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Name: Schnebly Hill Road Author's Rating:
Author: Matt Marine Avg. User Rating: (based on one vote)
Type: 4WD Difficulty: (semi-maintained dirt road) - most cars can make it, though VERY rough!
Time: 1 - 2 hours Region: NW Arizona
Length: 12 miles (one-way) Elevation gain/loss/change: +2740 / -460 ft / +2280 ft (one-way)
Type: Out and back Avg Elevation: 5500 ft
Best time to go: fall, spring, winter Fees: Requires Red Rock Pass.
Fitness rating: Low Educational Merit: Low
Danger/fear rating: Low Scenic Beauty: High
Hours of Operation: NA Last updated: October, 2011
Short Description: This is semi-maintained dirt road from Sedona, along the rim, to I-17 (very bumpy) but offers great views
Geocaches: of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Schnebly Hill Vista; Top of Sedona; Casner Canyon
References / Contact Information: RV Adventures; Expedition Portal
Points of interest: Lots of access to trails; Merry-Go-Round rock, Schnebly Hill Lookout
Special Considerations: Requires Red Rock Pass.
How to get there: Schnebly Hill Road is right in Sedona. It's just south of the intersection of 89A and 179. Click here for directions from Phoenix.

Trail Description

This is would be a really nice trail if the road was in better shape. It's not 4WD, but it is very bumpy and just plain annoying. Cars can travel this road if you're careful and you don't mind banging and bumping a little bit. The scenery is gorgeous and you can access lots of fun trails from this road.

Mountain bikers use this road to shuttle bikes up to the top and let me ride down (and access other trails).

General Information and History

Here's some information on the man whom the road is named after. Click here for the page on T.C. Schnebly.

Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona, if not the world, and you can thank Amanda Miller's mother (and the Postmaster General) that it's name is just as beautiful.

When Theodore Carlton (T.C.) Schnebly was asked to name the small settlement now know as Sedona when petitioning for a post office, his first choices were: Oak Creek Crossing and Schnebly Station. Now, Oak Creek Crossing isn't bad, but Schnebly Station?

Back in 1899, T.C. Schnebly and his wife Sedona Miller Schnebly came to the area now known as Sedona. They were a young couple from Gorin Missouri. He was joining his brother Ellsworth who had moved there for health reasons.

When T.C. gave the Postmaster his name suggestions, the Postmaster rejected them for having too many letters. His brother Ellsworth then suggested they name it after T.C.'s wife, Sedona. The Postmaster approved and in 1902, Sedona had its post office!

But what does Sedona mean? Is it Spanish or Native American? Nope. It came from the imagination of a Dutch woman in Missouri. In 1877, Amanda Miller just came up with the name "Sedona" for her newborn daughter because it sounded pretty. Wow, she hit the nail on the head with that one! I wonder if she ever got to see the place that was named after her daughter?

T.C. was an entrepreneur. He owned eighty acres, operated a small general store and a hotel out of his home. His home was situated near the current shopping center of Tlaquepaque.

T.C. and Sedona died in 1950's, but they will forever be linked to this wonderfully beautiful area.

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The Trail

The trail starts at the intersection of Schnebly Hill Road and Hwy 179 in Sedona. Soon, the pavement turns to dirt and you'll know shortly if this is the road for you. It's a bumpy ride, not 4WD, but not smooth enough to get any speed going. The majority of the 12 miles to the top is bumpy like this. In my opinion, about the worst of both worlds.

Also, be forewarned. There are TONS of Jeep tours along this road. When we last went, I'd bet half of the traffic was Jeep tour traffic. Be careful going around sharp corners.

Keep going straight along Schnebly Hill road. There will be many areas you can park and go for hikes. Access to trailheads is one of the biggest draws of this trail/road.

The road begins winding its way through a canyon, with nice big trees and a small intermittent stream to the side.

As the trail leaves the canyon, you'll start climbing up to the top of the Mogollon Rim. There are great views of Sedona's famous redrock along the way. At Waypoint 003, you can access a trail that goes to Merry-Go-Round rock formation. Very cool stuff.

At Waypoint 004, you can access Munds Wagon Trail (near the top of Merry-Go-Round). This next portion of the trail takes you along some gentle switchbacks to the top of the rim. Although the road is wide, if you're afraid of heights, this may not be the trail for you.

When you reach the top (Waypoint 005), you can pull off to the left at Schnebly Hill Lookout. This is a great place to view the valley below and just hang out for a bit. This is also a nice place to drop off mountain bikers for a ride down the hill. When you're done, you can either turn around here or go all the way to I-17.

On your right will be the trailhead for Hot Loop Trail (a 2.5 rated 4WD trail coming soon). Continue straight to get to I-17. We took Schnebly Hill Road all the way up to the Hot Loop Trail exit (Waypoint 006), then came back down to Sedona. We did not go all the way to I-17 (the blue trail), but my guess is that it is in about the same shape as the previous portion of the road.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun and be safe.

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