Years ago we tried to hike the Brins Mesa trail with some visiting friends, but they weren’t hikers and soon decided that they weren’t prepared for the adventure so we returned to the car to visit other nearby and easily accessible vistas.
The Brins Mesa trail is probably best described as moderate to a bit more than moderate (at times). The trail is relatively well marked, but it is primarily uphill if you are starting from the main trailhead at the outskirts of town.
Soon after starting the climb, this is one of the scenes you will see.
One of the reasons for undertaking this hike is to admire the beautiful scenery and red rock vistas encountered along the entire trail.
There are what has been referred to as “natural stairs,” but the operative word there is natural. Creating steps from a rock face formed by nature is no easy task and as you might imagine, the spacing is not always ideal. Hiking sticks may be helpful for those who are less sure-footed.
In almost every direction, the red and sand-colored rocks rise above the trees to the wonder and appreciation of trailblazers.
You don’t see the mesa itself for a while, but persevere and you will come to a shelf-like geological feature that is the Brins Mesa (pictured below).
It is unfortunate that years ago there was a fire that destroyed many of the trees and the carcasses of those sentinels can be seen along the mesa’s trail.
For those who enjoy photography, there are numerous opportunities to capture memorable landscapes.
As we were hiking along the trail, we noticed what looked like a ledge (drop off) and a valley. We also spotted an outcropping or rather a small hill and we decided to explore. There is a trail leading in that general direction.
The picture below was taken while I was standing at the ledge. Notice the darker, reddish dirt in the valley.
I took a couple of panoramas (linked below) as the red rock mountains were spread out before me. It was too wide and too beautiful for me to capture in just one or two pictures. After some exploration and appreciatiion, we decided to return to the trailhead. Although it was mid-October, the day was quite warm and we had a long day. This is the scene looking back toward the ridge and surrounding mountains.
One rule of photography is to look behind you as you travel because sometimes, the best view is not in front, but in back. When returning along the same trail, this maxim becomes self-fulfilling. These are a few of the pretty formations we captured during the return to the trailhead.
Famous Bell Rock can be seen in the center of the photo below where the sky seems to meet the low-lying structure. It is hard to pick out, but look for the little nub on top.
Red rock spires and hoodoos (column of rock) are abundant.
Here are the two panoramas…
To see a larger photo of the scene, make your browser window larger and click HERE
To see a larger photo of the scene, make our browser window larger and click HERE
More information about the Brins Mesa trail can be found at the following links:
Brins Mesa Trail No. 119 – Forest Service (USDA)
Brins Mesa Trail – AZ Highways
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