Wilson Mountain is the highest mountain in the area, topping out at 7,122 feet. The trail climbs the cliffs from the 6,200-foot First Bench of Wilson Moutain up to the top of the mountain, with incredible overlooks on both the north rim and the south rim. The hike is a continuation of the First Bench trails (North Wilson Trail and Wilson Mountain to the First Bench). The mountaintop is covered with basaltic lava flows that date back 5 million years ago. From the summit are bird’s eye views of the entire area from 3,000 feet above the city of Sedona. The 360-views include the Verde Valley to the south, the San Francisco Peaks to the north, Oak Creek Canyon and the Mogollon Rim to the east, and the Red Rock Country to the west.
The Hike House Sedona Trail Rating System provides actual hiker feedback and ratings of each of the Sedona hiking trails. The cumulative trail ratings for the Wilson Mountain Trail submitted by fellow hikers is located above with the Trail Data. Your trail feedback and ratings are an important resource for fellow hikers and provide a personal account of your trail experience from which others may learn. So please hike Sedona, help others, and rate a trail today!
Hiked it for the 1st time at 9 am on September 30th. Hot day with forest fire smoke. The first half of the hike gives nothing but spectacular views of Sedona as you climb out of the canyon. Steady incline up, but not too steep. It was like walking on the sky. Upon reaching the ridge, you turn north and begin switchbacking around the backside of Wilson. A different feel to the terrain and hike altogether. At the top you can choose between a view of the Canyon (another 1.4 mi) or Sedona (.5) We chose Sedona and were not disappointed. We sat overlooking the valley for a long time getting bearings and enjoying the geology. Going back was tough, as the trail is relentlessly down on rocky terrain. Good boots a must. Our ankle joints were sore. Only saw 2 other hikers all day. 5 hours round-trip, with about 40 minutes at the top. Highly recommended.
We went in from the north side and hiked up the canyon and across the plateau to the outlook on Mt Wilson. This is a varied hike with a nice forest section in the canyon and good views at the rim. You can really see the fault down Oak Creek Canyon and how much thicker the basalts are on the east side. We met some nice hikers along the way and enjoyed a long lunch alone on the rim. It was muddy and icy in places and we made good use of the mico-spikes for traction (light weight crampons that are very durable).
21 year old son and 51 year old dad set out to tackle Mt Wilson. We started at Migley Bridge (sp?) early 7:10AM and headed up. We approached the first branch in about 1.75 and then headed up the trail after watering-up. The top of the trail branches North to Sterling Pass and South to Sedona Overlook. We took the North Pass and it takes awhile to get to the rim but the views are spectacular. Total trip time = 3 hours with a reasonably good pace. We had an early lunch and then headed back to the South Rim where we checked out Sedona…..also an awesome view of the valley. The south is recommended for the less hearty crowd but the north trail opens up into groves of pine tress and there is a nice hike involved with gradual elevation change. The trail has quite a lot of trees down from the 2005 Brins Mesa fires but walking through a forest with dead trees, some huge pondersoa’s with back soot still alive, and finally fully developed pines that the fire did not take is pretty educational. The North rim shows sterling pass along with a great view of the San Fransico Peaks. The South view has a great voew pf tje town, Munds Wagon, the CowPies, the Broken Arrow basin and all the surrounding sites.
Regarding the trip…..lots of reviews say you grab a lot of elevation quickly and I disagree. The trip up is nice and gradual…this is just a long hike and most anyone can make it if they bring a) enough water and start early. A nice slow ascent is the way to go…in places rocks are loose so a good pair of hiking boots/shoes is mandatory….tennis shoes are likely to result in a twisted ankle.
Our entire family hiked Bear Mountain yesterday and this climb is actually easier….it just takes a long time because of the length.
Couple of points…..the first bench has a sign to the North Trail….this is not the North trail at the top….this trail goes down the rim to a parking lot that is north of the bridge….go up the Wilson Moutain Trail and then there is a sign at the top that points to the North trail and to Sedona overlook. Again….if you take the North trail….just keep going until you can’t stop…trust me you will know when you run into the 2000 foot drop and view of Sterling’s Pass.
Enjoy! Oh yeah – one last thing….I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last year and there is a lot of simularity in the terrain especially as you approach the igneous rock. I gues a volcano is a volcano!
My wife and I traveled from Boston, MA to Phoenix and we decided to rent a car and drive up to Sedona for some hiking on Saturday, April 14th. When we left Phoenix at 7 am it was about 65 degrees F and sunny. When we arrived in Sedona, it was a balmy 35 degrees F and snowing. You might think being from New England we would have been prepared for weather, but oh no. We were sporting hiking sneakers, shorts and a light fleece. We decided to take on the Jim Thompson trail followed by the Wilson Mtn trail anyway and with a little help from The Hike House we were able to grab some gloves, a hat and an extra core layer. We went with shorts! The hike was awesome, views were amazing, but we did have to turn around at about 7000 ft on the Wilson Mtn because of the driving snow and high winds. The footing became pretty slick and it was difficult going with the amount of mud stuck to the bottoms of our hikers. We could barely see our hands in front of our faces at a few times. The greens, reds, and white were really something and we finished about 4 1/2 hours later after hiking over 16 miles. Hit Sally’s BBQ for some amazing ribs and a PBR and then drove back to Phoenix where it was 70 degrees. Great day and can’t wait to come back here!
62 yo husband + 57 yo wife decided to give this trail a try Feb 16 2017. Did Observation Pt.in Zion and this hike is longer but comparable elevation. Took us 7:20 with lots of stops to take pics and gawk and a food break at the Sedona overlook. Not an easy hike, but not to scary. Great views but NO ONE mentions the view of Humphrey Mt, tallest point in Az. Looks like Mt. Fuji in Japan coming around a bend all snow covered and majestic.