As a hot spot for mountain bikers, Sedona has a world-renowned trail network. Sedona’s biking trails frequently rank at the top of the list both nationally and globally. We want to share some of our favorite off-the-beaten path trails to get you out and exploring some of Sedona’s most scenic trails during your next visit to Sedona.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced mountain biker, Sedona’s red rock trails have what you’re looking for. It’s hard to imagine a better destination for mountain biking than what Sedona can offer: amazing scenery, year-round riding, trails for all levels, and off-the-beaten path adventures.
But with outdoor adventure comes responsibility. Riders should ensure to follow leave no trace principles so this beautiful destination can be enjoyed by many future generations to come.
Leave No Trace Principles
Even mountain bikers with the best intentions can sometimes unknowingly harm the environment they explore and enjoy. Leave no trace principles educate people about their recreational impact on nature and help outdoor enthusiasts prevent and minimize their impact on the natural world.
Follow our biking specific principles below to promote conservation and prevent negative impacts on the trails and ecosystems we all love.
Prepare ahead of time for your adventure:
- Check weather forecasts and trail conditions. Websites like Trailforks.com provide information on recent trail conditions, or you can stop in a local shop to ask about conditions and any trail closures.
- Riding trails after a recent rain is never a good idea, and can cause extensive damage. If you do encounter muddy sections on a trail, ride through it rather than walking around it to avoid enlarging the trail.
Keep your bike in good working order:
- Make sure your bike is tuned up regularly, and check components before each ride.
- Leaking oil or broken bike parts can damage trails and harm wildlife, and cause falls and injuries!
- Always carry a tool kit with you that includes a bike pump, spare tubes, tire changing tools and a multi-tool for on-trail repairs as needed.
Keep singletrack single!
- Stay on singletrack and don’t venture off the trail. Riding off the trail damages fragile ecosystems and confuses wildlife.
- Make sure you camp in established campsites and don’t start fires outside of an established fire ring.
Share the trail - trails are used widely by bikers, horseback riders and wildlife.
- Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors, this includes slowing down, especially on downhills. Biking trails are shared with wildlife and going too fast means inevitable collisions with animals that can't get out of the way in time.
- Always dismount when approaching horses – they have the right of way! Because horses are prey animals, they are frightened easily and bikes are no exception.
- Ride in small groups no more than 3-4 people to respect wildlife and other trail users, and reduce dust and noise.
- For your safety and the safety of wildlife, observe them from a distance and do not ever approach, feed or disturb animals. Respect that this is their home.
Pack it out!
- Leave nature the way you found it. Help preserve the riding experience and the character of the unique trail for bikers who come after you. Take all waste with you and dispose of it properly.
- Clean up after others who may not have followed these important principles.
- Use the bathroom before you start riding, or if you absolutely have to – make sure you bury human waste at least 6 to 8 inches below the surface and at least 200 feet from the trail and any water source.
- Leave cultural, geologic or historical artifacts for others to enjoy – do not touch or disturb them.
By following these simple leave no trace principles, you’re doing your part to preserve these special places for future adventures, years to come.
Our Favorite Off-The-Beaten Path Sedona Trails:
Fat Tire Loop – Intermediate Riders
Fat Tire Loop, a 9.9-mile single-track loop, is a great way to get to know what the area has to offer because it covers a lot of ground. An extremely fun trail with several exciting sections, the Fat Tire Loops starts and ends with a paved road, a nice way to warm up and cool down. The trail’s most exhilarating stretch is climbing up Doe Mountain – the trail narrows on a steep slope and offers incredibly scenic views.
Twin Buttes Loop – Intermediate / Advanced Riders
For a variety of riding, the 8.5 miles of Twin Buttes Loop offers smooth dirt paths, slickrock fun, and a few challenging rock drops and climbs along with outstanding scenery in all directions. Luckily no sections are too easy or too difficult for too long, and even in the difficult sections, this trail is worth it. Rated difficult, this trail can also be a great ride for intermediate riders willing to hop off the bike every so often. If you want to go a bit further, you can also extend this loop with a few other trail options that link up with Twin Buttes Loop.
Hiline Trail – Advanced Riders
This 3.1-mile point to point trail offers a steep and technical climb to the top of the mesa. Follow along the cliff edge until you top out with unbelievable views in every direction. This trail is very narrow in parts and in sections it has a steep drop off, so it is recommended to walk where necessary.
Sedona Bike Rental
You can compare bike rental prices and rent online for your next Sedona trip. Review the local bike shops, locations, brands and more with our helpful tool, and then book your bike easily online. Your bike will be waiting for you at the shop when you arrive! The local shops featured have expert advice on the best trails in Sedona, riding conditions, shuttles, and much more.
Guest Post by Julie Singh, tripoutside.com