The Getaway
20 Things to Discover at Sedona's Red Rock Pass

Welcome, intrepid explorers, to the mystical land of Sedona, where the earth paints its dreams in shades of red! If you're yearning for an adventure that will etch itself into your soul, Sedona’s trails beckon. But wait, before you set foot on these ancient lands, there’s a secret you must know - the Red Rock Pass program. Imagine a key that unlocks the gates to a treasure trove of natural wonders, from towering rock formations to serene canyons. The Red Rock Pass is that key! Not only does it grant you access to Sedona’s most cherished sites, but it also makes you a guardian of this sacred land. With the pass in your pocket, you’re not just a traveler; you’re a custodian of Sedona’s heritage, ensuring that its beauty endures for generations to come. So, are you ready to embark on a journey that’s more than just a hike? The Red Rock Pass awaits!

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01 What is the Red Rock Pass?

Imagine standing amidst towering red rock formations, the sun casting a golden glow as you prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure. The Red Rock Pass is your golden ticket to this paradise! Crafted by the U.S. Forest Service, this pass is not just a permit; it’s an invitation to explore the awe-inspiring red rock landscapes of Sedona. Whether you're an avid hiker, a family looking for a picnic spot, or a photographer in search of the perfect shot, the Red Rock Pass is a must to unlock the treasure trove of experiences that Sedona has to offer.

02 Why do you need the Red Rock Pass?

Why should you get the Red Rock Pass? Because with great beauty comes great responsibility! The pass is your way of giving back to the enchanting lands that give you so much joy. The Red Rock Pass is essential for accessing 19 of the most stunning day-use sites in Red Rock Country. But here’s the best part – 90 cents of every dollar from the pass goes straight into conserving these majestic lands. From maintaining trails to protecting wildlife, your pass contributes to ensuring that the heart of Sedona continues to beat strongly. So, wear your pass like a badge of honor, knowing that you are a guardian of nature’s splendor!

03 How Do You Get the Red Red Rock Pass?

Ready to seize your passport to the wonders of Sedona? Getting the Red Rock Pass is a breeze! Choose from daily ($5), weekly ($15), or annual ($20) options. For the ultimate Sedona aficionado, there’s the Grand Annual Pass for $40. You can grab your pass at local vendors or even at the Visitor Center located in the heart of Sedona. Want to get a head start? Just hop onto Recreation.gov and get your pass online! Once you have it, display it proudly in your vehicle as you set off on your journey. Every twist and turn in Sedona’s red rock wonderland awaits you.

Pack your bags, lace up your boots, and get ready to be swept off your feet by the magic of Sedona with the Red Rock Pass

04 Red Rock Pass Hikes, Part One

Bell Rock Climb: Ascend to the Skies!

Distance: 1 mile | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 400 feet | Time: 1 to 2 hoursEmbark on a thrilling adventure as you ascend to Bell Rock, one of Sedona's most iconic landmarks. Feel the adrenaline rush as you scramble up the rock, with each step revealing more breathtaking views. Touch the heavens and let the spirit of Sedona envelop you!

Cathedral Rock: Scale the Spires!

Distance: 1.2 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 700 feet | Time: 1 to 2 hoursUnleash your inner explorer as you scale the towering spires of Cathedral Rock. With heart-pounding scrambles and awe-inspiring panoramas, this hike is a rite of passage for every Sedona visitor. Stand atop the saddle and let the winds whisper ancient secrets.

Fay Canyon: Wander Through Enchanted Lands!

Distance: 2 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Time: 1 hourStroll through the mystical Fay Canyon, where towering cliffs embrace you. The whispers of trees and the songs of birds accompany you on this serene journey. Seek out the hidden Fay Canyon Arch, where legends say fairies dwell.

05 Red Rock Pass Hikes, Part Two

The Birthing Cave: Discover Hidden Wonders!

Distance: 2 miles | Difficulty: Easy to Moderate | Elevation Gain: 250 feet | Time: 1 to 2 hoursVenture into the unknown as you seek the hidden Birthing Cave. Feel like Indiana Jones as you climb into the cave and scramble up its walls. The cave, a sanctuary of ancient energies, offers a view that will etch itself into your soul.

Devils Bridge: Walk Amongst the Clouds!

Distance: 2 to 4 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Total Ascent: 400 to 500 feet | Time: 1 to 3 hoursDare to walk on Sedona’s very own stairway to heaven, the Devils Bridge. As you climb the stone steps and stand atop this natural sandstone arch, you’ll feel like you’re walking amongst the clouds. Capture the moment; this is what bucket lists are made of!

Airport Loop Trail: Embrace the Horizon!

Distance: 3 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Elevation Gain: 400 feet | Time: 2 hoursTake a leisurely hike around the Airport Mesa and embrace the horizon as it unfolds in a 360-degree panorama. Witness Sedona’s landmarks basking in the golden sun. This is where the earth meets the sky in a symphony of colors.

