Best Hikes in Sedona
Sedona has incredible hikes with great views and varying levels of difficulty. Some of the most popular hikes in Sedona include Devil’s Bridge, Bell Rock, Broken Arrow, Airport Loop, and Soldiers Pass. I’ve been living in Sedona for five months and have had the opportunity to really explore this magical place. These most popular hikes in Sedona will allow you to see Sedona from different perspectives. Plan your visit to Sedona by choosing from these 8 best hikes in Sedona.
Tips for Hiking in Sedona
- Be respectful: Pack everything out, don’t leave any trash behind. Stay on the marked trails!
- Many of the parking lots require a Red Rock Pass, so make sure to check the signs and purchase the $5 pass if needed at the kiosk trailhead. You could also purchase a weekly pass for $15 at the kiosks, or a $20 Red Rock Annual Pass at a visitor center. You can also display your annual America the Beautiful National Park Pass on your dashboard instead of purchasing a Red Rock pass. This map shows which parking trailheads are a Red Rock Pass fee area.
- The Visitor Center at the south entrance of Sedona can provide a lot of helpful information on the status of the trails and which trails require the Red Rock Pass, or any other questions you may have. There are also restrooms here, water fountains, and a great view.
- If you are visiting Sedona during a busy time or are looking for less crowded hikes, take a look at our guide to Sedona Off the Beaten Path.
- Sedona can get very hot in the summer, and many of the hikes don’t have much shade. If you are looking for a shaded hike, take a look at our list of the Top Shaded Hikes in Sedona.
- Make sure to be prepared to hike in the heat with plenty of water, a hat, and sunscreen.
- Start the more popular hikes early morning or much later in the day to enjoy the hike more with less people.
What to Pack for Your Sedona Hike
- Camera: Don’t forget to bring a fully charged camera to take pictures of all the incredible views on these top Sedona hikes.
- Hiking Shoes: Hiking shoes are always preferred in Sedona due to the rocky terrain. Hiking shoes help with traction so you are less likely to slip and fall, and if you have boots that will be even better to help with ankle support.
- Daypack: Bring a comfortable backpack to carry your water, snacks, and other necessities for the hike. This Osprey bag is a great option and even has a spot for a hydration bladder.
- Water: Bring plenty of water, especially if you are hiking during the summer. The combination of the sun, heat, and lack of humidity can dehydrate you quickly. This water bottle is a great option to keep you water cold, but make sure you have additional bottles in your bag you can refill this with or a hydration bladder.
- Snacks: High protein snacks are always great to bring to keep your energy up during the hike. Clif Bars are a great option for a hiking snack.
- Hat: Until I started hiking in Arizona I didn’t realize how much of a difference a hat can make. A hat is so helpful to keep you cooler and protect your face. It is especially helpful if you are hiking in Sedona in the summer.
- Sunscreen: Sometimes when you aren’t at the beach or pool you don’t even think about putting sunscreen on. However, the sun is STRONG in Sedona. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on and bring extra with you. This sunscreen is a great option as it is small enough to carry with you during the day.
- Sunglasses: Make sure you can see all the breathtaking views in Sedona. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes and see everything more clearly without the sun blocking the view.
Broken Arrow to Chicken Point
Broken Arrow is one of the best hikes in Sedona since it has great views the entire way and takes you to an incredible viewpoint called Chicken Point. I’ve hiked this trail several times and each time I’m still in awe about how beautiful it is. This trail isn’t too difficult but still offers a great workout. We got lucky enough to be able to hike this trail after it snowed in Sedona and it was stunning. If you ever have a chance to see Sedona with snow this is a great trail to hike. Broken Arrow is one of the best hikes in Sedona and shouldn’t be missed!
Length: 3 miles round trip
Elevation: 410 feet
Parking: There is a parking lot at the trailhead and it usually doesn’t get full.
Devil’s Bridge is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona that takes you to an elevated rock bridge formed by erosion. This is one of the best hikes in Sedona if you are looking for a unique destination. If you have a high clearance 4×4 vehicle you can drive closer to the trailhead. If not, your car will not be able to make it and you will need to park further out and hike about 1 mile to the trailhead along a dirt road. Most of the trail is flat with the exception of the last part which is more steep. The trail gets very crowded so try to get there early morning or later in the day.
Length: 4.2 miles round trip
Elevation: 564 feet
Parking: There is a parking lot about 1 mile from the trailhead but it gets full quickly. When the parking lot gets full you can park along Dry Creek Road.
Soldier Pass and Brins Mesa Loop
Soldier Pass Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona and one of my personal favorites. I recommend creating a loop by combining Soldier Pass Trail with Brins Mesa Trail and Cibola Pass Trail. This loop features the Seven Sacred Pools, Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole and incredible views. You can start the trail at Soldier Pass Trailhead if you can find parking there, but the parking lot is very small and gets full fast. If there is no parking there you can find more parking at Jordan Road Trailhead. These trailheads are a 15 minute drive away from each other so if you don’t want to waste time and you think the Soldier Pass Trailhead parking might already be full, you can just go straight to Jordan Road Trailhead. If you intend to do the full loop you will end up hiking the same amount either way.
