SEDONA OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Sedona is considered one of the most beautiful places in America to visit. Geographically, Sedona rests in a transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and Upper Sonoran Desert. This sacred and powerful place is home to several spiritual energy vortexes, as well as an extensive trail system with unparalleled options for hiking and biking. Sedona offers astounding red rock vistas and is a perfect destination for the off-season months when the rest of the country’s trails are covered in snow. Read on for the best places to explore Sedona’s incredible outdoors, its spiritual vortexes, and camp under the stars.
Best Time of Year to Visit:
Spring/fall when temps are moderate, but if you visit during off-season there will be less people
HIKING & TREKKING
There are over 120 hiking trails created to experience the beauty of the Sedona Red Rocks. Hiking is the best way to experience the serenity of this red rock land. Sedona’s terrain is a mixture of the finest elements of Arches, Capitol Reef, Zion, and Bryce National Parks.
Best Trails: Sedona hiking trails vary drastically in terms of difficulty, terrain, distance, and elevation. The following are some of the top trails in Sedona:
Mescal Mountain Loop is a 4.7 mile loop that combines three trails to circle the stunning Mescal Mesa. Good for beginner/intermediate hikers, the trail’s main draw is the incredible red rock scenery. Portions of the trail traverse along the slickrock.
Brins Mesa Soldier Pass Loop is an 8-mile loop trail features awe-inspiring scenery and vistas, including Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole and Soldier Pass Arch. There is some elevation, and you will climb to Brins Mesa for a gorgeous vista as well as Soldier Pass to view the arch.
Sterling Pass Trail to Vultee Arch is a 5-mile roundtrip hike in Oak Creek Canyon climbs to the top of Sterling Pass and overlooked Vultee Arch, one of several natural red rock arches in the Sedona area. This arch is on the larger side, at 40 feet high and 50 feet wide. There are some climbs but the vistas are worth it – start early and take your time!
Sedona is ranked #14 globally in the listing of best Sedona bike trail systems according to Trailforks. Ditch your car and experience this red rock heaven on bike. For the best bike rental shops in Sedona, compare prices and rent a mountain bike online starting at $45/day. Sedona Bike rental & Bean offers top quality Sedona bike rentals perfect for the Sedona red rock, and their in-house coffee shop means you can enjoy a cappuccino while you learn about the awesome trail options from their knowledgeable staff!
BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE: CHUCKWAGON – MESCAL – LONG CANYON
Chuckwagon – Mescal – Long Canyon is a spectacular 9.1-mile singletrack loop with not too much elevation or climbing. Riders who are in Sedona for their first time will find this trail a good introduction to Sedona without the strenuous climbs of other trails in the area. This figure eight loop has smooth singletrack and is moderately challenging, with gorgeous red rock scenery.
INTERMEDIATE: WEST SEDONA TOUR
West Sedona Tour is a 13.1-mile singletrack loop with lots of turns, some climbing and descending, and the opportunity to link together 8 classic West Sedona trails. It can also be added to other trails like the Chuckwagon-Mescal-Long Canyon Loop (see #2) for a longer ride. These trails are some of the best riding in West Sedona, featuring the red rock terrain that Sedona is famous for.
INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED: CATHEDRAL BIG ROCK LOOP
Cathedral Big Rock Loop is a 12.4-mile out and back ride with some climbing and descents, and several technical rock sections. The trail crosses the popular Cathedral Rock hiking trail (hikers only) so be courteous to hikers. This ride features all the best of this popular area, and intermediate/advanced riders will love the trail’s flow and incredible scenery.