When it comes to breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures, Sedona, Arizona is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Nestled amongst the red rock formations of the Coconino National Forest, Sedona offers a multitude of hiking trails that showcase the area’s unique beauty. Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner seeking a leisurely stroll, Sedona has something for everyone.
Sedona hiking trails allow visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning natural surroundings, with magnificent views of the red rock canyons, expansive vistas, and lush vegetation. The diverse range of trails in Sedona cater to different skill levels, making it a paradise for hikers of all abilities.
As you embark on your Sedona hiking adventure, it’s important to come prepared with suitable footwear, water, snacks, and sun protection. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check the weather conditions and trail regulations before setting out.
In this article, we will guide you through some of the best hikes in Sedona, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems. Lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to explore the stunning natural wonders that await you in Sedona, Arizona!
Cathedral Rock Trail
The Cathedral Rock Trail is one of the most iconic and popular hiking trails in Sedona. Known for its towering red rock formations and panoramic views, this trail offers a thrilling adventure for hikers of all skill levels.
The trailhead is located off Back O’ Beyond Road, and the hike is approximately 1.5 miles round trip. While the distance may be relatively short, the trail is quite steep and requires some scrambling over rocks. It’s important to wear sturdy hiking shoes and use caution during the ascent.
As you climb higher, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Sedona and the surrounding red rock landscape. At the summit, you’ll find the towering Cathedral Rock formation, which resembles a majestic cathedral rising from the earth.
Many hikers choose to continue past the summit and descend into the saddle between Cathedral Rock and the adjacent rock formation known as the Nuns. This allows for a closer look at the sheer cliffs and hidden caves that make this area so captivating.
While the Cathedral Rock Trail is rewarding year-round, it is particularly stunning during sunrise and sunset. Watching the sun cast its warm glow over the red rocks is an unforgettable experience.
Keep in mind that due to the trail’s popularity, it can get crowded, especially during weekends and holidays. It’s recommended to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid peak times. Additionally, be prepared for limited parking at the trailhead, so carpooling or utilizing alternative transportation options is advised.
Overall, Cathedral Rock Trail offers a thrilling and awe-inspiring hiking experience that showcases the beauty of Sedona’s red rock landscape. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to bask in the natural splendor, this trail is a must-visit for any Sedona adventurer.
Devil’s Bridge Trail
The Devil’s Bridge Trail is another popular hiking destination in Sedona, famous for its natural sandstone arch formation known as Devil’s Bridge. This trail offers a moderate hike that rewards hikers with stunning views and the opportunity to walk across the impressive natural bridge.
The trailhead is located in the Dry Creek area and can be accessed via a 4×4 vehicle or by parking at the nearby Mescal Trailhead and hiking an additional 0.8 miles to reach the start of the Devil’s Bridge Trail. The hike is approximately 4.2 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of around 400 feet.
As you make your way along the trail, you’ll pass through beautiful desert landscapes, with cacti and juniper trees dotting the scenery. The trail gradually ascends, offering panoramic views of the surrounding red rock formations.
Once you reach the Devil’s Bridge, you’ll be greeted with a breathtaking sight. The natural sandstone arch stretches across a deep chasm, creating a majestic gateway framed by the stunning Sedona landscape. Many hikers choose to walk across the bridge for a thrilling experience and incredible photo opportunities.
It’s important to exercise caution and use proper judgment when walking on the Devil’s Bridge. The bridge is a natural formation and can be slippery or unstable, especially during inclement weather. If you feel uncomfortable walking across, admire the bridge from a safe distance and enjoy the magnificent views.
Devil’s Bridge Trail is a popular hike, so be prepared for crowds, especially on weekends and holidays. To avoid the peak times, consider starting the hike early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Additionally, be mindful of potential limited parking at the trailhead and consider carpooling or utilizing alternative transportation.
With its picturesque views and the opportunity to stand atop a natural sandstone arch, Devil’s Bridge Trail is an unforgettable hiking experience in Sedona. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner looking for a moderate adventure, this trail is definitely worth exploring.
West Fork Oak Creek Trail
The West Fork Oak Creek Trail is a scenic and serene hiking trail that meanders along the banks of Oak Creek. This trail is renowned for its lush vegetation, towering cliffs, and picturesque creek crossings, offering a peaceful escape into nature.
The trailhead is located off Highway 89A, approximately 9 miles north of Sedona. The hike is an out-and-back trail that stretches for about 3.3 miles, with minimal elevation gain. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be immersed in a beautiful forested canyon, with towering walls of red rock forming a dramatic backdrop.
The West Fork Oak Creek Trail is known for its numerous creek crossings, adding an element of adventure and charm to the hike. Hikers can navigate across the shallow waters by stepping on rocks or log bridges, taking care to maintain balance and secure footing.
