Two hours north of Phoenix on highway 17 lies the outdoor lovers dream city of Sedona, Arizona. Sedona is famous not only for its stunning landscape views of red-rocks, but for it’s vibrant arts community and wonderful food scene. Sedona’s population is just barely over 10,000 people, but it attracts over 4 million visitors each year.
We spent a weekend in Sedona this past fall and I was instantly in love. You could stay in this city for two weeks and hike a different trail each day. With hikes ranging in distance and difficulty, there is something for every level of traveler.
Can’t Miss Sedona Hikes
Devil’s Bridge is by no means a hidden gem. In fact it’s one of the most (if not the most) popular hike in all of Sedona. The length of this hike can be deceiving. When we looked up it’s length before going we found it was a 3/4 mile hike and thought we could easily hike it in a short amount of time. When we got there we found that only 4-wheel drive vehicles can drive all the way to the bottom of the trail head. Those without the 4×4 must park on the road and walk an extra mile or so to the bottom of the trailhead where the hike then “starts”. Now the walk from the road to the trail head is not strenuous or tasking at all and provides many of good views along the way, but the extra time should be factored in when planning for this hike.
The hike to devils bridge starts out very easy, but gets tougher the closer you get to the top. At the very top there is some semi-steep climbing involved. There are quite a few spots along the way to stop for a break and to snap some pictures so most people take this hike at their own leisurely pace. Dogs are allowed on the hike. Gatsby did the entire hike with us and loved it.
There is a small sized parking lot right at the bottom of the trail for Cathedral Rock. The close proximity to the trailhead is nice, but it will cost you $5 to park here. This hike is short (3/4 of a mile long), but packs a punch (rises over 650 feet in elevation). Parts of the trail are extremely steep and the rocks are very smooth making it extremely easy to slip as you’re going up or down. There are also parts of the trail that can only handle traffic from one direction at a time, so if you’re there during the weekend at a busy time be prepared to wait your turn to climb up or down in spots.
This is hike is also one Sedona’s 5 Vortex spots, which makes it feel alive with energy nearly all the time.
Another beautiful hike that is one of Sedona’s Vortex spots. There are two areas to park (for a fee of $5) for this hike, one coming from the South end and one at Courthouse Butte.
This hike is about 3/4 of a mile long and can be shorter depending on your hiking experience. If you’re not an experienced hiker and just want to get closer to the beautiful red rock, the lower Bell Rock trail is for you. If you’re looking for a moderate hike, continue on to upper Bell Rock trail; and if you’re really looking for a challenge and can handle it physically, make your way to the apex of the spire (the highest point you can climb on this trail).