Expert-level rides are plentiful in Sedona, Arizona, offering an exciting mix of trails with exposure, obstacles, and thrills. Here are a few of our favorite advanced mountain biking trails in Sedona that are sure to test your skills.
- Featured Trails: Munds Wagon, Schnebly Hill Road, Cow Pies, Hangover
- Sights: Mitten Ridge, Cow Pies Mesa, Merry Go Round Rock, Wilson Mountain, Steamboat Rock, Midgley Bridge
- Ride Length & Time: 8 miles, 3 Hours
- Distance to Trailhead: 2.9 miles
No trail epitomizes Sedona more than Hangover, a masterpiece of engineering that ascends cliff-sheer slickrock ramps to access a narrow terrace clinging to the side of a rocky butte. With dizzying views, puckering exposure, and brake-frying behind-the-saddle descents, this one is for experts only. Cheers to the Red Rock Forest Service for recognizing mountain bikes and constructing one of the most unique trails in the world.
Start at the Schnebly Hill/Huckaby parking lot, and climb up the dirt road instead of the trail, which will save energy for the techy stuff on Cow Pies and Hangover. From the road, a few gut-check steep climbs are possible to claw up only because of red-rock traction. Be sure to take a break at the saddle before tackling the technical traverse ahead, then another break at the second saddle for unparalleled views over the red rock playground below. Though there are no major descents, the downhills are extremely steep —trust the red rock for traction and look ahead!
Back on the valley floor, work your way to Munds Wagon, which is mostly a descent back with a few short, punchy climbs. Keep your guard up for surprise rock gardens. At the parking lot, celebrate the best Hangover you’ll ever have!
- Featured Trails: Broken Arrow, Twin Buttes, Hog Heaven, Hog Wash, Little Horse, Pigtail, Peccary
- Sights: Twin Buttes, Submarine Rock, Chicken Point Overlook, Twin Nuns Rock, Munds Mountain
- Ride Length & Time: 10 miles, 3 Hours
- Distance to Trailhead: 3.6 miles
Broken Arrow and "The Hogs" is another must-ride Sedona experience, packing a huge punch of black diamond trails into a short amount of space. You’ll get all the views of the famous Pink Jeep tours…plus lots more exposure and fun.
Start at the Broken Arrow trailhead, off of Morgan Road. Deceptively strenuous, the Broken Arrow singletrack picks its way up, down, and over ribs of rock and sandy washes to reach one of Sedona’s most iconic overlooks at Chicken Point. Climbs are punchy but short, and your miles are hard-earned. This singletrack parallels the infamous Jeep trail, but despite the occasional glimpse of a vehicle, you’ll feel mostly isolated from traffic.
Take the first right turn for Twin Buttes, which connects to Hog Heaven. You'll be greeted by steep red rock slabs, slickrock roll-ins, and impressive rock armor. Next up is Hog Wash, combined, this area is nicknamed The Hogs. This cluster of trails on the fringe of Chicken Point is a true Chutes-and-Ladders slickrock playground. Expect slow-speed ups, technical moves with finesse and balance, and sandstone rollers galore. The big exposure won’t be for everyone, although it’s much tamer than Hangover.
Once finished with the first loop on the Hogs, pass the Twin Buttes trail and take Broken Arrow all the way to the end at the Chicken Point. After soaking in the view from this world-famous overlook, continue past the jeep trail and down Little Horse, descending some fun chunky to flowy sections. At the Little Horse parking lot, briefly hop on the road, turning right onto Chapel Road, then left onto Mystic. Next up is Pig Tail, Sedona's only "jump trail". It's less than a mile of grin-inducing, whoop-dee-doo launches, all of which are easy to roll or ride around for those who prefer to keep tires on the dirt. At the bottom, finish the loop with Peccary and Hog Wash back to the lot.
- Featured Trails: Slim Shady, Coconino, Hiline, Baldwin, Templeton, Easy Breezy, Hermit
- Sights: Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Red Rock Crossing, Buddha Beach
- Ride Length & Time: 10 miles, 3 Hours
- Distance to Trailhead: 7 miles
Hiline is a bucket-list trail for the experienced rider. With creative singletrack, views, lots of flow, steep and technical descents, drops, slickrock, hucks, techy ups, and exposure, this loop packs more variety than any other ride in Sedona. Even if you have to walk the double black moves, the views and landscape are well worth the effort.
Start at the Yavapai Vista parking lot. After the quick climb up to Yavapai Point, we recommend starting with a "bonus loop" on the northern end of Slim Shady, which should take about 20 to 30 minutes. It’s laugh-out-loud fun and an excellent warm-up for Hiline.
Head south to the start of Hiline, and begin a traversing climb on narrow, topsy-turvy singletrack. At the west end of the overlook at the top, enjoy the best views of Cathedral Rock in town before dropping into Sedona’s finest descent. It begins with ripping, fast flow trail, then slickrock. True double black moves pepper the last quarter of a mile, which plunges down a very steep rocky chute, through some slick rock rollers, over more exposed rocky moves, and finally into a rubbly arroyo. The majority of riders take a handful of attempts to clean every move here.
Take Baldwin down to Oak Creek, and traverse Buddha Beach along the creek before climbing up the super steep Templeton switchback climb. This is another section where it's common to walk the bike, but it's reasonably short. From the top, it's mostly smooth sailing back to Yavapai Vista.
Disclaimer: Trails are rated by "Sedona Standards," which may not line up with your home trails. Some trails may be more challenging than those you regularly ride. We can only recommend to be cautious, have fun, and live to ride another day! There is no shame in walking a section or circling back to try a move again. The experience will be worth the effort!