Description: If you are looking for a great drive but don’t have much time, try this short route. The red rock beauty of the area is quite stunning and includes two interesting features: the stair-stepped Seven Apache Pools and the unusual Devil’s Kitchen. Challenges are exciting without being overwhelming. If you’ve been itching to try a difficult trail, this may be your best opportunity. The trail is on the edge of Sedona immediately adjacent to a beautiful residential area. It’s also a very popular hiking area, so drive slowly and don’t spin your tires. In short, be a good neighbor. If you park, hike, or stop along the route, you’ll need a Red Rocks Pass. Many steep, rocky steps however, articulation demands are minimal. Many stock high-clearance vehicles can make it.
Time & Distance: The trail is less than one mile long. Add a little mileage for the two side trips. It can be driven comfortably in less than an hour.
Trail Conditions: Coconino National Forest, Red Rock Ranger District. Call (928) 203-7500.
Directions to the Trail: From the intersection of Highways 89A and 179 in the middle of Sedona, drive west on 89A about 1.3 miles and turn right on Soldier Pass Road. Go north 1.4 miles and turn right on Rim Shadows Drive. Pass through a 4-way intersection in another 0.2 miles and turn left into a parking area. A gate is open between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
Return Trip: Return the way you came.
View Soldier Pass in a larger map for even more DETAILS!
Get yourself and your TOY ready for the trip: Make sure both you and your vehicle are ready for your next adventure.
Before you venture out on your offroading trip you need to make sure you are prepared for emergencies. Even if nothing happens to you or your vehicle, you might come across someone who needs help. Short of always having your full-on Bug-Out-Bag with you, you should at least have some basic emergency items. It might seem obvious to some, but you should get yourself a tool box with appropriate tools and leather gloves, good first aid kit, fire extinguisher, set of jumper cables, emergency blankets (stored in heavy plastic bag – both are useful), flashlight, tow strap and some extra water. I would also suggest a recovery strap, a military folding shovel, heavy duty garbage bags, and a hand crank self powered weather radio. These items are not expensive, but they just might save your day.
Another thing you should definitely do before you leave is to save Joe’s number in your cellphone in case you find yourself in need of recovery in the middle of nowhere. Joe is the owner of Arizona 4×4 Off Road Recovery and has become a real hero to many in the Arizona offroad community. His number is (602) 697-8306.
If you’re ready for a next adventure and want to plan it right, check out some of these trail guides – Arizona has so many awesome destinations to explore!