depending on how much you stop and take photos you can probably do the hike to Vultee arch and back in about 3 hours.
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10/5/2005
Sterling Pass is a very senic hike. Great views North Wilson Mountain and the surrounding terrain. The elevation climb is about 1100 ft., and there is the option to continue the hike about another 3/4 mile to the Vultee Arch. Definately worth the extra time to make that trip. If you add the Vultee Arch side trip your total rountrip milage is about 4.8 miles, and the total elevation change is about 1600ft. Best time to hike is late October or early November to see the full chaing of color of the leaves on the hike.
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Trail Information

Coconino National Forest
Nearby City
Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness Area
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Coconino National Forest
Local Contacts
Munds Park, Wilson Mountain USGS quads
Local Maps