Explore Sedona Backpacking Trip - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Sedona Backpacking Trip Map

IT IS VERY DIFFICULT, a proper pack out is needed, water triple what you normally need due to the steep mountain climbs, proper hiking boots and trek polls. those things save your knees and the in some parts it's loose and slick. what for rain the hike becomes harder when it rains and the trail gets slicker. plan 5 hours round trip which should in could breaks in along the way and at the arch. That first steep hike up is the worst part, suck it up and do it. It down hill after that to the arch. rest for a bit and on your way back that hike back up is not too had not so steep but the poles really help you here. enjoy the scenery it takes the pain away. once at the summit it all down hill and moves fast watch for lightening. there is alot of areas there that shows lightening strikes alot in that canyon.

Wilderness trail with minimal hikers. Shaded at the bottom and along the switch backs up the mountain. Beautiful views along entire hike.

22 days ago

We hiked this trail with our kids aged 15 to 6 on a 100 plus degree day, It was not easy for the youngest but very doable.
Awesome views at the top!

Great hike up a side canyon in the shadow of Wilson Mountain. Made it to the arch, well worth it. Saw a rattlesnake on the west side of the summit. Would do this hike again.

Wonderful hike. The trail is in good condition.

23 days ago

This trail is hard to find - it's very easy to pass on 89A North, but is well worth the trouble. It has almost no parking, so you may consider parking in town, and then Uber'ing to the trailhead.
I liked that the initial part of the hike is a steep incline as you climb the mountain. Because of this, you quickly see lovely red rock views. Once you crest the top, you start a subtle decent through a woodland area.
In some areas, you're hiking on loose gravel and dirt, thus I highly recommend you wear proper hiking footwear. There is also a decent amount of poison ivy, so be forewarned.
I'm not sure this is the best trail for children because of the incline with such loose gravel & dirt, AND because of the poison ivy.
I recommend this trail, however there are many other hikes in Sedona with better views. ...which isn't to say this trail is boring at all.

30 days ago

beautiful trail. at the crossroads at top of ridge where you hang a right, we stayed straight for about another 0.25mi and wound up on a small rock with fantastic 360 panoramic views of the awesome Sedona landscape. worth a stop if you're up there already.

Picking a favorite trail in Sedona is like picking a favorite child... difficult to admit. This big hike holds a big space in my heart. We double parked this one, so we ascended the south side from Midgley Bridge, hiked the north canyon and sedona overlooks, then descended the north down Oak Creek Canyon. I love every foot of this trail, and it never feels like I'm doing the same hike twice. With the elevation change, the terrain changes quickly and very significantly as you hike up- from the iron crusted sandstone, to the grey limestone, dense green pinyon pines, and finally onto the black basalt boulders that overlook the canyons and formations. The weather may also have noticeable differences with the elevation change (snow remains on the plateau much longer, wind is more intense, etc.). The north side is much more green and wooded, which was nice to hike down as the day got hotter. This side is also much steeper with loose rock, so watch your footing, especially when coming down. Wildlife is abundant, especially during the warmer months. We saw two species of horned lizards, deer, possibly a bobcat, and other reptiles and insects. Lots of animal tracks in the mud as well. Not much shade, bring sunscreen and lots of water (1 hr per person, per hour of hiking in the summer; it took us 6 hours to do all the trails with a long break to eat). Both lookouts offer great views- might as well do both since you already hiked up the hardest part! Still my favorite out of so many great hikes in Sedona.

Chuck Wagon has great views with an easy hike on the way to hitting Devil’s Bridge Trail, but the very last section to climb up to the bridge is tough. Less experienced hikers will struggle on a couple passes, but persevere to get the views and the photo op!

please take a water pack I seen tons of people with a water bottle you'll need more, Dont take your babies I seen a few parents with tiny babies in the heat!! and dogs trying to look for shade, there hardly isnt any shade until your near the top. This trail quickly becomes ADVANCED when your at the last 15 min to the bridge. Overall the best experience was meeting people throughout the world encouraging each others THIS IS US!!

Great trail. There is an upper and lower chimney rock trail. We did the lower trail and it was an easy trail.

I shoved off, at 7:45am on a day with a forecast high of 101. I'm heat tolerant so was not concerned as I took plenty of fluids, about 3.5 liters. For hiking days like this, I freeze a Gatorade overnight so it melts during the hike and then tastes fantastic as a slush towards the end of the hike when I need it the most. I followed the north approach as I read it receives more shade than the southern approach. The first 1.9 miles is fairly steep with an average grade of 15%. Then on the First Bench a pleasant hike across a meadow prior to the final ascent. You will reach a sign post giving you the alternative to go left to the Sedona Overlook or right to the Canyon Overlook. I went right and the next mile is fairly flat and kind of boring but the final view is awesome. It took me 2:11 to reach the end (I'm on Strava so not a guess) of the 5 miles. I found a hiking pole helpful on the descent as there are some slick spots with a lot of loose pebbles. Finished the entire hike in 3:35. It was my birthday today, reaching 60. Damn it.

Beautiful scenery.

2 months ago

Went all the way to the arch,past end of trail. Returned back to 89A. Garmin shows 8.5 miles round trip. Great hike. Saw a lot of poison Ivy along trail. 4hours round trip with weighted backpack.

