Hi, we're a group of Singaporeans who were thinking of driving along Schnebly Hill Road, as part of the Route 89/89A scenic drive with a rented Ford Compass- it has a ground clearance of around 8 inches. Would that be sufficient clearance?
We were thinking of starting from Wickenburg and turning onto 179 at Sedona to enter Schnebly via I-17, before following 89A up along Oak Creek Canyon. Any advice or comments about our route would also be appreciated! We've heard a lot about it from many other online sites (including this one!) and how scenic it is :)
Assume you mean Jeep Compass? Anyway, as noted by someone else, 8" just enough, but the drive will be very slow (probably close to 2 hours for about 10 km.) and find out if the Compass has 4wd, I would not attempt with with 2wd. However, interesting road, you could consider renting either a regular jeep or jeep with guide to do the trip in Sedona. Pink Jeep tours are extremely popular. You will love the scenary in Sedona.
The upper portion of Schnebly Hill Rd from I-17 is passable but deteriorates quickly once you pass Schnebly Hill overlook. I would not recommend attempting it unless you can afford the time to go very slowly.
If you take your time, 8” would probably be okay. The road is generally not super rocky but there are a few spots you would need to be carful on. We did ot from 17 a few months ago and the upper section was rutted and muddy. Then we had a drout though we just had rain yesterday so you might hit some muddy/mucky sections at the top after you exit 17.Note that to park for any length of time or to hike anywhere along there requires a “red rock pass.” Though those are readiy available in Sedona or at the parking lot at the bottom of Schnebly Hill R. in Sedona, there is nowhere to get one coming from the 17 direction. The Camp Verde ranger station website claims you can get one there but they do NOT have them. So if ypu are driving the road and want to stop for a couple of minites to enjoy the views...no problem, but if you see a trail you want to hike, you have to get the pass at the bottom.
Personally, I don't recommend driving the route with a rental. You are responsible with all the damage. Park your car at Sedona and join a tour company, I would recommend Pink Jeep, they are very good company. I took a 3 hours Rim Tour. You are there to enjoy the scenery so enjoy.
We've driven this entire road from beginning to end, many times, in a regular rental car.
Personally, I don’t know that I would risk it. We made it with an 8” clearance but were VERY close to bottoming out and my Dad is a really good driver haha.
If you are confident, go for it! If not, we were passed by some really cool ATV tours (they are these crazy dune buggies driven by a guide) which looked like fun. I probably won’t do the drive again personally, but it’s do-able (or was as of March 2018)
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