Sedona is a magical place. With its energy vortexes and beautiful red rocks it is a must see if you are in Arizona. We spent a lot of time here during our stay in Phoenix and wanted to share our favorite hikes in the area, where to stay, and where to find the best coffee.
Best Sedona Hikes:
You really can’t go wrong in choosing a Sedona hike because each one offers red rock views and is gorgeous in it’s own way. These are a few hikes you don’t want to miss if you’re in Sedona:
- Cathedral Rock: At the top of the Sedona hiking bucket list, although it is more of a climb than a hike. This trail is only 1.2 miles and is a fun and challenge climb over the large red rocks. The views from the top are absolutely breathtaking and there is also an energy vortex in this area. When you reach the top enjoy the beautiful scenery then veer to the left for an extra climb and a closer view of the unique rock formations.
- Devils Bridge trail: One of the more touristy hikes but a must do if you’re in the area. Devils Bridge trail is 4.2 miles round trip and leads to the Instagram worthy natural bridge. There is limited parking so it is best to do this hike early in the morning or late afternoon. You also may find a line at the top for pictures but don’t let it deter you because it moves relatively fast.
- Bear Mountain: Bear mountain is a trail that is less crowded than most, possibly because of its difficult rating. The trail is located right across from the popular Doe Mountain and is 4.9 miles and 1,975 ft elevation gain. The climb is rewarding as it offers stunning views throughout the entire hike. If you have time for a longer hike this is a must!
- Soldiers Pass: Soldiers pass is the bang for your buck type of trail. It is 4.1 miles and 620 ft elevation gain. It features a cave, the seven sacred pools, and the devils kitchen sinkhole. If you only have a short period of time to spend on a hike we would highly recommend this one because of the many different things you can see on this trail. The parking lot is small with only 14 spaces so best if done early morning or late afternoon.
- Bell Rock/ Courthouse Butte: This is the perfect sunset hike. There is a loop trail that goes around both rock formations and is about 4.5 miles and very mild. The trail also offers opportunities to climb up on the rocks and get a different view.
- Broken Arrow Trail: This hike is a 3.2 mile loop where you are actually climbing on the red rocks and have great views the entire trail. This is one of the more popular trails in Sedona and you can expect to have lots of pink Jeep tours passing through but it is worth it. Another plus is that there are multiple trails breaking off from this one so you could spend a good bit of time in this area. We would also recommend Chicken Point and High on the Hog trail.
- Margs Draw Trail: If you are looking for a trail without a lot of foot traffic but still want the views this is perfect. The hike is up to four miles out and back depending on where you start and offers views of Snoopy Rock. This was one of the most peaceful hikes we experienced during our time in Sedona because it is less traveled.
- Airport Mesa Trail: This hike is unique because it gives you a bird’s eye view of Sedona. Airport Mesa is a loop trail that is 3.2 miles and takes you around Table Top Mountain. From this trail you are able to see Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and many of the other popular trails at a different angle. If the parking area is full at the trailhead you can continue down the road to the airport and pay a few dollars for parking there.
Tips for a more enjoyable hike:
- Wear hiking boots: Many of these trails involve loose or slippery rocks so it is important that you have the right footwear.
- Don’t forget your parking pass: Almost every hike requires a Red Rocks pass. There are pay stations at the trailhead parking areas to purchase a daily pass or you can use an America the Beautiful pass.
Pack plenty of water: Sedona is in the southwest so the air is very dry and it is also higher in elevation. It is easy to get dehydrated in this type of environment so be sure to take more water than you think you need.
Pre adventure fuel:
Two of our most frequented Sedona spots. Both have amazing coffee and treats to fill your belly before a long day of hiking!
- Creekside Coffee: Hands down Meg’s favorite coffee shop in the world. If you’re into golden lattes they have one of the best. They also serve a unique avocado toast that is topped with tomato, basil, and balsamic dressing, along with a variety of fresh bakery goodies.
- Berry Divine Acai Bowls: One of our favorite spots for acai bowls. We recommend the Brazilian bowl and Vortex bowls. Berry Divine also offers smoothies and coffee.
Where to Stay:
Our favorite place to stay in Sedona is on BLM land. It is located right outside of Sedona on FR 525 and there are several pullouts along the dirt road that offer stunning views of the red rocks. The further you are able to go down the road the closer you get to the red rocks. We have seen some of the most amazing sunsets while camping in this area. Sedona is also a dark sky community so this is a great place to stargaze at night and see shooting stars! You can check out this BLM land and more campsites in the area on iOverlander and freecampsites.
For more information you can also check out the official Sedona website at https://visitsedona.com/