Sedona, Arizona is a hiker’s paradise. With more than 100 different trails, you could have a unique hiking experience every time you visit. Though many of the trails lead into the Red Rocks, each one offers its own experience. From steep and strenuous climbs to utterly amazing views, here is a list of our favorite spots to hike in the Painted Desert.
1. The Airport Mesa Loop
Though there are no specific rock formations located at the Mesa itself, this 3.5 miles loop trail gives hikers a panoramic view of Sedona’s Red Rock landmarks. In addition, for those who are interested in exploring one of the local phenomena, a short detour off the path takes hikers to a mini-mesa that is known by locals to be a popular vortex spot. It might be important to note that this location can become particularly hot in the summer time and is known to be a bit slick after a rainfall. That being said, it is best to prepare for the weather before heading out on the trail.
2. The Bell Rock Pathway
This 3.5-mile trail links the Village of Oak Creek to Sedona. From this pathway, hikers get views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and a number of other local landmarks. The trail is known to be fairly easy and takes roughly 3.5 hours to navigate fully. Most of the pathway has a hard, smooth surface but hikers should note that there are a few steep hills and rocky patches to navigate along the way as well.
3. The Devil’s Bridge Trail
This trail is often ranked as moderate in difficulty as it does tend to be a rather steep hike up to one of the largest natural stone arches in Sedona. That being said, it is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona. The trail tends to have a lot of foot traffic each day, so if you are looking to experience a quiet, contemplative hike on your own, this is probably not the spot for you. The climb back down requires a trip down rather steep natural stone steps (that do not come with hand rails) something that hikers might want to consider if they have a natural fear of heights.