Very fun, very steep and wild non-system trail heading down to Oak Creek. Comes out around the bottom of Casner Canyon Trail. Sorta turns Munds Wagon Trail into a loop. Hook up with Huckaby. Historic name comes from Damfino Canyon across the way on Schnebly. In the early 1900s, when a tourist asked a highway worker the name of said canyon, the worker responded "Damn if I know". Hence, the name.
Go up Schnebly Hill Road or Munds Wagon Trail to the Cow Pies. Ride out to The Pies. Look around. You will find a hand made, non-system trail heading up and over a little pass and heading down to Oak Creek.
Summary: This trail has been naturalized by the USFS as of February 2013. It no longer exists.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Hangover, Munds Wagon, Cowpies (connects Munds to Hangover). These are what is in the upper Schnebly Hill area.
Review Date March 18, 2012
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 4 of 5
Technical Difficulty 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Every few months
Reviewed by: nkdmtnbkr
Summary: A steep, technical climb to weed out the faint of heart. If you can't pedal most of the approach, you either need to turn around or you're riding a some downhill specific bike, so you should turn around. I ride a 7" bike, it's perfect. That being said, once you clear the saddle it's game on. Switchbacks, off camber red rock, nice rollers and chutes, some drops, some logs, ending with a world cup style rocky technical downhill. Easy pedal back to Midgley.
This trail is super fun! It will test you, and reward you! If you don't clean it, ride it next weekend. The switch backs can be a bit sketchy during the dry months, but a lot of work has been done lately to stabilize it. Beautiful views that you cannot get any other way.
Recommended Route: No need to shuttle, just park at Midgley, ride up Huckabee or through town, then up either Schnebly or Old Munds. Left at the cow pies, up, up, up and away!
Other recommended trails in the same area: Hangover, Tomahawk.
Summary: This is not a "downhill" trail, and I have a hard time calling it a "freeride" trail. It does have technical, and that aspect is nice, but the trail does not flow, it has short steep uphills that are hike-a-bike sections, it is not "downhill" even most of the way, it is nice to have a bigger bike on for some of the actual downhill parts, but it also kills you because the downhill section is so short and hard to reach. The fact that this trail ends in a boulder-strewn canyon which requires a water-crossing (getting pretty deep) is also a drag. This trail reaffirms my belief that sedona flat out sucks for DH and freeride stuff. You can session stuff and spend part of the day screwing around in a particular area, but you just can't "ride" like you would in other places (flagstaff, phoenix SoMo, etc).
The trail follows a ledge for a while, then goes up to a pass, follows a ledge again then finally turns down. The ledge-riding is mostly cool, but a few of the areas on the 2nd ledge area kind of suck for flow in terms of ups and downs.
I was really expecting more out of this trail/route in terms of how much it is hyped up by the sedona locals. Again, it's not that it doesn't have technical or features, it just sucks logistically and is simply not worth it when you add everything up. If you're going to use a moderately "big" bike you have to shuttle (not shuttling involves multiple creek-crossings in boulder-strewn canyons), but again it's not really downhill except for the very last part.
Recommended Route: I don't recommend Sedona for freeride/DH. This isn't really a sanctioned ride anyway, but in all areas except for Munds Wagon trail Sedona riding is limited by the wilderness-area above, giving only about 400' of vertical to use for trails, and they generally keep to an even smaller range. It's simply not for freeride/dh.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Bring an AM bike or good 6"ish bike and just go ride the other trails in the area, there are rocky chutes, ledges, and drops you can play on and not have to suffer on this half-hike-a-bike "ride".
Review Date January 18, 2004
Overall Rating 2 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 3 of 5
Technical Difficulty 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Visitors rate this review 2.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: FishMan473
Cross Country Rider
Summary: Chrysler is obviously a little on crack saying that Bell Rock Pathway is the only rideable trail in the area. But he is right about one thing, this trail is tough.
Before I go any further, I should probably say that I might be bias against this trail as I was really tired from three full days of riding before I hit it and I rode it on an XC race bike. Not the best situation. This whole trail is technical. If you have a hard time riding up to the saddle, you're better off turning back, it only gets worse on the back side.
No trail has made me feel like a total wus like this one did, EVER. Ever ride South Mountain in Phoenix? National to Mormon to Buena Vista to National to Telegraph pass to Desert Classic? Piece of cake compared to this trail. Maybe I'm just not tough enough for this trail, but I'd recommend a full suspension bike, platform pedals, maybe some armor, balls of steel, a map and a riding buddy (to help scout for trails and just cause doing this trail without someone who could go for help might not be so smart). The steep slickrock stuff is a lot more rideable then you might think (something I still need to get into my head) but there are a lot of spots that if you screw up you'll be hurting in a BAD way. I ended up walking half the trail (until I got lost then I walked the whole time). On a good day, maybe I could clean 80% of it. I consider myself a pretty good technical rider, just not much of a gravity pilot.
All that being said, I'll probably give it another shot in a few weeks when I get a new bike more appropriate for technical, downhill trails. Maybe with a little more energy, and actually riding the whole route (instead of scrambling down a gully with my bike while fending off mountain lions in the dark) it will be more fun.
Recommended Route: wnsirfir did a very good job of describing the route. I'd recommend printing it out and taking it with you. It's not hard to to find your way up to the top of the "saddle" and for a while on the way down the trail is pretty obvious, but it all gets fuzzy once you roll out onto the slickrock area, I got sooooo lost. Ended up hiking most of the way up and begging for a ride from the guy working at the trout farm. Had I gone the right way I was hoping to make a loop of it, back up Huckaby to my car.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Munds Wagon Trail to Schnebly Hill trail and back down.
