Hiking in Sedona: 12 Of The Most Beautiful & Best Hikes in Sedona, Arizona To Explore

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Sedona is known for its arid yet picturesque natural landscape full of wide, open spaces and red rock. Here are 12 of the best hikes in Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona, Arizona is known for its incredible arid landscapes that seem to go on forever. The endless mountains and hills are scattered with awe-inspiring red rock quite unlike anywhere else in the world and rivaling some of the best scenery you’d come to expect in most West Coast National Parks

If you’re looking for unusual landmarks and interesting rock formations, Sedona is scattered with everything you could possibly want – including awe-inspiring natural arches and caves that will humble you.

Exploring the rugged Sedona terrain on foot is the best way to see all the sights and really enjoy the exquisite scenery that surrounds you. The area has always been a popular hiking destination, and today, there are so many trails to choose from, you can’t possibly pick only one!

Whether you live in the area or are just popping by for a quick visit, hitting the trails in Sedona is an absolute must. Here are 12 of the best hikes in Sedona, Arizona that you simply have to check out.

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5 Must-Have Hiking Essentials For Your Hike in Sedona

  1. A hiking day backpack
  2. Comfy pair of men’s boots, or woman’s hiking boots
  3. Hiking water bottle for hydration
  4. A cozy men’s and woman’s windbreaker for those gusty summits
  5. A set of hiking poles

Hiking in Sedona Arizona, 12 Top Hikes

1. Cathedral Rock Trail

Cathedral Rock Trail © Image Courtesy of littleny from Getty Images by Canva
Cathedral Rock Trail © Image Courtesy of littleny from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: 1294 SR 179, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 1.2-miles

Short and sweet, the Cathedral Rock Trail is one of the most popular routes in the Sedona area. However, don’t let the distance of this short 1.2-mile hike fool you – it’s steep, technical, and involves a fair bit of scrambling! It’s very doable though, as long as you’re wearing the right shoes and follow the trail markers.

The Cathedral Rock trail is accessible via the Baldwin and Templeton trails, but getting to the start depends on the day of the week that you choose to visit. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, there are two parking lots to choose from just off the Back ‘O’ Beyond Road. However, if you’re there from Thursday to Sunday, these lots are inaccessible.

Rather, you’ll need to use the Sedona Shuttle Service. Visitors can park at the park and ride lot located at 1294 SR 179, jump on a shuttle, and you’ll be dropped off at the trailhead – efficient and convenient!

2. The Birthing Cave Sedona Hike 

The Birthing Cave © Image Courtesy of Stevie Simmons from Alltrails
The Birthing Cave © Image Courtesy of Stevie Simmons from Alltrails
  • Location: Long Canyon Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type:  Out and back
  • Distance: 2-miles

If you’re looking for Sedona hikes that are remote and beautiful, the Birthing Cave trail ought to be at the top of your list. It’s considered moderately difficult, with the final stretch of the trail being steep and challenging – the view from the top, however, is well worth the climb.

If you’re brave and aren’t scared of small spaces, you can climb into the small cave to enjoy the awesome panoramic views from the other side. Getting there early and outside of peak times means you’ll be able to enjoy some real peace and quiet as you take in the views of Sedona from this picturesque and profound spot.

Note, however, that you’ll have no cell phone reception once you depart from the trailhead, so ensure that you’ve downloaded a map and directions beforehand so you don’t get lost.

To get to the Birthing Cave, you’ll need to start on the Long Canyon Trail. After a bit of walking, you’ll see a golf course on your right-hand side, and about 0.6 miles from the trailhead, you’ll reach a fork in the trail. Take a left, where you’ll see a log blocking the trail and some barbed wire just off to the right, and the trail will lead directly to the cave.

3. Bell Rock Climb

Bell Rock Climb © Image Courtesy of JacobH from Getty Images Signature by Canva
Bell Rock Climb © Image Courtesy of JacobH from Getty Images Signature by Canva
  • Location: Bell Rock Trailhead North, Highway 179, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 0.8-mile

A fairly busy route, the Bell Rock Climb is a technically challenging trail. It’ll only take you about half an hour, but it’s steep – as the name suggests, there’s a fair bit of climbing involved. The route is less than a mile long, but if you’re looking to cover a bit more distance, you can carry on a little higher. Note, however, that the trail isn’t marked from that point onwards, so you’re on your own!

Depending on your ability and a few other factors, you may have to scoot down the rocks here and there to avoid slipping and falling. For this reason, we recommend that you wear long hiking pants to ensure that you’re comfortable.

