Sedona Arizona Muni trip

Scot Cooper and his girlfriend Desiree invited us to stay with them in Sedona last weekend and sample the Muni rides there. Scot had tried it out last year and recommended it highly.

We drove in from Phoenix arriving after dark Thursday and so couldn’t see the area around Sedona. In the morning, it was clear and sunny and what a sight! Red towers and beautiful cliffs and spires all around town! We linked up 3 trails Friday which took about 4 hours. Megumi and Desiree hiked along enjoying the scenery and shooting some photos. The riding was very enjoyable, with technical sections, but nothing super extreme. Some steep climbing but not too long or tiring. The temp was perfect, warm and nice. The resort we stayed in had a great bar with pool tables and Beau was legal until 10pm, so we played for 3 hours!

Saturday we did a slightly shorter ride, the Broken Arrow trail out to Chicken Point. There’s a 4WD jeep trail right nearby and quite a bit of riding on slick-rock so it reminded me of the SlickRock Trail in Moab last March. It was windy and cooler, but clear and nice. We saw only one MTB rider the whole day plus several hikers. In the late afternoon, we drove over to a nearby town where Megumi was the featured storyteller at the local “Tellabration”, an annual world-wide StoryTelling Festival. In the evening, Beau demanded a chance to get even with us in pool and promptly won 3 games.

Sunday we did another 3 1/2 hour ride that was just fantastic. Varied terrain, technical sections, gorgeous scenery in all directions plus nice weather. But the highlight was visiting one of Sedona’s famous Vortexes. These are areas of great metaphysical power supposedly. I’ve only been to the one, but it sure looked magical when we saw it…across the river, looking from pure shade into gleaming orange sun light, seeing hundreds of small rock towers (one to five feet tall), carefully constructed beside a beautiful river. It was too much for me: I just had to go over but there was no crossing. We found one spot where you had to wade only a few steps, but the water was two feet deep, fast and cold. The tree branches we grabbed for handholds were encased in ice. But it was worth it and we spent some time adding on to the towers and building some new ones as well as just feeling the peaceful power of the place. Funny exchange: Scot sees a dry well-dressed couple wandering around: “How did you get here?” Woman: “From the carpark, just over there”. Obviously you didn’t have to do 3 miles of Muni and cross an icy river to get there.

After the ride, we met up with my cousin Becca, now a doctor in Zuni, New Mexico. We went up to the Sedona Chapel and found a secluded spot for a picnic lunch that was just great. The chapel is up on a hill, overlooking the valley, with great looking red cliffs all around. Definitely check it out if you’re there. After lunch, we headed down to the Bike and Bean store nearby, chatted with some riders, then packed our bags, blasted 90 minutes to Phoenix and flew home.

We were thinking it might be fun to have a Muni Weekend in Sedona, but I’m not really sure. It would be difficult to pull off without a local doing some of the organizing. Cheap places to stay don’t seem to abound, and while gorgeous and fun, the trails are probably not as technical and maybe not as plentiful as around Moab. Still, if you’re ever going anywhere near Sedona (and not in summer), I would recommend several days there riding - you won’t regret it.

Has anyone else ridden around Sedona?

Here are some photos


Wow, that sounds really cool Nathan. I checked out the pictures and it’s a good thing you didn’t come to Tucson or you’d have a worse impression of Arizona… I want trees, haha. No, but I really wish we had some riding like that over here, I guess I’ll just have to scope it out. Next time I hope I can come along, or maybe I’ll just have to find all of the trails around here and start my own MUni weekend, haha. Anyway, thanks for the story and pictures, looks and sounds like you had an awesome trip.

  • Zachary

Thanks for the write up and the photos Nathan. I’ve never been out west and east coast guys like me never get to see stuff like that.
Looks like some great riding and a good time. Beau is having some childhood isn’t he?
Unfortunately, my son’s interest in MUni has diminished and he doesn’t come out riding with me anymore. He’s 15 and his interests lie elsewhere these days. Seeing the photos of you and Beau remind me of some really good times I’ve had riding with my son. I’m going to have to get him back out there.
Thanks again.

