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Our Trails are Calling...

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  • 1 Nov 2022 5:40 PM | Camille Cox (Administrator)

    The Red Rock Ranger District contains more than 400 miles of trail with over 300 of those miles in close proximity to the city of Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. With more than 3 million visitors on theses trails annual, the trail crew’s work is vital to the recreational experience of all the different trail users.  For many local residents and visitors, the trail system is reason we’re here.  The Forest Service works with numerous volunteers, non-profit groups, and local governments to maintaining and enhancing trails throughout the district in a sustainable and safe manner that is uniquely tailored to the Sedona and Verde Valley area. 

    Below: Friends of the Forest trail maintenance and construction crew building retaining walls along Easy Breezy to reinforce trails from monsoon floods

    Left: Volunteers reconstructing a drainage crossing on Stirrup trail

    Summary of Accomplishments

    During the Fall 2021-Spring 2022 trail season, a combination of workers from the Forest Service, Conservation Legacy (Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps), Friends of the Forest, Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition, Summit to Sea Trails Specialist LLC, and many other individual volunteers completed extensive maintenance improvements of non-motorized trails in the Red Rock Ranger District.
    • 411 total miles of trail on the Red Rock Ranger District
    • 284 miles in the Sedona/Village of Oak
    • 275 miles of trail maintenance completed during the 2022 field season 
    • 3440 ft. of retaining walls built and armoring.
    • 122 rock stairs installed.
    • 3.7 miles of social trail naturalized. 
    • 1788 drainage structures newly constructed and/or maintained.
    • 115 trail signs and junction maps installed.
    • 2 kiosks installed
    • 36 new kiosk maps, section maps, and Trail Keepers signs posted at trailheads
    • 37 new cairns constructed
    • 74 old style cairns removed
    • 2000 feet of fencing constructed
    • 550 volunteers (Friends of the Forest and public)
    • 3,400 total volunteer hours donated to district trail work.
    • 3,100 volunteer hours in the Sedona/VOC area dedicated to trail maintenance and construction.
    • $98,600 total value of labor provided by volunteers during the trail season 
    • 49 public trail work events with an average of 10-15 volunteers attending each event. 


    Crews rebuilt this retaining wall adjacent to the culverts on Bell Rock Pathway, this damage was from monsoon storms summer 2021 (Above-Before, Below-After)

    Youth Conservation Corps (ACE, AZCC, ALC) Youth Conservation Corps make up an important workforce for the district by preforming trail maintenance and heavy construction. All of these crews are funded out of grants that the district and its partners have put together or through Great American Outdoors Act funding. This year’s focus area was heavy maintenance and reconstruction on the Cathedral Rock trail with Ancestral Lands Corps (ALC).  Total crew times consisted of 4 weeks of an 8 person ALC crew. The crews built over 2000 feet of new fencing to delineate the trail, 300 ft. of rock armored stairs, and 6 rock armored drainage dips and rehabbed 3000 feet of social trails. A total of 12 youth workers assisted the trail crew during the season as part of the Corps skills training and education program.

    Friends of the Forest (FOF) The FOF Trail Maintenance and Construction crew (TM&C) has a cadre of over 85 volunteers that work almost every Friday of the year. Average attendance every Friday of the season was 16 participants that provided 2,235 hours of volunteer work on over 35 workdays dedicated to trail projects throughout the district. This year’s accomplishments include the installation of 56 cairns, 158 miles of trails maintained, 32 signs replaced, and 52 trees cleared.

    Volunteer Workday Crews Volunteer work events consist of local residents, members of local organizations including the Verde Valley Cycling Coalition (VVCC), Sedona Westerners, Sedona Chamber of Commerce, and the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund. The District also receives sponsorships through local biking and hiking shops. This year we hosted over 15 public volunteer works events usually held on Thursday and Saturdays.  The average attendance at the volunteer events was at least 10-15 and totaled over 1200 volunteer hours. The sponsors usually provide lunch after the workday concludes.

    2021-2022 Trail Crew:  Front Row: Kyle Robb, Scott Leonard, Nick Kowall, Kevin Kuhl.  Middle Row: Ren Bernas, Mary Inovejas, Ben Raiche, Mary Kelley.  Back Row: Matt Barnes, Kelly Anderson, Leslie Geiss, Brett Newcomer, Kenny Quillan.

