8 Simple Hikes in Sedona with Beautiful Views (and What to Skip)


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Sedona, Arizona is an excellent mountaineering vacation spot. Inside minutes of this desert city, you’ll discover lots of of trails the place you’ll be able to hike via canyons and pine forests and amongst the long-lasting purple sandstone towers and buttes.

Lots of the hikes could be difficult, although, and contain scrambling up the purple rocks. If like me, you’re not assured with mountaineering, or simply need a brief stroll, there are some wonderful choices.

We got down to discover the perfect straightforward hikes in Sedona and share our favourites under. Most of them take an hour or much less and are appropriate for newbies, however they nonetheless function gorgeous views.

We additionally embrace useful ideas on your mountaineering journey, the place to remain, and a map with all these straightforward Sedona hikes.


Ideas for Mountaineering in Sedona

Sedona has develop into a well-liked mountaineering vacation spot lately. Trails could be crowded and parking at the most well-liked ones is restricted. Listed here are our tricks to make mountaineering in Sedona extra gratifying.

  • Purchase a move – Many Sedona path parking heaps require you to point out a recreation move in your car. You should buy a Pink Rock Move at required places ($5 a day/$15 per week) or when you’ve got an America the Lovely annual nationwide parks move (as we did), you should use that. Some locations have separate charges and I’ve famous these under.
  • Go to through the week if attainable – Weekends are busier, so select quieter trails on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Begin early – Arriving at trailheads by 7am is one of the simplest ways to keep away from the crowds (and warmth within the hotter months). After 5pm also can work except it’s a spot that’s particularly recognized for its sundown views.
  • Put on mountaineering footwear – Sedona mountaineering trails are rocky and muddy, so mountaineering footwear or boots with good traction are important. Be ready to get orange grime all over the place (we saved our mountaineering footwear in our automotive).
  • Use the AllTrails app – Even brief hikes in Sedona aren’t at all times straightforward to comply with as they’re typically a part of a community of a number of trails. We discovered our AllTrails+ subscription actually helpful so we may obtain path maps on the app for offline use. Learn the path opinions too for recommendations on present circumstances.
  • Convey loads of water – That is the desert, in spite of everything, and the solar could be intense.

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The place to Keep in Sedona

We discovered West Sedona the perfect base for a mountaineering journey because it’s quieter and extra native than Uptown Sedona and is near many trails.

There are nonetheless loads of eating places and shops. Entire Meals is helpful for mountaineering snacks.

We liked the Wilde Resort and Spa. It’s close to a busy highway, however the grounds are stunning. There’s a heated pool (I swam within the snow!), two scorching tubs (excellent for post-hike), and loads of comfy seating round firepits.

Rooms are trendy, spacious, and cozy—the perfect ones have mountain views.

Test costs for Wilde Resort right here.

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The Greatest Simple Hikes in Sedona, Arizona

These are our favorite straightforward Sedona hikes from the shortest and best to extra of a reasonable path that’s price the additional effort.

1) Oak Creek Path at Crescent Moon Ranch

Paved path on the Oak Creek Trail in Sedona overlooked by the tall red craggy Cathedral Rock
Oak Creek Path is a simple accessible introduction to the wonders of Sedona

Distance: 1.2 miles (2km) out and again
Time: half-hour
Whole elevation achieve: Flat
Parking payment: $11 (pay money or card at entrance sales space). Pink Rock Grand Annual Passes are accepted however not the weekly Pink Rock Move or America the Lovely.
Services: Bathrooms and picnic tables.
AllTrails web page: Oak Creek Path

Observe: this isn’t the West Fork Oak Creek Path, which is far more durable and half-hour exterior Sedona.

Oak Creek Path is among the best hikes in Sedona. This brief stroll is appropriate for the aged and younger kids, and the paved sections are wheelchair-friendly.

The riverside path begins within the Crescent Moon Ranch picnic space on the Pink Rock Loop Highway, which has stunning views on the best way down.

Crescent Moon is well-liked for picnics, swimming, sunsets, and views of the Sedona icon, Cathedral Rock, mirrored within the river.

Parking could be a drawback at busy instances, however at 5pm in winter, we had no points. This stroll could be finest in fall (for vibrant leaves) or summer season (for swimming), however even with naked bushes in winter, it was a reasonably and straightforward stroll.

