With over five million annual visitors and an average stay of less than 24 hours--many travelers fail to see the "real Sedona." Providing more than 150 hiking trails and 350 miles of hiking in less than 19 square miles, Red Rock Country is the Day Hiking Capital of the World!! Sedona is the perfect place to exploit any-and-all of your outdoor adventure curiosities. Whether you would like to hike, swim, cliff jump, horseback ride, hot air balloon, explore native cliff dwellings, or even jump out of a plane--Sedona is the adventure capital of the Southwest!
If you plan on doing some explorations on your own through Sedona and its surrounding areas, please refer to our list below for guidance:
Our Recommended Self-Guided Hikes: Easy Hikes/Moderate Hikes/Hard Hikes
Our Adventure Cheat Sheet: Sedona's Best Hikes in 5's
Interested in Learning More About Sedona's Native American Cultures: Northern Arizona Archaeology Sites
Classic Sedona Hiking Trails
- Crescent Moon Picnic Area: This site offers some of the best and easiest sunset photography in Red Rock Country. Great creekside hiking available, picnic tables, and bathrooms provided at the parking lot. This area is flat and offers spectacular views of Cathedral Rock near sunset time. We advise arriving two hours prior to sunset for the best pictures. Cost: $12/vehicle (bring cash). Difficulty: Easy with Intermittent shade provided. Length: 2.5 miles total.
- Devils Bridge via Chuckwagon: Easily the best photographed arch in the Southwest!! Especially because you can stand on top of it!! Follow 89A South to Dry Creek Rd. Follow Dry Creek Road to end (3 miles) and take right onto Long Canyon Road. Park on right side of road in less that (.35 miles) in dirt parking lot. Trail will go (.2) miles from parking lot via Mescal Trail. After crossing the wash follow Chuckwagon Trail Left for (1) miles until you reach the intersection for Devils Bridge. Here you will cross the dirt road FR152 and ascend to the natural arch. This is an in-and-out hike. It is best to do this hike in the early AM, before 8AM, as the hike has significant sun exposure. Requires Red Rock Pass for parking. Length: 4.2 miles total/500ft elevation. Difficulty: Moderate with significant sun exposure and abrupt elevation change (at the end approaching the arch).
- Doe Mountain: Great hike to do in the early Morning (7 - 9am) or evening (2.5 hours before sunset). Go to the top of the mesa and take a clockwise loop around the edge of the mesa for spectacular elevated views of all of Sedona's major rock features. Requires a Red Rock Pass for parking. Length: 2.6 miles total/450ft elevation. Difficulty: Moderate, short hike, with big pay-offs for your labors! All elevation happens and beginning and end of hike.
- West Fork Trail: One of the most scenic hikes in all of Northern Arizona. It is located 10.5 miles North of Uptown Sedona. This is another creekside hike with astounding views of the magnificent surrounding canyons. The hike crosses the creek 13 times and offers tons seasonal wildflowers along the trail. We suggest arriving at 8am (when the gate opens) to avoid large crowds and to observe the best lighting for photography. Has picnic tables and bathrooms provided at parking lot. Cost: $12/vehicle (bring cash). Difficulty: Moderate with great shade throughout. Length: 6.4 miles total.
Sedona Hike & Swim Picnic
- Grasshopper Swimming & Picnic Area: Offers accessible swimming and cliff jumping spots only 2.6 miles North of Uptown Sedona. This is a great place to bring your children for swimming and a creekside picnic. As this site can become crowded at times, we recommend arriving before 10AM and hiking North or South (right or left) of the main entrance to avoid the crowds. Along Allens Bend Trail (.25 mile total), one can enjoy good solitude and find a private spot for a picnic/swim along the waters edge. A three quarter mile hike from either side of the entrance will offer more seclusion and a plethora of nice swimming holes. The deepest swimming holes and cliff jumping areas are located directly (.2 mile) in from the sites entrance. Site has picnic tables and bathrooms provided at parking lot. Cost: $9/vehicle (bring cash).
- Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course: This sweat bolting experience will challenge your body, mind, and stamina. The site is located almost parallel to Pulliam Airport in Flagstaff, AZ along 89A. The drive from Uptown Sedona to the course takes about 40 minutes. Be sure to book your reservations in advance as the course is subject to limited availability. Costs: Adult Full Course $42, Adult Half Course $35, Kids Course $25. The facility is only open on selected dates and is closed during the Winter months due to harsh conditions.
Sedona Mountain Biking
- Thunder Mountain Bikes (West Sedona): Offering a central location for mountain biking rentals, and all of your cycling needs. Their experienced staff and repair shop will ensure your mountain biking experience exceeds your expectations. If you're staying in the VOC, check out the nearby Absolute Bikes, or Bike & Bean.
- MTB Project: Your best online resource for learning about how Sedona has become known as America's Mountain Biking Mecca. Here you will find maps, trail photos, suggested rides, and trail ratings to help you find the right ride for you.
- Sedona Mountain Bike Tours: Sedona's best option for Customized MTB Tours, Classic MTB Tours, Family-Friendly MTB Tours, Night Ride MTB Tours, Solo Rider MTB Tours, and MTB Lessons & Clinics. Expert or first-timer, we will get you dialed in for an epic day. Our guides are the regions most experienced locals riders and have access to Sedona's best trails and most impressive skills parks. If you're seeking a self-guided ride, but need a shuttle to set up your perfect one-way ride/scenic loop -- then check out our Sedona Adventure Shuttle services.
- Chapel of The Holy Cross: This unique site offers an awesome architectural marvel. You must visit the chapel before 10am to avoid the huge crowds as admission is free. As you approach the front entrance, look to the East where you will see The Mother Madonna and Child.
- Amitabha Stuppa & Peace Park: Open every day from dawn until dusk, this unique site is a great place for: prayer, meditation, healing, and experiencing peace. The surrounding views here are magnificent here at sunrise and sunset. Trail Map/Directions
Native American Cultural Sites
- Montezuma Castle National Monument: This site offers one of the best architectural accomplishments of the Sinagua People. The South facing cliff dwelling was once a flourishing trade center for the Sinagua and consists of a 20 room high rise apartment constructed into a 40ft limestone alcove. This may serve as a great site to check out on your way home if you decide to leave Sedona before sunset. Site is open daily 8am - 5pm. The best photo's are taken around 11am/4:15pm. While you are in the area, we always recommend also visiting Montezuma Well to explore additional ruins and a collapsed sinkhole that emits over one million gallons of water every day!
- Honanki Heritage Site: This site offers impressive architecture of the Sinagua People with pictographs and is within close proximity to Loy Canyon Trail. The site requires a Red Rock Pass and reservations, (928)282-4119. We suggest this site only to those with high clearance vehicles. Be aware, following heavy rainfall and snow this road can become challenging for cars. The site is open daily 9:30am - 5pm.
- V-Bar-V Heritage Site: This site offers some amazing petroglyphs and features artwork with the "Beaver Creek Rock Art Style" estimated to have been made 1150-1400AD. The area is very accessible and has a visitor center and gift shop. They are open Friday - Monday, between 9:30-3pm. This is a great site to check-out on your way in/out of Sedona.
- M Diamond Ranch: Your best option for horseback riding and private cowboy cookouts. They have a great staff and are located just south of Sedona on a large ranch. This can be combined with a visit to V-Bar-V Rock Art Site if the outing is going to be Friday - Monday.
- Horsin Around Adventures: This is a great back-up to M Diamond Ranch. They have some very nice ride packages including their: Vino Vaquero and Saddle 'N' Sirloin Outing.
