In Sedona, Arizona, Earth’s raw beauty meets the sky in a stunning display of red rock formations, lush greenery, and baby blue skies. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, not just because of the hiking opportunities but also because the vibe is wholesome, natural, and peaceful.

They also have fantastic and healthy options just about everywhere you go.

Renowned for its breathtaking hiking trails, Sedona is a place for adventurers, spiritual seekers, and nature lovers to explore, reflect, and reconnect.

Here are the best Sedona hiking trails, based on my many trips to this lovely little town.

Absolute Best Sedona Hiking Trails
1. Devils Bridge
2. Cathedral Rock
3. Bell Rock
4. Boynton Canyon
5. Fay Canyon
Boynton Canyon Trail
Boynton Canyon Trail

5 Best Sedona Hiking Trails

These are the top hikes in Sedona, which I would do over and over again.

1. Devil’s Bridge Sedona

Length: 3.9 miles
Elevation gain: 521
Difficulty: Moderate

The Devil’s Bridge trail stands as Sedona’s largest natural sandstone arch, offering a spectacle that looks straight out of a painting. The path to reach it is accessible and moderately challenging, rewarding you with breathtaking views from the arch.

Ideal for photography lovers and adventurers alike, the best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon when the light casts the landscape in magical hues.

This is one of the best Sedona hikes in winter because it’s incredibly crowded during warmer months. We were lucky enough to be the only ones when we visited, partially due to a layer of snow everywhere.

The shuttle service (Route 11) is free and runs from Thursday through Sunday. The parking lot at the trailhead is closed to parking on these days. Monday through Wednesday, I suggest arriving as early as possible.

Caption: Sedona hiking in February

Devils Bridge Sedona
Devil’s Bridge

2. Cathedral Rock Trail Sedona

Length: 1.2 miles
Elevation gain: 741 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Cathedral Rock, an epic Sedona landmark, offers a more challenging hike that leads to one of the most famous vortex sites in the region. The ascent is steep but short, culminating in panoramic views that make the effort well worth it.

Prepare to be mesmerized at the summit, where the energy of the place and the stunning vistas create a truly uplifting experience. Hiking during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset offers the most dramatic views.

I love this hike because it is such a short hike with an unbelievable view, it has character, and there’s a little bit of scrambling involved, which I enjoy.

Shuttle service Route 15 to this trailhead is free and runs from Thursday through Sunday. The parking lot at the trailhead is closed to parking on these days and fills up quickly on the other days.

Cathedral Rock Sedona
Cathedral Rock

3. Bell Rock Trail Sedona

Length: 0.8 miles
Elevation gain: 200 feet
Difficulty: easy to moderate

For those seeking Sedona hikes for kids, the Bell Rock Pathway is perfect. This trail offers an easy to moderate hike with ample opportunities to admire the surrounding vistas, including the distinct Bell Rock.

It’s an ideal choice for families and those looking for a leisurely walk in nature, with clearly marked paths and accessible viewpoints.

This is a must-do if you’re looking for relatively easy hikes in Sedona. We went with our boys when they were in elementary school, and we all enjoyed the experience.

A Red Rock Pass is required to park at the trailhead.

Bell Rock Trail
Bell Rock Trail

4. Boynton Canyon Trail (including the Subway Cave)

Length: 7.2 miles
Elevation gain: 965 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Boynton Canyon is celebrated not just for its stunning vistas but also for its cultural significance to local Indigenous peoples. The trail leads you through diverse landscapes, culminating in the hidden Subway Cave—an enchanting spot perfect for explorers.

The hike is relatively easy until you reach the Subway Cave, making it accessible to most fitness levels and offering a unique blend of natural and spiritual elements. And caves, too!

This is a fantastic sunrise hike, my all-time favorite hike in Sedona. Access to the Subway Cave, which is picture-perfect at sunrise, is challenging, as there is a short distance of about 50 feet uphill that is slippery and smooth with nothing to hold onto.

Be prepared to scramble once at the Subway Cave and wear shoes with good traction.

A Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required for parking.

Boynton Canyon Trail
Subway Cave

5. Fay Canyon Trail Sedona

Length: 2.4 miles
Elevation gain: 300 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Fay Canyon, less crowded than other Sedona trails, is a hidden gem that offers an easy hike with minimal elevation gain.

