Where to Go Hiking in Sedona, Arizona

The best easy, moderate, hard and bucket-list hikes to take in the desert this spring.
 

Devil's Bridge, photo by Nikolas_jkd/Thinkstock

Sedona is located about two hours north of Phoenix and it’s one of North America’s best spots for hiking, surrounded by glowing red mountains and massive monoliths. With more than 500 kilometres of trails that swerve through stunning red sandstone formations, Sedona has something for everyone.

Best Easy Hike: Fay Canyon 

Distance: 3.5 km
Elevation gain: 57 metres

If you’re squeamish about the sweat-inducing climbs, Fay Canyon serves up something pretty sweet for a relatively flat trail. And it just gets better and better the further you go into this beautiful box canyon. And, if it’s too easy, you can extend your adventure by hiking further (and higher) off the trail and into the canyon for some superlative views of the red rock ramparts.

Best Moderate Hike: Doe Mountain

Distance: 2 km (plus exploring the mesa)
Elevation gain: 130 metres

Sedona has several moderate half-day hikes that are ideal for most recreational hikers. Not surprisingly, some of the best moderate hikes in Sedona are also the most famous. Soldiers Pass, West Fork, Brins Mesa and Courthouse Butte/Bell Rock are some great ones. But at Doe Mountain, you’ll skirt a soaring, cliff-lined mesa with stunning views. And when the sky is ablaze and the sun is low, the cliffs burn fiery red. It’s out of this world.

Best Hard Hike: Wilson Mountain Trail

Distance: 16.5 km
Elevation gain: 810 metres

Climbing over 700 meters in just 7.25 km, Wilson Mountain Trail is a glorious grunt-fest that has captivated seasoned hikers for decades. It summits on the highest point in Sedona and offers eye-popping panoramic views. Along the rocky and rugged trail, you’ll pass through a burnt forest as well as some steep and exposed sections.

Best Bucket-List Hike: Devil’s Bridge

Distance: 6.75 km
Elevation gain: 172 metres

This hike is exceedingly popular, so go early to avoid the crowds. It’s a relatively short distance to the iconic Devil’s Bridge, but it has a big payoff. Walking across the arch at about 15 metres high is bound to get your knees knocking. Warning: if you’re afraid of heights, maybe sit this one out.