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My husband and I did this hike in December. As people have said, there is little shade so start early and bring a hat/ lots of water. It took about 2 hours to get up and 1 hour to come back down, with little breaks/stopping. I think the trail is actually well marked... but I can see where people would get confused. As long as you follow the white markings and shoe prints, you should make it there just fine. Coming down is definitely hard on the knees and I can imagine this would be hard for anyone with significant knee problems. We loved all the views and so far this is our favorite Sedona hike!

10 hours ago

Amazing views.

This was just an amazing hike. Doing some reading of other people’s reviews, we tried to go the proper AZ Hot Springs trail first and then finish the loop through the White Rock Canyon trail. The split wasn’t obvious to us, and when we noticed we were going through a pretty prominent slot canyon, this app revealed that we had indeed went to White Rock instead of the Hot Springs, so make sure to check to see if you’re on the right track.

White Rock Canyon is a very pretty slot canyon with lots of shading and colorful rock formations. We made it to the river in decent time and spent our time looking for the trail to the hot springs. That water feels absolutely awesome on your skin after a nice hike. We even met the guy who re-sandbags the dams every fall.

Based on others’ reviews we decided to loop back via White Rock instead of the springs route, and we realized it’s a lot more of an incline than when we came down, so prepare for that. Can’t recommend this enough

2 days ago

Snow the last few miles but great hike

This is my favorite trail in Sedona and a must for anyone hiking the area. We hiked this trail in early December and the weather was perfect; started with jackets and slowly removed layers as we went on. We started the hike at 10:30am and went counter-clockwise. The changing topography and the views makes the hike fun and keeps your interest. The only down-side is the noise from the jeeps, 4-wheelers, and dirt bikes that drive on the dirt road that runs alongside Munds Wagon, which you barely hear once you’re on Cows Pie.

For those with hiking experience this is a fairly easy trail with some elevation gain where the incline is steady but not strenuous. A pair of shoes with good grip is highly recommended, especially as you round the mountain on Hangover; you need to go down very steep portions and at times shimmying down on your bum is your best option. Don’t always follow the white markers, which are for mountain bikers, because there are better lines just to the left or right of them better suited for hikers.

I read some reviews that say this is not a good trail for children. We brought our 9 year old and he had no issues. He has only hiked a couple times and moved quickly through the trail. He is a little scared of heights and was nervous on a few occasions, where we held his hand to help him out. He loved scrambling down the steep side and enjoyed the break at the saddle. I would suggest this hike for children.

I love exploring slot canyons. What I like about this trail is that when hiking the loop you hike through several different slot canyons. Non of them look alike. Each has their own uniqueness. I enjoyed hiking counterclockwise. I got some great pictures.

This is a spectacular hike and the end reward is absolutely magical, BUT be forewarned... this is NOT 6 miles round trip. It’s definitely closer to 11-12 miles round trip. I started pre sunrise and barely made it back post sundown. 12 hours. Yes, I did stop for photos and breaks and a bit to shelter from the rain... a six mile round trip is way different to prepare for than a 12 miles one. I had 5 liters of water and ran out with about 3/4 of mile to go (with a half mile of it being the highest climb out of the canyon). If you plan on hiking along the river, bring extra socks. Your feet are guaranteed to get wet. I had the entire area to myself for most of the day and came across three hikers on the way out. Some of the other comments said that they turned around... it was probably wise. But for those stubborn people like me, “getting to the end” can be very dangerous if you are not prepared.

**NOT A DAY HIKE (Unless you’re very experienced)**
This hike was one of my all time favorites as well as one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done. We hiked down with 40 pound packs and it was quite difficult. The first mile or so is a rock scramble that was difficult with pack on but very fun! It’s took us 2.5 hours to get down there. If you plan on going on this hike either leave at sunrise to get back by sunset (and bring a TON of water) or spend the night there. The hike back was very intense fighting gravity up the 3000 plus feet of elevation gain. It took us 4 hours to get back the second day. But the views down at the river were breathtaking.

**This hike is 6 miles each way. 12 miles total**

Went at the end of Nov. This trail should be rated hard solely due to how it starts and ends. There is a 1400 ft scramble that is steep and requires lots of attention. The trail is marked well. If you find that you haven't seen a rock stack in a min or two, stop and look. You might have to backtrack. Before you start, from the canyon edge, you can see the river and the water color. On this day it was the famous turquoise. Sadly. We turned around early due to timing. Remember, going up is more time than going down and the scramble is much harder going up!

12 days ago

Great hike. Loved the views. Lots of places for nice photos. Unfortunately my husband slowed me down. Ended up taking 2 1/2hours start to finish.

This is a fantastic and beautiful hike.

Getting There: For a more knee friendly route, I recommend taking the right fork following the wash down thru the slot canyons. Take plenty of pictures. You will know that you are at the end of the canyon when you see a rock formation on left that looks like a knight from a chessboard. Take a left here and follow the yellow arrows painted onto the rock. When you come to a place where the arrows point in opposite directions, look up! You have to go thru that ridge above you. The rest is easy-peezy. Follow the trail back into the second slot, climb the ladder and you will be at the bottom pool. This is the coolest pool and the most social one too. There are 3 pools and they get progressively hotter as you go up. Enjoy yourself.

Return Trip: To continue your hike, exit through the upper pool. Follow the slot canyon until it begins to open up. Start looking for the trail that follows the right wall with established signage. There is a Y soon. Be careful to follow the trail up into the hills on the left. If you miss the turn you will still end up at the parking area, just more mileage. Watch carefully for wildlife. I saw 4 bighorned sheep just after the saddle. Beautiful and docile, but don't get too close. They're well known for their ramming speed.

