Nestled near Flagstaff in the "Red Rock Country," just two hours north of Phoenix, the city of Sedona, Arizona, is a magical oasis of healing, exploring, and all of the best views! This desert town is known for its red rock formations, its mild climate, its vibrant artist community, and most of all -- its incredible hiking opportunities.
With over 100 hiking trails in Sedona, it's safe to say that avid hikers will never be able to stop visiting. Home to the Native Ndee/Nn?"?": (Western Apache), Hopitutskwa, Pueblos, and Hohokam Tribes, this magnificent southwest area has been adored and visited for years. Whether you are taking a road trip through Arizona, staying for a yoga retreat, or just stopping through for a day, there is a Sedona hike!
Sedona hiking includes trenching between deep canyon walls, walking for hours in the hot desert sun, steep climbs to incredible views, endless red rocks, visiting the famous vortexes, and spending time in some of the most culturally significant places that Indigenous folx have been utilizing for centuries.
Best Hikes in Sedona
It is hard to choose the best Sedona hiking trails, but we have narrowed it down to some of the most noteworthy and popular trails to make your trip full of more fun and less planning. Whether you are looking for a physical challenge or amazing views (or both), this list has you covered.
Bell Rock Pathway
One of the most walked trails and notable features in Sedona is the famous Bell Rock near the quaint Oak Creek village. The Bell Rock Trail is considered an easy hike that is 3.6 one-way. However, most visitors head to the parking area at Courthouse Vista and walk the 1.5 miles (for a round trip of 3 miles).
You can follow the side trail for a steep climb up to the "bell." If you want to do the entirety of the trail (7.2 miles round trip), start at the Bell Rock Vista parking lot to the Courthouse parking lot, where you will continue the 1.5 miles to the bottom of the structure. This path is also a favorite for mountain bikers, as it's an excellent option for beginners.
Devil's Bridge Trail
Located off of Dry Creek Road, this trail can be a little trickier to find the parking, avoid crowds, and figure out where to start! This trail is usually filled with Jeeps, ATVs, mountain bikers, and, most likely, lots of fellow hikers. Leading to incredible views of the natural sandstone arch dubbed the "Devil's Bridge," this hike is 4.2-miles out and back.
Usually, people park off of Dry Creek Road. Still, another option is to forgo the dusty Jeep road and start at the Chuckwagon trailhead instead. This second trailhead is off Canyon Road on the right side. Be sure to have the trail map downloaded to make sure you don't miss the Mescal Trail at the first trail intersection you come across. It is important to note that this hike has almost entirely no shade until the end of the trail, so bring sun-protective clothing and plenty of water.
West Fork Trail
Nestled in the gorgeous Oak Creek Canyon 11 miles outside of Sedona, the West Fork Trail offers 6.9 miles of rock formations that have been shaped by water over millions of years. Unlike other trails on this best Sedona hikes list, the West Fork Trail presents plenty of trees, shade, and refreshing dips in Oak Creek for those hot summer day hikes.
Boynton Canyon Trail
For beautiful views of the Boynton Canyon, hike the Boynton Canyon Trail, which features one of Sedona's famed vortexes at the beginning of the trailhead. This 6.1-mile adventure meanders through different types of forests. The first mile of the trail follows the property line of the Enchantment Resort, which is a beautiful place to stop for a bite or a refreshing beverage before or after your journey.
If you are coming to this area to visit the vortex, which is nestled at the bottom of a rock spire, be sure to take the side trail named the "Boynton Vista Trail." This trail is found off of Boynton Pass Road.
Courthouse Butte Loop
Boating panoramic views of Courthouse Butte, the Mogollon Rim, Bell Rock, and more of Sedona's incredible rock formations, Courthouse Butte Loop, is another favorite of our best Sedona hikes. Usually finished clockwise, this 3.9-mile loop trail is a moderate challenge for hikers that offers a less crowded outdoor escape. The elevation gain is lighter at 350 feet, and it is suggested to park at the Courthouse Vista parking lot (or the Bell Rock Vista lot if this one is full).
Fay Canyon Trail
Heading through Fay Canyon in an epically scenic part of Sedona, the Fay Canyon Trail is an excellent option for those looking for a more easy-breezy hike. This 2.4-mile excursion leads you into the vibrant center of the red rocks below the incredible hanging gardens. This one is great for kids and families as most of it is shaded by the deep canyon walls and treed areas. For even more views of Sedona, you can wander off the main trail and walk up onto the rocks.
Cathedral Rock Trail
One of the most popular hikes in Sedona, the Cathedral Rock Trail boasts terrific views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and the Mogollon Rim. If you take the steep climb up into the saddle of the Cathedral, you are said to be in one of Sedona's vortexes. You ascend a rockier and trickier hike area once you make it on the somewhat flat main trail. This trail is a 1-mile round trip but has a notable elevation gain of 550 feet. The course starts off Highway 179 halfway up Back O' Beyond Road.
Soldier Pass Trail
One of the most significant trails out of the Sedona hikes, the Solider Pass Trail, is where you will find the Seven Sacred Pools as well as the Devil's Kitchen Sinkhole. This 4.1-mile loop trail features an elevation gain of 600 feet, and the trailhead can be found near the small parking area off of Soldiers Pass Road on Shadow Rock Drive. The Seven Sacred Pools is one of the most important religious sites for the local Native tribes, so please think of that when you visit!
When hiking in Sedona, be sure to have comfortable hiking shoes or hiking boots, lots of sunscreens, and as always, plenty of water. Buy a Red Rock Pass to help preserve these sacred sites and save a few bucks for trails that require entry fees.
A lot of roads in Sedona require high-clearance vehicles to access. If you do not have one, you can consider taking a Jeep Tour or renting a 4x4 vehicle, a trendy way of seeing Red Rock country.
Other Notable Hikes
- The Birthing Cave Trail
- Coconino National Forest: Doe Mountain Trail, Brins Mesa Trail, and Airport Mesa Trail/Airport Loop
- Bear Mountain Trail