Review Date December 15, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 5 of 5
Technical Difficulty 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: wnsirfir
Cross Country Rider
Summary: The Damifino Trail is accessed from the end of the Cow Pies Trail. The trailhead to Cow Pies is across from the Cow Pies parking lot on Schnebly Hill Road. The parking lot is about 2 ½ miles up Schnebly Hill Road from Hwy 179. If your not driving to the Cow Pies parking lot you might want to ride up the Munds Wagon Wheel Trail, which parallels and crosses Schnebly Hill Road. The Munds Wagon Wheel Trail is a nice singletrack that starts at the Huckaby Trail Parking lot and heads uphill out of the parking lot.
The Cow Pies Trail takes you to the beginning of the Damifino trailhead. Unfortunately, the whole Cow Pies trail isn’t always distinguishable because about 30% of the trail is routed on slickrock. If when you reach the Cow Pies parking lot and you look at the Cow Pies trailhead you can see a big slickrock saddle at a 10 o’clock position. The Damifino trail starts at the top of the saddle on the right side.
The goal is to safely find the route to the top of the slickrock saddle with a minimum amount of dabbing. The actual beginning of the Cow Pies Trail is easy to follow. There are several short climbing sections for the first 400 yards that are a little difficult but are totally rideable.
Once you reach the section that looks impossible to ride a bike up you can bypass the well-marked hiking trail and climb the slickrock, which will be to your 10 o’clock position. The slickrock is pretty tacky, so with some practice it is rideable on the left side of the steep section.
The objective at this point is to work your way up to the top of the slickrock and get close to the huge rock face in front of you. Since the climb up is on slickrock you will have to pick you own line to get to the high point of the large slickrock area. As you get closer to the rock face in front of you, you will know that you are going the right direction if you see bike tracks in the dirt section between the upper most layers before the rock face.
At this point the trail turns hard left and follows the bottom of the rock face in the direction of the saddle. If you have had difficulty getting to this point you might consider whether you should ride your bike on the next section. You might want to walk your bike on the scary sections rather than ride it.
Note that the really technical section is about 300 yards long and after 200 yards the trail splits even though you can’t see the split because it is on slickrock. Most first time riders take the high line, but more regular riders drop down to a lower slickrock shelf. If you don’t feel comfortable riding the shelf you can easily walk it.
At the end of the really technical section the trail continues straight ahead and weaves through a small boulder field. Try and stay high on the boulder field while looking for small sections of trail through thru some cactus dirt areas. The goal is to ride to the far side of the base of the saddle. You will know you are on the right track when you ride your bike between two huge limestone rocks that are a little more than a handlebars width apart.
Note that since this is also a hiking trail there are numerous rock cairns indicating where to hike the trail. Most all of the cairned sections are unridable, so if you head up one be prepared to walk not ride. There is a hiking section in the middle of the saddle, but for most mortals it is unridable. The rideable section starts at the base of the saddle on the left side.
Once you are past the two huge limestone rocks you ride about 25 yards before turning right and heading up the slickrock. The route to the top of the last slickrock ledge below the saddle is a very challenging but totally rideable by determined riders. Once you reach the top ledge you ride towards the left side of the slickrock and continue up a narrow singletrack trail. The trail does a very steep right hand switchback, which is unridable in the uphill direction. Follow the singletrack to the top of the saddle and continue to the right side. At this point you should see the trailhead for the Damifino trail.
If you felt uncomfortable riding the Cow Pies trail to this point you will not feel comfortable riding the first 300 yards of Damifino. If you enjoyed the technical section of Cow Pies you will probably think the first 300 yards of Damifino is one of the most exciting trails you have ridden in Sedona, Moab, Lake Tahoe, Deer Valley, Downieville, Phoenix, Northstar or Mammoth.
Once you are past the really exciting part of Damifino you will exit onto a wide slickrock shelf. Continue on the shelf until you come to a rock cairn on the edge of the rock shelf. At this point you drop off to the next lower slickrock shelf. This shelf is about five feet wide and you ride it for about 100 yards. After about 100 yards you should notice where the trail drops down a steep narrow singletrack section for about 25 yards.
After about 25 yards you are back on a steep slickrock face. Keep you speed down and look for a left hand turn to continue down the slickrock face. You will end up on a narrow slickrock ledge, which you follow for about 50 yards. You will possibly come to a rock cairn, which marks a right hand switchback down a singletrack. Before dropping down the switchback you have the option of riding down a very steep section of slickrock for about a 15’ drop.
After doing the singletrack drop the trails hits another slickrock section for another 50 yards. At this point the trail turn left and then drops onto a singletrack trail. The singletrack drops down the ridgeline for about 500 yards. One spot is really exposed to the cliff edge so keep your eyes peeled, so you don’t ride off the cliff.
After the 500 yard descent down the ridgeline the trail comes to the top of the nose of the ridge. At this point it might be a good idea to drop your seat a little, so you can enjoy the steep technical section coming up. This section will be really fun if you have enjoyed the ride up to this point. If you feel uncomfortable with steep skinny switchback singletrack you won’t enjoy the drop down the nose.
After reaching the bottom you ride the singletrack until you reach a huge bed of rounded boulders near Oak Creek. At this point it is time to cross the creek, which is about 25 yards away from the trail. Believe it or not it is possible to cross the creek without getting your shoes wet during non-rainy or springtime periods.
Once you cross the creek you need to find the trail that climbs to the top of the canyon. At the top you will exit onto Hwy. 89A. From this point it is about a 3 mile ride back to town on 89A. If you don’t like the idea of riding on the Highway you can avoid the most of the Highway by riding along the creek to Midgely Bridge. Ask the local bike shop for alternatives back to town.
Recommended Route: Munds to Cow Pies to Damifino
Other recommended trails in the same area: Ledge and Airy, G Spot, Airport Mesa, Windsurfer, Pyramid, Damifido