Secret Mountain Wilderness

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Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness – loaded with wildlife

The Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness is a 47,194-acre wilderness area located within the Coconino National Forest in the U.S. state of Arizona.

The Wilderness is predominantly wind and water sculpted pinnacles, windows, arches, and slot canyons, and the red-rock cliffs of the Mogollon Rim that mark the edge of the Colorado Plateau.

Boynton Canyon

Fall colors in Boynton Canyon. Photo by John Menard, SA-CC-by-3.0

Bordered on the east by Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, the high mesas of Secret Mountain and Wilson Mountain jut out into the lower country and canyons as deep as 1,500 feet drain into Oak Creek and the Verde River. Prehistoric rock art and abandoned cliff dwellings can be found in the Wilderness.

West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon

West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon, West Fork Trail. Photo by Coconino National Forest, SA-CC-by-2.0

Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness includes a wide variety of vegetation supports plentiful wildlife, including elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, javelina, coyote, rabbit, mountain lion, and black bear.

Recreation

Common recreational activities in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness include horseback riding, photography, wildlife viewing, swimming, and hiking. There are numerous short trails in the Wilderness.

Here are a few of many of the trails there:

  • Mooney #12 (4.2 miles (6.8 km)) – Originally built to drive cattle to and from summer pastures on the Mogollon Rim, and still used for this purpose, the trail is steep and the views are good.
  • Vultee Arch #22 (1.75 miles (2.8 km)) – This trail follows the bottom of Sterling Canyon, a drainage that is dry most of the year. It dead ends at a bronze plaque placed in memoriam for Gerard and Sylvia Vultee who lost their lives in an aircraft crash on January 29, 1938. The actual crash site is more than a mile north and at a much higher elevation, on East Picket Mesa. On the north side of the canyon across from the plaque is the sandstone arch named for Gerard “Jerry” Vultee, an early aircraft designer from California.
  • Dry Creek #52 (2.5 miles (4.0 km)) – This trail is often hiked as part of a 6.2-mile (10.0 km) loop.
  • Sterling Pass #46 (2.4 miles (3.9 km)) – Named for a local settler, this trail leads over a high saddle from Oak Creek Canyon into Sterling Canyon.
  • A.B. Young #100 (2.4 miles (3.9 km)) – Believed to have been built originally by C.S. “Bear” Howard in the 1880s, it was reconstructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and supervised by A.B. Young.
  • West Fork Trail #108 (3 miles (4.8 km)) – This is the most popular trail in the Coconino National Forest and hikers should not expect solitude.
  • Secret Mountain #109 (5 miles (8.0 km)) – This trail winds along the south edge of Secret Mountain, past the tops of several deep canyons including Hart Well, Boynton, and Long, and ends at the 6,607-foot (2,014 m) summit of Secret Mountain.
  • Parson’s Trail #144 (4 miles (6.4 km)) – This is a popular and crowded trail leading to a large pool called Parson Springs.

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Let’s see how good you are at naming the state where this Wilderness Area is located.


Quiz #18 Secret Mountain Wilderness

TtravelersThis Travel Quiz is about Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. There is only one question. The level of this test is easy.

Answer the question. The answer is worth 20 points. If you don’t know the answer, then take a guess (unless you want a guaranteed zero for the answer).

This test is timed (2 min) so be aware of that.

This is is a potential wilderness you might want to visit. It’s a secret place so probably not too many people know about it, except maybe the people who live relatively close to it.


To learn more about US wilderness areas click the link below.

USA wilderness areas.

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