Welcome to Sedona, where hiking trails and Instagram-worthy shots are around every turn. While Sedona offers some easy hikes that still allow you to experience the beauty of nature, it is also home to trails that will challenge your endurance and reward you with magnificent, well-earned views. Advanced hikers making their way to Sedona should be sure to consider a few of these advanced Sedona trails!
Wilson Mountain Trail
The highest point in Sedona awaits on the Wilson Mountain Trail, one of the best trails in Sedona. This trail climbs over 2,500 feet in 4.5 miles (9 miles total with return). The terrain changes from a rugged desert environment dotted with prickly pear cactus and Parry Agave, through a pine and oak forest, and to an overlook that provides panoramic views of Sedona’s red rocks and surrounding features. Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Coffee Pot Rock, Capitol Butte, Sterling Canyon, and the Verde Valley can be seen in views that extend over hundreds of square miles.
Sterling Pass Trail to Vultee Arch
This 2.5/5-mile (One way/round trip) trail climbs 1,900 feet, putting it in the advanced category. With a bell-shaped elevation profile, you’ll actually be summitting twice on this out-and-back trail. Following along the north face of Wilson Mountain in a side canyon of Oak Creek Canyon, you will first climb the pass before descending into a wooded canyon. Once in the canyon, a side path leads to Vultee Arch, a free-standing 40-foot arch in the middle of the wilderness. Admire it from the base or scramble to the top with care for stunning photos.
Bear Mountain Trail
Ascend over 1,800 feet over the 2.3-mile (4.6 miles total with return) hike to the top of Bear Mountain on the challenging Bear Mountain Trail. The trail includes steep, rocky sections of switchbacks and a rocky 500-foot climb in a narrow side canyon. False summits make you think you’ve almost made it to the end only to be challenged again with another climb. Once you’ve reached the summit, you will be treated with breathtaking panoramic views from one of the best trails in Sedona and San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff.
What to Bring to These Sedona Trails
The Sedona wilderness is rugged. Sun protection, appropriate footwear, and more than adequate hydration is imperative for all Sedona trails. A good hat and sunscreen are essential, as well as a charged phone in case you need to call for an emergency. But whatever you do, don’t forget your camera! The towering red rocks, prickly cactus, blue skies, and southwest critters make the perfect backdrop to a memorable trip that you’ll want to photo document so you can look back fondly for years to come.
When the Hiking is Done, Treat Yourself
Sedona isn’t just known for their epic hiking trails. With a culinary scene that’s renowned for its fresh ingredients and wide variety of flavors, many restaurants cater to a medley of different diets so people from all walks of life can enjoy the delectable delights this small Arizona town has to offer. Visitors requiring a dedicated gluten-free menu will love the plethora of options. The Hideaway House is a local favorite offering all the Italian favorites you crave, ranging from steamed clams, delicious pizza, pasta, and even a giant burger. Oaxaca Restaurant is an Arizona staple, providing a zesty take on genuine Mexican food. Another popular dining option doesn’t just have a gluten-free menu, but they actually have a dedicated gluten-free facility that will also appeal to vegans and vegetarians. Using fresh food often grown from their own garden, ChocaTree features light bites, wraps, soups, pizza, and so much more, including delectable chocolates. The Cowboy Club is another Sedona staple that provides an authentic Arizona experience where you can grab a steak just as easily as you can get wild game, rattlesnake, or a cactus concoction.
Eating out can be fun, but sometimes you just want to grab some food to go or pick up some delicious ingredients to throw something together at home. At Sedona.Org, you’ll find that every rental provides a full kitchen, so whether you want to prepare a full meal from scratch or simply plate your to-go order, you’ll be covered. Enjoy the comforts of home in your pajamas after freshening up in the spa-like bathroom as you truly unwind, streaming your favorite show or opting instead to dine outside among the red rock cliffs. And when the day is done, lay down your tired muscles between the soft sheets atop a quality mattress to ensure a restful night of sleep.