06 Red Rock Pass Hikes, Part Three

Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte Loop: A Journey Through Time!

Distance: 4 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Total Ascent: 400 feet | Time: 1.5 to 2.5 hoursEmbark on an epic journey through time as you circle the ancient Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Each step reveals layers of geological history, and the spirits of the land seem to dance in the breeze. Add the Bell Rock Climb for an extra dose of adventure!

Soldier Pass: Trail of Wonders!

Distance: 4.5 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 800 feet | Time: 2 to4 hoursEmbark on a quest through the mystical Soldier Pass Trail, where natural wonders and ancient secrets await. Marvel at the Seven Sacred Pools, stand in awe at Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole, and discover the hidden Soldier Pass cave. This trail is a treasure trove of Sedona’s enchantments.

Bear Mountain: Conquer the Summit!

Distance: 5 miles | Difficulty: Strenuous | Total Ascent: 1,800 feet | Time: 4 to 6 hoursSummon your inner mountaineer and take on the challenge of Bear Mountain. As you ascend one of Sedona’s tallest peaks, the trail tests your mettle. But the summit rewards you with a view that stretches across time and space. Stand tall; you’ve earned it!

Female Trail Running Bear Mountain Peak Cavan Images / Getty Images

07 Red Rock Pass Hikes, Part Four

West Fork Trail: A Symphony of Nature!

Distance: 6 miles | Difficulty: Easy to Moderate | Total Ascent: 535 feet | Time: 3 to 5 hoursImmerse yourself in nature’s symphony as you wander through the West Fork Trail. The gentle babble of Oak Creek accompanies you through a canyon where the walls whisper tales of aeons past. This is where the heart finds peace.

Brins Mesa + Soldier Pass Loop: A Tapestry of Landscapes!

Distance: 6 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 1,200 feet | Time: 3 to 5 hoursEmbark on an odyssey through a tapestry of landscapes. From the panoramic vistas of Brins Mesa to the mystical sights of Soldier Pass, this loop is a feast for the senses. Every step is a brushstroke in this masterpiece of nature.

Boynton Canyon Trail & the Subway Cave: Journey to the Heart of Sedona!

Distance: 7.5 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 1,300 feet | Time: 4.5 to 6.5 hoursVenture into the heart of Sedona with the Boynton Canyon Trail. Wander through lush forests, discover ancient ruins, and explore the hidden Subway Cave. This trail is a pilgrimage to the soul of Sedona.

Brins Mesa at Sunrise (variant 1) Sedona Arizona USA Red Rock Wilderness Area Jon Root / Getty Images

08 Red Rock Pass Hikes, Part Five

Doe Mountain Trail: Dance with the Sunset!

Distance: 1.5 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 400 feet | Time: 1 to 2 hoursAscend Doe Mountain and dance with the sunset as the red rocks ignite in fiery hues. The mesa top is your stage, and the horizon is your audience. This is where the day takes its bow.

Broken Arrow Trail: Ride the Red Rocks!

Distance: 3 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 300 feet | Time: 2 to 3 hoursSaddle up for an epic adventure on the Broken Arrow Trail. Wind through red rock formations and feel the earth’s energy pulsate beneath your feet. Don’t forget to explore the Devil’s Dining Room sinkhole, where legends come to life.

Courthouse Butte Loop: Circle the Sentinel!

Distance: 4.2 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 250 feet | Time: 2 to 3 hoursTrek through the shadows of the mighty Courthouse Butte, a sentinel of Sedona’s red rock country. With every step, feel the echoes of ancient times as the land shares its stories.

09 Red Rock Pass Hikes, Part Six

Jim Thompson Trail: Embrace the Wilderness!

Distance: 6 miles |Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 700 feet | Time: 3 to 4 hoursEmbark on a tranquil retreat through the Jim Thompson Trail. As you wander through red rocks, pine forests, and desert, let the wilderness embrace you. This is where you find solitude and serenity amidst nature's embrace.

Thunder Mountain Trail: Echoes of the Ancients!

Distance: 3 miles | Difficulty: Moderate | Total Ascent: 500 feet | Time: 2 to 3 hoursTread softly on the Thunder Mountain Trail, where every rock and tree whispers ancient tales. With stunning views of Chimney Rock and a symphony of colors, this trail is where the past and present converge in a timeless dance.

Marg's Draw Trail: A Painter’s Palette!

Distance: 2.4 miles | Difficulty: Easy | Total Ascent: 250 feet | Time: 1 to 2 hoursStroll through Marg's Draw Trail, where nature unveils its most vibrant palette. With stunning views of Snoopy Rock, Steamboat Rock, and Wilson Mountain, this trail is like walking through a painting. Capture the beauty; it’s a memory to cherish.

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