You can do the loop either clockwise or counter clockwise. If you do the loop counter clockwise from Soldier Pass Trailhead, you will see a large sinkhole soon into the trail called Devil’s Kitchen. Then you will continue hiking and you will come across the Seven Sacred Pools, small natural pools. The pools look really nice with the surrounding red rocks towering above. Soon after you pass the Seven Sacred Pools you will start hiking up the rock until you reach the top of the mesa and meet Brins Mesa Trail. Once you reach Brins Mesa Trail you will hike down the rock on this side and then loop back to Soldier Pass Trailhead on Cibola Pass Trail.
Length: 5 mile loop
Elevation: 830 feet
Parking: You can park at either Soldier Pass Trailhead or Jordan Road Trailhead parking lots. Soldier Pass parking lot is small and gets full early in the day.
Soldier Pass Trail to Caves (Soldier's Arch)
Soldier Pass Trail can also lead you to two exciting caves. You would start at Soldier Pass Trailhead if you find parking, or Jordan Road Trailhead if there isn’t parking at Solider Pass Trailhead. I don’t recommend doing the hike to the cave along with the hike all the way up to Brins Mesa Trailhead (as described above) because you will be going up similar elevation twice which will make for a long and difficult day of hiking. If it is your only time in Sedona I recommend the Soldier Pass and Brins Mesa loop because it has better views, but if you have already done that hike then the caves off Soldier Pass Trail are worth checking out.
You will walk north from Soldier Pass Trailhead and past Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole and the Seven Sacred Pools. Soon after you will see a National Forest Wilderness sign on a tree with a narrow trail beside it on your right. Turn right onto this trail and continue hiking up until you get to two caves. One of the caves you can hike into and it is more of an open cave. The other cave you have to enter from below the cave and then climb up into it. These are really cool caves with nice views of Sedona.
Length: 4 miles round trip
Elevation: 800 feet
Parking: You can park at either Soldier Pass Trailhead or Jordan Road Trailhead parking lots. Soldier Pass parking lot gets full very early and is small.
>> Planning a weekend in Sedona? Access our Sedona Weekend Itinerary for the best things to do in Sedona.
West Fork Trail at Oak Creek Canyon
West Fork Trail is a unique trail in Sedona that takes you through a red rock canyon along Oak Creek. This is a very popular trail in Sedona that is mostly flat and is covered by trees so it is a great option for a cooler hike during a hot day in Sedona. There are some creek crossings but usually the water level is low and there are rocks so you shouldn’t get too wet.
Length: 7.2 miles round trip
Elevation: 820 feet
Parking: Parking at the trailhead costs $10 and is very limited. Later in the day a line of cars form and they only let cars into the parking lot as cars come out. The road near the trailhead is very windy and there aren’t many safe spots to park along the road. Also, walking along this road is dangerous as there isn’t much of a shoulder to walk on. I recommend getting here very early to get parking, or you will need to wait a long time in the line for parking. If you do park along the road there is still a $2 per person walk in fee.
>> Have more time to explore Arizona? Continue to our article about Jerome, a ghost town in Arizona.
Bell Rock is one of the best hikes in Sedona for a great view with a short walk. This trail is located towards the south entrance of Sedona on 89A. It is a quick walk from the parking lot to Bell Rock. Once you reach Bell Rock you only need to climb up the rock a little to see the great views. If you are able to, you can climb further up the rock. This can be a very easy or difficult trail depending on how far up the rock you go, but either way it is worth a quick stop.
Difficulty: Easy to hard depending on how far up the rock you climb
Elevation and Length: Depends on how far up the rock you climb
Parking: There is parking at the trailhead that requires a $5 Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Annual Pass.
Airport Loop Trail
Airport Loop is one of the best hikes in Sedona on the centrally located Airport Mesa, allowing you to see red rock views from all angles. This hike is the perfect trail to do if you are looking for a shorter hike but would still like to see a lot of Sedona. When you start the trail I recommend first walking up the short summit trail to Airport Mesa Viewpoint for a breathtaking view of Sedona. This spot on Airport Mesa Viewpoint also happens to be a vortex.
Length: 3.2 mile loop
Elevation: 410 feet
Parking: There is a small parking lot at the trailhead but it can get full during busy times such as weekends. If this parking lot is full, you can park near the airport and take Sedona View Trail down to Airport Loop.
Doe Mountain is a popular trail in Sedona that offers great views. Start from the Doe Mountain Trailhead where you will begin climbing up to the Doe Mountain Mesa. At the top you can walk around on the loop trail to see different views of the surrounding red rocks. Doe Mountain is a great option if you are short on time but still want a hike with an incline and good views.
Length: 2.3 miles
Elevation: 600 feet
Parking: The parking lot at Doe Mountain requires a red rock pass, which you can purchase at the kiosk next to the trailhead for $5 for the day or $15 for the week. There is also an option for a Red Rock Annual Pass for $20 but you would need to purchase that at a visitor center. If you have an America the Beautiful Annual Pass you can display that on your dashboard instead of purchasing a red rock pass.
If you are also spending time in Phoenix, read our article to learn about the Best Hikes Near Phoenix.
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