Cathedral Rock

8 Easy Hikes In Sedona (Awesome Day Hikes)

Sedona is a dream destination in Arizona for hiking. With seven wilderness areas surrounding the area, there’s excellent hiking trails all around.

Hiking around Sedona you’ll have an amazing view of the red mountains with unique rock formations, canyons, and valleys covered with pine trees. 

I’ve visited Sedona dozens of times, and recently began exploring the different trails. This article will cover the easiest Sedona hikes that are perfect for a day trip. 

Whether you’re looking for an easy hike off the beaten path, or an instagram-worthy viewpoint, there’s something on this list for you! 

Here are the easiest Sedona hikes that offer the most rewarding views. 

1. Cathedral Rock

Cathedral Rock, Sedona Arizona
Cathedral Rock, Sedona Arizona
  • Length: 1.2 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Uphill hike to a beautiful vista (and vortex) with panoramic mountain views
  • Parking: Mon-Wed: Cathedral Rock Trailhead ($5/day or Red Rock Pass), Thurs-Sun: park at North SR-179 Park & Ride (free), take free Sedona shuttle to trailhead
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: Small vault toilets at trailhead

Cathedral Rock is an incredible Sedona hike that’s short, and has amazing views.

Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock

The hike is 1.2 miles roundtrip uphill over the red rocks to an awesome viewpoint, and a vortex site.

There’s a short portion in the middle of the hike that requires you to climb up the rocks. It is relatively easy, as long as you take your time, and stop to admire the views on the way up.

Cathedral Rock Hike, Sedona Arizona
Cathedral Rock Hike

At the top, there’s a spectacular viewpoint of the red mountains.

Cathedral Rock, Sedona Arizona
Cathedral Rock, Sedona Arizona

If you want to see the vortex, turn left at the “end of trail” sign, then climb up a short rocky trail until you see a large pillar.

Person meditating at Cathedral Rock's Vortex
Cathedral Rock Vortex (Photo by: Dennis Yu)

Right in front of this pillar is considered a vortex site, and an excellent place to take a photo in front of. 

Want to visit Sedona’s vortexes and learn all about their history? See our list of the best Sedona vortex tours.

2. Devil’s Bridge

Devil's Bridge, Sedona Arizona
Devil’s Bridge
  • Length: 3.9 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Flat uphill hike to a large natural sandstone arch with incredible canyon and pine forest views
  • Parking: Dry Creek Vista/Mescal Trailhead for free. During peak times (Thurs-Sun), park at Posse Grounds Lot, take the free Sedona shuttle to the trailheads. 
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: Small vault toilets at Dry Creek Vista trailhead, no facilities at Mescal trailhead

Devil’s Bridge is the most popular Sedona hike, that leads to a magnificent 54 foot natural sandstone arch.

Since the trailhead is only accessible by 4×4 vehicle, you’ll park at either Dry Creek Vista or Mescal Trailhead. From these trailheads, it’s a 3.9 mile hike round trip. I hiked from the Dry Creek Vista trailhead, and was surprised with how easy it was. 

The trail starts out winding up a small hill, then connects to a sandy road shared with vehicles, until you approach the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead on the right.

Dry Creek Road, Sedona AZ
Dry Creek Road

The rest of the trail is shaded by pine trees, and on a gradual incline until you reach a steep set of stairs before the arch.

Devil's Bridge Trail
Devil’s Bridge Trail

The trail ends at the top, where there’s a beautiful viewpoint of the arch, and canyons surrounded by pine trees.

The arch is about five feet wide, so there’s plenty of space to walk over it, and snap a photo to remember the moment.

Devil's Bridge, Sedona Arizona
Devil’s Bridge

Keep in mind that you may have to wait in line to take a picture if you visit on a busy day (weekends). I visited on a weekday afternoon, so there were only a few other people at the top. 

If you can’t find parking at the Dry Creek Vista or Mescal trailheads, you can park at Posse Grounds Lot (free), and take the free Sedona shuttle to these trailheads. 

