Sedona is a gorgeous city in Arizona. The area has amazing red rock formations and beautiful scenery. There are plenty of hiking trails throughout the area.
Some take you through the stunning landscape, while others offer breathtaking views from above, and, today, we’re going to share our absolute favorites!
Best Day Hikes In Sedona
Sedona is known for its red rocks, hiking trails, and beautiful scenery.
But did you know there are many great day hikes in Sedona and you don’t always have to take a weekend camping trip?
Here are our favorites.
Red Rock Loop Trail
This trail takes about 2 hours round trip and is located near Oak Creek Canyon. Red Rock Loop Trail is one of the most popular day hikes in Sedona because it offers stunning views of the canyon.
There are multiple viewpoints along the trail where you can see the canyon walls and the creek below. You will also pass by some ancient petroglyphs that have been carved into the canyon walls.
Red Rock Loop Trail starts at the end of Red Rock Drive (just past the visitors center). When you start, you’ll be walking on paved roads with street signs leading down to the trailhead.
Cottonwood Falls Trail
This trail is located near the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. Cottonwood Falls Trail is a 1.5 mile round trip trail that leads to a waterfall.
It’s not too difficult to reach the falls, which makes it perfect for families with both young and senior members.
The trail starts as an asphalt path but turns dirt when you get closer to the waterfalls. Be sure to bring your camera! The trail ends at a small parking lot next to a bridge over the river.
Although the trail starts steeply uphill, it then levels out and ends at the stunning waterfall. The trail is well maintained and is suitable for hikers of all abilities.
Cathedral Butte Trail
Cathedral Butte Trail is a 3.5-mile round trip hike that begins at the base of Cathedral Butte. This trail passes through a variety of landscapes including grasslands, forests, and even desert terrain.
You will climb up to the summit of Cathedral Butte before heading back down. The trail is fairly easy to follow and there are many places to stop and rest along the way.
Cathedral Butte is a large sandstone monolith that rises over 500 feet above the surrounding landscape. The trail winds through the desert landscape and up to the top of the butte. The view from the top is breathtaking.
Verde River Trail
Verde River Trail is a 4.6-mile round trip hike that runs along the Verde River. Verde River Trail has a moderate grade and is suitable for hikers who are comfortable walking in the desert heat.
The trail passes through riparian habitats and provides excellent views of the river. On hot days, you may want to carry lots of water.
The trail begins at the Verde River Bridge. From here, you’ll walk alongside the river until you reach the first viewpoint. After that, you’ll head uphill and continue on the trail.
Bell Rock Climb
Bell Rock Climb is a challenging 5.8-mile round trip hike. The trail climbs up to a mesa top where you’ll find a series of switchbacks. At the top, you’ll enjoy a great view of the town of Sedona and the red rock cliffs.
The trail is moderately strenuous and requires good balance. There are several spots along the way where you can take breaks or turn around if needed. When you’re ready to return, just keep following the road back towards the trailhead.
Tuzigoot National Monument
Tuzigoot National Monument is home to one of Arizona’s most impressive cliff dwellings.
The park features two separate trails:
- North Rim Trail
- and South Rim Trail
Both trails lead to the site of the ancient pueblo. You’ll see remnants of the original stone walls and other buildings scattered throughout the area.
This 2.2-mile round trip hike takes you past some of the best scenery in Sedona. Cathedral Rock Trail offers stunning views of the red rocks and the Verde Valley.
It also gives you access to the remains of the San Francisco Church, which was built by the Franciscan monks in 1885.
There’s no need to pay admission to visit this historic church; however, you must have a permit to enter the national monument.
Devil’s Bridge is a favorite with visitors and locals alike and is one of the best hikes in Sedona.
From the trailhead, it is only a 2-mile round trip to the bridge and luckily, it’s mostly flat and fast, making it great for beginner hikers.
However, when you get near the bridge, you will hike up plenty of inclines and stone steps, so make sure you’re wearing hiking boots.
It’s an extremely popular hike and hundreds of people a day take to the trail, some even ‘pop the question’ at the top.
Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon Trail is a 3.3-mile round trip hike located in Sedona Red Rocks State Park. This trail is perfect for beginners because it’s relatively short and flat. It’s also very scenic as well.
You’ll pass by beautiful stands of pine trees and cacti before reaching the creek. Once there, you’ll be able to stop and rest for a bit.
Boynton Pass Trail
Boynton Pass Trail is a 1.4-mile round trip hike in the Flagstaff Mountain Wilderness Area.
Read next – Hiking in Flagstaff
The trail leads to the highest point in the state of Arizona.
From the trailhead, you’ll climb up a steep hill and then descend into the canyon. Along the way, you’ll see beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Tips For Hiking In Sedona, Arizona
Before heading out on your next adventure, remember these tips to stay safe while exploring the outdoors:
- Bring Plenty Of Water: Make sure you bring enough water for the entire time you plan on being outside. In Sedona, temperatures can soar above 100 degrees during the summer months, so you want to make sure you don’t become dehydrated.
- Dress Appropriately: When hiking in hot weather such as Sedona, wear loose-fitting clothing that allows air to flow easily. Also, avoid cotton since it holds moisture against your skin. Instead, choose synthetic materials like polyester.
- Pack Light: Bringing too much weight might seem counterintuitive if you are going on a long hike, and packing light makes for a more comfortable experience. If you do decide to carry extra items, try not to overdo it. Make sure any heavy bags or backpacks aren’t dragging you down, but always ensure you have the basic hiking survival kit such as food, water, a compass and GPS, sunscreen, and a first aid kit, especially if you are hiking all day.
We hope after reading this article you have learned about some of the best day hikes in Sedona, Arizona, and have picked a trail for your next adventure.
We promise you’ll have a great day out as long as you prepare and plan, and you’ll be dying to go back and see more of the beautiful scenery as soon as possible.