10 Easy Hikes In Sedona: The Best Trails for Beginners

Are you looking for an easy hike in Sedona? If so, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, I will provide a guide to some of the best trails for beginners in the area.

Sedona is known for its beautiful red rocks, and one of the ways to experience the magic of the red rocks is by lacing up your shoes and hitting the trails!

One of the great things about Sedona is that there are many, many trails to choose from. Whether you want to hike to a scenic lookout point or take a leisurely stroll through the forest, there is a trail for you. And if you are new to hiking, don’t worry – there are plenty of easy trails in Sedona that are perfect for beginners.

In this guide, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite easy hikes in Sedona. Let’s get started!

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!

10 Short And Easy Hikes In Sedona, Arizona

1. Fay Canyon Trail

2.2-mile out-and-back trail

Fay Canyon Trail - Easy Hikes In Sedona

Fay Canyon Trail is the perfect option for an easy hike in Sedona. This trail is located just a short drive from the city center and it offers stunning views of the surrounding area.

Fay Canyon is the ideal hike for those looking for a shorter hike with minimal elevation gain. Some people visit Fay Canyon to see the natural arch located just about a half-mile up the trail. If you opt to see the arch, the trail does become a little more challenging, but again, this rock scramble at the end is optional!

The trail is relatively short and it is rated as easy, making it perfect for beginners. The Fay Canyon Trail is a great option if you are looking for an easy hike with beautiful views.

2. Doe Mountain Trail

1.5-mile out-and-back trail

Doe Mountain Trail - Easy Hikes In Sedona

The second hike on my list is the Doe Mountain Trail. This trail is located just outside of Sedona and it offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The trail is relatively short but does require you to walk uphill in order to get to the viewpoint 400 feet above the ground.

As you climb, you’ll want to take time out to enjoy the excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Once you get to the top, you’ll be able to enjoy views of landmarks like Bear Mountain, Maroon Mountain, Loy Canyon, Boynton Canyon, Chimney Rock, and the Cockscomb!

Because of the shortness of the trail and the fact that there is an ascent, it’s typically rated as easy to moderate, making it perfect for beginners who want a touch of a challenge.

The Doe Mountain Trail is a great option if you are looking for a quick and easy hike in Sedona with beautiful views.

3. Cathedral Rock Trail

1.2-mile out-and-back trail

Cathedral Rock Trail Sedona - The Perfect 4 Day Arizona Road Trip Itinerary - Travels With Elle

The Cathedral Rock Trail is one of the most popular trails in Sedona. All in all, it’s a 1.2-mile out-and-back adventure with an elevation gain of 744 feet. More of a rock scramble than a hike, this trail up the plateau is unshaded and can be steep in places.

You’ll have to get a little dirty going up this trail, using your hands to maneuver past the tricky cliff sides of Cathedral Rock. But don’t let that scare you! The Cathedral Rock trail is easy to navigate. There are basket cairns filled with large rocks to guide you along the trail.

Once you get to the top, you are going to be WOWED. Especially once you see the sun setting over the mountain range!

My favorite viewpoint and photo spot on this hike is hands-down the Edge of the World. This is a super photogenic ledge that makes for a great spot to take pictures and enjoy the views in peace. This viewpoint is located at the far right of the summit viewing area. There is a steep drop-off here so please be careful.

Cathedral Rock Hike Sedona - Edge Of The World

The trailhead is located just off of Highway 179, and there’s plenty of parking available (though the parking lot does fill up quite fast). The trail itself is well-marked and easy to follow. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.

Without a doubt, the best time to hike Cathedral Rock Trail is during the hours leading up to sunset. The top of Cathedral Rock features beautiful views of Sedona and at sunset, it’s even more magical!

4. Templeton Trail at Cathedral Rock

2.2 mile out-and-back trail

Visitors looking for an easier trail near Cathedral Rock that still offers stunning red rock scenery may want to check out the Templeton Trail at Cathedral Rock instead.

This is one of the newer trails in town, perfect for those who are not interested in climbing Cathedral Rock. Instead, this trail takes you along the base of the Cathedral Rock formation.

