Forrest Saville: Trails, OHV and Wilderness Coordinator
Kyle Robb: Trail Crew Supervisor
The Red Rock District includes more than 400 miles of trails with nearly 300 miles in close proximity of the city of Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. Trail maintenance is vital to providing a great recreational experience for the nearly three million people using local trails each year. For many local businesses and residents, the trail system is essential to their quality of life. The Forest Service, in collaboration with numerous volunteers, non-profit groups, and local governments, is dedicated 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.
A special THANK YOU to all of our partners and volunteer groups including the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund, Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Forest, Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition, City of Sedona, Beaver Creek Trails Coalition, American Conservation Experience, Arizona Conservation Corps, Cornville Community Association, Yavapai County, Coconino County, and local businesses.
During the 2020 Trail Season, the Red Rock Trail Crew with help from the American Conservation Experience, Friends of the Forest, Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition and many other individual volunteers completed extensive maintenance and improvement 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 area
· 322 miles of trail maintenance completed
· 11.7 miles of new trail constructed
· 11.3 miles of trail naturalized
· 8 trail reroutes completed
· 402 feet of retaining walls built
· 661 feet of rock armoring constructed
· 79 rock stairs installed
· 526 drainage structures maintained
· 101 new drain structures installed
· 134 trail signs installed
· 74 old carins removed
· 26 carins built
· 4,092 total volunteer hours donated to district trail work
· 10,240 total hours of work by youth conservation corps (ACE and AZCC)
· 19,363 total hours dedicated to trail patrolling and providing information to the public
· 50 public trail work events with an average of 24 volunteers attending each event
· $110,484 total value of volunteer labor provided by volunteers during the trail season
Red Rock Trail Crew
The Red Rock Trail Crew, consisting of Forrest Saville as Coordinator, Kyle Robb as Supervisor and a 10 person crew, spends 50% of the time working with volunteers, youth corps and the local community. The other 50% of the time the crew works towards accomplishing the backlog of deferred maintenance (322 miles maintained!!) and dozens of projects. Some projects goals that were met this 2019-2020 season were building rock check steps on Courthouse Butte Loop to aid in the erosion issues, giving Adobe Jack new carin baskets and signs to make the junctions more comprehensive and the crew completed the remaining trails in the new Western Gateway System. We are fortunate to have more than half of our Red Rock Trail Crew return every year because of the community involvement and extensive project work (and scenery) that Sedona has to offer.
Forrest Saville providing orientation to the new crew members
BEFORE: This picture illustrates the kind of erosion that can happen on trails in the Sedona area. AFTER: This trail received heavy maintenance to help protect it for years to come.
Rain or shine our volunteers continue to show up and work hard!
American Conservation Experience standing in front of Western Gateway
Youth Conservation Corps (ACE, AZCC)
The partnerships created with American Conservation Experience and Arizona Conservation Corps are second to none. These youth corps bring an important workforce to our program to help us reach our goal every year. These crews are funded by grants prepared by district staff and local partners. The goal for the 2019-2020 season was to finish the Western Gateway system, rehab old routes no longer in use and assist in building rock steps and a viewing pad to beautify the V-V heritage site. Accomplishing those goals were no easy task but with the help 16 crew members for 8 weeks we were able to work hard and meet our marks. The youth corps assisted building Lasso, Axis, Stirrup, Bolo, Bottom Out and Ground Control. The crews built hundreds of feet of rock wall, armoring and check numerous check steps. Not only did the crews build up but they closed down over 6 miles of social trails. Our program couldn’t have done it without them.
ACE working on the new trail Axis
Friends of the Forest (FOF)
The FOF Trail Maintenance and Construction crew (TM&C) has a team of over 80 volunteers that work nearly every Friday of the year. Average attendance for the Friday Friends work days was 15 people. Which brought the hours dedicated to TM&C to over 2,100 through 36 Friday events. The total hours was projected to be higher than previous years but COVID prevented this from happening. This year’s accomplishments includes 102 miles of trails maintained, 57 signs replaced, and 47 trees cleared.FOF volunteers also conducted 232 trail patrols for a total of 10,024 volunteer hours, 9 medical assists, 33 lost visitors aided, and over 411 visitors contacted. FOF Trail Patrol observed over 36,221 hikers, 7,283 bikers and 83 equestrians. Patrollers removed 682 pounds of trash and hiked over 9,823 miles.
Rock work with the Friends of the Forest is always a good time!
Perfect day to dig in the dirt!! Stirrup trail was finished early in December.
No matter what the conditions everybody wants to work hard for our trails! (Left is Baldwin & right is Axis)
Volunteer Work Day Crews
Local residents and partners from organizations such as Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition (VVCC), Red Rock Trail Fund, REI of Flagstaff, Sedona Chambers of Commerce, Keep Sedona Beautiful, Sedona Westerners, Friends of the Forest, local bike shops and so many more groups and organizations came out and provided over 2000+ hours dedicated to our 24 Thursday and Saturday volunteer events. With this help we were able to build 11 new miles of trail and rehabilitate over 8 miles of user generated routes. These public work day crews averaged 28 people and lots of new people that were new to volunteering on our district!!These events have continued to build our local communities understanding of what trail work provides to people and the local economy. Together we are still building a collective responsibility for our local trails.
A needed safety talk to remind ourselves that what we do is dangerous
2019-2020 Projects Completed
Western Gateway was completed with the additions of 7 new trails consisting of 12 new miles. Of the 28 miles within Gateway, all are open to hiking, biking and equestrians.
Rover trail is a new 1 mile long segment provides a new connecting point to Dry Creek.
Stirrup trail is now a 2.5 mile segment of easy trail to ride and hike right out of the Cultural Park trailhead.
Lasso and Bolo are new connector trails to provide easy routes for shorter hikes/rides within Western Gateway.
Axis is a 4.5 mile trail that spans north to south. Over 4 weeks of work and 1000 hours from volunteers and corps crews were needed to build this moderate trail for all users.
Ground Control had over 200 hours of volunteers and corps crews working hard to open this scenic trail.
Bottom Out was constructed in 250 hours by ACE, volunteers and the Red Rock Trail Crew. This was the last trail built in Western Gateway. This trail provides a “black diamond” experience in the Western Gateway system.
Many volunteers and crew members helped move material to build a retaining wall.
V-V Heritage Site
Construction started with a crew of 8 people for four weeks building 200 feet of rock walls and 15 rock stair steps. All of this work not only provided viewing nodes but it stabilized the landscape to prevent from further erosion and decay of the archeological site.
The finished viewing pad at the heritage site.
Over 20,000 lbs. of material were used to construct this project.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT AND HELPED THIS SEASON!!!!