Sedona is known for its stunning red rock formations and there are plenty of opportunities to take in the views. For some, hiking trails can be a great way to get out and explore the area, but for others, the thought of hiking for hours on end can be daunting. If you're not the type that's up for a strenuous hike but still want to explore Sedona, here are a few easy trails that will lead you to to some amazing payoffs without breaking a sweat.
2 Miles Round Trip
Total Ascent: 250ft
Time of Completion: 1-2hrs
Pay-Off: Birthing Cave
Considered by many people as a sacred place with healing history and deeply rooted culture, if you're looking for one of the most incredible photo opportunities in Sedona, head out to The Birthing Cave. The Long Canyon Trail to the Birthing Cave is relatively flat. However, the climb into the cave can be steep for some people. The rocks are slippery. It is advised to wear proper hiking shoes if your goal is to get that iconic shot.
3 Miles Round Trip
Total Ascent: 800ft
Time of Completion: 2- 3hrs
Pay-Off: Devils Kitchen --> Seven Sacred Pools --> Mesa --> Secret Cave
If you're only going to Sedona for one day, we recommend hiking Soldier's Pass. The hike is ranked as easy with three major natural attractions that will be visible from the trailhead!
Located just 0.2 miles from the trailhead, you can find the Devils Kitchen Sinkhole. This sinkhole is 150ft across and 50ft deep. This sinkhole was created when the dome collapsed in the 1880's and was expanded again when it collapsed even more as recently as in 1989! Look for the historical markers located around the edge to tell you more about this ever expanding attration.
After the hard-to-miss sinkhole, you will need to keep your eyes open for the next attration. If you continue on the Soldier's Pass Trail another 0.2 miles, you will come upon the Seven Sacred Pools.
The Seven Sacred Pools are one of the most famous sites in all Sedona. If you visit during a dry season, it will be tough to make out these sacred pools on this open terrain- luckily we had rain!
Most of this trail is flat up until this marker. This is a great turn around point for the non-hiker. But, If you are still up for a little more hiking after you see the pools, head up to the Mesa. There you will be rewarded with AMAZING views AND...the opportunity to see the Secret Cave!
* Bonus Round
The Mesa is located about 0.6 miles from the Seven Sacred Pools, and it's a pretty easy hike with an elevation change that won't really challenge anyone who isn’t outdoorsy.
However, the final 0.2 mile ascent to the Secret Cave is not for those who cannot take a little physical challenge. The climb is moderate and steep. However, if you're up for it, you'll be rewarded with an incredible view that will make all those sweat drops worth while...
1 Mile Round Trip
Total Ascent: 134ft
Time of Completion: 1hr
Pay-Off: Boynton Vortex
The Boynton Vortex is a place where some people come to find peace within themselves while others seek out ancient energy. Located a half mile from the Boynton Canyon Trailhead, The vortex is located in the perfect spot to get an elevated view of Secret Canyon Wilderness Area. This trail offers stunning scenery, and it's oneof the easiest trails to complete in West Sedona.
3.9 Mile Round Trip
Total Ascent: 357ft
Time of Completion: 1.5 - 2hr
Pay-Off: Bell Rock & Couthouse Vista
Have you ever wanted to understand what it must have been like for those cowboys, riding through the Arizona Red Rocks for the first time? The Bell Rock & Courthouse Loop can give you that perspective.
The Courthouse Butte Loop is perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of the Red Rocks without any crowds. You are more likely to see a lone biking enthusiest or the occasional rabbit than hikers on this non-damanding trail. It's not that this trail is boring, it's far from it. It's just that most visitors will be heading over to climb Bell Rock, while those people looking for a quieter space and easier pace, will be rewarded with stunning views of the Courthouse Vista. Be aware that there is little shade on this trail. For that reason, this trail is best taken in the early morning or late afternoon.
1.5 Miles Round Trip
Time of Completion: 1.5hr
Pay-Off: Palatki Ruins
and Ancient Pictographs
Located in the Boynton Canyon Area, the Palatki Heritage Site isn't exactly a trail but it definately should be included on this list for those non-hikers that want to see something really amazing on their visit.
This attraction has two trails, one to the Palatki Cliff Dwellings, which feature ruins that are around 1000yrs old. The second trail leads to a grotto with cave drawings that date from 1000 years ago to 11,000 years ago!.
The on-site museum offers guests the opportunity not only to learn about the people that lived on this land, but also feel it through interactive exhibits and knowledgable tour guides. For those who want something more immersive than just walking a trail, this is your place!
The site is open for tours seven days a week and free to anyone that makes a reservation.
If you're planning a trip to Sedona, get outdoors, even just for a day. Hiking the Red Rocks is an essential part of the experience....plus, think of those photo ops! With so many wonderful hiking trails in the area, it's hard not to find at least one easy hike that will introduce you to why people love this paradise. Make sure to download the Alltrails App to help keep you on course!
What is your favorite trail to take beginners on? Let us know in the comments
For more, check out our tips for Gear You Need To Survive Sedona
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