If you’ve ever been to Sedona, Arizona, you already know this photographers’ and explorers’ paradise is a fantastic and gorgeous place. With a plethora of outdoor adventure activities, Sedona boasts some of the most incredible and popular hikes in Arizona, if not the world, making it a hikers’ paradise, as well.
Sedona sits directly between Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, making it a great stop on a longer road trip or an excellent place for a vacation on its own. Even simply the view of your Sedona vacation rental is sure to boast incredible views of the red rocks.
What’s more, some of these hikes are beginner-friendly.
Keep reading for your go-to list of 7 easy Sedona hikes that are each less than 2 miles for your next experience with Mother Nature.
1. Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail
Length: 1.1 miles
The Seven Sacred Pools is one of the more popular trails in Sedona. Accessible via the Soldier Pass Trailhead or the Jordan/Cibola Pass/Brins Mesa Trailhead in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, Seven Sacred Pools features a river and panoramic views.
Upon reaching the Seven Sacred Pools, be advised that they most likely won’t contain water. While the “pools” aren’t a spectacular sight themselves, the surrounding wilderness and backdrop of buttes are. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, hiking an additional mile and a half will bring you to some caves.
Finding parking at the Soldier Pass location is difficult, so arrive early as the minimal spaces fill up quickly. There is another parking lot 2 miles away from where shuttle service is provided to the trailhead.
Because some sections of this path might be challenging to follow, it’s advisable to download an offline trail map. We highly recommend using AllTrails for this.
2. Bell Rock Trail
Length: 0.8 miles
Located off of Route 179 between Sedona and Oak Creek, Bell Rock is one of the area’s Sedona Vortex hikes. These are swirling energy centers that are good for healing, meditation, and self-discovery. Vortexes are spots on the planet where the earth appears to be particularly energized. After visiting a vortex, many people describe feeling inspired, refreshed, or elated.
Although Sedona in its entirety is considered a vortex, there are a few spots where the energy radiates the most. The four most well-known Sedona vortexes are Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, and Boynton Canyon, each producing its own distinct energy. As a result, people come from all over the world to see the red rocks and experience the mysterious cosmic forces claimed to emanate from them.
Vortexes are found among the towering red rock formations at some of the most devastatingly beautiful sites, so you know you’re in for a treat at Bell Rock. It’s an Upflow area (also known as Electric or Masculine) that’s great for peace and problem-solving from a spiritual standpoint. Seekers from all over the world have utilized Bell Rock for contemplative reflection and inspiration for decades.
The Bell Rock Trail ascends Bell Rock’s northern face for an elevation gain of about 350 feet. As it departs the Bell Rock Pathway, the trail is well marked with cairns, creating a little loop halfway up. Many people enjoy scaling the rock that resembles a bell to see how high they can go.
This short hike is actually listed as moderate on AllTrails given the quick altitude gain but is still a relatively easy trail, considering the altitude change is minimal and the length of the tral is less than 1 mile.
3. Sedona View Trail
Length: 1.2 miles
Sedona View Trail is one of the best trails in Sedona. It’s become one of the most popular because it’s a safe, and child-friendly Sedona hiking trail.
Some of the best Sedona views can be found on this trail. Coffee Pot Rock, Chimney Rock, Doe Mountain, Cockscomb, Sugar Loaf, Wilson Mountain, and Oak Creek Canyon are captivating with their breathtaking views.
Hot summer temperatures are tolerable with this day hike’s short length. Beware, though. There is almost no shade. So before you begin, make sure to apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring plenty of water.
To continue on the trail from the trailhead, turn right. After that, you’ll turn left and drop. Then, you’ll open a gate on a green chain-link fence. To continue on the trail, turn right. It’s all downhill from there on a sometimes bumpy trail.
On both sides of the trail, there are juniper trees and prickly pear cactus to enjoy. Check out the views of Coffee Pot Rock to your left, which is framed by trees. On your left, you can hear the cars on Airport Road whizzing by.
The Sedona View Trail ends at the Airport Loop Trail. Take a right and walk forward to the location of a rumored vortex. Take a left and follow the Summit signs if you want a bit of an upward hike. You’ll trek a short but steep trail to the top of a red sandstone mesa, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views all around. Handrails will assist you when the going gets rough. At the top, expect to see many people taking pictures of the unparalleled views.
4. Birthing Cave
Length: 2 miles
This solitary, peaceful climb leads to an impressive secret cave with beautiful views, making you feel more connected to the regions’ sacred earth.
The Hopi tribe who lived in red rock country gave the cave its name, which means “birthing cave.” When it was time for the pregnant ladies to give birth, they went to the Birthing Cave. For them, it was a spiritual and uplifting experience.
The cave will be in total shade with a well-lit background around midday. If you want to take pictures in the cave, there are a few best times to visit the Birthing Cave. Sunrise and sunset are also lovely times to photograph. Furthermore, with cotton candy skies overhead, the red color of the rocks really starts to pop at dusk.
The Long Canyon Trailhead is where the Birthing Cave Trail begins. It is not a designated parking area but rather a vast dirt area adjacent to the road. There aren’t many parking spaces here. However, there are a few spots along the road.
The Birthing Cave trek is a mostly flat and easy trail. The path is wide and level. The trail is largely dirt, with a few boulders and tree roots thrown in for good measure. The last drop into the cave, however, is more difficult. The trail is steep and narrow, with cacti and rocks lining the way.