3. Bell Rock Trail

Bell Rock Trail
Bell Rock Trail
  • Length: 0.8 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Short trail that stops midway up Bell Rock with great views of the red rocks and desert scenery
  • Parking: Courthouse Vista (best option) or Yavapai Vista Point (Bell Rock Pathway Lot) for $5/day or Daily Red Rock Pass. 
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: Vault toilets at trailhead

Bell Rock is a great easy trail to Sedona’s iconic bell-shaped mountain. If you park at Courthouse Vista, it’s just a short 0.8 miles roundtrip hike that ends halfway up Bell Rock mountain.

Bell Rock, Sedona
Bell Rock, Sedona

From here, you’ll have an amazing view of Bell Rock, the surrounding mountains, and beautiful desert scenery. If you prefer a longer hike, you can continue climbing up Bell Rock mountain.

Viewpoint from Bell Rock hike
Viewpoint from Bell Rock hike

However, getting to the top of Bell Rock is very challenging since it’s steep and the trail is not as clear.

If you want to visit a Sedona vortex, I recommend hiking Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, or Boynton Canyon Vista. 

4. Chicken Point Overlook

Broken Arrow Trail, Sedona AZ
View of Bell Rock from Broken Arrow Trail (Photo by Aarya)
  • Length: ~3 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Scenic overlook with spectacular view of Bell Rock
  • Parking: Broken Arrow Trailhead Parking Lot ($5/day or Red Rock Pass)
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: No facilities at trailhead

Chicken Point is one of the easiest Sedona hikes that offers rewarding views. You’ll hike Broken Arrow Trail through the forest, and besides a red rock wall, until you reach a scenic overlook.

This trail is shared with off road vehicles, and especially popular amongst Jeep tours

In fact, it was originally named “chicken point” because Jeeps used to circle around the edge of the overlook, and people would chicken out because of the steep drop off! 

You’ll know you’ve approached the end of the trail when you see a circular edge with a panoramic view of the mountains.

I recommend hiking this trail in the evening to watch the sunset, and to avoid the crowds of Jeep tours. 

5. Boynton Canyon Vista (Kachina Woman Vortex)

Kachina Woman Rock Formation (Boynton Canyon Vortex)
Kachina Woman Rock Formation (Boynton Canyon Vortex)
  • Length: 1.1 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Mostly flat trail to a vortex site right by the “Kachina Woman” rock formation
  • Parking: Boynton Canyon Trailhead ($5/day or Red Rock Pass)
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: Vault toilets at trailhead

Boynton Canyon is an easy flat trail through the forests of West Sedona that leads to a vortex site. The vortex is right by a tall rock formation known as the “Kachina Woman” vortex.

To get to the vortex, you’ll hike on Boynton Canyon trail for around a half mile, and turn onto Boynton Vista Trail.

Trail marker for Boynton Canyon Vista Trail
Trail marker for Boynton Canyon Vista Trail

This trail is 0.4 miles (20-25 minutes) and dead ends at the vortex site.

Boynton Canyon Vista Trail, Sedona AZ
Boynton Canyon Vista Trail

Once you reach the “end of trail” sign, the Kachina Woman vortex is on your right side.

Kachina Woman Rock Formation, Boynton Canyon
Kachina Woman Rock Formation, Boynton Canyon

To the left is another rock formation known as the “Warrior Butte”, that you can climb onto for an amazing view of the mountains and forest scenery.

Warrior Butte Rock, Boynton Canyon Vista
Warrior Butte Rock
Boynton Canyon Vista Trail, Sedona AZ
View from Boynton Canyon Vista Trail

After visiting the vortex, you can continue hiking on Boynton Canyon trail if you want to visit the Boynton Canyon overlook, and Subway Cave.

Boynton Canyon Trail, Sedona Arizona
Boynton Canyon Trail

This is a mostly flat trail shaded by trees, but it’s around 6.5 miles roundtrip, so you can expect it to take 3–4 hours in total.

6. Airport Mesa 

Airport Mesa Vortex, Sedona AZ
Airport Mesa Vortex
  • Length: 1.2 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Short trail to a vortex site/overlook with panoramic views of Sedona
  • Parking: Airport Scenic Lookout parking lot ($3, Red Rock Pass not accepted)
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: Porta potty at airport lookout

Airport Mesa is the easiest vortex hike, and one of the best places to watch the sunset in Sedona.