While most hikers in the area will be climbing up the Cathedral Rock formation (the more challenging hike listed above), you will be able to enjoy this hidden gem that sees very little foot traffic! This is a great little hike for those looking for a bit of solitude and tranquility.

You will start your hike at the Cathedral Rock trailhead. You’ll be walking on a slightly uphill path for about 0.4 miles, where you’ll reach Cathedral Rock. From here, most hikers will attempt to climb up the rock. Instead of climbing up the rock, follow the signs for the Templeton Trail.

The trail ends at the intersection of the Baldwin Trail for an easy and relaxing 1.1-mile out-and-back trek.

5. West Fork Trail

6.2-mile out-and-back trail

West Fork Trail - Best Easy Hikes In Sedona

The West Fork Trail is one of the most picturesque trails in all of Sedona. The area of Oak Creek, where this hike is located, is known as a hiker’s paradise.

There’s truly something to love about this trail during every season–in the springtime, you can enjoy the myriad of migrating songbirds dancing among the trees. In the fall, the canyon is lit up with red and gold-colored leaves, and in the wintertime, icicles decorate red rock overhangs while patches of snow complement the red rocks on the ground.

In terms of the trail itself, it is an easy stroll, but you will have to cross the stream in about 11-13 places. Not to worry, this will require you to step on rocks or step in the stream directly, but it’s shallow. I recommend wearing waterproof hiking boots for this one.

Eventually, the pathway will end (where the canyon walls close in on you and there’s nowhere else to go without getting your feet wet), making the route more strenuous if you choose to continue into the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. This would be a good time to turn around and hike back from where you came.

The trailhead is located just off Highway 89A, and the trail follows West Fork Oak Creek for about three miles before ending at a scenic overlook. The trail is well-maintained and relatively easy to follow, making it a great option for hikers of all skill levels.

Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as there are no facilities along the trail. And remember to stay on the trail – this is a fragile ecosystem and we want to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

  • Distance: 3.1 miles one way, 6.2-miles total
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Hike Time: 2-4 hours
  • Parking: $11 parking fee or $2 per person walk-in fee. Red Rock Pass is not accepted. The Grand Annual Red Rock Pass is accepted here for entry to the site.

6. Bell Rock Loop Trail

1.8 miles roundtrip

Bell Rock Loop - Best Sunset Hikes In Sedona

In the nearby Village of Oak Creek, you’ll find some pretty magnificent and easy hikes. This is where some of the most iconic red rock formations are, including Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. This is a super popular sunset hike–when the setting sun lights this area up.. you better have your camera ready!

Bell Rock is one of the most easily recognizable formations in Sedona with its dome-like presence impressing travelers driving on Highway 179.

The Bell Rock Loop Trail offers direct access to the Bell Rock formation and its stunning views of the surrounding Red Rock Country.

To do this loop trail, you’re going to be taking a series of trails: the Bell Rock Pathway Trail, the Rector Connector, and the Courthouse Butte Trail. The loop is approximately 1.8 miles.

To get there, head to the parking lot for Courthouse Vista, located just after the Bell Rock formation. Park here to start your hike. If the parking lot is full, you have another option. There’s overflow parking at the Yavapai Point Parking Lot, which is about a half a mile north and on your left-hand side. (Just pop ‘Yavapai Vista Point’ into Google Maps to get there.)

Alternative hike #1: If you’d like to keep things simple, just walk along Bell Rock Trail (Bell Rock Pathway) and go back the way you came once you’ve gotten your fill of walking. Along this pathway, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and other landmarks. Most of the pathway has a wide, hard surface so it’s great for the whole family.

Alternative hike #2: If you want a longer hike, do the Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock Loop. This loop trail is an easy/moderate 3.9-mile roundtrip hike and has an elevation gain of about 350 feet.

7. Red Rock Crossing

1.4 miles roundtrip

Red Rock Crossing - Best Sunset Hikes In Sedona

Red Rock Crossing is one of the most popular Sedona hikes, and for good reason. This is the location where photographers go to get those iconic photos of the Cathedral Rock with the stream in front of it!

Red Rock Crossing is an easy hike that’s best enjoyed in the late afternoon or at sunset. It’s already a picturesque spot as is, but the late afternoon sun makes for even more spectacular photography opportunities of Cathedral Rock in all its glory!

