3 out of 5 stars
To hike or not to hike, is the question. The correct answer is to hike, this time at the underrated gem of Sedona: the Birthing Cave. Given its name, the Birthing Cave is shaped as can be expected, with no need for additional elaboration. This side trail runs off the Long Grand Canyon Trail that is roughly 24 miles. While that is likely a fabulous hike, I was not there for it, preferring the 2 miles off-trail to the Birthing Cave. Beware, this trail requires rebellion, since the part where we split off the Long Grand Canyon Trail did say ‘Do Not Cross’. It is not for the weak of heart.
While the hike was short in length, it evened out in the vertical climb. The trail is a secluded, peaceful hike that directs you to an amazing, naturally formed cave. Although the Birthing Cave does not have heavy foot traffic, the highest point is quite busy, since it is a nice resting spot for hikers to practice their photography skills and enjoy lunch. Once reached, the top of the hike opens up into a half bowl shape, with an above inner crevice that is a challenge to reach, due to the smoothness of the incline. Surprisingly, many people thought of this trail as a good dog-walking path, which was relaxing or detrimental depending on the dog’s comfortability and tolerance of heights. Overall, the hike fulfilled my desire to be in nature. Looking out from the Birthing Cave is one of those moments where the breathless beauty of nature abruptly strikes you; it is a remaining earth formation that represents how the planet naturally grows, untouched and undisturbed by humankind. The serenity of the cave was very much a throwback, not to Thursday, but to centuries before humans walked the earth. Overall, the hike itself receives 3 out of 5 stars because the trail to the cave wasn’t thrilling and unique, compared to previous hikes and the scenic view at the top.