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9. Hangover Loop

Terraced Cow Pie mesa in Sedona
The terraced Cow Pie Mesa is one the most distinctive sights in Sedona. Its name stems from the circular shape of the mounds. Photo by Coconino National Forest

A heady trifecta awaits on Hangover Loop

My final suggestion is another strenuous loop—varied, challenging and crowd-free. There are three main sections in this roundabout trip: Munds Wagon, Cow Pies and Hangover. Together they provide around eight miles of gorgeous red rock and wildflower patches. And if you happen to be an MTB enthusiast, you’re in for a real treat because these exquisite trails are bike-friendly (but double black diamond, mind you).

Munds Wagon is a former cattle route with a surprising amount of elevation and a few switchbacks. This meandering trail runs parallel to the highly-trafficked Schnebly Road, even crossing it a few times. Eventually you’ll reach Merry-Go-Round Rock, an endless source of inspiration for wedding photographers. This small outlook offers picture-perfect views of Bear Wallow Canyon to the west and Munds Mountain to the south.

Before long a fork will take you to Hangover Trail. Here the steep climbs on loose rock will test your technique, while the accompanying views will fuel your determination. After about three miles, you’ll reach the Cow Pies Trail, a half-mile section connecting Hangover with Munds Wagon and the fascinating multi-level mounds on Cow Pie Mesa. Now all that’s left is heading on to Munds Wagon and following the trail back to the trailhead.

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