Simon walking along red flat rock towards Cathedral Rock looming above trees
Simon strolling in direction of Cathedral Rock

There are good views of Cathedral Rock from numerous factors on the path and the perfect is on the rocky space on the finish. You’ll be able to climb on some rocks within the river to see the reflection of the sandstone butte within the water.

This space is named the Pink Rock Crossing Vortex, which is regarded as a spot of excessive religious power.

Red sandstone Cathderal Rock reflected in the water at Red Rock Crossing in Sedona
Pink Rock Crossing with a beautiful reflection of Cathedral Rock

In case you stroll a bit past the rocky space, there are even higher, unobstructed views from a meadow.

Towering Cathedral Rock in Sedona against a blue sky and green meadow
The enduring Cathedral Rock trying notably tremendous with the inexperienced meadow under

Cathedral Rock seems finest within the late afternoon when it’s lit up by the solar. Fairly a couple of individuals had gathered right here to attend for sundown.

Pink Rock Crossing Path is a path on the opposite aspect of the river, however there was no approach for us to cross it with out getting our ft moist (this is likely to be simpler in summer season).

If you’re in search of a brief, straightforward path in Sedona, Oak Creek Path could be very accessible and has improbable Cathedral Rock views. The one draw back is the doorway payment with most passes not accepted.

2) Decrease Chimney Rock Loop

Red rock formation of Lower Chimney in Sedona overlooking trees and bushes below
Decrease Chimney is considered one of many fascinating rock formations you’ll discover in Sedona

Distance: 1.4 mile (2.3km) loop
Time: half-hour
Whole elevation achieve: 115 ft (35 metres)
Parking payment: None
Services: None
AllTrails web page: Decrease Chimney Rock

Decrease Chimney Rock is a brief and candy path that’s simply accessible in West Sedona.

It begins from the Thunder Mountain Trailhead. Parking is restricted (as at all times), however we obtained an area at 5pm and the path wasn’t busy.

It’s not fairly as straightforward because the paved Oak Creek Path because it’s rocky and could be muddy, however elevation achieve is minimal.

It is a loop hike round Decrease Chimney Rock. We went clockwise and the primary half wasn’t that thrilling, however there are higher views of Chimney Rock on the second half.

There’s additionally an non-compulsory detour to climb up the summit of the rock within the center for sweeping views. We didn’t do that because it entails some steep scrambling.

There are many alternatives to increase your hike because it hyperlinks to different trails. Particularly, the Chimney Rock Loop (2.3 miles mixed with Decrease Chimney) seems like a superb add-on however requires a bit extra elevation achieve.

Whereas I don’t assume Decrease Chimney Rock Loop is a Sedona must-do, it’s a nice stroll when you find yourself low on power or time, particularly in case you are staying shut by.

3) Tea Cup Path

Tall features of Coffeepot Rock above spiky green foilage and a snowy mountain range in the distance
Coffeepot Rock on the Tea Cup Path

Distance: 2.2 miles (3.6km) out and again
Time: 1 hour
Whole elevation achieve: 272 ft (83 metres)
Parking payment: None
Services: None
AllTrails web page: Tea Cup Path to Coffeepot Rock

The Tea Cup Path is in the identical West Sedona mountaineering space as Decrease Chimney Rock however begins from the Sugarloaf Trailhead.

Maybe as a result of we began at 3pm, we discovered it a lot more durable to get parked on the small car parking zone right here and needed to wait quarter-hour for an additional automotive to go away. It’s in a residential space however avenue parking isn’t allowed.

Warning: I don’t suggest mountaineering the total path as listed on AllTrails in case you are in search of a simple hike. However the views are so good it’s price contemplating strolling a part of it.

The primary part is simple, though the path is rocky and muddy as is typical in Sedona.

You begin on a part of the Sugarloaf Loop, which is pretty flat and busy with different hikers. You’ll be able to detour as much as the Sugarloaf summit, which we didn’t do, but it surely sounds pretty easy (not like many rock summits), so I want we’d performed it.

When you attain the Tea Cup Path, it turns into quieter and after about 20 minutes there’s a spectacular view of Coffeepot Rock.

I like to recommend turning again right here and maybe including on the Sugarloaf summit. We continued the path and it took us scrambling on the sting of Coffeepot Rock, which was approach out of our consolation zone, so we turned again.

