Exploring Sedona Arizona's Mystic Trail
Greetings, my fellow hiker! Today we are traveling to Sedona for a fantastic adventure. Get ready to discover incredible views of the Red Rocks and for a little off-piste adventure.
Hi, I'm Brice, president of Vaucluse. Over the next few minutes, I will be sharing with you a wonderful hike up here in northern Arizona, plus an inside look at the Cool-Dry Frame, which is very helpful in ventilating your back so you can sweat less and hike more.
Let's dive in. This hike is in Sedona, Arizona, in the Coconino National Forest. If we look directly at the map, we are south of the city and hiking in an area that is iconic to Sedona and very popular with tourists. Sedona (if you haven't been) is notorious for many tourists. So it's nice to find a ‘hidden trail,’ and that's what we will have today. We're escaping the crowds while enjoying breathtaking views of the beautiful red rocks.
Exploring the Red Rocks: List of Hiking Trails
The starting point for our hike is Chapel Road, just off the Red Rock Scenic Byway. Getting a parking spot here can be difficult, so I recommend coming early. There's a trail you can take called Mystic Trail, which leads you around two large rock formations called West and East Twin Buttes. The first part of the trail is easy, with just a little incline (as you see from the metrics on my hike, the incline is about 130 feet).
As you go around the first of the Twin Buttes, you will see some incredible views, and that's one of the benefits of hiking in Sedona—great views without a lot of inclines. When in the shade, it can get chilly depending on the time of year you're here, so Sedona is not just about very hot weather. You then take Hog Heaven Trail for just a moment before coming across this other trail (unfortunately, I don't know the name of this trail. It may be named in some apps or other trail maps). I couldn't find its name, but it is visible during the hike; it just isn't listed (from what I can see) on the Forest Services map.
You’re going to see a fork in the road. Take the eastern trail that leads you up to the most northern Butte. This is the portion of the trail that is a lot of fun. You get stunning views of the red rocks. You have to do some navigating around the Butte as getting around and down can be challenging, so if you don't have great shoes or get scared of drop-offs, I advise not taking this route. It's a lot of fun, but it's also not for beginners.
Here are my statistics from the hike. The temperature started at 59°F and gradually increased to 66°F. The length of the trail was 3.22 miles. The elevation gain in total was 669 ft. Moving time was one hour and 44 minutes, average pace, 988 calories burned, and a total time of two hours and eight minutes.
Click here to view my Strava map.
Lightweight Ventilation: The Cool-Dry Backpack Frame
Now, I want to dive into the gear that I took. Specifically for my backpack, a normal Osprey day pack equipped with my Cool-Dry Frame, which you can see attached here. It's very lightweight. It weighs about six ounces, and you just attach it to the back straps using these two loops and some velcro underneath. You can attach it in just 10-20 seconds, and what it does is allow for air to flow between you and your backpack to increase ventilation, increase airflow, increase comfort and reduce sweating.
I also equipped this backpack with a Govee Bluetooth-capable Thermometer to track both the temperature and the humidity on my back, to really see how the backpack frame performs.
You'll see on the chart that I'm going to pull up that there were two phases of this hike: When I had the Coo-Dry Frame on and when I didn't.
I started with just a backpack and no frame and what you notice is that the temperature dropped and then went back up. That was because I had an additional shirt and took it off. So the thermometer read my back: it's a bit colder now because the additional layering came off, but then it jumped up and peaked over 72°F quite quickly. Also, my humidity was rising, so I changed and added the Cool Dry Frame, and what you see is… for the rest of the hike, the temperature of my back gradually increased but not by a whole lot. And the humidity stayed the same.
What I'm finding is that you probably have to wear a backpack for more than an hour for your back temperature to really increase. So as you notice here, I didn't have the Cool Dry Frame on and my back temperature jumped to about 72° quite quickly. Obviously, my body temperature was up and running because I'm hiking, and then I put the Vaucluse Cool Dry Frame on and you could say that there wasn't much change to the backpack and the temperature of my back. But I'm finding this is a somewhat inconclusive conclusion because there are other tests where I'm finding if you wear the backpack longer than an hour, your back temperature will see a significant difference.
So an hour to get up to 72 degrees may not tell the full story. We probably should have started going up to the mid-70s°F, maybe even 80°F. Then put the Cool Dry Frame on the backpack and see if your back temperature cools down significantly (back down to the 70s in this case). Then the humidity would have dropped as well. So overall, what you can tell is that the back temperature obviously did jump, we just don't know how high it would have been without the Cool Dry Frame, but the frame helped just by being there.
I definitely felt it was very comfortable. However, the stats, as I said, are inconclusive, but they are telling me that, if I really want to see a difference with the Cool Dry Frame on, I've got to be hiking, without wearing the frame for over an hour. Then put it on and see the changes. That's what we're going to be doing in more videos. Showing how the Cool Dry Frame improves ventilation, keeps the core temperature down, and allows you to enjoy the outdoors a whole lot more!