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blueBlack Sterling Pass Trail

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Trail

1.6 mile 2.5 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,033' 315 m
Descent: -726' -221 m
High: 5,922' 1,805 m
Low: 4,889' 1,490 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 21% (12°)
Max Grade: 69% (34°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Condor77 77

Great overlooks along the climb; take time to enjoy the views.

Condor77 77

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

No mechanized vehicles (including mountain bikes) in Wilderness.
Please do not disturb ruins or remove artifacts.

Description

Named for a local settler, Sterling Pass Trail leads over a high saddle from Oak Creek Canyon into nearby and equally scenic Sterling Canyon. The climb is steep right from the trailhead. The trail heads up an unnamed drainage through a mixed conifer forest dominated by huge orange-barked ponderosa pines. Dwarf canyon maples are plentiful here, too. They turn scarlet and peach in the fall, making this a great place to enjoy the most colorful of seasons.

As you ascend the steep slope you'll notice that, above the mosaic of tree limbs that form the forest ceiling, huge monoliths of deep red and buff sandstone tower toward the sky. You'll be rubbing shoulders with these giants as you slide between them at the top of the pass and begin the descent into Sterling Canyon. The best overlooks are along the climb, so be sure to take a break every now and then to enjoy them. The view from the top is somewhat obscured by trees.

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Check-Ins

May 1, 2019
Steve Mosher
3.5mi — 5h 30m
Mar 11, 2019
Paul Thalacker
Breathtaking views throughout!
Dec 23, 2017
Theodore Poeppel
Oct 23, 2017
Robert Cataldo
Hard AF 1.6mi
Jan 18, 2016
Benjamin Liu
Did not go into Sterling Canyon - icy and no crampons

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 7 votes

#4864

Overall
  4.4 from 7 votes
5 Star
43%
4 Star
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3 Star
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Rankings

#137

in Arizona

#4,864

Overall
22 Views Last Month
373 Since Mar 26, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

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