Hiking in Sedona and Around

We spent a week hiking in Sedona and driving to destinations around, including the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley.

Hiking in Sedona and Around

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by D_a_n on May 27, 2004

My wife, a friend, and myself went to Sedona for a week. We expected very nice scenery based on the pictures we had seen on the web prior to our visit, but the reality took us by surprise anyway in the most positive way you can imagine. From day one ‘til the end, we were amazed at how great that area is. If you like hiking or just walking in a park and looking around, let alone if you like taking pictures, this is a destination not to be missed.

Everything is within your reach. Within 10 to 20 minutes, you can drive to most of the trailheads and then spend as much time as you like there. Parks are not too expensive. You will also need a permit to park at most of the trailheads. If I remember it right, a one-day car permit was $5 and $15 for a whole week. Well worth it!!${QuickSuggestions} Red Rock State Park offers nice views when you hike the Eagle's Nest Trail. Hiking the longer Mount Wilson trail is very rewarding and offers plenty of photographic material, but I recommend this only if you have a whole day to devote to it. If you want to go for a longer trip, go to Monument Valley rather than Grand Canyon.${BestWay} Buy the Red Rock parking permit, drive around, park at trailheads, and have fun hiking. The permits are available at selected trailheads that are marked on the area maps.

Sedona Pines

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by D_a_n on May 27, 2004

Best Things Nearby:
Red Rock State Park is within 5 minutes by car, Sedona is 6 miles away, and many other trails and sights are within a 20-minute drive.

Best Things About the Resort:
This is a quiet resort with lots of privacy thanks to units in separate cottages. There's great scenery all around.

Resort Experience:
The units are small but cozy. Depending on your vacationing style, you may love them or not. We used the accommodation mostly for sleeping and it was more than sufficient. The floorplan design was great, as it fit all the expected amenities. Three of us stayed there; for two, I would definitely recommend the resort. Units are very light with many floor-to-ceiling windows. Ceilings are high, making the units less stuffy. By having a whole "building" for you, there is increased privacy at this resort, which we liked a lot. And overall, the resort was very quiet.

Pool and putt putt are available at no extra charge. Overall, the only thing I would object against is the cost. I believe these units should be available for fewer points. All Sedona Red Rock destinations are within 20 minutes driving distance.

Sedona Pines Resort
6701 W HWY 89A
Sedona, Arizona, 86336
(928) 282-6640

Cathedral Rock

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by D_a_n on May 28, 2004

This is a very well marked trail -- just follow the cairns. It is always easy to see the next one. The incline of this trail is about 600 feet in less than a mile. Based on physical condition, you may be able to make it all the way up in 30-60 minutes. The $5 parking is well worth it after just a few minutes of climbing. The views are really very rewarding. I would certainly do it again. Although don't expect to be alone on this trail. It is quite popular for a very good reason.
Cathedral Rock

Sedona, Arizona, 86336

Devil's Bridge

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by D_a_n on May 31, 2004

The bumpy gravel road may seem quite long before you arrive at the trailhead, but you should have no problems if you drive carefully (expect speeds between 15-30mph). The trail is mostly easy with intermediate sections with narrow trail or a little higher rise. The trail offers very nice views of the valley and peaks around. The bridge itself is worth seeing too. You can see it both from underneath and from a rock just next to it. Walking on it is not permitted. If you have more time, there are more trails on this gravel road.

I recommend getting a nice Sedona map in a bookstore or elsewhere. It's called Experience Sedona - Recreation and Activity Map, and it has all the rocks named, trails marked, etc. And it's all in one map rather than buying individual topographic maps.

Devil's Bridge Trail
Forest Road 152 (Vultee Arch Road)
Sedona, Arizona, 86336

Bell Rock

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by D_a_n on June 1, 2004

This is a very easy trail that anyone can handle. It is quite wide dirt path with little elevation to overcome. You can use this one after hiking some more difficult trails when you are tired but not yet ready to call it a day. From the parking area, where you will need a $5 per day Red Rock parking permit, you can do two things. Either just walk toward the Bell Rock and then return, which will be about a mile total (if that) or you can turn onto the Courthouse Butte Loop, which will take you around the Courthouse Butte. In that case, the total hike is just short five miles. Either way, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Bell Rock
6246 State Route 179
Sedona, Arizona, 86351
(928) 282-4161

Wilson Mountain

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by D_a_n on June 3, 2004

There are several trails starting at Midgley Bridge. So make sure you follow the Wilson Mountain trail if you have enough time and if you are up for it. Study the map at the trailhead or bring your own so that you know what to expect. It is only 1.4 miles up to the First Bench but you will rise 1,600 feet! I am sure you can do it faster but be warned: in a slow relaxing pace, it took us 3.5 hours to the First Bench (on the way down, it still took 1.5 hours for the 1.4 miles). The views get great after just a few minutes of hiking - don't worry that you would not see much until at the top.

I definitely think this trail is well worth the effort, let alone the fact that the effort itself felt great! Also, thanks to the difficulty, you definitely won't feel crowded on this trail.
Wilson Mountain
Hwy 89A by Midgley Bridge
Sedona, Arizona

Grand Canyon

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by D_a_n on June 10, 2004

We made our trip to the South Rim of the Great Canyon a one-day trip from our Sedona Pines resort. It's about 2.5 hours to get there and it is pretty simple -- use any online map like Yahoo! Maps to get detailed directions. When you get close, the entrance to the park is clearly marked. At the gate, you will get a newspaper with a park map, incl. shuttle information and other information about everything in the park. Use any parking area; the shuttle will take you anywhere. There are three color-coded shuttle routes -- one covering east, one west, and one in the middle. Shuttles go so frequently that you don't have to worry about missing one. Hop on one, get off at most of the stops, the next one will take you farther.

When a tour book says it is windy here, believe it. During our visit, the wind was very annoying. As you might expect, Grand Canyon is a big hole. The view is impressive but since you must have seen many pictures, it may not be so breathtaking. As the newspaper explained, the air is polluted a lot and since the canyon is so large, you are looking very far and therefore through a lot of polluted air. The views are not so clear then and a photographer may be disappointed unless you happen to be there on one of the clear days -- a 5% chance.

If you are not going to take a hike all the way down and up, one day is enough for this destination, but I would not recommend less. Even if you don't go all the way down, go at least a little bit, as it provides better perspective.

If you need to choose among hiking around Sedona, visiting Monument Valley, or visiting Grand Canyon, pick one of the first two.

Grand Canyon National Park
P.o. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona, 86023
(928) 638-7888


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