Just amazing views of red rocks and Sedona. A workout but not as difficult as some other hikes - well worth the effort.

2 months ago

Great hike! https://youtu.be/jxDfGxc9qNI

2 months ago

This trail is an ASS KICKER!! Super steep, rocky trail for the last half of the first 1.5 miles up to the bench, especially the switchbacks that might as well be washes. At the first half-mile up, I wanted to turn around, but because I'm stubborn, I did not. I took A LOT of short breaks. Be sure to drink a lot of water!! And start early!! I didn't even find the fabled bench on the 1st landing. There was a lot of cussing involved with those switchbacks since after every set it looked like the landing was next, but NOPE! I ended up resting under a tree by the overlook (really stinkin pretty btw). Pro-tip #1, those plants that look like aloe plants and definitely NOT aloe plants, and I got impaled by thorns and scratched up when I brushed up against one of those little shits. The summit trail was a lot easier, plenty of shade. Pro-tip #2, bring bug spray, sunscreen, and at least 3L of water. Pro-tip #3, the north canyon lookout trail is pretty washed out, not scenic, long as heck and takes forever, and filled with little gnats that swarmed in my face. I don't even think the view below was worth it. That trail won't survive another monsoon season. The Sedona lookout is totally worth it though. I reached that area around 430pm, so the pinks and reds were just starting to get brighter. The trip down was pretty easy except for the slight scrambling on some of the switchbacks. Theres some marvellous scenery into the gorge by the switchbacks you don't notice on the way up because you're too focused on not dying. Pro-tip #4, always pay attention to your feet on the way down, and if you want to look at the scenery DON'T DO IT WHILE WALKING!! You will slip on those rocks and possibly go careening off into the canyon. This truly is the "road that goes ever on and on" because you never know when you're going to be at where you're going.

I gotta say though, for the record, if my inexperienced, out-of-shape butt can summit this mountain, you can too. Took 3h up and 2h down (from the N canyon lookout).

This trail was hard AF, but if you're stubborn and brave enough, YOU CAN DO IT!!

(Side note, parking was easy at the picnic area, and I saw maybe 6 people total on the trail.)

Hot and dusty, but absolutely worthwhile. The Chuckwagon trail offers plenty of shade, and gives you some solitude away from the 4x4 traffic. The bridge is very cool.

2 months ago

Awesome hike hard to do late may when you’re not used to the heat. Didn’t see many people out. But be careful of poison oak that grows along the path. We hiked with somebody who great up knowing what it looks like and let us know when we were coming up to it.

Great hike with great views. Just about any avid to moderate hiker should be able to handle it just fine.

If you’ve done a lot of hiking this is easy and short once you reach the trailhead. Loved the bridge at the end but hike unremarkable except for that.

2 months ago

We did this a "break-in" hike in our visit to Sedona. This was a beautiful walk and trails marked very clearly. We did the adjoining tail around the hill next to Chimney too, and took its trail to the summit. Awesome, a little windy but the view across Verde Canyon and Sedona was breath taking. My wife said the colors were vibrant around both hills (very different greens and bright yellows -- she is so much more sensitive to color than I -- I saw a lot of greens and browns... still beautiful to me). Would do this again. Maybe bridge this to Vulte Arch next time.

2 months ago

Nice hike. I didn’t make it to the Arches, which is the full 3miles in, I believe. I stopped at the apex halfway, went a little down the backside (decent view 100 yards down) and returned. 45min to apex, about same back down. While it was quick, it was strenuous, but go at your own pace. Don’t let the difficulty scare you, I ran into octarians, septarians, etc... I was the youngest person on the trail (34yo).

It was a late morning hike, the sun is hot on the front side. Back side is well shaded and even green (in May).

I ran into a snake (not a rattler) mere steps off the trail. A lady I passed had spotted what she thought was a wild boar snorting around in the bush. Great views along the way, especially on the way back.

Great alternative to the road if you have an extra hour to spare for the longer journey.

Wow! This trail is very very tough. If you are in great shape and inexperienced hiker this will be no problem for you. Most likely. I myself am on the bigger side but and not that experienced. This trail should be rated Hard to be truthful. If it were not as hard I would have given it 5 stars. Due to the difficulty I couldn't enjoy it as much as I would like. The trail is beautiful. Very lush and shaded. The trail head is in the Encinoso day camp area. Be sure to use the bathroom before embarking on this hard trail.


Beautiful hike but more than 3 miles... plan accordingly

4 months ago

Did counterclockwise as others suggested. At only 1.8 miles, it is easy to add on more distance with other nearby trails including the lower chimney summit. Summit definitely worth it but a bit slippery coming back down. (May want to do clockwise if you want to put summit in your plans). Stayed very close to this trailhead and did this hike several times during our stay as a casual afternoon hike. Never got as busy as other trails.

Chuck wagon is flatter but interesting landscape with no crowds and no jeeps with great finale of devils bridge! Great for active families!

Whoa! Incredible views but if you have vertigo.. don’t look down. Strenuous, rocky steep. Go up over the pass and down the other side where the trail is softer, switch backs to Vultee Arch. But then you go back up and over again. 6.5 mi of ass kicking gorgeous hike!

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