preloadA man with a backpack exploring a canyon and hiking in southwestern America

There are numerous hiking trails in and around Sedona or the Red Rock Country to explore. Plus the weather is typically good for a casual or adventurous hike. Here I list a few places so you can enjoy the best hikes in Sedona, all of which are a short drive from the city. 

Easy hikes in Sedona for beginners

So, you’re planning a vacation to Sedona, but have never hiked before. Sedona is a great place for beginners, because of its many flat and shorter trails, where you can focus on the beautiful surroundings rather than the distance ahead.

West Fork Trail

A rock wall with beautiful wavy carvings overhangs on a shallow stream.
Two male friends walk on an unpaved path amidst the dry, lush trees heading towards the stunning red rock formations.
  • Length: 7.1 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Oak Creek Canyon, around 10 miles from downtown Sedona

The West Fork Trail, is great to hike no matter the season. This is a picturesque hike with lots to see, including orange and gold sandstone walls, maple trees, and plenty of wildlife. The trail covers quite a bit of distance, but don’t fret – it’s mostly flat, which makes it one of the best hikes in Sedona for novice hikers.

Devil’s Bridge

A unique sandstone arch above a forested landscape with views of colourful layered rock mountains.
  • Length: 4.2 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy/moderate
  • Starting Point: Dry Creek Road, around 7 miles from downtown Sedona

Starting Point: Dry Creek Road, around 7 miles from downtown Sedona One of my favorite things about hiking Devil’s Bridge is that there are plenty of interesting local plants to spot and take photos of along the way. Although it’s a relatively easy hike, you should be prepared to do some climbing. But rest assured when you get to the top, it will all have been worth it thanks to the panoramic views of the Coconino National Forest and its beautiful mountains.

There is limited parking at many Sedona parks; however, you can often find street parking nearby. For convenience, consider buying a weekly parking pass if you’re driving your own car and plan to visit the parks often during your stay. You can purchase the pass online or in person.

Challenging hikes for experienced hikers in Sedona

If you want to test your agility and get a good cardio workout, hike one of the trails below. These trails require lots of climbing and offer great views and plenty of places to stop and take photos. After you’re done, you’ll likely have worked up an appetite. Check out these top Sedona restaurants to refuel.

Cathedral Rock

Pools of water on sandstone rocks that reflects the nearby jagged rock formations with steep cliffs.
A male biker traversing the narrow trail on a rugged hilly terrain head towards an imposing rock formation.
  • Length: 1.4 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium/Difficult
  • Starting Point: Around 8 miles from downtown Sedona

Many local hikers regularly visit Cathedral Rock because of its fantastic views, making it one of the best hikes in Sedona. Although it offers a good workout, you can complete the hike in less than an hour – so if you’re looking for a short but challenging hike, this is the one for you. Due to its popularity, it can get crowded on the weekends, so I’d recommend visiting this trail during the week if possible. If you’re hiking it in the summer, you might want to go early in the morning to enjoy the cooler temperatures, as there is very little shade along the trail.

Airport Loop Trail

An aerial view of mesmerizing Airport Mesa Loop Trail in Sedona
  • Length: 3.3 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 75 minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium/Difficult
  • Starting Point: Less than 2 miles from downtown Sedona

The Airport Loop Trail is another challenging hike and one of the best hikes in Sedona. To me, this is the ideal hike, because you get to experience both flat terrain and uphill climbing. Along the way, you can stop to appreciate the scenery and take in the 360-degree views, which are great for photos. Be prepared for some rocky and narrow spots, which can make this trail a bit difficult to navigate. Also, there isn’t a lot of shade, so make sure to wear a sun hat or other protective gear.

Family-friendly hikes in Sedona

Hiking is a fun activity for the whole family. It lets the kids burn off a little energy and lets you reconnect with them while you’re walking or climbing together. Choose the trail that is the most age-appropriate for safety and comfort. While you’re in Sedona, you could also visit the Slide Rock State Park, which has 10 swimming holes for kids to enjoy.

I always pack a windshirt for my hikes, especially if I’m hiking in Sedona in the Spring when it is most windy. A windshirt is easy to carry and it can keep me warm while protecting me from the wind and rain.

