Trail Lovers Excursions - Creating Experiences That Last a Lifetime
Sedona Hiking Information
Red Rock Country Cheat Sheet

West Fork of Oak Creek in Sedona, AZ.As the Day Hiking Capital of the World, Sedona, offers an abundance of adventure choices for you and your group visiting Red Rock Country.  Geographically, Sedona rests in a transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and Upper Sonoran Desert. Sedona's terrain is a mixture of the finest elements of: Arches, Capitol Reef, Zion, and Bryce National Park.  Sedona hiking trails vary drastically in terms of difficulty, terrain, distance, and elevation. 

It's not uncommon to start your Sedona hike in a desert setting and finish below a lush pine forest in a dark canyon. Sedona's elevation begins at just under 4,000ft, and rises above 7,000ft on it's highest northern rim. This means temperatures can range over 12 degrees in Fahrenheit--from top to bottom.  Without a doubt, Sedona offers the best overall hiking, biking, canyoneering, climbing, backpacking, and trail running in Arizona!!

Always a beautiful hike along the challenging Bear Mountain Trail in Sedona, AZ. Available for private Half and Full Day Outings.Below we've attempted to simplify the process of choosing the perfect hiking trails for your upcoming trip, by grouping our favorite adventures, into separate commonly requested categories. 

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~Easy Hikes~
1) Fay Canyon Trail: Short and flat hike featuring the largest arch in Sedona (94ft). The path walks below Bear Mountain and it's towering walls are brilliantly painted with long streaks of desert varnish. The canyon was once home home to the Sinagua People and later was used for moonshining by local ranchers. Great place for a mid-day picnic on a warm/sunny day. Distance: 2.4 miles total/370ft. Time: 1.5 hours. Fees: Does not require a Red Rock Pass. Restroom: No. INFO/MAP
2) Crescent Moon Picnic Area: Great walk by the chilly waters of Oak Creek for sunset photography. Offers reflection pictures of Cathedral Rock in the glassy waters of the stream. Show up 1.5 hours prior to sunset for the best photos and your next family Christmas card. Any decent smartphone here, will turn you into a professional photographer--almost instantly. Distance: 1.5 miles total/50ft. Time: 1 hour total. Fees: $10 (Bring Cash)/vehicle. Restrooms: Yes. INFO/MAP
3) Wilson Canyon Trail: This awe-inspiring canyon hike will lead you below the highest peak in Sedona (Wilson Mountain--7,133ft) with magnificent views and unique red rock formations abundantly decorating the landscape. Best to hike in the early morning or two hours before sunset. Distance: 3 miles total/330ft. Time: 1.5 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restooms: Yes.INFO/MAP
4) Little Horse Trail: Great eastern facing views of the Twin Buttes and Chapel area along the trails mellow rolling hills. Outing crosses several other well-marked paths and ends at Chicken Point for elevated views of the popular Broken Arrow area. This region's had more than 60 movies filmed on site and helped epitomize the West in early movie culture. Distance: 3 miles total/350ft. Time: 1.5 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: Yes. INFO/MAP
5) Scheurmann Vista Trail: Named after the first family to produce wine and honey in the Sedona area. This trail offers breath-taking, elevated, south-facing views of Sedona with little overall effort. Serves as a great place to take sunset/sunrise photos and escape the crowds at more popular trails. Distance: 2 miles total/370ft. Time: 1.5 hours. Fees: Does not require Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: No. INFO/MAP

