We get it, cyclists come to Sedona to shred—and there’s no shortage of amazing trails for bikes. But the hiking in town is just as epic as the riding. Whether you just need a rest day from the bike or you want to check out some terrain that’s not accessible on two wheels, the walking trails in town won’t disappoint. For a full lineup of walks, pick up a copy of Flagstaff and Sedona: 50 Favorite hikes by Cosmic Ray.
Open to bikes, this three-mile excursion at the crest of Tabletop Mesa makes a loop around the airport and, thanks to that airy perch, takes in some of the biggest views in town. There may be no better vantage of Cathedral Rock. Don’t miss the quick out-and-back at the end of the mesa on Table Top, which takes in a pyramid-shaped outcrop so perfect that it fuels alien conspiracies. Mind the exposure!
This short, two-mile hike culminates at the largest natural arch in Sedona, a massive, 20-foot-wide span of sandstone that makes for a heck of a photo op. Rated as Tripadvisor’s top hike in Sedona, but the spectacle is worth the hype. Go very early for the best chance at solitude.
Arguably the most iconic outcrop in town offers airy views of its own from the summit for those who can manage the Achilles-bending walk. It’s only 1.5 miles hike south from the Back O Beyond trailhead, but you must be willing to take on some steep pitches and big exposure, As reward, there’s purportedly an energy vortex at the saddle.
One of the most popular hike-only excursions in Sedona, this trail passes by Enchantment Resort before ascending to a saddle between two sandstone pinnacles, with striated outcrops like sand-paintings stretching off into the wilderness. A slickrock spur to the east leads to a popular vista early one, but past the resort the crowds should thin.
For as close to the road and easily approachable as it is, Doe Mountain is a surprisingly compelling trip. Just three miles round trip from the parking lot, the trail starts out flat through the junipers before ratcheting sharply over sandstone slabs and burbles to gain a knife-edge panorama east to Capital Butte and Munds Mountain. This is a great spot to take in the immensity and grandeur of the Sedona valley—bring a picnic and spend time contemplating.
Best on hot days, this seven-mile roundtrip hike follows the West Fork of Oak Creek from the Highway 89A thoroughfare over 13 stream crossings into the wilderness. It’s all placid shade and burbling water, where you can wet your head, beneath battleships of crimson and ivory sandstone bluffs. You’ll likely take longer than expected, not because the hike is so strenuous but because you’ll choose to linger in the quiet of the high-desert ponderosa.