Deadman’s Pass Trail

Portrait of a happy little boy with gaps in his teeth.
  • Length: 2.6 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 70 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Around 7 miles from downtown Sedona

If you enjoy hiking, the Deadman’s Pass Trail will be a blast. There is very little elevation, so you won’t have to worry about carrying them when they get too tired. Plus, kids of all ages will appreciate the scenic surroundings on this trail, including bright red rocks, plenty of greenery, and beautiful mountains. The kids might even spot someone on horseback, or they could catch a glimpse of a Western bluebird, so be sure to have the camera ready. Just be aware that bikers often use this trail, too.

Baldwin Trail to Red Rock Crossing

Two boys with backpacks traverse a river trail in the forest.
  • Length: 1.75 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 75 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: Around 11 miles from downtown Sedona

Take the Baldwin Trail to Red Rock Crossing for a fun family hike. Here, you can experience nature at its finest and talk about the breathtaking rock formations along the way, making it one of the best hikes in Sedona if you’ve got the kids in tow. This is also a great place to snap a shot of Cathedral Rock for your family photo album. Plus, there are several restrooms around, which makes this trail particularly convenient if you have younger kids.

Best hikes in Sedona with your dog

Hiking with your dog can benefit both of you. In addition to spending quality time with your four-legged friend, it’s a great way for you to enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise. There are numerous pet-friendly hiking trails in Sedona but leashes are often mandatory. Don’t forget to bring extra water, a portable water bowl, and snacks for your pet while they’re on the trail. You’ll also need poop bags to collect their waste.

Chimney Rock Loop Trail

A woman and her two dogs taking a rest at some rocks in Sedona
  • Length: 1 mile
  • Average Time to Complete: 30-40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Starting Point: About 3 miles from downtown Sedona

The Chimney Rock Loop Trail is a good choice if you want to take a short hike with your dog. It’s just one mile long and follows one big loop around, making it easy to navigate and one of the best hikes in Sedona for four-legged friends. This is still considered a moderate trail, though, because you will have to do a bit of climbing.

Little Horse Trail

A young child grasps the leash of their canine companion while ambling along a scrub-dotted trekking path, surrounded by nature.
In the heart of Sedona Arizona
  • Length: 3.6 miles
  • Average Time to Complete: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Starting Point: About 4 miles from downtown Sedona

Enjoy a leisurely stroll with your dog on Little Horse Trail. I’d recommend packing a lunch or taking a good book along to read on this one (just don’t forget a light blanket or yoga mat to sit on). There are several places on the trail where you can stretch out and enjoy your surroundings, which is a great way to spend an hour meditating or relaxing with your book in hand. This trail is also a good place to admire and take photos of Sedona’s red rocks.

How does KAYAK know what to put in this guide?

As a result of traveling around the United States, Canada, and Europe, I’ve learned to appreciate every minute of a vacation, from planning the trip to seeing the sights. I’ve used my extensive travel experience to create this guide on the best hikes in Sedona, to make sure you get the best out of your next hiking trip.

FAQs for hiking in Sedona

Early morning is typically the best time to hike in Sedona; this is especially true if you’re hiking on one of the more popular trails, such as Cathedral Rock. During the summer temperatures can hit over 100 degrees, so it’s smart to get on the trail early to keep cool. When planning your vacation, you’ll find it most comfortable to hike in Sedona in the spring and fall. This is because it can get pretty hot in the summer and a little chilly in the winter. If you want more outdoor travel ideas, see our pick of the best national parks to visit.

Yes, it is safe to hike in Sedona on a trail. While you’re hiking, for safety, it is important that you remain on that trail. There are a few other tips that can make your hike more enjoyable. First, if possible, take someone with you. This way, you’ll have a traveling companion and someone will be with you in case of an emergency. Letting a friend or family member know where you are and what time you’ll be hiking is also a good idea. Be sure to take a backpack with you with plenty of water and snacks for your excursion. If you want to feel more secure, consider investing in trekking poles to give you added stability on your hike.

About the author

Dee Dee SmithDee Dee is an avid traveler who likes to see the world. Her travel style is luxury, but she typically works on a budget. That said, she searches for ways to save money while not sacrificing comfort or enjoyment when traveling. She enjoys sharing her wealth of travel knowledge with others. Since launching her writing career a couple of decades ago, Dee Dee has been published on golf, international educational travel, and vacation rental websites. She has also written for a private travel tour guide.

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