This easy 1.4-mile hike is located in the Red Rock State Park area, just outside the town of Sedona, Arizona. The entire trail is fairly flat and extremely scenic! It twists in and out of the forest, passing by beautiful greenery and swimming holes. Bring your swimming suit if it’s extra hot out–the hike will lead you to a secluded beach that’s perfect for swimming, picnicking, and relaxing.

To start the hike, park your car at the Baldwin Trailhead, hang left, and walk down Verde Valley Road until you get to Oak Creek.

Alternatively, you can start your hike at the Crescent Moon Day Use Site. Please note, there is an $11 fee to park here. Your America the Beautiful Pass and Red Rock passes will not get you in. This is an entirely separate entrance fee.

If you’re looking for an easy and enjoyable hike in Sedona, Red Rock Crossing is the perfect choice.

  • Distance: 1.4 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 60 feet
  • Hike Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Parking: $11 parking fee at the Crescent Moon Picnic Site. Red Rock Pass and America The Beautiful Pass are NOT accepted.

8. Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail

1.1-mile out-and-back trail

Seven Sacred Pools - Easy Hikes In Sedona

The Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail is one of the most popular easy hikes in Sedona. The Seven Sacred Pools are a series of small waterfalls and pools that are located along the trail.

The views from the trail are simply stunning (you’ll also pass by the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole and a hidden sandstone cave), and the pools themselves are a great place to take a dip on a warm day!

The hike itself is relatively short, making it a clear winner if you’re looking for an easy hike in Sedona. The trailhead is located just off Highway 179 and is well-marked.

Pro Tip: Because this hike is more magnificent when there’s actually water in the pools, I’d recommend hiking this between the months of April through October.

  • Distance: 1.1-mile out-and-back trail
  • Elevation Gain: 100 feet
  • Hike Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
  • Parking: Free if you park at Soldier Pass Trailhead parking.

9. Boynton Canyon Trail

1.1-mile out-and-back trail

Next on my list of easy hikes in Sedona is the Boynton Vista Trail. This popular sunset hike offers easy-to-get-to, stunning views of Sedona’s red rocks.

The 1.1-mile out-and-back trail is relatively easy to follow and is perfect for hikers of all levels. The first part of the hike is nice and shaded, while the second half will require a climb to get up to the vista.

Be sure to bring your camera, as you’re sure to want to capture the incredible sunset views!

After you park, you follow the Boynton Canyon Trail until you reach the Boynton Canyon Vista Trail. The Vista Trail dead-ends at the vortex site. Once you’re here, enjoy a snack and soak in those orange/red glowing views.

Those looking for a longer hike can consider the Boynton Canyon Trail. This trail brings you 3 miles into the canyon and up 500 feet, totaling 6 miles roundtrip.

10. Airport Mesa Trail

3.2 miles roundtrip

Arizona Road Trip Sedona 2

Looking for a bit more of a challenge? Consider the Airport Mesa Trail, boasting some of the best views in all of Sedona–truly!

It’s one of my favorite hikes in Sedona. It’s not too difficult, and the payoff is huge with stunning views of the red rocks skyline at sunset.

You’re going to see so much from here, including great vistas of Oak Creek (Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte) as well as West Sedona and Sedona (Cathedral Rock). I mean, look at those views! They almost remind me of a prehistoric time.

The Airport Mesa trail circles around Tabletop Mountain to form a loop trail. This 3.2-mile loop trail is generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. The trail is a mostly level trail for the first mile and then it begins a gradual and then moderate ascent over time.

Do note that on certain parts of this trail, you’ll be brought close to the edge and/or walking among lots of loose gravel and slippery rock in some locations. If you have vertigo or are afraid of hikes, you might want to skip this one or bring along a pair of sturdy trekking poles (I have this one and love them).

To get there, you can either park at the trailhead parking lot or at the top of the scenic overlook lot for a small fee. Do note that the trailhead parking lot is tiny, so many visitors will opt to park at the top for $3-5 and hike the spur trail down to start the loop.

