Devil’s Bridge is one of the most scenic hikes ever. The viewpoints of the iconic bridge are absolutely gorgeous!
For those of you who’ve never heard of Devil’s Bridge before, this geological wonder stands as one of the greatest and most beautiful formations in Sedona Red Rock County. This 4.2-mile hike definitely tops the “must do” hikes in Sedona.
I’ve hiked this trail twice, once via Dry Creek Road and another time via Chuck Wagon Trail by extending the adventure by hiking an additional 1.2 miles.
So wait, what? There are 2 ways to get to Devil’s Bridge? Well actually, there are at least 4 ways to get to Devil’s Bridge.
Now before you get confused, I’m here to tell you not to worry. I’m going to break it all down for you in this post!
The route you choose will depend on three main things:
- what type of vehicle you have – you’re in luck if you have a 4×4 vehicle
- what time you plan to start the hike – parking can be a pain in the butt, but there’s a free shuttle option
- how much time you want to dedicate to this hike – there is a longer, more scenic route to get to Devil’s Bridge if you have the time to spare!
Let’s dive into all the options for how to get to the Devil’s Bridge hike in Sedona, Arizona.
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Table of Contents
Overview Of The Devil’s Bridge Hike
Elevation gain: Approximately about 500ft elevation once you reach the middle/end of the Devil’s Bridge hike.
Level of difficulty: Easy with a few sections of rock stairs and scrambling towards the end to get up to the bridge.
Estimated hike time: 1-3 hours
Ideal time to hike: As early as you can in the mornings (preferably before 7am for parking) OR in the late afternoon. This trail gets very busy in the mornings, especially on weekends. Weekdays will be best for thinner crowds.
Pets allowed?: You can bring dogs but they have to be on a leash.
Trail conditions: No matter which trailhead you take, just know that the trails are mostly exposed, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, even during sunset hours!
Trailhead options: There are 4 trailhead options. In summary, here is the hike info:
- With a 4×4 vehicle:
- 2-mile RT hike via Devil’s Bridge Trailhead | park at the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead directly (parking pass not required)
- Without a 4×4 vehicle:
- 4.4 mile RT hike via Dry Creek Road | park at the Dry Creek Trailhead Parking Lot (Red Rock Pass or America The Beautiful Pass REQUIRED)
- 5.8 mile RT hike via Chuckwagon Trail | park at the Dry Creek Trailhead Parking Lot (Red Rock Pass or America The Beautiful Pass REQUIRED)
- 4.2 mile RT hike via Mescal Trail | park at the Mescal Trailhead Parking Lot, GPS coordinates here (parking pass not required)
Serviced by the Sedona Shuttle?: Yes.
Bathrooms: There are pit-toilet restrooms at the Dry Creek Vista Trailhead lot, but none at the Devil’s Bridge endpoint. There are no bathrooms at Mescal Trailhead.
Map Of The Devil’s Bridge Trailhead Options
Just to give you an overview of what your options are, here’s a map I made of all the trailheads in relation to the Devil’s Bridge vista point (yellow). We’ll talk about these in more details below.
How To Get To Devil’s Bridge
As I mentioned earlier, you have a few starting points and options for getting to the Devil’s Bridge hike.
The off-road option
If you have a 4WD vehicle with high clearance, you can drive directly to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead.
The main trailhead (called Devil’s Bridge Trailhead) is located just off Highway 179 on Dry Creek Road. From the small dirt parking lot, the trail is well marked and easy to follow. From here, it’s about 1 mile to the bridge, and the elevation gain is just about 500 feet.
The non-4×4 options
If you don’t have a 4×4, you will need to start your hike from one of the following points:
Dry Creek Road: 4.4 miles round trip
This is the most popular and most straightforward route. After you park at the Dry Creek Trailhead Parking Lot (or take the Sedona Shuttle to this lot), you will walk along a flat hiking trail to get to Dry Creek Road.
This new road that you’ll take is rocky and wide, with a very gradual incline to get to Devil’s Bridge trailhead. Once you’re on Dry Creek Road, you’ll find that there is not much to see on the road, but it gets the job done and will get you to Devil’s Bridge.
Also note that this road is a shared road, so if you see an off-roading vehicle or a group of mountain bikers coming your way, move to the side to let them pass.
It can get dusty when these vehicles pass, so having a face mask or bandana with you is helpful!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because of how popular Devil’s Bridge hike has gotten over the past few years, this parking lot fills up extremely quickly, especially on weekends. If you don’t arrive before 7 to 7:15 am, chances are it’ll be hard to find a spot in the lot.
If that’s the case, you’ll likely have to parallel park along Boynton Pass Road, turning your hike from 4.4 miles to 5-6 miles round trip.
Note: The Sedona Shuttle services this trailhead! To get here via shuttle, you’ll park in the Posse Grounds Park and Ride and catch the shuttle from there. Check the Sedona Shuttle website for the latest schedules/info.
