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The view from Chicken Point after hiking the Broken Arrow Trail makes all those Pink Jeeps worth it.

The Broken Arrow Trail is one of the most popular in the Sedona region — or so I was told.

But that was not our experience last Saturday on the relatively quick jaunt up to Chicken Point halfway between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.

The roundtrip hike is three miles with an elevation change of just 350 feet. The trail is unshaded and traverses slick red rock and thickets of ancient foliage.

The Broken Arrow Trail runs parallel to a motorized trail that's packed with Pink Jeep tours and off-roaders. It also runs alongside a popular mountain bike trail called High on the Hog.

Neither of those things was bothersome as our hiking party took our time and soaked in the scenery.

The Pink Jeeps' presence, while constant, was muted by the fact that they never stopped for passengers to get out and move around. Their biggest offense was the black tire stains covering the slick rock in well-defined paths throughout the area.

In fact, we passed fewer than a half-dozen other hikers, a true feat for any Sedona trail during tourist season. Most of the mountain bikers we spotted were pausing to take in Chicken Point after climbing up the other side from the more popular Little Horse Trail.

Broken Arrow hugs the eastern side of the Chapel escarpment as it meanders past stunning spires and dramatic cliffs. Equally as stunning as the geology is the flora.

Giant junipers, sycamores and prickly pear cacti are common, as is what I'm fairly certain is mutant and overgrown Mormon tea or some close relative.

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The hike is easy, with no real climbing or route-finding skills required.

The payoff is also nearly immediate. Panoramic views of Sedona and the surrounding country are visible for the first half of the hike, and Chicken Point itself looks out to Bell Rock in the direction of the Village of Oak Creek.

An additional payoff is the frightening Devil's Living Room, a huge sinkhole that's separated from the Broken Arrow trail by just a thick barbed wire fence. Also nearby is Submarine Rock, a favorite of slick-rock cyclists.

Eric Betz can be reached at 556-2250 or


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