Along the trail, you’ll encounter an abundance of plant life, including oak trees, ferns, and wildflowers. The vibrant colors and fragrant scents of the forest create a tranquil atmosphere that is perfect for reflection and relaxation.
This trail is particularly popular in the fall when the foliage turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold. The stunning autumn colors combined with the peaceful sound of the flowing creek make for a truly enchanting experience.
Due to its popularity, the West Fork Oak Creek Trail can become crowded, especially on weekends and during peak seasons. To avoid crowds, consider starting your hike early in the morning or visiting on weekdays. Also, keep in mind that parking at the trailhead may be limited, so carpooling or using alternative transportation is recommended.
Whether you’re seeking a peaceful nature walk or a scenic backdrop for photography, the West Fork Oak Creek Trail is a must-visit destination in Sedona. Immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of the forested canyon as you explore this captivating hiking trail.
Boynton Canyon Trail
The Boynton Canyon Trail is a captivating hiking trail that takes you into the heart of one of Sedona’s most picturesque canyons. This scenic trail offers a mix of breathtaking vistas, red rock formations, and rich cultural history.
The trailhead is located in the Boynton Canyon area, accessible via Dry Creek Road. The hike is approximately 6.1 miles round trip, with a moderate level of difficulty. As you venture along the trail, you’ll be treated to magnificent views of towering red rock cliffs and the lush greenery of the surrounding vegetation.
One of the highlights of the Boynton Canyon Trail is the opportunity to visit some ancient Native American ruins known as the Boynton Vortex. These ruins offer a glimpse into the past and the spiritual significance of the area. Please remember to be respectful and do not touch or disturb the ruins.
Throughout the hike, you’ll also have the chance to spot wildlife, such as deer, birds, and even the occasional coyote. The diverse ecosystem along the trail adds to the allure and sense of natural wonder.
One of the most awe-inspiring moments on this trail is reaching the end and being rewarded with the breathtaking vista of the red rock cliffs at the end of the canyon. This panoramic view is a perfect spot to relax, enjoy a snack, and soak in the beauty of Sedona’s natural landscape.
While the Boynton Canyon Trail is relatively well-marked, it’s always a good idea to bring a trail map or use a GPS device to ensure you stay on track. Additionally, be sure to bring ample water, snacks, and sun protection, as there are limited amenities along the trail.
As with many hiking trails in Sedona, the Boynton Canyon Trail can become crowded, especially during weekends and holidays. To avoid crowds, consider starting your hike early in the morning or visiting on weekdays. Carpooling or using alternative transportation options can also help alleviate parking congestion.
With its scenic beauty, cultural significance, and rich natural history, the Boynton Canyon Trail is a must-visit for any hiker in Sedona. Immerse yourself in the splendor of the red rock canyons and experience the serenity that this trail has to offer.
Bell Rock Pathway
The Bell Rock Pathway is a popular hiking trail that showcases the majestic Bell Rock formation, one of Sedona’s most recognizable landmarks. This scenic pathway offers a diverse range of experiences, from leisurely walks to challenging hikes, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
The trailhead is located off Highway 179, and the pathway extends for approximately 3.6 miles one way. As you walk along the trail, you’ll be mesmerized by the towering red rock cliffs and the panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape.
The Bell Rock formation itself is a sight to behold, with its distinctive shape resembling a bell. Many hikers are drawn to the challenge of climbing to the top of the rock, where they can enjoy a mesmerizing 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
The pathway also offers various access points and connecting trails, allowing hikers to customize the length and difficulty of their hike. Whether you’re looking for a short stroll or a longer adventure, there are plenty of options to suit your preferences.
One of the unique features of the Bell Rock Pathway is its accessibility for mountain biking. If you’re an avid cyclist, you can explore the trail on two wheels and immerse yourself in the beauty of the red rock scenery.
The Bell Rock Pathway is relatively well-maintained and marked, but it’s always a good idea to bring a map or use a GPS device to ensure you stay on the right path. The trail can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, so consider starting your hike early in the morning or visiting on weekdays to avoid peak times.
As with any outdoor adventure, remember to bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear. The desert sun can be intense, so it’s important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
Whether you’re seeking a scenic hike, a challenging climb, or a mountain biking adventure, the Bell Rock Pathway has something for everyone. Experience the beauty and grandeur of Bell Rock as you explore this enchanting hiking trail in Sedona, Arizona.
Soldier Pass Trail
The Soldier Pass Trail is a captivating hiking trail that offers a combination of stunning red rock scenery, unique rock formations, and historical landmarks. This trail is rich in natural beauty and cultural significance, making it a must-visit destination for hikers in Sedona.
