Late year I took my second “hiking vacation” to Sedona after I completely fell in love with the destination after my first trip. I love exploring every nook and cranny, and spending each day on the move. In this post, I’m sharing my 5 favorite hikes we have found during our visits to this spiritual mecca (and even found a few vortex or two along the way).
Before heading out there, or on any hiking trip really, check out the All Trails website and download the app. This isn’t a sponsored post, I just think it’s an awesome app. It will give you the location of the trail head, map out hikes that may not be well marked, and track you with GPS so you’ll never stray far from your trail. The app includes upgrades, but I’ve found most things I’m looking for on the free version. I’ve included links back to the maps on the All Trails site for each of the locations below.
Length: 4.2 Miles
This out and back trail is not to be missed, including an extreme looking but relatively safe photo op at the end of the trail. The parking lot near the trail head fills up extraordinarily early, so aim to get there sometime around sunrise if you can. There are two options at the lower half of the trail, the shorter route to the right that is on a dirt road, and a winding path to the left, which will take you past some beautiful rock formations. A steeper ascent starts for the second half of the trail, winding through the woods and past a few beautiful vistas before presenting the awe inspiring Devils’ Bridge at the top of the mountain. Hikers will wait in line to round the bend and walk across the bridge for pictures. While there are steep drop offs (ok, a cliff), the bridge is actually quite wide when you get out there, it just feels a bit intense with drop offs on both sides. Don’t worry, you won’t be close to an edge unless you perch yourself on it. Trailhead linked HERE.
Length: 1.2 Miles
Difficulty: Strenuous / Some Climbing
Some hikes are bucket list worthy, and this should be one of them. This trail is approximately 1.2 miles long, but feels a bit longer. I recommend quality hiking shoes and not having a fear of heights. Arrive early in the day to avoid crowds, and you will have to pay for parking. You’ll start to scramble shortly after you begin the hike and in one place you will be almost rock climbing up a narrow crevasse, with no safety lines to steady yourself. The second half of the hike as you approach the end contains switchbacks and rocky terrain, but it is a breathtaking vista. Head over to the right hand side after your ascent for a great photo opp. (I may have slid back down on my butt in a few places.). Trailhead linked HERE.
Length: 3.2 Miles
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
This 3 mile loop is one of my favorite spots in Sedona, where even non-hikers can enjoy the vistas. Parking is very limited here, so if arriving to watch the sunrise, arrive very early. This trail isn’t terribly difficult, but the terrain is rather rocky and there are some steep drop-offs, so wear shoes with good traction. The loop will take you completely around the mesa where the airport is located, giving you a 365 degree view of Sedona and some close views of the planes landing just above. Take the trail up the spire just above the parking area to get great views from the highest point on the vista, and check out the vortex point below to see if you can feel the vibrations.
Another option is to park in the airport parking lot just before sunrise, and walk to the overlook point adjacent to the entrance, where you can watch the surrounding red rock mountains slowly illuminate from the top down. Trailhead linked HERE.
Seven Sacred Pools / Soldiers Pass
Length: 1.1 Miles
This out and back trail is kid friendly, and includes a riverbed, the Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole, and serves as an access point to the hidden caves trail (below). These seven naturally occurring pools were carved out of sandstone and filled by a seasonal stream. Be aware that the trails are not well marked in this area, so use the All Trails App to help keep you on the right path.
Parking at the entrance is by permit only and spaces are limited, so arrive early or plan to park at a nearby dog park or other local parking areas and hike a mile or two to reach the trailhead. Do not park in the adjacent neighborhoods or you may be towed. Trailhead linked HERE.
Soldier’s Pass Cave Spur Trail
Length: 2.8 miles
While checking out the Seven Sacred Pools, take a small detour off the marked trail to visit the nearby caves. The All Trails App will help you find the detour point, but you will also likely see others taking the trail along the way. The last half mile of the hike is pretty intense and includes some scrambling up a very steep climb, but it is worth it to access the caves. Hikers can crawl up the right hand side of the caves up to an open second level and walk along the edge peering down below. Some daredevils will walk to the other side of the caves and climb up to the top of the cliff on the other side. Photo ops are pretty awesome here and worth the treck. Trailhead linked HERE.