You’ll also need to buy a Red Rock Pass to be able to do this hike – it’s $5 for a day and $15 if you’d like to use it for a whole week. There are a few different options for parking – Bell Rock Trailhead North, Yavapai Vista Point, and Bell Rock Trailhead South. The Bell Rock Trailhead North is the closest you can park to the trailhead. It also has toilet facilities and a machine that’ll allow you to purchase your Red Rock Pass.

4. Devil’s Bridge Trail Sedona

Devil's Bridge Trail © Image Courtesy of BK from Getty Images by Canva
Devil’s Bridge Trail © Image Courtesy of BK from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Dry Creek Road, FR 152, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 3.9-miles

Devil’s Bridge is Sedona’s largest natural sandstone arch located in the Coconino National Forest. The summit provides mind-blowing views of Red Rock Country below, and the hike really is one of the best hikes in Sedona, Arizona.

The beginning part of the Devil’s Bridge hike follows a dirt road-type trail and is a fairly easy start – look out for prickly pear cactus and junipers! 

At the base of the bridge, you’ll start your ascent, following two natural stone staircases. After a decent climb, you’ll find yourself on the bridge. The views from the top are epic, but you’re unlikely to be the only ones wanting to take a few pictures! The earlier you go, the better.

You can park at the Dry Creek Vista trailhead, but space is very limited. Alternatively, you can choose to catch the Sedona Shuttle from the center of the town to the trailhead to avoid congestion.

5. Boynton Canyon Trail

Boynton Canyon © Image Courtesy of JeffGoulden from Getty Images by Canva
Boynton Canyon © Image Courtesy of JeffGoulden from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Dry Creek Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 6.1-miles

This 6.1-mile out-and-back trail is pretty tough, but once you reach the cave, it’ll be well worth the sweat and tears. If you follow the trail markers, you’ll find yourself at Boynton Canyon – a beautiful spot to enjoy the surrounding scenery, have a little break and even have some lunch if you’re well prepared. Be sure to leave no rubbish behind by taking your trash with you!

The Boynton Canyon Trail is also the route you’ll start on if you plan on visiting the Subway Cave. Once you’re about a mile in, keep your eyes open for the trail that diverges from the one you’re on. Follow that one and you’ll find yourself at the cave within about a mile and a half.

Of course, you can do both if you’re feeling energetic! This will make the total distance about 8.5 miles, but the views are spectacular.

6. Soldier’s Pass Sedona Trails 

Seven Sacred Pools - Soldier’s Pass © Image Courtesy of twildlife from Getty Images by Canva
Seven Sacred Pools – Soldier’s Pass © Image Courtesy of twildlife from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Forest Service 9904 Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 4.5-miles

If you have to choose only one trail when hiking in Sedona, the Soldiers Pass Trail ought to be at the top of your list. Not only does it boast beautiful scenery, but there are also multiple sights to see on the way. These include the Seven Sacred Pools, the Sink Hole, and the Soldier’s Cave.

The trail is 4.5 miles altogether, and an extra mile if you park in the parking lot near the trail, but it certainly is worth every step. Parking near the trailhead is limited though, so we’d suggest making use of the Sedona Shuttle Service. The shuttles leave from the town center and will take you directly to the entrance of the trailhead.

The first sight you’ll see on this trail is the Devil’s Sinkhole, and it sits at the base of the Sphinx Rock. It’s one of Sedona’s most active sinkholes, and has collapsed multiple times over the last century!

Once you’re about a mile into the Solider’s Pass trail, you’ll reach the Seven Sacred Pools. These are shallow little pools that have been naturally carved into the sandstone – the best time to see them is after a bit of rain! It’s a beautiful little stop and a great place to have a break and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

After leaving the Seven Sacred Pools, you’ll begin a small climb up towards the Soldier’s Cave – it’s at this point that you’ll enter the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness area.  

You’ll need to turn left off the main trail to get to the cave, so look out for the signs! Soon, you’ll see the cave in the distance, and once you get there, you’re sure to be thankful for the shade it provides!

7. Airport Loop Trail

Airport Loop Trail © Image Courtesy of Josh Jernigan from Alltrails
Airport Loop Trail © Image Courtesy of Josh Jernigan from Alltrails
  • Location: Airport Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.2-mile

The Airport Loop Trail will take you about an hour and a half to complete, but it boasts gorgeous views along the way. This is a moderately challenging route, but it all depends on how agile you are. If you’re comfortable with scrambling over some rocks, you should be fine – but this might be one to avoid If not!

