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The Ultimate Guide to Hiking Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is a town in Arizona known for its unique art community, beautiful red rocks, pine forests, and canyon walls.

The town is close to many different trailheads that enter Red Rock State Park. Some say that the red and orange color of the rocks surrounding the town have an inspirational effect on those who visit.

Sedona is known as a place of enlightenment, where members of the community practice alternative spiritual healing practices.

With so many trails to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are the best. This is why I'll be breaking down the best eight hikes in Sedona. 

Why Hike in Sedona?

There is no shortage of hiking available to visitors in Sedona. Whether you're the kind of person that likes to spend a few hours on the trails or a few nights, you’ll find what you're looking for near Sedona.

While hiking in Sedona you can see massive rock formations carved by nature over countless years.

With the warm weather illuminating clear views of the Arizona desert for miles, why wouldn’t you want to hike in Sedona. 

The 8 Best Hikes in Sedona 

1: Cathedral Rock Trail

This out-and-back trail is a total of 1.2 miles gaining 741 feet in total. The route is considered moderately challenging. The trail is located in Coconino National Forest.

Dogs are allowed as long as they remain on a leash. You will need to purchase a permit for #5 dollars to hike this trail, it begins just off Back O’Beyond Road. This hike takes an average of two hours to complete. 

2 Devil’s Bridge Trail

This hike is 1.8 miles in total and climbs more than 400 feet.

The Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area, making it an extremely popular spot for hikers.

Hikers have the option to walk along the top of the Devil’s bridge, however, use extreme caution when doing so as the bridge is over 50 feet tall. The trail is located roughly 42 miles south of Flagstaff and takes an average of 1.5 hours to hike. 

3 Birthing Cave Trail

This trail is 1.9 miles out-and-back and has you climbing 242 feet. It is considered a moderately challenging route. This hike rewards you with a breathtaking cliffside cave to explore. The Birthing Cave boasts fantastic views of Arizona’s beautiful landscape.

This hike takes about an hour to complete on average. Dogs are welcome, however, they must remain on a leash throughout the hike. 

4 Bear Mountain Trail

With an elevation gain of 1,998 feet, the Bear Mountain trail is 4.6 mile long out-and-back trail.

This elevation gain of this hike is significant considering the hike is less than five miles, for this reason the hike is considered challenging.

Throughout this trail you are provided with beautiful views of Red Rock, however, the views at the top of the mountain are even better.

This trail takes two to three hours on average to complete. You will need a Red Rock Pass to access this trail. A Red Rock pass will cost you $5 for one day or $15 for a week. 

5 West Fork Trail

This trail is 6.5 miles out-and-back and gains 564 feet of elevation. The trail is considered moderately challenging.

Known as a hikers paradise, the trail is partially shaded by canyon walls and trees. This trail is sure to get your shoes wet with 13 separate stream crossings. This trail boasts fantastic views of Arizona nature and is a very popular hiking spot for both locals and visitors. Dogs are welcome as long as they remain on leash throughout the hike. 

6 Subway Cave

The subway cave hike is 9.70 miles long and gains 2,497 feet of elevation. This hike is perfect for those who are interested in a longer and more challenging hike. The trail takes roughly five hours on average to hike. To reach Subway Cave you have to hike long the Boynton Canyon Trail. Boynton Canyon trail is a 6.1 mile loop, however, the trail to Subway Cave starts only two miles in. 

7 Fay Canyon Trail

The Fay Canyon Trail is a 2.4 mile out-and-back hike that gains 298 feet of elevation, the trail is considered moderately challenging.

The trail can be accessed from the parking lot of Boynton Pass Road. Part of the trail is rocky as it crosses old creek beds. Halfway through the hike you will encounter the towering Fay Canyon Arch, this is where you will see beautiful views of the surrounding cliffs. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on leash throughout the hike. 

8 Bell Rock 

This trail is only .8 miles long gaining 203 feet. This hike is considered moderately challenging, Bell Rock is one the most famous landmarks in Sedona. You can not climb all the way up Bell Rock, however, you can ascend a majority of the landmark. Dogs are welcome, however, they must remain on a leash throughout the hike. 

The Bottom Line: Sedona Hikes

No matter what trail you decide to hike in Sedona, you are sure to enjoy the beautiful views and magnificent rock structures that make up the Red Rocks.

While you can’t go wrong when it comes to hiking in Sedona, these hikes provide some of the best experiences that Sedona’s nature has to offer. 


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