When the days are short and the temperatures chilly, we like to explore some of Sedona’s shorter trails, and Boynton Canyon Vista checks all the boxes. The trail leads to a saddle between two red rock spires. The tallest of the two is known locally as “Kachina Woman,” a fitting tribute to the Yavapai-Apache people who consider Boynton Canyon and the surrounding area sacred. The vista always offers jaw-dropping views of the canyon, one of the prettiest in Sedona, but when there’s snow on the ground, it’s even more spectacular.
From the trailhead, follow the signs for Boynton Canyon. After a short and flat 0.14 mile, the trail splits – stay to the left on Boynton Canyon Trail. Continue hiking, and you soon enter Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. When you’ve hiked 0.34 mile from the trailhead, you’ll see the trail leading to Boynton Canyon Vista to the right (the Boynton Canyon Trail continues to the left). What was a flat, sandy trail becomes rocky and climbs uphill. If you’re hiking here during or after a snowstorm, you’ll want to wear sturdy hiking boots – despite it being such a short trek – because the ground is very slippery. In no time at all, you’ll have magnificent views of Kachina Woman towering above you on the left. The trail ends 0.57 mile from the trailhead (there’s a sign that tells you that you’ve reached the end of the route). You are now at the base of Kachina Woman with Boynton Canyon and the tony Enchantment Resort spread out before you. Spend some time taking in the views – the longer you look, the more details you’ll see, including an arch on the left side of the canyon, just beyond the resort. Look in the opposite direction (south), and you’ll see Courthouse Butte, Airport Mesa and the tip top of Bell Rock. To the east is the Seven Canyons region.
There are several side trails at the vista worth exploring. You can even make your way closer to Kachina Woman and Fertility Cave, located closer to the spire’s base, but icy conditions prevented us from venturing too far this time. Instead, we returned the way we came for a 1.14-mile round-trip hike.