Explore the most popular river trails in Coconino National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great for all ages, easy 1 mile hike if parked in the designated water parking lot. Must have and reserve pass ahead of time.

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail. Tougher than we thought it would be, but we are fairly new to hiking. Bring more water than you think you’ll need! Ran into a few that ran out of water before they even made it to the crack. Loved the swimming hole.

hiking
2 days ago

This is a good trail with a steady grade and great views. It's mildly steep, then levels out, then gets steep again. Not bad. I'm surprised this trail has that much elevation gain, but I guess when it's spread out over 8 miles, it doesn't feel like much.

Take advantage of the viewpoints along the way, they are great!

My major caution is to do this when it's not hot outside! The trail begins in the trees and then gradually gets lower, among juniper trees and scrub bushes. The temperature change was immediate as soon as we left the pines. And the scrub bushes are a bit overgrown and scratch at your legs. This area is also in direct sun.

Overall really fun hike. Not too hard. There’s a lot of sun exposure for the first couple of miles so make sure to bring lots of water! The water features are worth the hike!

Exposed with little shade. Swimming in creek was the best part!

hiking
8 days ago

8 of us did this hike Sunday 8-5-18, it was fantastic. Pretty much no shade but it's an easy hike with only a couple moderate spots. The jumping rock is perfect and easy to use and the water is always cold. As many other reviews have stated the hike gets hot, bring lots of water. I brought an empty water gallon and filled it from the river for the hike out, half way back it was getting warm so I drenched myself, best decision.

This place is amazing. The weather was perfect. My family of four went thru 6 water bottles and a bag full of snacks we drove up thru Payson, from fountain hills and it took us 3.5 hours to get to the parking lot. Here are some pointers for you. 1. get a permit 2. wear your suit 3. bring aqua socks 4. wear sunscreen 5. pack food(a meal and snacks) and water 6. plan for a whole day. We went on a Monday and it wasn't busy at all. The water holes along the way were great to hang at or cool off. We will go again.

hiking
14 days ago

my wife and I did this hike. It sprinkled rain most of the day except for one point where the clouds cleared and the sun hit the trail and it was hotttt. Overall a fantastic hike and the treasure at the end as well worth the walk. bring your hiking hammock there are some great spots to hang it up near the water hole.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful scenery but disappointed by the end of the trail. It doesn't really go anywhere and just peters out to nothing. Well worth doing though. Also very few other people out on this trail which is a definite bonus!

Amazing wilderness trail, in this beautiful desert!

hiking
20 days ago

Overall I liked this hike, as it had pretty much everything I look for, from a Sedona trail: enough cardio to call it a hike :), views, red rocks, and open sky.
Downside: Parking. Always with the bad parking here in Sedona! ...but it's to be expected because it's such a gorgeous place that so many ppl want to see. So, considering, instead of attempting to park at the trailhead, maybe park at a nearby business and Uber the rest of the way.
There aren't any parking options outside of the trailhead's parking lot because this trailhead is smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood with NO PARKING signs allllll over. I anticipate the residents are quick to call towers. So, again, Uber.
The first half of it feels more like a tour because you walk past a sinkhole, which has placards explaining the science behind sinkholes; and, the occasional pink Jeep drives by. (Hence my 3 stars.)
You'll see the 7 sacred pools, which weren't very pool-like when I was there due to minimal rain; but still, they were interesting nonetheless.
Once you get out of the initial part of the trail, it becomes more like a hike. This is the stretch that felt worth it. You climb a moderate slope to the top, all along the way rising to pretty views of the valley below. Once you crest the ridge, you can no longer see signs of everyday life.
For me, I prefer a more remote trail - something that makes me feel like I'm deeper in nature. So, again, this is why I give this trail 3 stars. I didn't get that feeling until I was 1/2 way through.
Nevertheless, one is hard-pressed to walk away from a Sedona trail unhappy. I mean, c'mon...it's Sedona.