The trailhead is located off Soldier Pass Road, and the hike is approximately 4.4 miles round trip. As you embark on the journey, you’ll be greeted by towering red rock formations that create a dramatic backdrop for your hike.
One of the main highlights of the Soldier Pass Trail is the Seven Sacred Pools, a series of natural rock pools formed by the flow of water during wet seasons. These pools, surrounded by vegetation and shaded by towering red cliffs, create a serene and tranquil oasis in the desert landscape.
Another notable feature along the trail is the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole, a large collapsed underground cavern. The sinkhole serves as a reminder of the unique geology and the dynamic landscapes of Sedona.
The Soldier Pass Trail also offers the opportunity to visit the famous Soldier Pass Cave, known as the “Secret Cave.” This cave holds historical and cultural significance, as it was once used as a hideout by local outlaws. However, access to the cave is restricted to protect its fragile ecosystem and preserve its historical integrity.
It’s important to note that the Soldier Pass Trail is highly regulated, and a Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required to park at the trailhead. Additionally, due to the limited parking space, it is recommended to arrive early or consider utilizing alternative transportation options.
As with any hike in Sedona, be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes, sun protection, and plenty of water. The Arizona sun can be intense, so staying hydrated and protecting yourself from the sun’s rays is essential.
The Soldier Pass Trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and cultural significance. Immerse yourself in the captivating red rock scenery and discover the hidden gems along this enchanting hiking trail in Sedona, Arizona.
Fay Canyon Trail
The Fay Canyon Trail is a picturesque hiking trail that showcases the natural splendor of Sedona’s red rock canyons. This scenic trail is known for its breathtaking vistas, towering sandstone cliffs, and abundant flora and fauna.
The trailhead for the Fay Canyon Trail is located off Boynton Pass Road, and the hike is approximately 2.3 miles round trip. The trail is relatively easy, with minimal elevation gain, making it suitable for hikers of all levels, including families with children and those seeking a leisurely stroll.
As you venture along the trail, you’ll be surrounded by the striking red rock formations that characterize Sedona’s landscape. The towering sandstone cliffs create an awe-inspiring backdrop, while the shade of the canyon offers respite from the desert sun.
One of the highlights of the Fay Canyon Trail is the natural alcove near the end of the trail. This secluded nook is a perfect spot to rest, have a picnic, and admire the towering walls of the canyon. It’s not uncommon to spot wildlife, such as birds or squirrels, in this tranquil setting.
During the spring months, the canyon comes alive with vibrant wildflowers, adding a burst of color to the already stunning scenery. The juxtaposition of the delicate blooms against the rugged backdrop creates a truly enchanting experience.
While the trail is relatively well-marked, it’s always a good idea to have a trail map or use a GPS device to ensure you stay on the right path. The Fay Canyon Trail can get crowded, especially during peak times, so consider starting your hike early in the morning or visiting on weekdays for a more serene experience.
Don’t forget to bring water, snacks, and sun protection, as there are limited amenities along the trail. The desert climate can be unforgiving, so it’s important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
For those seeking a peaceful and scenic hiking experience in Sedona, the Fay Canyon Trail is a perfect choice. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the red rock canyons and experience the tranquility that this trail has to offer.
Airport Mesa Loop Trail
The Airport Mesa Loop Trail is a unique hiking trail that offers breathtaking panoramic views of Sedona’s iconic red rock formations. This moderately challenging trail takes you to the top of Airport Mesa, providing a stunning vantage point to take in the beauty of Sedona’s landscape.
The trailhead for the Airport Mesa Loop Trail is located near the Sedona Airport, and the hike is approximately 3.3 miles round trip. While the trail involves some uphill sections, the rewarding views make it well worth the effort.
As you ascend the trail, you’ll be treated to sweeping 360-degree views of Sedona’s red rock formations, including Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Bell Rock. The elevated vantage point of Airport Mesa allows you to appreciate the scale and grandeur of the surrounding landscape.
One of the best times to hike the Airport Mesa Loop Trail is during sunrise or sunset. The soft golden light casts a magical glow on the red rocks, creating a picturesque and unforgettable experience. Keep in mind that this trail is particularly popular during these times, so it’s advisable to plan accordingly.
Along the trail, you’ll also come across various vortices, which are believed to have spiritual and healing properties. These energy centers add an element of mysticism to the hike and provide an opportunity for reflection and connection with the natural surroundings.
As with any outdoor adventure, it’s important to bring appropriate hiking gear, plenty of water, and sun protection. The trail is exposed to the sun, so wearing a hat and sunscreen is recommended.
Due to its popularity, the Airport Mesa Loop Trail can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. To avoid the crowds and have a more peaceful experience, consider hiking during weekdays or less busy times of the day.
The Airport Mesa Loop Trail is a must-visit for anyone seeking awe-inspiring views of Sedona’s red rock landscape. Experience the magic and beauty of this trail as you immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Sedona, Arizona.
