Best trails in Coconino National Forest, Arizona

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Looking for a great trail in Coconino National Forest, Arizona? AllTrails has 299 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 173 moderate trails in Coconino National Forest ranging from 0.7 to 75.4 miles and from 3,162 to 10,318 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

Located in northern Arizona, Coconino National Forest is a 1.856-million acre forest that surrounds Sedona and Flagstaff . It is one of the most diverse National Forests in the country with landscapes varying from Red rock, southwestern desert, ponderosa pine forests, alpine tundra, and ancient volcanic peaks. Coconino National Forest borders other nearby National Forests, including the Prescott National Forest, Tonto National Forest, and Kaibab National Forest. The park also encompasses portions of ten wilderness areas. The park is divided into three different districts, the Flagstaff District, the Red Rock District, and the Mogollon Rim District . Each of the districts contains its own unique landscapes and environments. The Flagstaff district contains Arizona's highest peak, Humphreys Peak, which is part of the San Francisco Peaks, and the San Francisco Volcanic Field. In this district you will find lava fields and underground lava tubes, including Lava River Cave. Mormon Lake can be found at the southern portion of the district, as well as Ashurst Lake and Marshall Lake, which are located along the Anderson Mesa. The Anderson Mesa is best known for the Lowell Observatory. The Red Rock district sits near Sedona and contains the canyons, mesas, and famous red rock formations Sedona is known for. The most notable sights include Devil's Bridge and Cathedral Rock. This district also contains Oak Creek Canyon, which is one of the most popular attractions within Coconino National Forest. Oak Creek Canyon has a beautiful display of fall foliage, making autumn an excellent time to visit. The Mogollon Rim District is the last district and is located along the Mogollon Rim, which marks the southern boundary of the Colorado Plateau. The Mogollon Rim District is dominated by ponderosa pine forest and contains some small lakes and streams. The forest offers something for all outdoor enthusiasts, whether you are looking for hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, or mountain biking. The forest is also great for nature lovers, as it home to a diverse body of wildlife including birds, amphibians, fish, reptiles, and mammals such as black bears and elk.

