Sedona


Arizona > Sedona
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Wilson Canyon
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Boynton Canyon
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North Wilson Trail
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West Fork of Oak Creek
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Soldier Wash Canyon

The two main routes south of Flagstaff are interstate 17 to Phoenix and the slower, much more scenic AZ 89A, which passes through thick pine forests for 10 miles before descending suddenly and spectacularly into Oak Creek Canyon, a steep, narrow and very colorful gorge that is at the center of the second most visited area in Arizona, after the Grand Canyon. The town of Sedona is situated at the southern end of the canyon where the cliffs open out, and provides a base for exploring the surrounding lands, which include many other canyons and an extensive, scenic red-rock wilderness in all directions.

Sedona was established in 1902 but did not become a popular destination until the 1960s, since when it has become a well known center for various kinds of artistry, and a magnet for wealthy retirees, for followers of new age religions and for people just wanting to escape the pressures of city life.


The town has a pretty location surrounded by large red and white sandstone cliffs and buttes, with contrasting greenery provided by a mixture of trees, bushes and cacti. A small steepish zone with no building development separates the town into two parts; the downtown area is centered around the AZ 89A - AZ 179 road junction, where most of the art galleries, restaurants and tourist facilities are found. The larger second section (West Sedona) is two miles to the southwest, along Highway 89A, and contains the main residential area, with more conventional shops and amenities. See the map of Sedona for other points of interest in the vicinity.

The popularity of this area has led to rather expensive prices, and much development, sometimes at cost to the surrounding landscape, but for many people it is not the town but the scenery that provides the main reason for a visit. There are upwards of 100 maintained backcountry trails, mostly quite easy, and endless opportunities for exploring, camping, fishing, horse riding and mountain biking. The trails index describes all the main paths, while featured routes are detailed below.

Featured Sedona Trails



AB Young
AB Young
★★★★
2.5 miles, 2000 feet
This short but very steep trail ascends the west side of Oak Creek Canyon, leading to the East Pocket Knob look-out tower on a wooded plateau at 7,200 feet
Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain
★★★★
2.4 miles, 1800 feet
The relatively short but quite challenging hike to the top of Bear Mountain is one of many paths reached along Dry Creek Road (FR 152)
Boynton Canyon
Boynton Canyon
★★★★★
3 miles, 500 feet
The hike along red walled Boynton Canyon is very popular - it has no difficult spots apart from a short uphill section at the very end, to a viewpoint with high red cliffs on three sides
Brins Mesa/Soldier Pass
Brins Mesa/Soldier Pass
★★★★★
5.5 miles, 600 feet
Loop hike along two wide valleys, climbing up to a high plateau (Brins Mesa), which gives good views of red rock peaks and cliffs
Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow
★★★★★
1.5 miles, 300 feet
The Broken Arrow Trail offers a quick route into red rock landscape; the path is easy and well used
Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock
★★★★
0.7 miles, 600 feet
This short hike leads to the base of one of Sedona's most famous buttes, starting from the Back of Beyond Road
Devils Bridge
Devils Bridge
★★★★★
1.9 miles, 300 feet
Hike from Dry Creek Road to a large natural arch in the red Supai sandstone cliffs on the north side of Capitol Butte
Doe Mountain
Doe Mountain
★★★★★
0.7 miles, 400 feet
Doe Mountain is an isolated, 450 foot high mesa with a perfectly flat top, reached by an easy trail
Fay Canyon
Fay Canyon
★★★★★
1 miles, 250 feet
Fay is a short red rock box canyon containing a natural arch, a seasonal stream, and a collection of desert plants typical of the lower elevations around Sedona
Munds Canyon
Munds Canyon
★★★★★
2 miles, 500 feet
Off trail route across a forested plateau and into a boulder-filled, basalt-walled gorge containing a permanent stream
Pumphouse Wash
Pumphouse Wash
★★★★★
2.9 miles, 450 feet
Scenic narrows, cascades, pools and extensive flooded slot-like channels along an upper tributary of Oak Creek, all enclosed by high, cream-colored Coconino sandstone
Secret Canyon
Secret Canyon
★★★★★
4.4 miles, 800 feet
Rewarding hike along one of Sedona's longer canyons, the upper stretches of which are wooded, quite enclosed, and contain a permanent stream
Thomas Point
Thomas Point
★★★★★
1 mile, 900 feet
This short but steep path climbs the east side of Oak Creek Canyon, mostly through open, bushy land with good views up and down the ravine
Vultee Arch
Vultee Arch/Sterling Pass
★★★★
1.6/2.4 miles, 400/1100 feet
Two trails that meet at a viewpoint of a graceful sandstone arch, on the far side of a forested canyon
West Fork of Oak Creek
West Fork of Oak Creek
★★★★★
3 miles, 200 feet
Perhaps the best hike in the Sedona area, along a deep, narrow, forested canyon with a permanent stream bordered by dramatic red rocks
Wilson Mountain
Wilson Mountain
★★★★★
4.5 miles, 2450 feet
This is the most strenuous trail in the Sedona area, and with the highest elevation gain, but of course the views at the top of the mountain are excellent


Sedona Hotels


Located in the east section of Sedona, where most of the gift shops, art galleries and other tourist facilities are found, the 65 room Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel at 400 N Highway 89A has excellent views over the red and white cliffs that surround the town, at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon. This is an upmarket establishment - one of the top rated hotels in Sedona, and features private balconies and patios, a large outdoor pool, a steam room & spa, landscaped gardens with fountains, and complimentary breakfast.

Check rates at the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas
Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas

Although located 7.5 miles south of Sedona along Hwy 179 in the village of Oak Creek, the Hilton Resort enjoys the same red rock scenery - north-facing rooms & suites look out towards Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and many other tall sandstone peaks, while those on the south side have views of the 18-hole golf course. The many other facilities at this luxurious hotel include a full service Spa, two dining outlets, a tennis court, three swimming pools, a well equipped fitness center and 20,000 sq ft of meeting/event space. There are plenty of other restaurants, and small shops, within a few minutes walk in the nearby village.

Check rates at the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa

More Sedona Hotels - descriptions and map

Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa
Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa
Highlights: Arizona's second most popular destination; peaceful town with all necessary visitor facilities, surrounded by beautiful red rock hills and ravines, centered on the deep canyon of Oak Creek
Nearest city with hotels: Sedona
Management: Most of the surroundings are national forest land, administered by the USFS
Location: 34.865,-111.763
Seasons: All year. Some trails may be affected by snow in winter, while summer temperatures often exceed 100°F
Weather:


Nearby Parks



Red Rock State Park
Wooded stretch of Oak Creek, along which are several short trails, through the riparian areas and over the arid hills on the east side
Slide Rock State Park
Popular section of Oak Creek with swimming/wading pools, unusual slippery rocks, and an old homestead

Sedona - General Information



  • Sedona Information - general description of the town, hiking and wilderness areas
  • Sedona Map, showing the location of all major trails, mountains and canyons
  • Sedona Trails - route descriptions for all maintained trails near Sedona
  • Sedona Weather - weather and climate information

    Sedonan wildflowers
    Sedona Wildflowers

    Photographs and descriptions of flowering plants found around Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon
  • Sedona - Photography


    photograph
    Midgley Bridge
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    Fay Canyon Arch
  • All Sedona photographs
  • QTVR panoramas: Boynton Canyon, Soldier Pass, Schnebly Hill Road, Wilson Mountain
  • Sedona is part of the Indian Lands itinerary
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