Broken Arrow Trail
The Broken Arrow Trail is a thrilling and adventurous hiking trail that takes you through some of Sedona’s most iconic red rock formations. This rugged trail offers a unique off-road experience, combining hiking with the excitement of a 4×4 adventure.
The trailhead for the Broken Arrow Trail is located off Morgan Road, and the hike is approximately 3.2 miles round trip. While the distance may seem modest, the trail is known for its challenging terrain, including steep sections and uneven surfaces.
One of the highlights of the Broken Arrow Trail is the opportunity to explore the famous Devil’s Dining Room, a large sinkhole surrounded by towering red cliffs. This geological wonder provides a glimpse into the natural processes that have shaped Sedona’s landscape over millions of years.
Another iconic feature along the trail is Submarine Rock, a massive sandstone formation that resembles a submerged submarine. This unique rock formation adds to the sense of adventure and intrigue that accompanies the hike.
While it is possible to hike the Broken Arrow Trail on foot, it’s also a popular choice for guided jeep tours. These tours allow you to experience the trail’s rugged beauty while being driven by experienced off-road drivers. It’s a thrilling way to explore the stunning red rock canyons and enjoy the ride.
Due to the challenging nature of the trail, it’s important to come prepared with sturdy hiking boots, plenty of water, and sun protection. The Arizona sun can be intense, so wearing a hat and sunscreen is essential.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the Broken Arrow Trail can be crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider hiking early in the morning or on weekdays.
The Broken Arrow Trail offers a unique and exhilarating hiking adventure, combining the beauty of Sedona’s red rock landscape with the thrill of off-road exploration. Whether you choose to hike it on foot or join a jeep tour, this trail is a must-visit for any adventurous spirit in Sedona, Arizona.
Wilson Mountain Trail
The Wilson Mountain Trail is a challenging and rewarding hike that offers stunning panoramic views and a chance to conquer one of Sedona’s highest peaks. This strenuous trail is perfect for experienced hikers seeking a thrilling adventure and breathtaking vistas.
The trailhead for the Wilson Mountain Trail is located off Midgley Bridge Road, and the hike is approximately 10.6 miles round trip. As you ascend the trail, you’ll navigate through diverse terrain, including rocky switchbacks, pine forests, and expansive open vistas.
One of the highlights of the Wilson Mountain Trail is reaching the summit, which stands at an elevation of over 7,000 feet. From this vantage point, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of Sedona’s red rock formations, lush valleys, and distant mountain ranges. On a clear day, you may even catch a glimpse of the iconic San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff.
Due to the strenuous nature of the trail, it’s important to come prepared with appropriate hiking gear, plenty of water, and snacks. The trail can be steep and challenging, so prior hiking experience and a good level of fitness are recommended.
It’s also essential to wear sturdy hiking boots for traction and ankle support, as well as to bring sun protection and layers, as the temperatures can vary throughout the day.
Keep in mind that the Wilson Mountain Trail is less crowded compared to some of the more popular hikes in Sedona. However, it’s still advisable to start early in the morning to avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day and to secure parking at the trailhead.
The Wilson Mountain Trail provides a thrilling and fulfilling hiking experience with its challenging terrain and breathtaking views. Embark on this adventure to conquer one of Sedona’s highest peaks and discover the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds the area.
Sedona, Arizona is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide array of hiking trails that showcase the area’s natural wonders. From towering red rock formations to lush canyons, Sedona’s diverse landscapes provide a breathtaking backdrop for unforgettable hiking adventures.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking a thrilling challenge or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, Sedona has something for everyone. From iconic trails like Cathedral Rock and Devil’s Bridge to hidden gems such as West Fork Oak Creek and Fay Canyon, each trail offers its own unique beauty and charm.
As you explore Sedona’s hiking trails, you’ll witness stunning panoramic views, encounter fascinating geological formations, and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature. The vibrant colors, fragrant desert blooms, and wildlife sightings add to the allure of these trails, making each hike a truly unforgettable experience.
It’s important to come prepared with appropriate gear, including sturdy hiking shoes, water, snacks, and sun protection. Additionally, be mindful of trail regulations, parking restrictions, and crowded peak times, especially in popular hiking destinations like Cathedral Rock and Devil’s Bridge.
Whether you’re captivated by the breathtaking vistas of Airport Mesa, the spiritual significance of Boynton Canyon, or the adventurous challenge of Wilson Mountain, Sedona’s hiking trails have something to offer every adventurer.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Sedona, Arizona, and discover the magic of its hiking trails. Lace up your boots, embrace the spirit of exploration, and let the stunning landscapes and captivating trails of Sedona take you on an unforgettable journey.