We woke up on our first day in Sedona, AZ ready for scalding hot sunshine! We packed our SPF 50 sunscreen, water bottles and new Merrell hiking shoes and were ready for some hiking in the desert! We were unprepared. Not because of the heat, but because the lack thereof. Apparently weather in Sedona in January is a mixed bag – and we just so happened to get blustery rain and cloudy weather.
We weren’t going to let this crappy weather hold us back. So we called up Max, my step-uncle-in-law, to see if he wanted to hike with us. Max has been spending his winter months in Sedona for the last 21 years! Max, who’d recently turned 80, is the master of the mesa’s.
He led us out to Little Horse Trail which we soon found to be our favorite trail in Sedona.
We walked about a mile through pretty simple terrain – muddy, but not much incline and a pretty well established path. Soon we started to notice our surroundings changing – the mesa’s above started to develop an outline that resembled that of dry ice dripping over the top of a bucket. We asked Max what was going on and he said he’d never seen anything like it before as he’d never been out hiking in these wet conditions. It was pretty darn beautiful to see.
We were headed to Chicken Point. Michele was desperate to find wildlife lurking, but no wildlife was to be found. Though, I think we found a much more rare sighting in AZ. Due to the massive rainfall, we came across waterfall after waterfall. They weren’t massive, but they were gorgeous. We spent a good 30 minutes hanging out at this small fall taking in the smells and the sights surrounding us.
The views just got more and more magical from there. As we got closer to chicken point, the clouds formed a misty haze over the rocky cliffs in front of us. The red clay soil below us was muddy and the foliage around us was incredibly plush and green, complimented by the occasional sea-foam colored agave.
When we finally arrived at Chicken Point, the clouds had completely rolled in and overtaken the world below. It was an amazing hike full of insanely beautiful views, terrific waterfalls, and a happy Max. Although we totally enjoyed the entire day, the best part was seeing how much Max loved it. I would do this hike (especially in the rain) again and again!
5 Rainy Hike Essentials
- Merrell Waterproof Hiking Boot: While I love my new hiking shoes, I probably would have gone with a waterproof boot had I known how much rain we’d encounter on this trip. My feet were very well pruned and would’ve appreciated staying dry.
- VOROSY Trekking Poles: As I’m an entry-level hiker, I was so grateful that Max had a pair of these for me to borrow. In the rain, having a non-slip handle and a wrist strap is important. Likewise, rubber feet allow you to navigate through various terrains including lots of red rock mud!
- Paradox Women’s Platinum Waterproof Rain Jacket: A lightweight waterproof jacket will make for a much more enjoyable hike. Anything too heavy and you’ll be a sweaty mess, but a light jacket like this allows you to breathe and stay dry.
- Bago Hiking Backpacks: Bago has great lightweight, collapsable hiking packs. This one has a waterproof protective cover so you can keep your camera and cell phone out of the rain.
- Nathan Tritan Water Bottle: My Nathan water bottle is my FAVORITE. Although I was soaked from head to toe on this hike, I was ever so grateful for lots of water to keep hydrated. Having a water bottle with a clip makes it easy to access instead of having to dig through your bag.
One more tip: A State Park pass is required for parking at any of the State Parks in Arizona. Many of them don’t have offices onsite for you to purchase, so you’ll need to plan in advance. You can check here for information for day passes for your location of choice, or purchase an annual pass for $75-200.