  • 1 Oct 2022 1:49 PM | Camille Cox (Administrator)

    By: Linda Pallas

    Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund is kicking off our 2022 Year-End Fund Drive with various appeals to the community. It is important that anyone who loves the Red Rock Trails and wants to donate is made aware of our efforts.

    Our community thrives in many ways because of our trails that drive our economy and enhance our lives. However, our trails are fragile, requiring frequent and ongoing maintenance.  The Forest Service cannot do it alone, so SRRTF, seeks contributions through grants and private donors to provide 65-70% of annual trail maintenance funding needs.

    This year, the first $12,000 donated October through December is boosted by a 1:1 MATCH being pledged by four individuals in our community who love the Red Rock Trails and who have combined their resources to provide this generous incentive to all.

    Trail maintenance is hard work and very costly, so every dollar counts. And everyone’s donation is important. We have seen in so many ways our community and personal health depend on the health of our trail system. Donations go directly to hire crews and to support volunteers who maintain the trails for our future use.

    Current Projects for Trail Field Work

    Cathedral Rock Trail-Phase 4This project will restore the last section of Cathedral Rock Trail, from Switchback Staircase to End of Trail that is suffering from damage via washouts and erosion. The Cathedral Rock Trail has always presented a challenge to Forest Service trail managers due to its steep terrain, frequent “washouts”, and rock construction requirements. So, Forest Service began a comprehensive reconstruction project last year, completing 3 phases of work: Phase 1 – Fall 2021 Lower Section (Back-O-Beyond Trailhead to Templeton Trail), Phase 2 – Winter 2022 Middle Section (Templeton to Slick Rock Climb), Phase 3 – Spring 2022 Begin the Upper Section (Slick Rock to Switchback Staircase).

    Phase 4 – Winter 2022-2023 Switchback Staircase to End of Trail is scheduled soon. Forest Service has asked SRRTF to partner on the project to complete the technically challenging rock armoring and masonry sections of the work.  Donations to Cathedral Rock Trail-Phase 4 will help repair and reconstruct the trail to be more sustainable.

    Comprehensive Trail Assessment In recent years, Red Rock Country has seen more dramatic weather conditions. Drought has created extreme dry conditions making soils more vulnerable to substantial damage caused by heavy monsoon rains and devastating flash floods.

    To address the damage and create a sustainable program of trail maintenance, the Forest Service and the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund are currently conducting a comprehensive field assessment. The data from the assessment will be used to develop recommendations for future maintenance for the approximately 200 miles of high impact trails in Red Rock Trail System.

    SRRTF has already received substantial funding for this project from generous individuals in Sedona and VOC. We are seeking donations to fund the remaining costs.

    Donations to Comprehensive Trail Assessment will contribute to a comprehensive trail assessment and maintenance plan.

    Red Rock Trail Census Project: Who is using the trails? How, when and how many? This unique and strategic project will count users and collect information about current trail usage in the District. Recognizing that trail usage has changed over time, RRRD seeks to identify current variations through specific data collection and understand the impact of current trends so to better address and serve the needs created by these changes.

    The project will provide Forest Service managers and partners with improved data about trails that can be used in future budgeting, staffing, grant seeking, enhanced public service, and more targeted maintenance. Information from this project will contribute to the development of an improved Trail Maintenance Plan for the Red Rock Ranger District.

    Donations to Red Rock Trail Census Project will help Forest Managers understand current trends to provide enhanced public service and more targeted maintenance.

    Archaeology Survey for RRRD The Forest Service seeks to improve the non-motorized trail system within the District. Prior to making certain improvements in specified areas, archaeological surveys must be conducted in compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). This project responds to increasing demand for sustainable non-motorized trail recreation on National Forest within the District.

    To assist the RRRD, the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund will be stepping in to help cover costs for NEPA surveys in the following areas:

    Doe Mesa, Hardline, Rector Bypass Trail, Scheurman Mountain, Single-Track Bypass, Turkey Creek. To see maps of each of these areas, visit our website at Scroll “Current Projects” and click “Archaeological Survey for RRRD.” On that page you can click on maps for each of the trail areas listed above.

    The great majority of donations keeping trails local healthy are from individuals who care about the trails they use.

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