Bottom Out Trail, Western Gateway system

Usually, getting to the good stuff takes effort.

This is especially true of hiking where the juiciest routes are often remote, tangential paths diverging from heavily traveled routes in popular outdoor destinations.

While many trail systems offer groomed and signed paths that range from super easy to difficult, the unpolished character of a place often resides at the raw end of the spectrum.

Sedona’s Western Gateway Trail System builds on this theme with a serpentine maze of interconnected loops that straddle a hilly pocket of Coconino National Forest on the far west side of town.

The Bottom Out Trail traces Dry Creek in Sedona's Western Gateway Trails System.

But instead of its wild side being inaccessible to most, this system’s rough-cut gem spins off an easy trail less than a mile from a trailhead and appeals to hikers with a sense of adventure, experience, and sturdy boots with good traction.

The compact system of single-track paths unwinds around the chiseled course of Dry Creek where the terrain shuffles among high ridgelines with epic vistas of red-rock country’s iconic formations, fractured drainages, cypress, and oak woodlands, and sunny yucca-studded grasslands.

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