FR 9496F

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5/5 (7 reviews)
Sedona, Arizona (Coconino County)
Last Updated: 06/24/2023

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FR 9496F is a rarity in the Coconino National Forest. The Coconino is renowned for its vast Ponderosa pine forests. FR 9496F begins in that forest but transitions quickly to a more open grassland studded with Alligator Juniper, one of the oldest living plant species in Arizona. The canvas tan grasses evoke images of an African savanna. Just substitute the junipers for Boabab trees and any elk or deer you see for wildebeest and gazels and, voila, you are in your own National Geographic safari episode. The trail passes near the head of the rugged Woods Canyon. The chasm slices down through multihued layers of sandstone opening views across the broad Verde River Valley. To the southwest, the long slopes of the Mingus Mountains define the horizon. The solitary rounded prominence to the southeast is Apache Maid, the forest tower atop it visible only with binoculars. Trundling beyond Wood Canyon brings on Jacks Point Tank and the end of the trail. A quiet approach to the tank might permit a glimpse of watering wildlife before they scurry back into the shelter of the Alligators.

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