All in all this was a beautiful hike and would definitely repeat it, no problem. Temps were high of 60, which made for the perfect weather for this hike. Leave only footprints, take only memories... and plenty of pictures!

Awesome hike, ended up doing it twice in one week. Enjoyable walk through the canyons before hitting the river, and some of the hottest hot springs I’ve been in.

Loved this hike! The beginning seems mundane but quickly turns into a winding canyon with awesome views. The way down seem like a long time but the hot springs are so worth it.
The first spring is so hot you can’t even sit in it. Would definitely come back and spend a day here.

SPECTACULAR views! Went counter clockwise based on reviews.-starting from parking lot with Munds Wagon Trail. Then followed Cow Pie trail up and over the rocks until it ended at the beginning of Hangover which took us back down the other side. One of my most favorite hikes. If you don’t like climbing down rock- I suggest going clockwise up trail and going up Hangover trail at junction and taking Cow Pie down.

This is a fantastic little hike. There is mention no actual trail to follow and that is correct. There are not many cairns either so it’s helpful to know that once you park, go over the little hill through the wash, and go due WEST. A compass is necessary. Just follow it west through the wash and you’ll be fine.

Someone gave 1 star to this review because she didn't read it before she headed out. It is NOT open during the summer. And I can tell you this is such a correct information as there's no shade(maybe 10% of the time) and perfect cool weather to enjoy the Hot Springs. I recommend you to bring a sandal(not for a hike since I saw a tarantula right next to me!) for the hot springs and the river. Breathtaking! This was one of the BEST hikes I have ever done! Have fun! P.S. Some people were completely nude at the Hot Springs, just a heads up..

This is a good workout. Tough on the knees on the way down. There are a few false summits and I recommend stopping at the last one for rest and a snack before you make the final push as there aren’t any good spots for that at the summit.

19 days ago

Amazing trail! Very little snow and ice left on the trail in the shade in early April. Views are breathtaking.

20 days ago

I hiked this yesterday to evaluate for my wife, I am 68 and in very good shape but my wife has problems stepping down (knees) on steep step type grades. I went in on the south leg and back out on the north leg. There was a steep pitch down near the beginning that my wife would have trouble with. There are a few 4 and 5 ft smooth rock drops that require you to skid on your butt and boots. There is one 4 ft drop that you have to sit and jump down off the rock. These drops and jumps down are lower down in the canyon as you get closer to the 3 hot pools. Water temp was great but I walked past those soaking and climbed the 15 foot metal ladder down into the wash for another 1000 yards to the Colorado river for a lunch break. The north return trail starts about 20 yards above the fire rings, with only a small sign on metal post. As in the photos you will see yellow arrows pointing the way in confusing spots. There is a bit of steep up and down at the beginning but then becomes a smooth walk in the wash most of the way north eastward out of the canyon. When I return with my wife we will go in the opposite direction. This hike is a real gem !

20 days ago

We didn’t expect this hike to be as long/difficult as it was. We clocked it at just under 5 miles and about 1900 ft elevation gain. There are about 3 humps/false summits before you reach the top. Btw, the top isn’t the first red rock you see from the parking lot. It’s way behind. Fun hike with good views though!

21 days ago

Well marked trail right now as long as you follow the white paint signs. Good workout good views. Leave time for the way down - it’s a little slow with the rocks.

23 days ago

Smooth and relatively easy hike on a good sunny day in November. Hiked up with my 3 years old kid on the back - 3 hours loop with a few stops to eat and take pictures.
Very clear path with white marks on the ground.

great place to hike

Incredible the whole way, amazing views, beautiful day. Coming back we did get confused and we where lost for some time until a biker should us how to get back on track. I am no expert and could do it, but took me many hours to do the complete loop. Would definitely recommend it!

26 days ago

for the younger folks: You will do fine if you are in good shape.

for older folks: bring a pole. it will come in handy on return trip when your legs are a little tired and you need to get over the high steps.

Not an easy hike unless you are used to this altitude and do this on a regular basis. also i recommend getting an early start (8am). for two reasons. one is for parking which gets full quick especially on weekends and two because the sun is on you the entire way up. its a bit chilly with early start so u will need a sweater.

This is an incredibly special trail, though quite difficult in many areas especially for people like me afraid of heights! Particularly when the wind is whipping threatening to tear you off the rock face! Not for the faint of heart. Scenery is spectacular the entire trek. We went counterclockwise and at the bottom the sign reads: difficult, technical skills needed! One of the harder hikes, not moderate. Loved the excitement and beauty. Don’t miss this trail.

Must do if you are in the area! Nice loop trail with great views.

Strenuous but not perilous. There are plenty of flat spots to properly place your feet securely, and those places where you are walking on inclined rocks have clean grippy surfaces which do not lead to an imminent cliff. Similar stair-stepping typical of the Northeast like the AT or White mountains, a well maintained trail. Plenty of white painted hash marks to keep you from veering off. As for middle-aged knees: mine aren’t great anymore but I don’t trust trekking poles on steep descents. I prefer slowing it down and using my hands to keep good balance on surrounding surfaces while extending the foot downward to a secure foot placement. This trail allowed for that and for the confidence that if you slip you won’t go far and slide into an abyss like some of the other trails around Sedona. Another bonus of this trail is the great perspective down into Fay Canyon. We did Fay in the earlier AM then Bear starting midday, round trip for the latter being 4hours 20minutes at a steady pace. A great day!

29 days ago

Great hike, tremendous views of Sedona as well as a Flagstaff.

Great hike! Did the whole loop, 3 good size hot spring pools.

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