Sedona, AZ has over 84 known hikes in and around the area. While we weren’t able to hike them all, we did look up a list of the top 10 and hit as many as we could.
Our first day of hiking we started out on the Devil’s Bridge trail.
Devil’s Bridge is probably the most viewed red rock arch in the Sedona area. It is situated at the edge of a wide valley on the north side of Capital Butte and although its named Devil’s Bridge, the formation is actually an arch rather than a bridge. It was created by wind and weather erosion and not by flowing water.
The main path ends right beneath the arch and another small trail continues to the top. The views from the top of the bridge are amazing, looking up and down the canyon, over the red and white rocks at either side, and westwards across the valley of Dry Creek to the more extensive canyons and mesas of the Red Rocks.
The trail leads up a valley, over red rock terraces, surrounded by typical Sedona vegetation of juniper, pinyon pine, yucca and agave. The trail climbs about 300 feet pretty quickly at the end to the base of the bridge, which you can only see when it is right overhead. The bridge or arch is composed of Supai sandstone in a deep shade of red.
Devil’s Bridge is well worth the moderate hike. If you are not fond of heights, like my husband, then you may be a bit uncomfortable out on the bridge. However, it is an amazing feeling to walk out to the middle and look back over the valley and mountains around you.
Our second hike for the day was to Doe Mountain.
This trail, while a short 0.9 miles, is straight up. It provides big views and scenery that will take your breath away. Once you reach the top, the drop off is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’m not sure we would take our children on this hike unless we talked to them ahead of time about sticking close to mom and dad.
The Doe Mountain Trail switchbacks directly up the north side of this low, flat-topped Mesa. As you start your climb, you’ll want to make sure to turn around and see the views on the way up too. If you’re like me, the stop to turn around and see the scenery can also provide a much-needed time to catch your breath. A layer of erosion resistant cap rock is what gives Doe Mountain its mesa shape and provides hikers with a wide area at the top to enjoy the panoramic views.
From the top of the mesa, you can see a number of the Sedona Red Rocks Country’s prominent landmarks . You’ll see Bear, Maroon, and Wilson mountains, Loy, Boynton, and Secret Canyons, Chimney Rock, and the Cockscomb.
Our final stop that day was to Oak Creek Canyon Vista. Ah, finally somewhere we could drive to… my legs were done for the day!
Oak Creek Canyon vista is only around 14 miles from Flagstaff. The drive to the vista was filled with hair-pin switchbacks that drop about 4500 feet off the side. Daniel was clutching the wheel of the car pretty tight on the way up, but again, it was well worth the drive.
Once at the vista point you can walk along a railed pathway, take photos and shop for gifts at the many Native American artisan vendors set up along the pathway. There are wonderful displays of authentic made Indian crafts, jewelry, and art as you take in the scenery around you.
Overall it was a great, full day of adventure. I will say that after hiking that much I had to take a picture of my step count from my fitbit… I hit 26,700 steps!!
That many steps called for some celebration! We sat and watched the sunset with a glass of wine from our balcony at the lodge…
And then traveled down the mountain for a little more celebrating at the Javelina Cantina