- Out of Africa Park: This is a great place to take the kids for a fun day connecting with a wildlife and checking out the daily: tiger splash show, predator feedings, snake show, and African safari tour. Try their new world-class, 2.5 hour Predator Zip-Line Tour, for an awesome adrenaline inspired learning adventure. The park is located about 35 minutes from Sedona and attendees should come prepared for a long day in the sun. The park is open daily 9:30am - 5pm.
Sedona Jeep Tours
- Pink Jeep Tours: Offers affordable and expertly led Jeep Tours, Group Hiking Tours, Horseback Riding/Jeep Combo Tours, Ruin Explorations, and Grand Canyon Tours. We greatly respect their guides and what they do for our community in Red Rock Country. Pink Jeep is the largest tour guiding company in Arizona and their outings are arranged for mixed groups. Their tours are typically led from sunrise to sunset and depart on the hour daily.
Sedona Balloon Tours
- Northern Light Balloon Expeditions: One of only two companies permitted to fly within Sedona; they offer captivating sunrise views of the Red Rocks. Tours depart daily in the early AM and customers are provided with resort pick-up. The outing lasts 3-4 hours with about 1.5 hours of flight time. The smaller balloon size of Northern Light Balloon allows for a more intimate experience than is achieved from their competitors. To ensure outing availbility, we advise booking balloon outings as soon as you can. You will want to be aware of their very strict 48 Hour Cancellation Policy. If you're unable to reserve an outing with Northern Light Balloon we suggest using Red Rock Balloons as your alternative. They have essentially the same offering, except they use a larger craft (with more people) for their outings.
Best Beer & Wine in Sedona
- Page Springs Cellars: If you like wine you'll love this place!! Located only 25 minutes West on 89A, this site offers the finest handcrafted wines and tasting room in Northern Arizona. My favorite selections are "SGMP", "El Serrano", and "La Flor Rosa" (White). Their tasting room has great views over 40 acres of vineyards and be sure to ask about their creekside patio.
- Oak Creek Brewery: Offers great locally handcrafted beers and excellent wood-fired pizzas. Their restaurant location is open from 11:30am to 8:30pm and the brewery usually closes around 10pm. If you feel like experiencing some of Sedona's unique culture, check out the weekly drum circle offered at the brewery every Tuesday 7pm - 10pm. You'll wanna try their Forty-Niner Golden Lager (best beer ever), Nut Brown, and Hefeweizen.
Mogollon Rim Adventure Detour into Phoenix
- Tonto Natural Bridge: An amazing detour drive to Phoenix that takes you along the Mogollon Rim to the largest natural travertine bridge in the entire World! This site offers a 183ft tall bridge that is 400ft long and has a waterfall falling through the top of it. You can hike completely through the arch and can expect your hiking to be less than 3.5 miles total. Be aware there is about 200ft of steep elevation in/out if you have mobility issues. I love standing below the waterfall and enjoying the refreshingly cold water droplets that fall from the roof of the bridge as you walk through it. This site is best visited on your way out of Sedona; if you are headed to Sky Harbor International Airport for a late flight, or will be staying the night in Scottsdale. This turns a boring 2 hour drive to Phoenix Sky Harbor into a 4.5 hour day of hiking and scenic adventure. Please use this link for directions from Sedona to Tonto Natural Bridge to Phoenix Sky Harbor.
Exploring Arizona Quicklinks
Exploring Scottsdale / Exploring Prescott / Exploring Grand Canyon / Exploring Flagstaff / Exploring Page / Best Hikes in Sedona / Easy Sedona Hikes / Moderate Sedona Hikes / Hard Sedona Hikes / N. AZ Archaeology Sites
Best Food in Sedona / Sedona Nightlife / Sedona Weather / Frequently Asked Questions
Useful Hiking Links
List of Sedona Hiking Trails A - J / List of Sedona Hiking Trails L - Z
Red Rock Ranger District Recreation Guide
Free Sedona Hiking Maps with Trail Distances
Free Sedona Vortex Maps & Information