4) Schuerman Mountain Lookout

View of mountain range and Cathedral Rock in Sedona on the Schuerman Mountain ascent
The superior views begin instantly in your ascent up Schuerman Mountain

Distance: 1.7 miles (2.7km) out and again
Time: 45 minutes
Whole elevation achieve: 367 ft (112 metres)
Parking payment: None
Services: None
AllTrails web page: Schuerman Mountain Lookout

If you’re in search of a brief Sedona hike with out crowds, Schuerman Mountain Lookout is a wonderful choice, particularly within the late afternoon or at sundown.

The path begins at Schuerman Mountain Trailhead throughout the highway from a faculty. Unusually for Sedona, it was straightforward to get parked, and we solely noticed two different {couples} on the path.

You begin on the Schuerman Mountain Path then go left on the signal for the vista.

Wooden signpost on Schuerman Mountain in Sedona pointing towards the vista and the trail
Helpful signposts hold you on monitor!

The out-and-back stroll as much as the point of view has extra elevation achieve than the earlier hikes, so it’ll get your coronary heart going, but it surely’s not too troublesome. As at all times, anticipate a rocky path.

Panoramic vista from Schuerman Mountain of Cathedral Rock and surrounding Sedona mountain ranges
Incredible views reward your effort to the highest of Shuerman Mountain

The panoramic views from the highest are properly well worth the climb. You’ll be able to see a lot of Sedona together with Cathedral Rock.

5) Fay Canyon Path

Simon at the start of the Fay Canyon Trail in Sedona with red sandstone cliffs and spiky green foilage
Simon firstly of the largely flat Fay Canyon Path

Distance: 2.3 miles (3.7km) out and again
Time: 1 hour
Whole elevation achieve: 194 ft (59 metres)
Parking payment: None
Services: Bathroom at parking
AllTrails web page: Fay Canyon Path

Fay Canyon is among the best hikes in Sedona because it’s largely flat and sandy quite than the standard rocky path.

It’s solely a 10-minute drive out of city, but it surely feels extra distant than the opposite hikes on this checklist with none homes in sight. There’s even a warning about bears!

The free parking is throughout the highway from the trailhead and is sort of spacious. As it is a well-liked path, it will possibly replenish, although—it was a lot busier once we left at 9.30am than once we arrived at 8.30am.

The path takes you thru a inexperienced canyon with steep purple cliffs on either side. Whenever you attain the top of the path signal, you’ll be able to select to scramble up the massive rocks past.

Hikers walking up rocks at the end of Fay Canyon in Sedona
The non-compulsory rock scramble on the finish of the path

This part is more durable however not too dangerous—it was extra like massive rocky steps. Even going up a couple of minutes offers you a surprising view again down into the canyon and past to Sedona’s purple rocks. It was the perfect a part of the hike for us.

Fay Canyon view in Sedona with a bright sun over red cliffs and green trees and bushes below
Climbing up a number of the rocks is price it for this view

On the best way again via the canyon we took the Fay Canyon Arch aspect path. This isn’t marked and is simple to overlook, so make sure that to obtain the AllTrails map to search out it.

This takes you to a rock arch, but it surely’s not a simple path. It’s fairly a steep climb, and it obtained more and more scrambly, so we turned again. There’s a good view of the canyon up right here, however skip this aspect path in order for you a simple stroll.

Pink rocky arch formations against a blue sky in Fay Canyon in Sedona with greenery below
Including on the Arch aspect path will get steep however results in some fascinating rock formations

6) Margs Draw Path

Footpath to red craggy Snoopy Rock on the Margs Draw Trail in Sedona with green juniper trees
Squint and see Snoopy amongst the formations on the Margs Draw Path

Distance: 3.1 miles (5km) out and again
Time: 1 hour
Whole elevation achieve: 276 ft (84 metres)
Parking payment: None
Services: None
AllTrails web page: Margs Draw Path

Margs Draw is among the finest straightforward hikes in Sedona to keep away from crowds. Even on a Saturday morning, we solely noticed a couple of others.

All the Margs Draw Path is 4 miles out and again. You’ll be able to park at both finish—Huckaby Trailhead is on the north finish (Pink Rock Move required) and Damaged Head Trailhead (free) is on the south finish—however parking can replenish.

