Outdoor enthusiasts consider the mountainous area surrounding Sedona, Arizona to be one of the most alluring destinations in the world. People travel from all over to hike the red rocks, discover secret caves, and take in ethereal views. With over 250 trails to explore, you'll find everything from a natural bridge to mystical pools and waterfalls.
The weather is milder in Sedona than in Tucson and Phoenix. Plus, since many trails ascend to over 4500 ft in elevation, you can expect cool breezes while enjoying picturesque townscapes at the apex of the hike.
Overwhelmed by the choices? We've got the scoop on the top trails to experience at this incredible hiking destination.
The trail to the Birthing Cave is short, but the real hike and amazing views require a bit of bravery. You'll need to scale the rock into the cave, then take a trail that gets harder as you go along. At the end of the trail, you're rewarded with some of the most beautiful views Sedona offers.
Pack plenty of water as the trail isn't well-shaded. You can relax at a cultural site, overlooking the valley below, and reconnect with Mother Nature — there's no service past the head of the trail.
Faye Canyon represents the best of Sedona hiking. You'll see everything from red rocks to box canyons while traversing dried river beds and a cool canyon bottom. The best part of this trail is the Fay Canyon Arch.
While heavily trafficked by locals and visitors alike, the rock formations and waterfalls make it worth the crowds. If you enjoy trail running, this 2.6 miles of rugged terrain will reward you with view after stunning view as you bound across the rocks.
A moderate 1.5-mile hike with switchbacks to the top of a mesa awaits you on the Doe Mountain Trail. You'll enjoy wildflowers and wildlife while winding your way to the platform. From the top of the generously large flat, you can view Bear, Wilson, and Maroon mountains. You can also spot Chimney Rock, Secret Canyon, and the Sycamore Pass that mark the location of Sycamore Canyon and the Verde Valley.
This trail has a lot of foot traffic and a parking fee of $5.
The hike to Cathedral Rock is short but filled with incredible views. You can even bring Fido along on his leash. The ease of the hike paired with the incredible scenery makes this one of the most popular options in Sedona. Follow the cairns weaving up the path towards the Cathedral and don't miss the Templeton Trail crossing.
At an elevation of over 750 ft., this little trail will have your heart racing as you take in the views of Southern Sedona.
Devil's Bridge is one of the most popular trails in Sedona, but sharing the trail with other fans is totally worth the memories and photos you'll take home. The beginning of the trail is wide since it used to be an access road. Just after you see the balancing rock in the distance, the trail narrows, and you'll climb up several sets of beautiful red rock steps.
At the top, you'll find the bridge and a wide platform to take in the scenery. As this trail is popular, you'll want to get there early for parking.
The scenery on this four-hour hike is astonishing. You'll reach the Devil’s Kitchen first, a sinkhole that had a major collapse in the 1880s and another in 1989. In 1995, a piece of the north wall caved in. Hike another half-mile and you'll reach one of the best photo ops Sedona offers: the Seven Sacred Pools. Depending on how much rain has fallen that season, you'll discover dry dips in the rock or beautiful, still pools of sun-warmed water.
Bring your hiking poles if you want to reach the caves and finish this gorgeous trek.
Take a mini hike or connect to a longer trail at Red Rock Pass. Less than a quarter of a mile brings you some of the most interesting views in the area. From this short trail, you can see Cathedral Rock and rivers that flow through the surrounding canyons.
Park at the Crescent Moon lot to connect with larger trailheads, or park across the river and take the long way in to extend the outing.
This trail is not for the beginner or the faint of heart. It's a five-mile adventure rated "difficult." Bring a jacket no matter what time of year as the summit is always windy and chilly. The trek is rough, with lots of climbing and elevation, but you're rewarded at the summit with gorgeous views of the surrounding area.
Hikers Paradise is the nickname for this area of Sedona. A moderate seven-mile hike near Munds Park awaits you on the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail. Semi-shaded and mostly winding through a valley, this is the trail if you want to beat the heat. It ends when the walls of the canyon close in and all you can see is the water.
Pro Tip: Bring the correct equipment and you can hike up the river a half-mile to extend the trek.
Ten miles of gradual ascent bring you to the top of the Secret Mountains, where you'll find a lush, shady area to take a picnic or a nap. This is a great family hike, friendly for all ages. You can even bring your dogs, as long as they're leashed. On this hike, you'll see all the flora and fauna in one stress-free, easy climb. Loy Canyon Trail will surely become a favorite.