RATING: All the routes described below are rated as difficult due to route finding, steep climbs, thick brush and the remote location. We've described three different ways to explore Bypass Canyon below.
Access From the Kachina Tree Cave
You want the LOWER LEDGE (shown below). It's quick and easy, though it does get a little narrow. The upper ledge is a dead end.
To get on that lower ledge start out by walking away from it, which is actually back toward Boynton Pass Road. Find the break in the cliff and voila, you can access the Bypass Ledge. Remember, it's the LOWER ONE.
From this junction there are two ways to drop into Boynton Canyon and connect with the system trail you started out on. The bigger view (above) is in the main saddle, straight ahead.
The Main Saddle Route
To get down and connect to the main trail going this way, find a faint social trail by taking the left side of the saddle, like the hiker in the second photo above. That faint trail drops into the wash and stays along the left side the entire way.
The Women's Village Route
The OTHER saddle (to the right at the junction) takes you past the cliff dwellings of Women’s Village (shown in the photos below). The brush is so thick the only footpath through it make it easy to find your way onto this broad ledge. It clearly had a defensive wall at the access point, beyond which are several more structures.
To get down going this way you would then simply backtrack off the ledge to the wash, then continue down that same wash another 20-30, looking for a footpath breaking to the right. This social trail, running along the bottom of the cliff, will bring you back to the system trail again, passing another cliff dwelling along the way (shown below).
Access from Boynton Pass Road:
The Crystal Trail
There are several "steps" up to reach the right ledge. This trail will provide access to the first step by climbing up a steep slope just to the right of the point, where there is an obvious break in the cliffs (shown below). The first climb is approximately 430 feet, so when you reach the top of the first step much of the 639 feet of total uphill climb is already over.
From the ruin you will make your way toward the big spire shown. Fay Canyon is to the left of the spire. To enter Bypass Canyon veer toward the bottom of the cliff to the right. Follow the cairns in this next section to make sure you stay on the route.
The hard work you had to do going uphill at the beginning of the hike now begins to pay off in a big way, because the views will just keep getting better as you go! The view below is looking north toward Long Canyon.
Near the spire itself you can get a great view to the south into Fay Canyon (shown below).
Just before you reach the saddle there will be a "Birthing Cave" on the left side. It's a short, steep climb of approximately 100 feet to get up there, and the route takes you through some thick brush, but alcove images framing the background are extremely popular in Sedona, and this is a good one (shown above).