As a substitute, we began in the course of the path on the Margs Draw Trailhead on the finish of Sombart Lane, the place parking was straightforward and free.

From right here the stroll begins uphill, however the ascent doesn’t final lengthy. It solely takes 10 minutes on the spur path (Margs Draw Spur A) to achieve the primary path. From right here you’ll be able to stroll in both path.

We went left and walked for an additional 20 minutes till we reached the highway and turned again the best way we got here. You could possibly additionally add within the south part of the path.

Margs Draw is simple with solely light inclines. It’s greener than many Sedona trails with plenty of juniper, cypress, and pinyon pine bushes.

A spotlight is Snoopy Rock, which does look spectacular, though we struggled to see the Snoopiness of it.

Margs Draw isn’t probably the most scenic path in Sedona, but it surely was easy, nice, and quiet with some fairly views.

It might be good for a run because it’s much less rocky than lots of the trails and is near city.

7) Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock Loop

Simon walking towards large red Courthouse Butte in Sedona with clear blue sky and green trees
An early morning begin offers you peaceable trails and beautiful mild

Distance: 3.7 mile (6km) loop
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Whole elevation achieve: 430 ft (131 metres)
Parking payment: Pink Rock or America the Lovely Move Required
Services: Bathroom at parking
AllTrails web page: Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock Loop

This loop across the two giant rock formations, Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock, is my high choose in case you are in search of a simple Sedona path with beautiful views.

It’s a bit longer than the hikes above, but it surely’s largely degree with just some light uphills.

The path is 20 minutes from Sedona on the best way to Oak Creek Village, but it surely’s a reasonably drive out right here.

We parked at Courthouse Vista, which is the start line for a number of trails. Parking does replenish, so it’s price going early—we began at 7.10am and there have been only some areas left at 8.30am even on a freezing winter morning.

Yavapai Vista Level Parking is an alternate choice, a 10-minute stroll from the trailhead.

We began on the Bell Rock Pathway, related to the Courthouse Butte Loop, after which ended again on Bell Rock Pathway. Though it’s pretty straightforward to comply with, there are various totally different trails, so the AllTrails map is useful to maintain you on monitor.

By mountaineering in a clockwise path, you save the perfect views for the second half. We liked getting up near the purple rocks and seeing Courthouse Butte sprinkled with snow within the morning mild.

Large red rock formation of Courthouse Butte in Sedona sprinkled with snow with green trees below
The majestic Courthouse Butte sprinkled with snow

By beginning early, it was very peaceable, and we didn’t see anybody else till the top.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could possibly climb Bell Rock, however it’s a scramble up (we skipped it).

Simon walking towards distinctive red Bell Rock in Sedona along a red sand path surrounded by dried grass and green trees
Climb Bell Rock on the finish when you’ve got sufficient power!

With stunning views all through, I extremely suggest this straightforward path.

8) Soldier Move and Brins Mesa Loop

View of craggy mountain range on the Brins Mesa Loop in Sedona with a sloping path and green surroundings
On the Brins Mesa Loop, a reasonable hike with gorgeous views

Distance: 5 mile (8km) loop
Time: 2 hours 10 minutes (plus break)
Whole elevation achieve: 890 ft (271 metres)
Parking payment: Pink Rock or America the Lovely Move Required
Services: Bathroom at parking
AllTrails web page: Seven Sacred Swimming pools by way of Soldier Move to Brins Mesa Loop

The Soldier Move and Brins Mesa Loop is by far the longest, steepest hike on this checklist, but it surely was additionally our favorite Sedona path.

Whereas it’s extra of a reasonable than a simple path, it doesn’t require rock scrambling (simply good footwear for the standard rocks/mud). We discovered it good—a little bit of a problem however not an excessive amount of, and the gorgeous surroundings was price it.

In case you don’t wish to do the entire thing, flip it into a simple hike by simply strolling to Seven Sacred Swimming pools and again (40 minutes every approach from Jordan Rd).

It is a well-liked mountaineering space with many trails and parking choices. The AllTrails map (which could be very helpful right here) begins at Soldier Move Trailhead, however though the parking is free, it’s very restricted and doesn’t open till 8am. Automobiles queue earlier than then to get a spot.

It’s higher to do what we did and park on the Jordan Highway Trailhead (additionally referred to as Jim Thompson Trailhead and Brins Mesa Trailhead). This requires a move and the highway there may be tough (doable in a sedan), however there are extra areas, and most significantly, it’s open 24/7 so you may get an early begin.