Need a pass in advance. Fun little trail. cool to say you did it but it's very short.

The full Parsons trail is long but beautiful. Pace yourself and take plenty of water (a filter is ideal so you can refill). There are some places where the trail has washed out or crosses a rock field; take the time to make cairns. Most of all enjoy the beautiful scenery!

hiking
26 days ago

29 days ago

Alot of great scenary pretty breathe taking, you will have to follow your nose to get around but you won't get lost. Def go

hiking
29 days ago

A nice/somewhat easy trail with beautiful, photographic views in every direction. However, the trails are not marked well... I was lost a few times and relied on the direction of other hikers/cyclists, as well as the downloaded All Trails map. It was clean and I didn’t see too much garbage. Not too busy during the AM weekend hours. Plenty of shade but make sure you pack sunscreen and water anyway!

Beautiful, clean hike. Definitely get your permit before you go.

Unbelievable how the castle was constructed. Also provides a fresh perspective on how good we have it with modern conveniences.

Fun trail, found the sink hole, but the rest of the path to 7 pools were not marked well

Very nice trail and pretty easy. A bit hot at the start so take plenty of water. The cool stream at the end is well worth the journey. It was very quiet too - I only came across three people on the entire hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views, although not as much water and creek as we had hoped. There is not much cover so definitely prepare for the sun and heat. We went on a Sunday around noon and didn’t see many people. Bring lots of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views
Poor trail signaling
Not too steep, not too long...
The file on the app was a loop with a "line attached to the loop" I followed that line and the trial ended, and pretty much had to turn right to followed the trail and before I knew it I was in soldier pass spur, which connected to mesa brin , and decided to turn around.
I was expecting to pretty much have the arches jump out in front of me.

Also, parking lot fits about 14 cars I believe...

Do some research If you want to get to the arches or caves, the pass, etc...

Just completed this trail 6/9/18, and it's a great moderate trail with beautiful scenery.

First off, play attention to the stack of rocks on the trail. (guidance rocks)

Secondly, the road to get the trail is pavement/dirt road. As a Offroading hobbiest *You DO NOT need a 4wd or Awd vehicle*; took a Honda Civic and no problem. If you have driven to Fossil Creek, it is alot less bumpier than that.
Moreover, the trail has a few swimming spots, the first 1.5 mile you will see spots to cliff jump and relax. We were told by several people the trail ended a mile after, boy they where wrong. We ran into *a boulder where the dirt trail ends* what they didn't notice was the trail veers off to the right.
Once you follow the trail you will cross small creek beds. At one river bed you will find a pile of rocks on the other side to guide you. You will find small cave holes, stagnant water spots, and great views of rock deformation.

At the end of the trail you will find a beautiful Oasis. The water is clear with small turtles, fish and crawdads.
*Warning* the rocks are very slippery even with water shoes, take it slow going down as the rocks in the water a covered with light moss.
Enjoy and whatever you pack it in, pack it out!

1 month ago

Offroad permit required in advance.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike and great views

Great swimming hole about 1.5 miles in on the trail. Took young kids with us and they did fine. Take plenty of water and decent hiking shoes. 4wd vehicle is not needed to get to trail head.

1 month ago

Good trail for light hiking jogging. Some views, 2 really nice stream crossovers.

1 month ago

Tough in 100 degrees but as long as your prepared it’s a great hike. Tougher than it seems but fun.

Great hike. Get there early or bring plenty of water. Not much coverage till you reach the peak

hiking
1 month ago

Loved it! I recorded 8mi RT somehow. Didn’t realize this is the hike to “the crack” great cliff jumping at the end! The water feels great!!!
The hike itself I would say is pretty moderate. Has some incline, but nothing strenuous. My dog did it just fine. It was “monsoon” weekend. It drizzled the whole day with humidity in the mid to low 80s-ish. I would definitely do it again!

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