  • Frank

Nice story Nathan, reminds of the old days. I went to school in Flagstaff and spent tons of time in the Sedona/Jerome area. It is like southeast Utah, with the red cliffs, spires, etc. It is quite overgrown now unfortunately, as most nice places are. Did anyone point out blowjob rock to you? A classic sight to see in the area for sure. That whole area including Flagstaff has some fantastic MUni and Cokering, northern AZ. abounds with outdoor wonders. I also think that a MUni festival would be hard to pull off there. Did you go up the switchbacks at the end of the oak creek canyoun? Your story made me want to be there, it is along with Crestone, Co. one of the most spiritual places to be. Thanks for the bringing back the memories!

Sounds like a great time, and the pictures are awesome. Thanks for sharing that. I agree that that type of scenery has some spiritual aspect to it.

Riding 3 miles of muni and crossing an icy river beats driving to the same spot anyday. We prefer the path of most resistance, don’t we?

Scott Wallis

Beautiful shots! Here’s a picture of a MUni Weekend vortex some of you may remember.


Re: Sedona Arizona Muni trip

at that same place I saw that running bird made famous by the
Will-E.Coyote Cartoons (is chaparral the name?)

bear (unable to catch the bird)

Mike, I agree about you that Sedona is too built up. Supposedly it was the off season there, but every parking spot downtown was taken, cars and people driving everywhere. The highways streaming cars in both directions. It’s like the Bay Area - people are naturally attracted to nice places. I think the real off-season has to be summer though. It’s perfect there now.

About the X-rated rock formation - YES we saw it, and I even heard a rumor that some women’s group was proposing that it be blasted?! Is the world crazy or what?

And yes we rode those switchbacks up to the road after crossing Oak Creek. I managed it no dismounts but it was on the edge of what is possible for me anyway.


Cool, John. One could almost guess the year by the seats and tires on those “munis”.

Don’t click this link if you are under 18 :slight_smile:

The description is at the bottom of this page.

Klaas ‘curious’ Bil

Yes Klaas, that is the rock formation in question. But didn’t you feel a little strange searching for it via Google?


Yes thats the one, and not only a womens group, but a few of the church groups thought that it should go as well. Great job on the switchbacks! Did you see the huge polar bear at the back of the Oak Creek Tavern, my favorite watering hole back in the day. Have you been to Taos? The Taos Pueblo would be a one of a kind place to ride. Check out

Thanks for your concern Nathan :slight_smile: I was driven by curiosity as to how lifelike that rock would look. The Google search supplied plenty of comparison material, even though I worded it carefully.

Klaas Bil

Re: Sedona Arizona Muni trip

On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 00:33:24 -0600, nathan
<> wrote:

>Yes Klaas, that is the rock formation in question. But didn’t you feel a
>little strange searching for it via Google?

Thanks for your concern Nathan :slight_smile: I was driven by curiosity as to how
lifelike that rock would look. The Google search supplied plenty of
comparison material, even though I worded it carefully.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like things that are either curved or tapered. - Steve Howard

I got ‘stuck’ in Sedona for a few days when snow in the east canceled my flights home. Was really horrible. Here’s two great rides I took.

Broken Arrow, recommended by Nathan, was super fun. Definitely go down and check out Submarine rock too. There is a straight forward loop around the big rock that includes some challenging terrain, although its easy enough to walk the hard parts.

My second ride was a longer one to the north of town. Many many miles of ridable trails up here. Also very well signed, so you can easily find your way around. Of the trails I did, Mescal was quite amazing, and the downhill from Devils Bridge was challenging and fun. Chuckwagon was a pretty straightforward ride through the countryside.

Hope I get “stuck” somewhere as nice as this again.

ps, 2 technical Phoenix rides with great downhill here.

Wow a blast from 10 years in the past!! Glad you had such a good time.

IS that

… Is that the fabled UNIHenge ?? :slight_smile:

That would be a good name for it, though it was a fleeting thing. It was at the third (California) MUni Weekend, 1998. A guy had spent several hours making small rock towers, and we joined in with freestanding unicycles at the end of our ride.

Dan Heaton is in the picture. Kris Holm was there (his first time riding with other unicyclists!) but he’s not in the picture. Yes, we were riding Miyatas and Schwinns with knobby (but skinny) tires, and a few custom jobs. didn’t launch until the following year.

Sedona is beautiful. We passed through there briefly on our way back from the Grand Canyon in 2005, but without unicycles. :frowning:

John, you are an amazing fount of unicycle history! You should write a book, with all your photos and anecdotal recollections. That would be great. It might not have a huge distribution, but I’d buy one!