Kachina Woman At Sunrise: Hiking In Sedona’s Boynton Canyon
On my first couple mornings in Sedona I made a point to get out and explore Boynton Canyon, since I was staying right in the heart of it. A trail guide at the resort told me that Kachina Woman was one of his favorite short hikes in the area—particularly at sunrise—so I headed out in the chilly morning to see for myself.
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“Kachina Woman” refers to the 80-foot weird tall mushroom-like tower that looms over the entrance to Boynton Canyon. It’s also called Bandito Spire apparently?? Which is kind of badass.
One thing I didn’t realize is that it’s also one of Sedona’s vaunted vortexes (vortices???). I didn’t do much research on them and I don’t seem to be susceptible to feeling their effects. But if you’re interested in that kind of thing, Boynton Canyon Vortex’ is between Kachina Woman and Warrior Rock. This site has more on the vortex and climbing the spire.
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The rock spire is not too far from the main Boynton Canyon trailhead parking lot, on the trail offshoot called Boynton Canyon Vista. It’s quite a short hike, which is another reason it’s a great sunrise option.
It took a bit longer than I had expected hiking from the resort, but I had the trail mostly to myself and it was not a difficult walk at all.
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How to hike Kachina Woman in Boynton Canyon
If you aren’t staying at Enchantment Resort, you’d start at the Boynton Canyon trailhead parking lot. Early you should have plenty of parking, but later in the day you may have to park along the side of the road.
You’ll follow the Boynton Canyon trail for about 5 minutes, then once you see a sign for “Vista” you’ll take that trail on the right-hand side. At this point you’ll head east and should see the Kachina Woman spire.
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I actually went the longer route from the back entrance of Enchantment Resort, then hiking over to Kachina Woman (but completed the circle by going back via the Boynton Canyon trailhead and main road). The resort website says it’s a half-mile roundtrip form the resort and I call SHENANIGANS on that. It was definitely further, but still very easy.
This is what my starting point looked like, out the back gate and you hang a right at the totem pole-like things.
Since I came the longer way from Enchantment Resort, I’ll be sharing more photos than just the simple hike from the trailhead…but they’ll also give you an idea of what to expect if you started at the Boynton Canyon trailhead and continued on the main Boynton Canyon trail (for example if you were going toward the famous “Subway” cave).
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The trail curves toward Kachina Woman and walks along the red rock cliffs for a while, looking down on the resort.
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Then you’ll hit a trail juncture, where you can turn toward the main Boynton Canyon trailhead and parking lot, or hang a (left in my case, east; right from the parking lot) and hike up the last bit to the Kachina Woman spire.
This is the Vista trail I mentioned early in the post. From here it’s not far at all, and you’ll start getting beautiful views of the spire at this point.
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It was just me and one other person here, and so I could take whatever photos I wanted and just enjoy the silence and the view. I wish I’d come even earlier, but even in the early morning “just past sunrise” phase, the skies were blue, the light was pearly, and the views over the valley below were peaceful perfection.
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At this point, I started hearing the siren’s call of strong espresso and flaky pastries, so headed back. I decided to complete the circle and go back via the main trailhead, hoping it would be a bit shorter.
If you’re looking for a beautiful, short, and uncrowded hike that gives you major returns in views, then definitely give Kachina Woman a look…at sunrise she really shines!
Other easy hikes with big payoffs:
- Hiking Bodega Head Trail On California’s Sonoma Coast
- Discovering A Secret Scottish Castle Ruin On A Sea Cliff
- Hiking Oregon’s Stunning Trail of Ten Falls
- Hiking The Hooker Valley Track On New Zealand’s South Island
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