~Moderate Hikes~
1) HiLine Trail: As a recent addition to the Sedona trail system, this trail receives low traffic and offers elevated perspectives of Sedona's most iconic rock structures. The HiLine Trail is less than 4 feet wide along some areas and makes it seem like you've hiked much higher in elevation than reality. Our recommendation is to stop at the elevated platform located 1.5 miles into the Hiline Trail. The will be an obvious ending, as you will realize you are about to loose all of the elevation you've gained to get to this overlook (-275ft). The trail offers tremendous elevated views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, Lee Mountain, Twin Buttes, and the Cathedral Rock. If you do this hike three hours before sunset you will enjoy great lighting for photography and walk in the shade most of the hike. From the parking lot go straight onto Kaibab (.1 miles) and Left on Slim Shady (.2 miles) and Right on HiLine for 1.5 miles. If you choose to turn this into a loop incorporating: Baldwin Trail, Tempelton, and Slim Shady--It will end up being about 8.7 miles (5 hours) of hard hiking.  Distance: 3.6 miles total/375ft. Time: 2.5 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: Yes. MAP
2) Devils Bridge via Chuckwagon: Easily the best photographed arch in the Southwest!! Especially because you can stand on top of it!! Follow 89A South to Dry Creek Rd. Follow Dry Creek Road to the end (3 miles) and take right onto Long Canyon Road. Park on right side of road in less that (.35 miles) in the dirt parking lot. Trail will go (.2) miles from parking lot via Mescal Trail. After crossing the wash, follow Chuckwagon Trail Left for (1) mile, until you reach the intersection for Devils Bridge. Here you will cross the dirt road FR152 and ascend to the middle of the natural arch. This is an in-and-out hike. It is best to do this hike no more than 3 hours after sunrise, as the trail has significant sun exposure and visitor traffic. Distance: 4.2 miles total/500ft. Time: 3 hours. Fees: Does not require Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: No. INFO/MAP
3) Boynton Canyon Trail: As one of the most picturesque canyons in Arizona, this trail offers a glimpse into past native cultures which once called the red rocks of Sedona home. The trail is moderate in grade and follows along a path formerly used by the Sinagua People and later the Yavapai/Apache tribes, who thrived in Boynton Canyon as early as 1000AD. Along the trail, hikers will notice several cliff dwellings along the right side of the path; just after passing the Enchantment Resort. This hike is unique in that it starts in the Upper Sonoran Desert and eventually ascends to the very edge of what could be considered the Colorado Plateau.  The terrain will shift from desert Pinon/Juniper to lushly forested Ponderosa Pines and Arizona Grapes along a mostly shaded trail in the afternoon. There is something special about this canyon and the end reminds many Utah lovers of Zion National Park.  Length: 6.5 miles total/650ft elevation. Time: 3.5 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: Yes. INFO/MAP
4) West Fork Trail: One of the most scenic hikes in all of Northern Arizona.  It is located 10.5 miles North of Uptown Sedona. This creekside walk offers astounding reflective views of the magnificent towering walls that surround this narrow canyon.  The hike crosses the creek 13 times each way and exposes countless numbers of seasonal wildflowers along the path. Zane Grey's book "Call of the Canyon", released in 1924, describes a troubled young man from New York who is seemingly suffering from PTSD. In the book, the man uses the area around West Fork to recover his soul and shift himself into a new life of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. As a local, this trail is considered a sacred place and the backwaters offer solitude and opportunities to literally reflect upon your future and hear the faint, but ever-clear, Call of the Canyon. We suggest arriving at 8am (when the gate opens) to avoid large crowds and to observe the best lighting for photography. The site has picnic tables and bathrooms provided at the parking lot.  Length: 6.4 miles total/245ft. Time: 4.5 hours. Fees: $10 (Bring Cash)/vehicle. Restrooms: Yes. INFO/MAP
5) HOGS Loop: A breath-taking loop along one of Sedona's newest  and most under-used trail systems. This loop leads passed the famous Broken Arrow region, where over 60 movies have been filmed in recent years. The area is named after the movie "Broken Arrow" which was released in 1950 and stared Jimmy Stewart. The path provides elevated perspectives of the Munds Mountain Wilderness, in a "Jeep free area", which stays close to town while delivering excellent wilderness views. The trail system consists of taking a clockwise circle (only right turns) along the following trails: Broken Arrow (.2 miles), Twin Buttes (.6 miles), Hog Heaven (.8 miles), Hog Wash (1.3 miles), and Left on Broken Arrow (.2 miles).  Length: 3.1 miles/265ft. Time: 2 hours. Fees: Does not require Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: None. INFO/MAP

