Jim Thompson Trail, Sedona, AZ

Jim Thompson Trail, Sedona, Az

Jim Thompson Trail, Sedona, AZ

I really like the Jim Thompson Trail, and recommend it frequently to people looking for a reasonably easy hike with great views. This trail is also great for kids or if you only have a short amount of time. In fact, if you have no time at all it is well worth just making it to the parking lot. The views from the trailhead at the end of Jordan Road are huge and awe inspiring. The pictures you take will scarcely do it justice.

Mitten Ridge

Mitten Ridge

Lets Get Started

The trail is located at the North end of the parking lot, in an area that looks like overflow parking but is usually locked with barriers. Once you get started you will be under a canopy of Cypress trees. This will last approximately one half mile. Then there is an uphill stretch that is a couple hundred yards long, not terribly steep, that will get you into more open terrain. As it continues to open up the trail takes a Northernly direction and you are walking straight towards Mt. Wilson. The view is compelling to say the least.

Jim Thompson Trail

Looking up at The Sail (rt) and Mt. Wilson

The trail then heads East for awhile as it makes its way around Steamboat Rock. The Schnebly Hill Formation and Munds Mt. across Oak Creek Canyon come into view. Then the trail heads North again following the length of Steamboat. When you reach the far end of Steamboat, you can see up Wilson Canyon and also down to Midgley Bridge. Looking up along Mt. Wilson you can still see the scars of the Brins Mesa Fire. I turned around at this point having no need to go down by the bridge.

The portion of trail covered here is right at 2.4 miles one way. If you needed to cut that in half you would still experience the bulk of the good views. So if you’re looking for something shorter, but still very memorable, try the Jim Thompson Trail.


Jordan Road Trailhead: (GPS: N34° 53′ 17.952″, W-111° 46′ 6.132″) From the junction of Routes 89A and 179, take 89A north .3 miles to Jordan Road on the left. Follow Jordan Road into the Jordan Park subdivision and turn left onto Park Ridge Drive at the “T”. Continue .4 miles to parking near the gate at the end of a short stretch of unpaved road.

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