view from copper canyon loop trail #504

Happy Hiking: Copper Canyon Loop

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Having lots of flexibility has spoiled me, and I do my best to skip weekend hiking and only go during the week when it is more peaceful.  The exception is when I hike with friends who only have the weekend off.

With two days of bad weather this week, however, I had an itch to get outside.  After having hiked near Camp Verde and near Sedona, I noticed the crowds didn’t exist in Camp Verde.  As a result, I took a weekend hike at Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 that I found on the AllTrails app.

The Parking and Trailhead at Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504

I arrived at a large dirt parking lot with a picnic area, pit toilets, 1 jeep, and a horse trailer.  In Sedona, there wouldn’t have even been a parking spot!

The entrance to the trail which included a metal ramp was weird to me at first.  Then I realized it was for dirt bikes, so they didn’t have to stop to go through the gate.  My heart sank.  The thought of hiking with OHV’s didn’t seem fun at all.  Fortunately, the only one I saw stopped and checked out VANgo as I was loading my pack and getting Annie ready to go.

The Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 Hike

The Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 is a 3.9-mile loop located in the Prescott National Forest south of Camp Verde.

I hiked the loop clockwise which led me on a flat dirt trail past the parking area and through the shrubs that were home to cows.  While I didn’t see any, I heard an occasional moo, and Annie went psychotic from the smell of them! 

copper canyon loop trail #504

Each time I let her off the leash, she ran like a banshee.  I had to call her back a million times and leash her just so she wouldn’t exhaust herself on the already warm day.

Pros and Cons of Clockwise/Counter-Clockwise

Taking the Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 clockwise has its pros and cons.  I liked the gradual incline which allowed my legs to warm up as we continued through the bushes and over an old water tank.  The counter-clockwise direction begins with switchbacks up the hill, resulting in 400 feet of elevation gain in the first mile. It’s not very steep, could be tiring in the heat or when you are in winter hiking shape like me.

copper canyon loop trail #504

The best part of the trail, however, is the waterfall.  Going clockwise, it is 1.2 miles into the hike, and is off the main loop path.  It is easy to find by following the well-worn side trail upstream from the bench.  The waterfall is lovely and would be a nice reward after completing the majority of the trail which would be an advantage to hiking the trail in the counter-clockwise direction.

Annie at the waterfall on Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504

I was hardly hot or tired when I arrived so early, so I didn’t stick around to enjoy it long enough as it is the main highlight of the hike in my opinion.  After Annie got a drink, we crossed the creek, ascended the path, and then admired the views from the plateau, the other highlight.

The hike provided little shade, though we did pass under a few tall trees as we ventured along the second half of the trail.  Soon, we reached the switchbacks and dropped down into the parking area, where now there were approximately ten cars.

trees on copper canyon loop trail #504

While the Copper Canyon Loop Trail #504 is not as picturesque as other hikes in the area, it is relaxing with few people.  As a result, it is nice place to get out and enjoy nature for a little while.  ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

6 thoughts on “Happy Hiking: Copper Canyon Loop

  1. Love these updates, especially since I was just in Sedona a few weeks ago. Our visit was much briefer than yours so I enjoy reading about what you’re able to do there.

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