~Hard Hikes~
1) Bear Mountain Trail: Named after one of the most legendary characters to ever live in the Southwest, Jesse"Bear" Howard, this trail will take your breath away in all ways possible. The trail is steep in grade and follows stacked rock cairns all the way to the summit. Along the path hikers huff-up the serpentine "goat trail" that covers all sides of the mountain and leads through four false-summits.  The elevated views looking into Fay Canyon, along the third shelf, are literally a free lesson of Sedona Geology 101. Featuring views of distant mountains, mesas, spires, hoodoos, monoliths, arches, hedgehogs, arroyos, head-cuts, and even ruins that show the essence of the great American Southwest.  Length: 5.4 miles/1,924ft. Time: 3.5 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: Yes. INFO/MAP
2) Wilson Mountain North & South: Named after an old Arkansas bear hunter known as Richard Wilson, who was mauled by a bear here in the 1880's. Wilson was a farm hand for the famous Thompson Family (formerly of Indian Gardens) and was asked to watch over the family, while the patriarch Jim Thompson, was attending court in nearby Prescott, Arizona. When he failed to show up after 8 days, his body was later found in a big canyon just below present day Midgley Bridge. Both the canyon he was found in, and the mountain above, now honor his name as Wilson Canyon and Wilson Mountain respectively. From either the North or South entry, the hike leads to the highest peak in Sedona at 7,122ft. The south entry begins at Midgley Bridge and follows switchbacks along a narrow trail to the first bench, where it connects with North Wilson Mountain Trail. This section of trail is heavily composed of basalt rock and is rocky, rough, and long-going throughout. Our favorite path is North Wilson Mountain because it leads through a richly forested area and saves a mile (each way) en route to the first bench. Both trails are steep, narrow, and challenging for even a well seasoned hiker. At the top saddle, most visitors choose to visit the Southbound Overlook which looks out over Sedona. Our favorite alternative is to take a right at the intersection and follow 2.4 miles (one way) to the Northbound Overlook. This offers views of Munds Canyon, the highest peak in Arizona (Humphreys Peak--12,633ft), and the elusive Secret Mountain Wilderness. If you hike North Wilson Mountain Trail (from Encinoso Picnic Area) to the Northbound Overlook, this would account for a 9 mile day, or 7 miles to the Southbound Overlook. From the bridge, the Southbound Overlook would be 8 miles,  or 11 miles total to the Northbound Overlook. Length (N. Wilson): 9 miles total (North) or 7 miles total (South)/2,450ft. Time: 6 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: Yes. INFO/MAP: North/MAP: South
3) Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch: Named after a man who was busted for counterfeiting money (Sterling) in Oak Creek Canyon and a famous plane crash that concealed the bodies of a famous aviation pioneer and his wife (Gerald and Sylvia Vultee) in 1938. The trail is steep and has a bell shaped elevation profile. Meaning you will actually summit in the middle of the trail going in, and will then be forced to re-summit, to return back to your car. Despite it's shorter distance and seemingly moderate elevation change; this trail should not be taken lightly. The end of Sterling Pass Trail leads to a magical, free-standing 40ft arch in a remote section of the Secret Mountain Wilderness. This hike can have snow and heavy mud even several weeks after precipitation in the Winter. Perfect hike for avoiding the heat or wind during Spring, Summer, and Fall. This is highly recommended for fit hikers and those interested in exploring Sedona's least visited, and most impressive natural arch. A short scramble leads to the top of the arch for photos--and those exploring the area will find a plaque left behind by honored employees of Vultee following the tragic accident. Length: 5 miles total/1,000ft x 2. Time: 4 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: No. Parking: Roadside apron near Manzanita Campground Sign. INFO/MAP
4) Schnebly Hill Trail to Munds Mountain: Named after Mrs. Sedona Miller Arabella Schnebly, and the Munds Family.  The former is where Sedona borrowed it's name and the later is from a family who made a name for themselves in the cattle industry northeast of Sedona. This trail follows along a path formerly used to ship apples, peaches, apricots, and pears to Flagstaff by wagon (3-5 days, one way in the 1860's) and finishes at an overlook that seems to show every inch of Red Rock Country. This trailhead requireds a 4x4 vehicle with good ground clearance to reach the start of the path; located high above Sedona via the scenic Schnebly Hill Road. From the first-step-on, the trailhead gains elevation as it follows up the Mogollon Rim to the top of Munds Mountain. Although the grade is steady and easy going at the start, it steepens dramatically at the beginning of Munds Mountain Trail. Once atop Munds Mountain, we suggest following at least 1.25 miles, or until the trail disintegrates overlooking Lee Mountain and all of Sedona.  Length: 8 miles total/1,400ft. Time: 5 hours. Fees: Does not require a Red Rock Pass. Restrooms: No. Parking: Requires 4x4 & high clearance. INFO/MAP
5) The Hangover Trail: Trail created by some of the best mountain bikers to ever call Sedona home. The Hangover is all it's cracked up to be and more. Recently, Outside Magazine listed it as one of the Ten Great American Mountain Biking Trails. Its elevated views of Oak Creek Canyon, Wilson Mountain, Cowpies, and Munds Mountain pack a Mike Tyson punch for a view. For 1.75 miles, the trail narrows to less than 4 feet wide, with steep overlooks and winds along a goat path which follows high above some of Sedona's most prominent rock structures. The trail should be done as a clockwise loop which will take you in the opposite direction of mountain bikers. Be prepared to see mountain bikers moving fastly along the trail, and ensure your group all goes the same way to let them pass. With a high clearance vehicle, one can park at Cowpies parking lot and follow Munds Wagon (1 mile) to Hangover (3.2 miles) to Cowpies (.6) for a loop that's about 5 miles total with 875ft of elevation. For those without a high clearance vehicle, the trail will be 8.6 miles total. From the Huckaby Parking Lot via Schnebly Hill Rd, this would involve the following trails: Munds Wagon (2 miles) to Hangover (3.2 miles) to Cowpies (.6) to Munds Wagon (3 miles) in a clockwise lasso loop.  Length: 8.6 miles total (no 4x4)/5miles (4x4)/875ft. Time: 5/3 hours. Fees: Red Rock Pass from Huckaby/None for Cowpies. Restrooms: Yes (Huckaby). Parking: Requires high clearance vehicle to reach Cowpies parking lot. INFO/MAP

