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Schnebly Hill Road

6 Reviews
Location Sedona, AZ
Rating Easy,
Length 11mi
Time 2hrs

Vehicle Types

Overview

Spectacular downhill shortcut to Sedona from I-17.

Towering red rock buttes set against a backdrop of deep-green forest and clear blue sky make this road one of Arizona’s most photogenic. A great way to enter Sedona from I-17 if coming from Flagstaff. Many hiking trails on the more scenic lower half of road. Recommend non-street-legal vehicles start at top where you can park, camp and explore side roads. No camping below Vista Point. Trail is closed from I-17 to Merry-Go-Round Rock in winter approximately December through April.

Rating

Easy
Trail Ratings Defined

Rough, bumpy road, but, when dry, is suitable for almost any high-clearance SUV.

Stats

Length

11mi

Time

2hrs

High Point

6,522ft

Best Time To Go

Spring/Summer/Fall

Current Conditions

(928) 203-7500Coconino N.F., Red Rock R.D,

Check the Weather

Free GPS download

Trail Updates

09/04/2020
Submitted by John
I saw the trail in the “Guide to Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails” and decided to give it a go. As I’m new to off-roading in general I was a bit apprehensive but decided to give it a shot. While technically I have an all-wheel drive vehicle, a 2020 Subaru Outback, it did quite well and a couple of people that we passed remarked that they were impressed that we got as far as we did when they saw us. We made it the whole drive from Sedona to I-17. The road from Sedona goes from paved to a very rocky dirt road very quickly. It is heavily traveled by the “Pink Jeep” tours. There were a few obstacles that had me concerned and at least a couple that I had to try a couple of times to make it over. It’s a very scenic trail and should be attempted if you’re in the area.

5/07/2020
Submitted by Harv
Trail listed as Easy in 2012 book. We have an F250 4WD. The road was far from easy now. Very rocky. We turned back after just a few miles from Sedona. I asked people coming from I-17 if the road was same all the way and they said yes. And we only met about 2 others coming from that direction over about 3 hours. We’ve done some of the moderate trails in the book and nothing was ever as bad as this road. It was just not fun to drive we thought.

8/28/2019
Submitted by Funtreks
This trail is bumpy but the views are spectacular. A stock vehicle can make it with high ground clearance.

7/28/2019
Submitted by Dave
Like other folks have mentioned, this trail used to be enjoyable and was easy many years ago. We ran it on 7/27/19, and in our opinion it’s no longer enjoyable. The views are really great, so there is a decent pay-off for your efforts. Airing down and going slow will help, but it is definitely now a lower-grade moderate trail. Lower slung SUV’s may want to avoid the trail below the vista. The road between I-17 and the vista is a much better ride.

7/12/2019
Submitted by Mike
Ran the trail 7/3/19 after running Broken Arrow. Get ready for a spine-jarring ride with amazing views. Frankly, the road sucks, you should air down and disconnect just to keep your sanity. By the time we were done some 3 hours later (we ran the entire thing all the way to the highway) I was pissed at the brutality of the jostling around.
We ran a 2″ lift, 33s aired down, discos, frame mounted rock rails and open diffs in a 2018 Sahara JL and had no problems with picking the right lines and making it through.

8/24/2018
Submitted by Charles Wells
Customer Mark Shishida phoned us today to say this road is no longer easy. He drives a Subaru Forester and found the trail quite challenging. We’ve had other reports saying similar things. Just a reminder to all our customers that you can now post updates yourselves directly to our new website.

Reviews

Rate this trail on a scale of 1 to 5.

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Laura B. says

We drove from Sedona up to the vista. The road is very rocky and slow going. It looks like most of the dirt has washed away making this more of an intermediate trail. Wouldn't recommend for stock SUV & stock tires. We were in a ZR2 with 1" lift, & 32" BFG mud terrains and were able to make it easily, but slowly. The view is great from the top.
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Mike Zaboski says

I agree with Laura's review. The road has become extremely rocky (it was better a few years ago). While technically the road is"easy" (any 4x4 can do it given enough time and inclination) I would not consider it fun with all the non-stop bouncing, and personally classify it as intermediate. Driving a Jeep Wrangler TJ with 4" lift on 33" AT tires aired down, we made it up about 3 miles before turning back. We even saw one Pink Jeep tour turn around at the same point, and another with a very ill passenger. With the large number of tour companies going up and down the road helping to tear it up, someone should kick in to help re-grade it.
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Jim says

I agree with Mike. I did it back in 2013 in my 2012 Tacoma and was very enjoyable, a little bouncy, but still enjoyable. We did it in the last week of April in my 08 FJ and it was torture. And I have brand new MT tires, shocks, controls arms, etc. Technically, it is not difficult per se, but with the constant pounding the trail takes from speeding ATVs, UTVs, and pink jeeps the toll is becoming obvious. If you like going really, really slow, take it on. Going down hill might be a little easier on the kidneys and definitely more scenic, so I suggest starting at the entrance off I 17. At least you can start off the with gorgeous views and have something to remember as you bounce down the trail.
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Mike says

Drove this road in mid-May 2020 and can concur with others: this is no longer an easy or fun road. The section from I-17 to where the ponderosa forest ends (approximately the eastern intersection of FR 153 and 153A in the guide book) is still very easy. West of this point to Sedona I would call moderate with some small difficult sections for stock SUVs, namely a rock slide area just south/downhill of the overlook, and a second section about a mile east of the pavement end at the west end. The road is so rough and slow that I did not find it very enjoyable either. The one way drive from I-17 to 179 took about 2.5-3 hours, with less than 15 minutes of total stopping time. This compared to the previous times I drove it in the 2010-2012 timeframe where it was easy and I had no problem in a 2WD Ford Ranger, taking a little over an hour for the one way drive. The view from the overlook is beautiful however; I would recommend coming in from the I-17 side, then going back out via I-17. 
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Deena W. says

We were looking so forward to the beautiful views but the road was so rough and jagged (the whole way) we could hardly look up to enjoy. Very technical, no fun!!! We had a very capable vehicle. Forerunner with 3” lift which did great. We aired down to 24 psi and the road (Trail) beat us to death. I recommend staying on the main road to enjoy the views.
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Deanne says

We rode this trail in September in our Hummer H3. We really enjoyed this trip, but I would not call it easy. The road from Sedona to Schnebly Hill is very rough and is slow going. I recommend high clearance vehicles with 4 wheel drive. The rest of the road from the Hill to the I-17 is an easy dirt road that any vehicle could attempt.
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