  • Distance: 3.2-mile loop roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 314 ft.
  • Hike Time: 2 hours
  • Parking: $3-5 fee to park at the scenic overlook lot.

What to Know Before Hiking in Sedona

1. Plan your hiking times accordingly, and depending on what time of the year you visit. If opting for a sunset hike, get to your destination with more than enough time to hike to your viewpoint.

  • In the summer, the sun sets around 7:30 pm.
  • During the winter months, the sun goes down around 5:30 pm.

2. Once the sun goes down in Sedona, it gets dark quickly. If you plan to hike to your sunset destination, keep in mind that you may have to hike back in the dark to get back to your car. Bringing a headlamp with you is a good idea. It can also get chilly during certain times of the year after sunset, so dress appropriately.

3. Most of Sedona’s viewpoint/hiking parking lots require a Red Rock Pass, which you can purchase for $5 online or in-person at trailhead parking lots.

Alternatively, you can use your America The Beautiful Interagency Pass. Simply display your pass on your car dash and you’ll be good to go!

  • This annual pass will get you entry into all national parks for one whole year from the month of purchase. It can also serve to replace the Red Rock Pass in this instance.
  • I buy this pass every year; it’s the best bang for your buck if you plan on visiting at least 3 national parks within a 12-month timespan! Since national park entrance fees are $30 on average, every national park visit after your 3rd visit is essentially free!

4. To help with parking and provide more trail access to visitors, Sedona recently created a free shuttle system–Sedona Shuttle. This may be a good option if you plan on visiting the popular viewpoints/hikes during prime time and don’t want to deal with the headache of trying to find parking!

Top Tours In Sedona, Arizona

  • Sedona Outback Trail Jeep Adventure – Go off-roading through Sedona’s red rock landscape on a Jeep tour! This one is not too bumpy so it’s good even for the kids and the older parents. This Sedona Jeep tour is limited to 10 people for a fun, personal experience. We did this tour during our last trip and our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining! Highly recommend this one!
  • Sedona Vortex Tour by Jeep – This highly-rated vortex tour gives you the best of both worlds–a chance to ride in a Jeep and learn all about the magical vortexes! Traveling the region by Jeep, you’ll visit several vortex sites around town and learn about their history, all with the help of an informative guide.
  • Sedona Helicopter Tour: Desert Thunder Tour – Swoop over the canyons and fly past the vast pine forests on this epic 30-minute helicopter flight over the Sedona desert. Try going first thing in the morning to catch the gorgeous sunrise from the sky!
  • Verde Canyon Railway Adventure – Looking for a nostalgic way to see Sedona? Be sure to try out the Verde Canyon Railway Tour which takes you on the heritage Verde Canyon Railroad from Clarkdale to Perkinsville. The railroad is full of history and offers scenic views of the state. The 4-hour round-trip train ride is fun, and a great way to get a perspective on the region’s natural and cultural treasures.
Sedona Arizona Road Trip Jeep Tour - Arizona Road Trip by Travels With Elle

Where To Stay In Sedona, Arizona

Looking for hotels in Sedona is a ton of fun because of how many options there are to choose from. Here are a few of my top recommendations for you:

  • L’Auberge de Sedona – this is an absolute must for couples if ‘budget’ is not in your vocabulary for this trip. This timeless hotel is loved by many, many travelers.
  • A Sunset Chateau – a great and spacious bed and breakfast that screams cozy rustic vibes.
  • Wilde Resort and Spa – another great boutique hotel option featuring a modern atmosphere with a Southwestern twist!
L'Auberge De Sedona
L’Auberge De Sedona | Courtesy of Booking.com

Looking to ball out on your Sedona trip? If you’re looking for an unparalleled experience set within the spectacular vistas of Boynton Canyon, Enchantment Resort is THE ONE. With its amazing guestrooms, suites, and villas with balconies, your weekend will be filled with unforgettable views and service beyond compare.

So there you have it – my complete guide to some of the best easy hikes in Sedona. Whether you are new to hiking or just looking for an easy trail to explore, I hope this guide has helped you find your next perfect outdoor adventure!

Looking for more things to do in Sedona? Check out these posts next:

Photo of author


Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

Leave a Comment