The Mescal Trail is fairly new, accessed from the new parking area on the right side of Boynton Pass Road (152D) just before the Long Canyon parking area. This is not the same as the old Mescal Mountain Trail, which the Forest Service has re-routed to avoid some ruins. The new trail makes a fine loop when combined with parts of the Deadman’s Pass and Long Canyon Trails back to the road.
Winter came late to Sedona this year, making the transition perhaps more of a shock than a gradual cooling through November and December. When a cold rain turned to snow Saturday, many of us in the Sedona Hiking Meetup were ready to give up on this hike. Those that waited for Sunday afternoon were rewarded with stunning views of snow on the mountains and a gradual clearing that warmed our way. A bit of mud on the Deadman’s Pass segment barely slowed us down, and we returned to our cars very much warmed.