Red Rock Adventure Shortlist
Sedona's Best in 5's

~Possible Handicap Accessibe/Stroller Friendly Sites~
1) Red Rock State Park, 1-3 miles/75ft, INFO/MAP
2) Crescent Moon Picnic Area, 1.4 miles/50ft, INFO/MAP
3) Oak Creek Vista Overlook, .5 miles/75ft, INFO/MAP
4) Wilson Canyon Trail, 2.4 miles/320ft, INFO/MAP
5) Bell Rock Vista, 3.9 miles/220ft, INFO/MAP

~Creekside Hikes~
1) West Fork Trail, 6.4 miles/245ft, INFOMAP
2) Baldwin to Tempelton Trail, 3 miles/370ft, INFO/MAP
3) Bell Trail, 7 miles/340ft, INFO/MAP
4) Parsons Trail, 8 miles/600ft, 4x4, INFO/MAP
5) Allens Bend, 1.2 miles/50ft, INFO/MAP

~Sunrise/Sunset Hikes~
1) Cathedral Rock Trail,1.8 miles/750ft, INFO/MAP
2) Doe Mountain Trail1.8 miles/500ft, INFO/MAP
3) Crescent Moon Picnic Area, .75 mile/375ft, INFO/MAP
4) Cowpies, 1.2 miles/140ft, 4x4, INFO/MAP
5) Scheurman Vista, .6 miles/325ft, INFO/MAP

~Shaded/Fall Foliage Hikes~
1) Boynton Canyon Trail, 6.5 miles/650ft, INFO/MAP
2) West Fork Trail, 6.4 miles/245ft, INFOMAP
3) Harding Springs Trail, 1.4 miles/750ft, INFO/MAP
4) Fay Canyon Trail, 2.4 miles/195ft, INFO/MAP
5) Sterling Pass Trail, 5 miles/1,000ft x 2, INFO/MAP

~Summertime Swimming Hikes~
1) Grasshopper Point to Allens Bend, 1 mile, 50ft, INFO/MAP
2) Huckaby Trail from Midgley Bridge, .8 miles, 375ft, INFO/MAP
3) Bell Trail to The Crack, 7 miles/340ft, INFO/MAP
4) West Clear Creek via Bullpen, 7 miles/350ft, 4x4, INFO/MAP
5) Slide Rock State Park, .5 miles/75ft, INFO/MAP