It’s ideal for those looking to immerse themselves in Sedona’s quiet beauty, featuring lush vegetation, towering rock walls, and a surprising arch hidden off the main trail. The canyon’s tranquility and shade make it a refreshing choice, especially during warmer months.

The best view on this trail is around the corner, just past the sign that says End of Trail.

Best Sedona Hiking Trails
Fay Canyon

What do I need to hike in Sedona?

Planning Your Hike in Sedona

Sedona’s climate varies significantly with the seasons, and spring and fall, with their milder temperatures, are ideal times to explore the trails.

Regardless of when you visit, it is crucial to prepare for the desert environment by staying hydrated, wearing sun protection, and keeping safety in mind.

Check the latest on permit requirements and parking to ensure a smooth adventure.

Gear and Preparation

Proper hiking boots, water bottles or hydration packs, and comfortable, breathable clothing are essentials for any Sedona hike.

Pack snacks, a map or GPS device, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

Being well-prepared means you can focus on enjoying the journey and the destination.

Trail Etiquette

To protect the environment, stay on designated trails, pack out all trash, and be considerate of other hikers.

Permits and Fees

Some trails may require a Red Rock Pass or other permits, so it’s essential to check the latest regulations and fees before your hike.

Sedona Hiking Hacks

Hiking in Sedona offers an unforgettable experience every time I visit. I hope you find as much joy in this town as I do. To make the most of your adventure, consider these hacks.

  • Beat the heat and crowds by hitting the trails at sunrise. You’ll enjoy cooler temperatures and have some trails almost to yourself.
  • Parking can be limited at popular trailheads. Arrive early or use the Sedona Shuttle service to access trailheads without the hassle.
  • Bring plenty of water (more than you think you’ll need) and high-energy snacks.
  • Weather can change quickly, especially if you’re starting early or hiking into higher elevations. Wear breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics and carry extra layers.
  • Take photos and take time to absorb the views without a screen.
  • Before heading out, check for trail closures or conditions that may affect your hike. Local websites or the Sedona Trail Finder app can provide up-to-date information.
  • While Sedona’s most famous hikes are beautiful, they can also be crowded. Research less-known trails for a more serene experience.
  • Bring a change of shoes and bag to put your red dirt-covered shoes in, especially if you have children.

CTA

Is hiking in Sedona safe?

Hiking in Sedona is generally safe, especially if you follow standard outdoor safety practices and prepare appropriately for the conditions you might encounter.

However, like any outdoor activity, it comes with risks and considerations. Here are some tips to ensure your safety while enjoying the trails.

✅ Stay on marked trails.
💚 Check weather conditions.
✅ Bring sufficient water and snacks.
💚 Wear appropriate gear.
✅ Inform someone of your plans.
💚 Carry a map and compass or GPS device. Do not rely on cell service.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the incredible scenery and trails Sedona offers with peace of mind.

Where’s Sedona AZ?

Sedona is approximately 100 miles north of Phoenix and 30 miles south of Flagstaff.

It’s known for its vibrant arts community, spiritual retreats, and extensive hiking and biking trails amidst stunning natural beauty.

FAQs on Sedona Hikes

What is the most beautiful hike in Sedona?

The Cathedral Rock Trail is often considered the most beautiful hike in Sedona. It offers stunning panoramic views, iconic red rock formations, and a challenging yet rewarding ascent, culminating in one of Sedona’s powerful energy vortexes.

What is the most beautiful part of Sedona?

The most beautiful part of Sedona is arguably the Cathedral Rock area, with its majestic red sandstone formations set against vibrant blue skies.

Where is the easiest vortex to walk to in Sedona?

The easiest vortex to walk to in Sedona is the Airport Mesa Vortex. Located near the Sedona Airport, it offers a short, accessible trail leading to panoramic views of the city and its stunning red rock landscapes.

How hard is Cathedral Rock trail?

The Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona is moderate to challenging, depending on your hiking experience and fitness level. It’s a short hike, but involves a steep ascent with sections requiring hands and feet scrambling over rock.

Final Thoughts: Best Sedona Hiking Trails

Exploring Sedona’s hiking trails offers more than just a physical workout. It’s an opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of our planet and find a moment of peace and clarity.

Whether standing atop Devil’s Bridge, feeling the energy at Cathedral Rock, or strolling along the Bell Rock Pathway, Sedona’s trails invite you to explore, dream, and discover.