You’ll come to a fork in the road about 0.6 miles from the trailhead. A log and brush will obstruct the left side. That is the course to take. After about a half-mile, the walk turns to the left, with the cliffs on your right. The Birthing Cave in Sedona is located in a depression in the cliff wall.
The Birthing Cave is a big cave that overlooks the Sedona landscape and is snuggled into the cliff’s edge. The cave and the incredible views from above are breathtaking.
5. Cathedral Rock Trail
Length: 1.2 miles
The greatest time to hike Cathedral Rock Trail is, without a doubt, in the hours leading up to dusk. There are spectacular views of Sedona from the top, and it is even more magical at sunset. Be sure to bring a headlamp if you plan on staying at the top until sunset.
One of the most popular Sedona hikes is Cathedral Rock. Several Cathedral Rock trailheads lead to Cathedral Rock, but one of the closest is Cathedral Rock Trailhead No. 170. At the intersection of 89A and 179, head south. Drive south on 179 for approximately 3.5 miles until you reach Back O’ Beyond Road on the right. Then proceed for about.6 miles. The turnout for the parking lot is on the left.
The Red Rock Pass allows you to park for $5, while the America the Beautiful Pass works as a parking pass as well.
In general, the Cathedral Rock Trail is an easy hike but do expect to use your hands to help you up in some parts. There are basket cairns packed with rocks to direct you along the trail. The trail begins with a dried-up brook, followed by a short ascent to a plateau. The plateau region offers stunning views over the Sedona area. It is an excellent location for photographing Cathedral Rock in the background.
You’ll climb up through the scramble from there. It’s a little crag that you’ll have to climb on your hands and knees to get to. This is the most challenging section of the 1.2-mile roundtrip hike, but if you take it slow and steady, you’ll be just fine.
After the scramble, you’ll come to another plateau, which is an excellent area to pause and snap photos if you want to. You’ll continue climbing from there. A few stone steps at the summit will lead you to the top. The trail’s end is marked by a sign that reads “End of Trail,” but the vistas alone will convince you that you’ve arrived!
A ledge runs around the top, providing plenty of exploration opportunities and space for everyone.
The summit has a tremendous drop-off, but the ledge is wide enough to keep you safe. On your way down, pay attention to the views (not that you wouldn’t). Courthouse Butte will be highly visible and beautiful against the changing sky.
6. Baldwin and Red Rock Crossing to Oak Creek
Length: 1 mile
One of Sedona’s most aesthetically stunning sites, Red Rock Crossing is the perfect hike that has long provided adventure and inspiration to filmmakers, artists, musicians, and visitors. This short and sweet Sedona adventure is one of Arizona’s best easy hikes. You’ve probably seen photographs of Oak Creek flowing out of Cathedral Rock in books and magazines. This is Red Rock Crossing, a massive red rock sand bar that spans the creek.
Cross Verde Valley Road from the parking lot and take up the Baldwin Trail on the other side. Soon, you’ll be surrounded by trees, and a ledge will lead you down. The area then opens up into a large green field. Suddenly, the trail widens to the width of a road. Dashing across to the creek is the shortest way to get to Red Rock Crossing.
Since this isn’t a very long hike, you might want to check out some of the great detours and loops. Perhaps, continue to the Templeton intersection while a right turns you around Cathedral Rock in the opposite direction. The majority of the trails lead into the Coconino National Forest. Consider taking a dip or stroll along Oak Creek’s enchanting banks before making your way back.
You can also visit the location by going to the Crescent Moon Ranch Picnic Area, where the National Forest Service charges a modest fee for the upkeep of the grounds.
7. Doe Mountain
Length: 1.5 miles
Another great short and simple hike in Sedona is Doe Mountain. Because the trailhead is further west from Sedona, in a region with little phone service, ensure you have the destination put into your car GPS before you go.
Its trailhead has a large parking lot. Remember to obtain a $5 Red Rocks Pass or display your America the Beautiful Pass when you leave your car at the Doe Mountain trailhead. There’s a vending machine right there to purchase passes if you don’t already have one.
You’ll trek for about 20 to 30 minutes to the top of Doe Mountain. The trail climbs up the slope of an ancient butte to a football-field-sized mesa that’s easy to explore. Amazing views of Sedona may be seen for miles as you circle the rim, spending as much time as you want taking in views of the area’s awe-inspiring red rocks.
A lot of the Sedona Red Rocks Country’s more iconic landmarks can be seen from this 400-foot vantage point. Bear, Maroon, and Wilson mountains, Loy, Boynton, and Secret Canyons, Chimney Rock, and the Cockscomb are just a few of the sights you’ll witness. In addition, Sedona may be seen to the east. Sycamore Canyon and the Verde Valley are marked by Munds Mountain and Sycamore Pass to the south.
Considered one of the best Sedona places to view a sunset, Doe Mountain is magical and not to be missed.
Pro Tip: Hang on to your hats as the wind tends to whip across at this elevation.
While there are so many amazing hikes in Sedona, it can be a tough decision to choose which one or which few you’d like to do. You might be tempted to do one of the longer hikes in Sedona, like Devil’s Bridge Trail or Fay Canyon Trail, and while these are incredible hikes, trust your body and hike within your limits. Especially if you’re visiting in the summer when the heat is punishing.
Another option to see more of Sedona, without the need to hike, is to enjoy one of the many jeep tours offered. This is a great way to stick with some of the easier trails and get deeper into nature from the comfort of an off-road vehicle, instead.
Whichever you decide to hike, you’re sure to enjoy your Sedona holiday simply given the amazing views regardless of where you are in town.