We have compiled a list of the very best hikes in Sedona, Arizona. From easy hikes in Sedona to more advanced hikes, you’ll find the best ones here. We have also created and compiled a ton of great maps and resources for each of these trails, which you can download for free by clicking the button below.
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The moderately short trail that leads to Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed locations in Sedona, Arizona. Cathedral Rock is a sandstone butte that decorates the skyline of the Coconino National Park, making it one of the best hikes in Sedona.
Trail Distance: 1.4 Miles (Out and Back)
Difficulty: Moderate, but with some difficult parts
Elevation: 600 Feet
Trailing over 1.4 miles, the Cathedral Rock route isn’t the longest among Sedona hiking trails. However, it isn’t one of the easy hikes in Sedona either, because of the elevation that comes later in the walk. Depending on your fitness and pace, the trail can take anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour.
This hiking trail begins at the Back O’ Beyond Road at the base and ends at the bottom of the Cathedral Rock, where two spires form a saddle.
As you trace your way up, the basket cairns mark the trail so that you don’t get lost. After you cross the Easy Breeze junction, you’ll find a small plateau. This plateau gives a beautiful scenic view of Sedona. However, the best view is at the top of the trail where you can see the expanse of the landscape. You’ll find a platform rock where most people like to relax and enjoy the natural scenery of the Sedona horizon. This is where most photographers like to spend time taking pictures of the beautiful sunset.
There are no designated camping sites nearby, and dispersed camping is generally prohibited here. So, if you’re looking for camping locations in this trail, you would have to contact the relevant authorities.
The actual hike itself starts off relatively easy and gets slightly more difficult at the end. But the difficulty is mostly restricted to just a few parts. After crossing the Templeton junction, the hiking turns into mild rock climbing in one sense. But there are footholds and handholds nearby that can assist your ascent.
Remember to wear sturdy shoes that have excellent traction and grip. If you’d like some recommendations, you can check out our Hiking Boot Buying Guide. This can prevent you from slipping in the sandstone paths along the trail. The trail is dog-friendly, but you’ll have to make sure your dog is leashed. Also, this route has one of the highest traffics among Sedona hiking trails. So, it’s advisable to expect a small crowd regardless of when you plan to visit.
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Don’t let the creepy name fool you, Devil’s Bridge is a favorite among tourists looking for Sedona hiking trails. The ‘bridge’ forms the largest arch made of sandstone in Sedona.
Trail Distance: 4.2 Miles
Elevation: 560 Feet
The approach road to the trail can be one of two things depending on your situation. First, if you have a 4×4 SUV, you can cut the distance down by more than a mile. When you turn from Boynton Pass Rd, you’ll find a paved parking area where the dirt road starts. If you’re driving a regular car, this is where the hiking begins. However, if you own a 4×4 SUV, you can drive up the dirt road further. Just make sure your SUV has good clearance because the dirt road has a lot of potholes and bumpy parts. But keeping in line with hiking tradition, we’d recommend you start hiking where the dirt road begins.
As you start hiking, the trial will ascend gradually and at a comfortable pace. This gradual slope makes it an ideal hike for people of all ages. Prepare to see beautiful Yucca plants and cacti that naturally decorate the way as you make your way along the trail.
Eventually, you’ll reach a natural stairway, which will make the hike steeper. At the top of this rocky staircase, you’ll find an open space that serves as a viewpoint. From here, you get an exquisite view of your trial so far.
After this point, you only need to hike up one more level before reaching the Devil’s bridge. Just before you reach the structure, the trail will become narrower and steeper compared to the first part. But it’s not for long, and you immediately enter the bridge after this.
The bridge is a conjoined portion of two majestic rock walls. Looking at the structure, it’s hard to believe the Devil’s Bridge is an entirely natural formation, but it is. If you decide to walk across the Devil’s Bridge, observe extreme caution because it’s quite high up.
The Devil’s Bridge trail is safe enough for kids to accompany you, but you have to make sure they’re under supervision the entire time. The natural platform is wide enough to pass through, but it’s still a long way down.
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The Birthing Cave is one of the most unreal experiences and one that really stands out among other Sedona Hiking Trails. It’s a secluded rock cave that is perfect for hikers who want a quiet destination to head to.
Trail Distance: 2 Miles
Difficulty: Mostly Easy
Elevation: 291 Feet
The trail usually begins from the Long Canyon Trailhead. You can take your car up to this point before you start the actual hike. You’ll find a dirt parking space in this area where you can leave your car and start the trail. There are trail signs on the sides of the route that help you with directions.
Expect to see mountain bikers and off-roaders at this point because of the wide route. Just make sure you’re sticking to one side of the trial, and you should be fine.
After about half a mile into the trail, you’ll reach a fork road with a sign that shows you where to go. Here, take the route that goes to the left. It’s smaller than the other two, but it will lead you to the Birthing cave. About a mile into this route, you’ll see the majestic rock formations to your right. If you look closely, you’ll get a glimpse of the depression in the rock formation. Don’t miss this cue because the destination cave is inside this indented part.