I extremely suggest beginning earlier than 7.30am and mountaineering in a clockwise path. This manner you attain Soldier Move Path earlier than 8am (when automobiles are allowed in) and can possible have the Seven Sacred Swimming pools to your self.

We discovered the primary half of the path very quiet (even on a Saturday morning) and solely noticed others when coming down Brins Mesa later within the morning.

From Jordan Highway Trailhead, begin by following indicators for Brins Mesa then quickly after connect with the Cibola Move Path, which turns into the Jordan Path. The purple rocks like The Sphinx appeared stunning within the morning mild.

Early morning shadows on smooth red path on the Jordan Trail in Sedona, craggy rocks in the distance with blue sky and greenery
Lovely morning mild on the Jordan Path

Then you definately flip proper onto the Soldier Move Path and move Satan’s Kitchen, an enormous sinkhole. It took us about half-hour to get right here.

Devil's Kitchen large sinkhole on the Soldier Pass Trail in Sedona with a pink craggy peak in the background and blue sky
The Satan’s Kitchen, a big sinkhole alongside the Soldier Move Path

10 minutes additional alongside the simple path are the Seven Sacred Swimming pools, a sequence of small swimming pools of water within the sandstone.

The backdrop of Coffeepot Rock makes it particularly scenic and early within the morning it was a tranquil spot to pause and hearken to the birds.

Small Seven Sacred Pools in Sedona formed in red rocky crevices, with Coffeepot Rock in the distance and spiky green plants
Picturesque Seven Sacred Swimming pools with Coffeepot Rock within the background

For a shorter hike, you could possibly flip again right here. In any other case, proceed on the path marked Soldier Move/ Brins Mesa for extra stunning views.

There’s an non-compulsory 1-mile return unmarked aspect path to a cave (use AllTrails to search out it), however we skipped it because it entails scrambling.

About midway into the hike (2.5 miles) we started the uphill climb that’s the toughest half. It did get our hearts going however didn’t really feel too lengthy.

We took a snack break on some sunny rocks close to the highest then continued on the path that crosses over to Brins Mesa.

It’s extensive open up right here with expansive views which can be particularly gorgeous as we descended the path right into a sea of inexperienced and purple rocks. We had been grateful to be strolling down and never up this hill!

When you have the time and power, I extremely suggest Soldier Move and Brins Mesa. Begin early to benefit from the epic views in peace.

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Fashionable Sedona Hikes We Skipped

These are thought of a number of the finest hikes in Sedona, however we selected to not do them. Partly due to crowds and partly as a result of they contain rock scrambling that we weren’t assured with.

Individuals love these hikes for a motive, so I’m not saying you shouldn’t do them. However there are such a lot of trails in Sedona that there’s no have to really feel the strain to hike these, particularly in case you are terrified of heights.

  • Cathedral Rock Path – This hike is brief however steep and entails scrambling up close to vertical rocks with sheer drop-offs. The views on the high look stunning, but it surely’s not for these with a concern of heights.
  • Satan’s Bridge Path – This 4-mile hike is known for its sandstone arch and other people queue to take a photograph on the slim rock bridge. The final part is steep and slippy and could be icy in winter.
  • Airport Mesa Path – This well-liked sundown hike doesn’t look too troublesome (though it’s rocky), but it surely’s busy and parking is a serious problem.

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Sedona Mountaineering Map

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Which is the Greatest Simple Hike in Sedona?

My high two picks for brief Sedona hikes with the finest views are the Courthouse Butte/Bell Rock Loop and Fay Canyon. They’re pretty flat and could be accomplished in beneath 90 minutes.

If you’d like the best hike in Sedona and not using a rocky, muddy path to cope with, Oak Creek Path is an easy paved stroll with a beautiful view.

To keep away from the crowds in Sedona, Schuerman Mountain and Margs Draw are wonderful choices.

My private favorite hike in Sedona is the Soldier Move and Brins Mesa Loop. It’s longer and steeper however doesn’t require mountaineering and the pay-off is price it.

What are your favorite straightforward mountaineering trails in Sedona? Depart a remark under.

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Extra USA Posts

Discover extra stunning US mountaineering locations in our different guides:

Utah & Arizona


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