There’s a small free parking lot at the Airport Loop Trailhead, and it’s just a short hike up a flight of stairs to the lookout.

Parking lot for Airport Mesa vortex
Parking lot for Airport Mesa vortex

This parking lot is very limited, so you’ll likely have to park at the large lot at Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout ($3/day, no Red Rock Pass accepted).

From this lot, you can hike “Airport/Sedona View Trail”, until you reach the Airport Mesa viewpoint. See Alltrails for directions here.

Airport View Trail, Sedona AZ
Airport View Trail, Sedona AZ

This is a short, flat trail parallel to the road that only takes around 10 minutes to reach the overlook.

This is a beautiful trail to hike during sunset, and you’ll have panoramic views of iconic mountains like Coffee Pot, Chimney Rock, and Sugarloaf.

Airport View Trail, Sedona AZ
Airport View Trail, Sedona AZ
Airport Mesa Vortex Lookout, Sedona AZ
Airport Mesa Vortex Lookout

7. Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte Loop

Courthouse Butte, Sedona Arizona
Courthouse Butte, Sedona Arizona
  • Length: 3.6 miles roundtrip
  • Highlights: Flat trail with lovely views of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte
  • Parking: Courthouse Vista or Yavapai Vista Point (Bell Rock Pathway Lot) for $5/day or Daily Red Rock Pass. 
  • Dogs allowed: Yes, with leash
  • Restrooms: Vault toilets at trailhead

Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte Loop is a scenic 3.6 mile trail that loops around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. This is a very easy hike that’s perfect for families, since the trail is mostly flat, with no major change in elevation.

Bell Rock Pathway
Bell Rock Pathway
Bell Rock Pathway
Bell Rock Pathway

The trail also connects to multiple different trails like Baby Bell and Llama Trail, if you want to venture out further to explore the desert scenery.

8. Slide Rock Nature Trail

Slide Rock State Park, Sedona AZ
Slide Rock State Park
  • Length: ~1 mile round trip 
  • Highlights: Flat trail past a historic apple orchard, rustic cabins, and a natural rock waterslide 
  • Parking: Slide Rock State Park ($20-$30 entrance fee/vehicle up to 4 people)
  • Dogs allowed: Dogs are allowed in the park but not by the water/swim area
  • Restrooms: Restrooms near the creek

Slide Rock is a state park with a natural waterslide along Oak Creek, and short hiking trails.

You can stroll out to the swim area, and walk along the creek to admire the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon.

Slide Rock State Park, Sedona AZ
Slide Rock State Park

You can also hike the Pendley Homestead and Clifftop Nature Trail to walk past a historic apple farm, rustic cabins, and enjoy scenic views of the natural rock water slide.  

Slide Rock State Park, Sedona AZ
Slide Rock State Park

The only downside is that Slide Rock’s entrance fee is expensive during spring and summer ($20-$30/a day).

A great alternative to Slide Rock if you want to admire the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon is the West Fork Oak Creek Trail.

This is a scenic, flat trail amid the forest that requires you to cross over multiple creeks. It costs $12 for parking, and is less than a 10 minute drive from Slide Rock State Park. 

If you plan on visiting either place, make sure to bring water shoes with good grip, since the rocks are very slippery in the water. 

Summary

Sedona is a great hiking destination for all experience levels. Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, and Bell Rock are all easy hikes with amazing views that are perfect for beginners. 

If you’re doing multiple hikes in a day, purchasing a Daily Red Rock Pass ($5) is a good idea, so you don’t have to repeatedly pay for parking at different trailheads.

The best time to hike in Sedona is during spring and fall, when the temperature’s most moderate. If you plan on visiting in summer, I recommend planning your hikes for early morning or late afternoon.

Alternatively, you can hike West Fork Oak Creek Trail. Here you’ll be shaded by the trees, and get to cool off by walking over creeks at the base of Oak Creek Canyon!

Check out our one day Sedona itinerary for information on the best places to eat, and things to do in town. 

Related articles you may be interested in: