Sedona, Arizona is a special destination of the Southwest known for its red rock temples and vortexes of soul-nourishing energy. A contrast between the majestic red rock landscape and the evergreen vegetation creates endless beautiful views in this small desert town. Did we mention it’s also a great hiking destination? Sedona should be high on your travel wish list. In this blog post, we’ll go over the top 4 hikes in Sedona, Arizona, and the best place to stay for a Sedona vacation. Located 2 hours north of Phoenix, Sedona is the perfect desert getaway that has something for everyone.
Mesa Vortex Airport
One of the best hikes in Sedona is the Airport Mesa Vortex hike. This relatively easy 3.5-mile loop hike offers panoramic views of the famous red rock formations for which Sedona is so well known. In the distance you will see Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock and Courthouse Butte.
Also, since this is a vortex hike, use this hike as an opportunity to soak up that mystical energy as you walk the dusty, red sand path. You may see people playing music, meditating, or doing yoga.
Also, while doing this walk, you might see some planes take off or land right next to you. We recommend doing this hike at sunrise or sunset to see the sun rise or set beyond those giant red rocks and see the entire horizon turn into a beautiful rainbow of colors.
details of the walk
Length: 3.5 mile loop
Elevation Gain: 314 feet
Watching the sunset while walking around Airport Mesa in Sedona Arizona
Babymooning in Sedona Arizona
Cathedral Rock was our favorite hike in Sedona. While this trail is short, please allow plenty of time to complete this hike, it’s not exactly an easy walk in the park.
The trail begins as a gradual climb up a cleared path with the occasional stone stairway. You will soon reach the first plateau where you can see people playing music, dancing, doing yoga or meditating, as this is another of Sedona’s best known energy vortexes.
A few rocky stairs down the road, you’ll come to a 40-foot crevasse and think you must have taken a wrong turn. you didn’t. This is just when the fun begins. Take your time climbing this section, the wide hand and footholds on the ascent make it manageable.
The top of the crack is just the beginning of the fun. We are here to tell you that the rest of this hike is basically a struggle. The hike is usually marked with cairns here and there, but it’s really up to the hiker to decide which path they’d like to take to reach the top. Just keep going up.
I found myself crawling on my hands and feet several times throughout this hike (at 7 months pregnant…) but honestly that’s what made it so much fun. A few twists, turns and breathers later and you’ll be at the top, greeted with an “end of the road” sign to mark the finish line. The plateau between two giant walls of red rock formations is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the incredible view in front of you. It really is magical!
details of the walk
Length: 1.4 miles round trip
unevenness: 645 feet
Difficulty: Moderate with several difficult sections
Parking lot Fee: $5.00
Bell Rock is another spectacular red rock formation that you can hike while in Sedona. This hiking destination has a reputation for being a very strong energy vortex, said to be strongest on the northern slope. It is also one of the most well known meditation sites in Sedona and we actually saw many people meditating as the sun went down. Bell Rock is also a spectacular place to watch the sunset.
The Bell Rock hike is similar to Cathedral Rock in that it is a scramble to the top. We found the trail was not well marked and ended up making our own way, stopping whenever we were satisfied with the view. Apparently, if you follow the caerns, they’ll lead you the easiest way, though we’re not sure we agree that caerns are easy to find. However, we really enjoy creating our own adventure on this hike!
Take your time and wear appropriate shoes. We can’t imagine trying to do this in flip flops!
details of the walk
Length: 1.1 miles round trip
unevenness: 380 feet
The Devil’s Bridge hike is not a vortex hike, but it is still one of the most popular and well-known hikes in Sedona. You have probably marveled at the beautiful photos of this hike on Instagram.
Although this hike is longer at over 4 miles, it is relatively easy and flat until the last half mile or so. Here you will start a steep climb to reach the top of the bridge.
Since this hike is so well known, we expected the trail to be crowded, however we shared the view at the top with only one other couple. We’re not sure how we got so lucky!
We recommend doing this hike for an early sunrise or late sunset. We did it at sunset, which worked perfectly for us, but we had to walk in the dark. If you are going to walk at night, take a headlamp! You can also sit and stargaze the huge Sedona sky at night, which can be a very special experience.
Crowds or not, we loved this hike and think it’s an absolute must while in Sedona!
Length: 4.2 miles round trip
unevenness: 564 feet
The view from the Devil’s Bridge hike Sedona
Zach crossing the Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona
Where to stay – Amara Resort and Spa
While in Sedona we stayed at the beautiful Amara Resort and Spa. Overall we rate our experience a 10 out of 10 and here’s why.
The location is amazing! Amara sits right in the bustling uptown area of Sedona and is surrounded by beautiful red rock formations. There are endless restaurants and shops within walking distance if you are looking for a night out. Also, all the hikes we wanted to do were within a quick 15 minute drive.
In addition to the location, the resort amenities were great. While in Sedona, we were working remotely. Amara has strong and reliable wifi and they let us use their business center after we checked out to finish our work day.
They have a delicious restaurant on site called Saltrock Southwest Kitchen. We definitely recommend planning to eat here during your stay at least once. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning, and the icing on the cake was watching the sunrise over the gorgeous red rock vista while sipping our morning coffee.
Last but not least is the outdoor patio, equipped with an outdoor dining area, fire pit, infinity pool, and Jacuzzi. Jumping in the water and soaking in the jacuzzi was the perfect way to relax after a long hike.
The customer service at Amara is fantastic! Amara Resort offers complimentary valet service for each guest, which is incredibly convenient. The check in and out process was fast and smooth and the staff was very friendly. Also, a big plus of this complex is that it is dog friendly. They even went out of their way to welcome all the dogs paw-checked in that day and had treats and water bowls available at the front entrance.
Beautiful Amenities at Amara Resort and Spa Sedona
Amara Resort and Spa is dog friendly!
You revisit Sedona
It’s the little things that really made Amara Resort and Spa stand out for us compared to other places we’ve stayed. We enjoyed our stay very much and will definitely return in the future.
Sedona, Arizona has something for everyone. We hope you enjoyed our guide to the best Sedona hikes and the best place to stay during your trip. If you have any hiking recommendations for us to check out next time, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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