~Winter Hikes~
1) Munds Wagon to Cowpies, 7.5 miles/875ft, INFO/MAP
2) Mescal Trail via Deadmans Pass, 5 miles/325ft, INFO/MAP
3) Bell Rock Pathway, 3.9 miles/220ft, INFO/MAP
4) Baldwin Loop, 2.5 miles/170ft, INFO/MAP
5) Slim Shady Trail, 5 miles, 280ft, MAP

~"Vortex" Hikes~
1) Boynton Canyon, 6.5 miles/650ft, INFO/MAP
2) Cathedral Rock Trail, 1.8 miles/750ft, INFO/MAP
3) Bell Rock Pathway, 3.9 miles/220ft, INFO/MAP
4) Airport Loop, 3.5 miles/280ft, INFO/MAP
5) *Cowpies Trail, 1.2 miles/140ft, 4X4, INFO/MAP

~Native American Cultural Sites~
1) Honanki Heritage Site, 4X4, $5, INFO/MAP
2) Palatki Heritage Site, 4X4, $5, INFO/MAP
3) V-Bar-V Heritage Site, $5, INFO/MAP
4) Montezumas Castle National Monument, $5, INFO/MAP
5) Montezumas Well National Monument, Free, INFO/MAP/SITE

~Overnight Backpacking Trips~
1) Secret Canyon Loop, 4X4, 7-16 miles/375ft, Water (Early Spring/July - Sept w/ Filter), INFO/MAP
2) West Fork Backwaters, 10-20 miles/245ft/Water (Stream Water w/Filter), INFO/MAP
3) Loy Canyon to Secret Mountain, 16-22 miles, 2,300ft, Cow Tank Water (Filter + Iodine), INFO/MAP
4) Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch to Dry Creek Trail, 5-12 miles/1,000ft x2, No Water, INFO/MAP
5) Wilson Mountain South to North, 7-12 miles/2,450, No Water, INFO/MAP

~Technical Canyoneering~
1) Barney Springs Canyon, 4X4, 4BIVR*****, BETA
2) Sunburst Canyon 4X4, 4BIIIR****, BETA
3) Voodoo Canyon, 4X4, 4BIIIR****, BETA
4) Little LO Canyon, 4X4, 3BIIR+++, BETA
5) James Canyon, 3BIIG***, BETA

~Sport Climbing Sites~
1) Pumphouse Wash, 14 Sport Routes, Best: Summer, Late Spring, Fall, BETA
2) The Doctors Office, 24 Sport Routes, Best: Summer, Late Spring, Fall, BETA
3) The Firewall, 20 Sport Routes, Best: Spring/Fall/Winter/Summer AM, BETA
4) The Planetarium, 12 Sport Routes, Best: Spring/Summer AM/Fall, BETA
5) The Beach, 8 Sport Routes: Spring/Fall/Winter/Summer, BETA

~Trad Climbing Sites~
1) The Overlook, 78 Trad Routes, Best: All Seasons, BETA
2 Church Spires Area, 26 Trad Routes, Best: Winter/Fall/Spring, BETA
3) Pumphouse Wash-The Ultimates, 19 Trad Routes, Best: Summer/Fall/Spring, BETA
4) Dry Creek Road Area, 36 Trad Routes, Best: Summer/Fall/Late Spring, BETA
5) Coffeepot Rock Area,  20 Trad Routes, Best: Summer/Fall/Spring, BETA

~Classic Trad Towers~
1) The Mace, Original Route, 5.9+, Best: Summer, Fall, Spring, BETA
2) Streaker Spire, Original North Face Route, 5.7+, Best: Summer, Fall, Spring, BETA
3) Queen Victoria, Regular Route, 5.7, Best: All Seasons, BETA
4) Oak Creek Spire, North Face/West Route, 5.9+, Best: All Summer, Fall, Spring, BETA
5) Goliath Spire, 5.9+, Best: Summer, Fall, Spring, BETA