It really is hard to top the shock and awe factor you get when hiking in the Grand Canyon. But for sheer variety of available hiking trails and the abundance of beautiful scenery, Sedona, Arizona is in a class all its own.
Known for their famous red rocked landscapes, Sedona offers so many different hiking trails that can satisfy all skill and fitness levels. And the best thing is, all the trails are in such close proximity to each other. During our 5 day stay in Sedona, we were able to hit 8 different trails and we only had to drive a few minutes between hikes. If you love to hike and you want to experience some unbelievable views, you really can’t beat Sedona for convenience and incredible trail options.
To help plan our hikes, we made sure to visit both online and in person the Hike House. Just like Novack’s, one of my favorite stores in London, Ontario, I would be a regular visitor to The Hike House if I lived in Sedona. Loaded with top notch hiking gear and supplies along with trail maps, books and videos, it is a must stop attraction when visiting Sedona. And the best part is getting to chat with their very friendly and enthusiastic staff. Their love for hiking and the great outdoors is obvious, and they are an excellent source for insider information about Sedona and the various trails you can explore. The Hike House also features the very cool Energy Cafe so you can stock up on homemade granola bars, trail mixes and tasty energy-inducing baked goods before hitting the trail. Highly recommended!
So without further adieu, here is the list of our top 4 favorite Sedona hikes.
1. Airport Mesa Trail
This has to be the perfect trail for an initial introduction to hiking Sedona. The trail isn’t particularly challenging, but it offers outstanding panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape and gets you super excited when you see the various peaks and mountains you will be exploring during your visit. A great place to get some of the famous red dirt on your hiking boots!
2. Soldiers Pass / Brins Mesa Trail
Loved the diversity of this trail complex. Lots of intricate rock formations, sink holes and a variety of vegetation to keep things interesting. On a bright and sunny day, you almost feel like you are walking on Mars with all the stunning red rock pillars, craters and random elevations. Had a blast on this trail.
3. Bear Mountain Trail
It’s always fun to challenge yourself with a rough and rugged hike to test your metal. Bear Mountain is just the ticket. One of the more challenging trails in Sedona, with an elevation gain of 1700 feet and approximately 5 rocky miles to cover round trip, the payoff at the top is well worth the pain. Beautiful panoramic views from all sides. Bring your camera, pack a lunch and enjoy your day!
4. Cathedral Rock Trail
I think of all of our Sedona hikes, this was our favorite. More of a rock climbing expedition than a trail hike, Cathedral Rock is quite steep in places, so be prepared to crawl. Your mind is kept active looking for suitable foot holds (more so if you are hiking with a 5 year old) – and the views at every turn are nothing short of spectacular! And reaching the summit really takes your breathe away. Highly recommended.
I also have to give an honorable mention to Devil’s Bridge Trail which offers a pretty amazing photo op out on the bridge. And to think that we only had time to hit 8 trails during our visit. With over 100 hiking trails available, we are sure to be back to Sedona in the future to continue our adventure. For now, back to the cage.