As you hike to the base of the cliff, you’ll find the ascending trail that will take you up to the cave. This rocky trail is steep and ascends quickly, but it shouldn’t be a problem even for beginner hikers. It doesn’t take too much effort or skill to reach, making it a popular option for people who prefer easy hikes in Sedona.
At the top of the rock steps, you’ll find what you came for – the Birthing Cave. The cave is situated on the cliff’s edge and makes for a beautiful sight even at the entrance. It almost looks like a giant natural structure is supposed to fit in this cavern. The depression is vast and wide, but not too deep inside the cliff. The cave will have a ‘Belly Button’ inside, which is big enough for one person to sit in. The small climb up can be challenging, but it’s worth climbing.
Once you’re in the cave, turn back to see the fantastic view of the red rock formations of the Sedona landscape. If you’re planning to take pictures, bring an ultra-wide lens that can capture that full view, or else you might have to stitch photos together later.
There aren’t too many camping sites nearby, but there’s another great Sedona hiking trail in proximity – the Soldier’s Pass.
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Soldier’s Pass is one of the most visually stimulating among Sedona hiking trails. Expect to see some of the best Sedona hiking sights of the Red Rock County when you take this trail.
Trail Distance: 2.5 Miles
Elevation: 450 Feet
The Soldier’s Pass trail is easily one of the most remarkable Sedona hiking trails. It begins in a semi-urban setting and winds up in the lush wilderness of the Red Rock Secret Mountains. Along with the Birthing Cave, it’s a favorite for those who seek solitude and seclusion from crowded sites.
Park your vehicle at the Soldier Ridge’s parking lot and begin your hike. You start by entering the trailhead, which has prominent signage you cannot miss. The trailhead is accessible only between 8 AM and 6 PM, so you better reach arrive if you want don’t want the hectic rush of daytime crowds.
There are lots of sights you come across on this trail. One of the first things you will observe is the jeep tours that happen in the first mile or so. You’ll also see the ‘Sphinx’ rock formation in the initial section of this Sedona hiking trail. About 0.2 miles into the path, you’ll see the Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole. It’s at the base of the ‘Sphinx’ formation and a sight you shouldn’t miss on this Sedona hike. The Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole was created when Redwall limestone experienced giant caverns collapsing underneath.
Further ahead, you’ll arrive at a T-point that splits the junction into two. On the left is the Jordan trail, which is also a decent Sedona hiking trail to check out. But for our destination, you have to take the right turn. Once you move ahead in the north-west direction, you’ll come to a dried creek bed, which makes a wide-open space among the rock formations.
You’ll also see the Seven Sacred Pools on the way. These are small pools that are have been naturally carved into the limestone in an almost perfect line. The trail begins to ascend from here, so you’ll have to put more effort into your hiking. After a while, you’ll reach the Brim Mesa where the view and the surroundings level out. Once you’ve covered a quarter of a mile further up, you’ll reach elevated spots. These spaces are the final leg of the trail where you can enjoy the scenic landscapes of the Sedona skyline and Mogollon Rim cliffs.
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The Red Rock Crossing is another favorite spot for photographers along with Cathedral Rock, which is nearby. It’s generally seen as one of the best hikes in Sedona because of not just the sights but the ease of access.
Trail Distance: 0.3 Miles
Elevation: 53 Feet
The Red Rock Crossing is a standard option when browsing through different Sedona hiking trails. With a short distance (0.3 miles) and low elevation, it’s also a good option if you’re looking for easy hikes in Sedona.
The hike begins immediately from the parking area and culminates in a little stream not too far away from the starting point. You have an alternate starting point depending on where you want to park your vehicle. Most visitors use the Crescent Moon Day parking site. They charge about $10 per car for their services. If you park here, your hiking begins straightaway.
The other option is to park your car at the Baldwin Trailhead. Since you’ve already purchased the Red Rock State Car Pass, you don’t have to pay additional fees here. If you park your car here, you’ll have to walk an additional ½ mile or so, but it saves you an extra $10 on parking fee.
As you begin your hike, you’ll notice the smoothly paved routes that start at the trailhead. This makes it easy to traverse for both children as well as older folks. It’s also one of the reasons why people looking for easy hikes in Sedona prefer the Red Rock Crossing.
Not long into the trail, you’ll reach a clearing where you notice the stream running alongside the path. Here, the whole area is like a park that is open to visitors. It’s an excellent place for a picnic, so make sure you pack some snacks for the hike. There’s enough space for kids to play and run around too, provided there’s adult supervision.
Finally, a few hundred meters ahead, you’ll find the opening that brings the stream into view with the majestic Cathedral Rock in the background. The Red Rock Crossing is one of the best hikes in Sedona because of this magnificent view of Cathedral Rock, which you won’t find elsewhere. Some hikes in Sedona can be tough, but the Red Rock Crossing is one of the easiest and best Sedona hiking trails in the area.
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