Chuckwagon Trail: 5.8 miles round trip
While the Chuckwagon Trail option is the longest, it is quite beautiful and peaceful. If you don’t mind a longer hike, this is a great option.
This winding trail takes you through a peaceful low growth forest and is a great warmup before you feast your eyes on the spectacular Devil’s Bridge. Altogether, this is an unforgettable 5.8-mile hike.
This option also starts at the same parking lot on Dry Creek Road. The main difference is that instead of walking along the Dry Creek Road (a dirt road that’s shared with Jeeps and other off-roading vehicles), you will hike on an actual trail.
During your hike, simply follow the signs for Chuckwagon Trail until you get to the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead.
Note: Because this is the same trailhead as the Dry Creek Road option above, the Sedona Shuttle can get you here, too.
Mescal Trail: 4.2 miles round trip
If you’d rather have more peace and quiet during your hike, opt for the Mescal Trail to get you to Devil’s Bridge. This is the ‘least popular’ trailhead option, and it might be because not many people know about it!
If you take the Mescal Trail, chances are you will have most of the hike to yourself, until you reach the trail for Devil’s Bridge, where all of the other trails converge at.
The major benefit of choosing the Mescal Trail is easier parking. While the other trailheads are a complete nightmare to find parking at after 7:30 am, this trailhead is more empty.
To get to this trailhead, drive past Dry Creek Road on Boynton Pass until you reach Long Canyon Road. Turn right on Long Canyon Road. The small dirt lot is about 800 feet down the road, on your right hand side.
Note: The Sedona Shuttle also services the Mescal Trailhead! To get here via shuttle, you’ll park in the Posse Grounds Park and Ride and catch the shuttle from there. Check the Sedona Shuttle website for the latest schedules/info.
Getting to the trailheads via the Sedona Shuttle
Don’t want to wake up before dawn to hunt for parking? A great alternative to having to stress over parking is to take the Sedona Shuttle.
This is exactly what I did with my parents during our last trip to Sedona. The best part about taking the shuttle was not having to worry about parking too far from the trailhead and inadvertently extending our hike.
We were able to wake up at a normal time, enjoy breakfast at our hotel, and get to the trailhead by 9:20 am. Completely stress-free!
To take the Sedona Shuttle to get to Dry Creek Trailhead, park your car at the Posse Grounds Park and Ride. There will be a shuttle approximately every 15-30 minutes throughout the day to take you to the trailhead.
And because Sedona knows that most people will attempt to hike in the morning, shuttles are plentiful during this time. There is no need to try and time your arrival to catch a specific shuttle. Just show up when you can and hop aboard the next arriving shuttle.
Both parking at the Park and Ride lots and the shuttle rides are free. No parking pass is needed.
Recommended Packing List: Devil’s Bridge Hike
- An America the Beautiful National Parks Pass ($80 annual pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites and national parks) or a Red Rock Pass ($5 one-time pass) are required to cover your parking fee if you are choosing to park at the Dry Creek Trailhead.
- Hiking boots – If you’re looking for a hiking boot recommendation, I would recommend the Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX Hiking Boot. They’ve got out-of-the-box comfort which can’t be beat, plus they look so darn cool. You can find them for women here and men here.
- Trekking poles – This is a nice-to-have for Devil’s Bridge, but not required. Since a lot of the terrain in Sedona is rocky, everyone could benefit from the added stability that trekking poles provide. REI is my go-to source for reliable walking sticks–check out their top-rated poles here.
- Hat/sunglasses – very much needed if you’re hiking during the spring/summer seasons. Sedona gets bright and sunny quite early in the day.
- Packable puffy jacket – depending on the season, it can get a bit chilly in Sedona. A puffy jacket is always a good option because of how they can pack up into nothing! You have a lot of options here, but I personally have the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, and it’s kept me warm throughout my many years of adventuring! For something more affordable, I’d go with this one.
- A high-quality camera – my favorite cameras are either the Sony a7 IV Full Frame Mirrorless Camera (I’m currently photographing everything these days with this one) or the Sony a7 III.
- Sunscreen – you cannot think to hike Devil’s Bridge without sunscreen. Since most of the trail is exposed, applying (and reapplying) is a must. For all my outdoor travels, I bring an eco-friendly, biodegradable sunscreen. Here are a few travel-sized biodegradable sunscreens you can easily buy on Amazon:
- Lots of water – a dedicated hydration pack is so handy because you can drink water without having to take off your backpack every time you want to reach for water. CamelBak backpacks are my absolute favorite for hiking–these backpacks usually will have secure zippered pockets too, perfect for snacks, keys, phones, or other essentials.
- Snacks – stop by the local supermarket the night before to pick up some light bites to enjoy at the top while you wait in line to take your iconic photo!
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.
I hope this post was helpful for you in learning how to get to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona. Stay safe, and happy hiking!
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