Sedona is filled with tons of hikes and activities for people of all ages and skill ranges, which is one of my favorite things about it. In Sedona, you can find activities like Jeep Tours, swimming holes, hot air balloon rides, and much more! I’ve visited Sedona more times than I can count, and each time it never fails to surprise me with something new and make me love it more. With that being said, let’s jump right in.
“To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separated from.”
Terry Tempest Williams
Cathedral Rock is one of Sedona’s most well known and well loved trails and for good reason. I typically stray away from the insanely popular hikes, especially if I go on the weekend so that I can avoid the crowds. However this one, is one you won’t want to miss. This trail, although not very long can be strenuous so be sure to come prepared with plenty of water, especially if visiting in the summer months. The Cathedral Rock trail head is easily accessible and can be found by typing “Cathedral Rock Trailhead” into your maps. Although this is a very popular hike, if you have kids under 7 or 8 I would probably skip this hike. I only recommend this because a large portion of the hike is scrambling up rock, however I’ve seen plenty of young children do it just fine so it’s all a matter of considering your personal families abilities.
Parking: Limited with about 20 spaces
Distance: 1.4 miles total
Devil’s Bridge is the largest sandstone arch in the Sedona area and goodness it is gorgeous. The trail is not flat, but it’s also definitely not a fully uphill hike either. Starting out, you’ll walk through some washes, giving you the chance to see some of the desert’s plants up close. As you continue, you’ll start to weave your way up the trail gaining 564ft in elevation, allowing you to look out into the Coconino National Forest. This hike is one of Sedona’s most popular destinations, so be sure to get there early.
Parking: Limited but road parking available
Distance: 4.2 miles total
Soldiers Pass is one of my favorite trails to bring people on when they visit Sedona because of all the different views you get to enjoy. Shortly after the trail starts, you’ll come up to one of Sedona’s seven sinkholes known as Devil’s Kitchen. Continuing on you will walk up to another well known Sedona hike, the 7 Sacred Pools (find a detailed guide for the hike to this spot here.) The pools have water in them year around, and provide life for many micro bacteria that live in the water as well as animals in the area. Be sure to not touch the water as the environment is very fragile to our oils/perfumes/products! In addition, this hike also gives you the chance to see some jaw-dropping panoramic views of the red rocks. There’s lots of different gems along this trail so keep your eyes open!
Distance: 4.1 miles
Parking: only 14 spots, but parking on the road allowed.
“It’s opener out there, in the wide open air”
West Fork Trail
This trail is undoubtedly one of the most unique trails you can do in Sedona. Rather than gaining elevation as you did in the hikes I mentioned above, this hike sends you through glowing orange canyon walls. I did this hike in the winter, but now that it’s warm I’m dying to go back! This trail really comes to life in the spring and summer when everything is green, but of course it’s still great year-around. Although this hike is a bit longer being 7.1 miles, the trail is so relatively flat that it isn’t *as* bad as it sounds. If you’ve done Zion National Parks “Subway” hike or seen photos of it, this is considered similar in the way the rocks almost close on you.
Distance: 7.1 miles total
Parking: $10 fee, arrive early as it’s limited.
Make sure to bring enough water for everyone in your party, especially during the summer months. I prefer having my water bladder as well as a second water bottle. The one I linked is great because it’s half the price of a Yeti but still keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. For trail snacks my go to is dried fruit or Go Macro bars (dark chocolate + almonds is the best)
- Do not feed or approach wildlife.
- Always check fire restrictions.
- Pets are allowed on most trails however it’s important to remember furry friends get dehydrated much faster than we do.
By Lauren Russell, LaurGetsLost.com