The Airport Loop trail is also a very hot one with little shade, so make sure you wear sun cream and a hat and take plenty of water along with you.

8. Bear Mountain Trail – Amazing Hikes in Sedona

Bear Mountain Trail © Image Courtesy of Dave Carnahan from Alltrails
Bear Mountain Trail © Image Courtesy of Dave Carnahan from Alltrails
  • Location: FR 152C, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 4.9-miles

There are so many hikes near Sedona that are worth your time, but the Bear Mountain Trail is one of the best. It’s about 4.9 miles in total and while there are loads of hikes in the area with awesome views, this one has to be the best.

It’s a tough trail, that’s for sure, so you better be ready to work hard. Bring along lots of water and sun protection, because you’re not going to get much shade along the way.

While there are multiple false peaks, you’ll certainly know when you reach the main one. The views are utterly spectacular and if you’re lucky enough to enjoy the summit alone, it’s a great place to enjoy some peace and quietly reflect.

9. Courthouse Butte

Courthouse Butte © Image Courtesy of sherwoodimagery from Getty Images Signature by Canva
Courthouse Butte © Image Courtesy of sherwoodimagery from Getty Images Signature by Canva
  • Location: Highway 179, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.9-mile

One of the best hikes in Sedona, Arizona to enjoy a gentle stroll uphill without any gnarly slopes or climbs, the Courthouse Butte loop is a lovely trail. It’s also one of the best routes you could possibly choose in the area if you’re wanting to take lots of photos of the scenery that surrounds you.

This trail is marked as moderately difficult and will probably take you about two and a half hours. It’s well-marked, so you should be able to figure out exactly where to go! Note, however, that you’ll need a Red Rock Pass to do this hike though, so make sure you know what to expect before you get there.

10. West Fork Trail (Oak Creek Canyon)

West Fork Trail © Image Courtesy of Coquinho from Getty Images by Canva
West Fork Trail © Image Courtesy of Coquinho from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: West Fork Trail Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 6.5-miles

Considered one of many easy hikes in Sedona – easy to moderate, that is – the West Fork Trail is just over 6.5 miles long. 

It runs along the base of a 1,000-foot canyon and is a beautiful green area. Boasting gorgeous scenery, some of which is fairly unusual in the desert-like terrain of most of Arizona. 

The West Fork Trail along the bottom of Oak Creek Canyon is the perfect hike to do with the family when you want to escape from the sun. Do note that you’ll also be needing a Red Rock Pass to partake in this hike.

11. Brins Mesa Trail

Brins Mesa © Image Courtesy of Jon Root from Getty Images by Canva
Brins Mesa © Image Courtesy of Jon Root from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Jordan Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 4.5-miles

Easy hiking in Sedona, Arizona isn’t too hard to come by. If you’re looking for a variety of easy trails to choose from, simply pick one that’s marked moderate and do a small section of it – the Brins Mesa Trail is a great one to do this. The views simply get better and better with every step, so you very well may choose to keep going.

While this trail is fairly well known, it doesn’t get as busy as many other routes in the Sedona area which is great if you’re looking for some serenity. From the top, you can enjoy awesome 360-degree views of the red rock below.

Remember that you’ll need a Red Rock Pass for this hike, so make sure you’re ready before you set out!

12. Fay Canyon Trail – Sedona Trails

Fay Canyon © Image Courtesy of Focqus, LLC from Getty Images by Canva
Fay Canyon © Image Courtesy of Focqus, LLC from Getty Images by Canva
  • Location: Boynton Pass Road, Sedona, Arizona
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 2.3-miles

A beautiful hike in Coconino National Forest, the Fay Canyon Trail will take less than an hour to walk – in fact, many people use this route for trail running! It’s pretty easy, flat, and shaded, making it a pleasant hike to do at any time of day.

When you reach the end, you can either enjoy the views from the bottom or scramble up some rocks to take in the picturesque scenes around you from the arch. If you do choose to do the little climb, however, be careful of loose rocks and watch your footing! A great trail for the whole family, Fay Canyon is certainly another one of the best hikes in Sedona, Arizona worth exploring!

12 Beautiful Sedona Hikes to Explore in Arizona! Hikes in Sedona Arizona, Hiking in Sedona Arizona, Easy Sedona Hikes, Sedona Trails, Sedona Hikes, Hikes near Sedona Arizona!
12 Of the Best Hikes in Sedona Arizona to Explore! Hikes in Sedona Arizona, Hiking in Sedona Arizona, Easy Sedona Hikes, Sedona Trails, Sedona Hikes, Hikes near Sedona Arizona!
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