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Map of trails in Coconino National Forest, Arizona
Park information
Acreage:
1,821,495 acres
Contact
928-527-3600
Top trails (299)
#1 - Devils Bridge Trail
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(9001)
Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 1 h 34 m
Devils Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch located in the Sedona area of Coconino National Forest. This is a great hike that offers breathtaking views of Red Rock country. This route is relatively short, but does have a steep climb at the end. The official trailhead starts along the unpaved portion of Dry Creek Road (FR 152) and requires a high clearance vehicle to access. If you only have a low clearance vehicle, you can park in the parking lot at the Dry Creek Road trailhead as shown on this map, which is approximately 1 mile from the official trailhead, or at the Mescal Trailhead located on Long Canyon Road. If you park at the Mescal Trailhead, you will take the Mescal Trail to Chuckwagon Trail to meet this route. From the parking area, follow the marker for Devil's Bridge Trail. The early portion of the trail was originally a jeep trail so it is smooth and traverses through washes filled with juniper and prickly pear cactus. Once you come to the base of the bridge, you will continue up a natural rock staircase that has beautiful views. You will reach another level of stairs which will take you up to the bridge. This popular trail is certainly a tourist attraction so make sure to arrive early to avoid large crowds. There will most likely be many people at the top taking a photo on the bridge. Although dogs are allowed on the trail, the steps at the end are steep and may not be suitable for all dogs.Show more
#2 - Cathedral Rock Trail
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(6125)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 28 m
Cathedral Rock in Sedona is a short hike that offers great views of the naturally occurring rock formations in the heart of red rock country. Due to its incredible scenery and short distance, this is an extremely popular option for hikers of all ages. Be sure to put this one on your list if you ever find yourself hiking in Sedona! The Cathedral Rock Trailhead can be accessed off of Back'O'Beyond Road. There are two parking lots. However, the trail can also be accessed from the Baldwin and Templeton trails. The trip to the top of Cathedral Rock is an amazing hike in the southern part of Sedona. It's just under 1.5 miles round trip but the 740+ ft elevation gain make this a moderately difficult hike with portions where near vertical climbing is required. While you scramble your way up the rocky trail, be sure to follow the basket cairns to stay on track. From the trailhead the hike can be half hour to an hour each way. The views at the top of the hike are more than worth it, especially during sunset. Be sure to wear proper closed toed hiking shoes with good grip for an easier climb up and down. Dogs are allowed in this area, but it is not advisable to bring them on this trail. The route requires a lot of scrambling, which would be difficult for most dogs.Show more
#3 - Soldier Pass Trail
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(2234)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 1 h
Soldier Pass is a must-do hike for all visitors to Sedona. With just a moderate challenge, hikers are able to view several natural wonders. The trailhead has a very small parking lot that is frequently full. The parking lot is open from 8 AM to 6 PM daily. If there’s no parking at the trailhead, try the Jim Thompson Trailhead on Jordan Road. From there, you can take the Cibola Pass Trail to the start of the Soldier Pass Trail. There is no parking along the road in the neighborhood near the trailhead. Starting out, you’ll quickly reach Devil’s Kitchen. This incredible geologic feature is a sinkhole formed by the collapse of enormous underground caverns. Continue northward along the trail, and you’ll soon be at the Seven Sacred Pools. These small pools are formed into the rock, amidst a striking desert backdrop. Continue up the trail, and you’ll soon see a turnoff to Soldier Pass Cave and Soldier Arch. This short but steep trail takes you right up to the cave. This area is fun to boulder hop and wander, providing views of the valley below. Once you’ve had your fill, return down the steep trail to Soldier Pass Trail. Once you’re back on Soldier Pass Trail, take a right and continue toward the pass. The trail will eventually level out and you’ve reached the pass. From here, you can turn around and return the way you came, or continue onto the Brins Mesa Trail. Note that this area is popular for jeeps and off-road driving, so you will likely see vehicles near the start of the trail. Show more
#4 - Bear Mountain Trail
Coconino National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(2154)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 3 h 19 m
Red Rocks Pass needed - there is a kiosk located at the trailhead parking lot off of Boynton Pass Road. The 360-degree views at the top of Bear Mountain are unforgettable. Bring a windbreaker to layer up with since it could get windy and cold at the summit. There are several deceptive false summits beforehand after which you do descend into a small saddle. Keep an eye out for the white diamond trail markers to find your way. You will see views of Fay Canyon off to the northeast. It’s a rugged trail and some sections are on pure rock at an almost vertical drop. Wear shoes with good traction! Show more
#5 - Fay Canyon Trail
Coconino National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(2380)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 18 m
The Fay Canyon Trail offers some of the best in Sedona hiking. The parking lot and trailhead are located off of Boynton Pass Road. There are interesting rock formations, red rock, beautiful canyon walls, and box canyons. The good canopy and cool canyon bottom make for an excellent hike. Some parts of the trail get rocky as it crosses old dry creek beds. This small hidden canyon supports tree and wildlife. One of the main highlights of the trail is the Fay Canyon Arch, a natural arch that stands half way through the trail. From here, there are good views of the surrounding cliffs. Overall, this is a must do hike if you are in the area. Show more
#6 - Birthing Cave
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1606)
Length: 2.0 mi • Est. 1 h
This is a scared cultural site. Please be respectful, pack in and pack out all trash and personal belongings and leave the trail cleaner than you found it. This is a beautiful short trail up to a cave with fantastic views at the end! If you want to see the panorama from the back you must be brave and a good climber to get into the small, slippery cave. Don’t underestimate the length: it's rated moderate but the last part of the hike is definitely hard. Once you make it to the cave, your effort will be rewarded with an amazing view. Make sure you bring plenty of water as there are very little shaded areas. You will not have cell phone service once you leave the trailhead. Start on the Long Canyon Trail and after a little bit, you'll pass by a golf course on the right side. Once you've been walking for 0.6 from the trailhead, you'll reach a fork in the road. The left side will be blocked by a log. Take that path and you'll see a barbed wire on the right side. This means you're on the right path to the Birthing Cave.Show more
#7 - Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass to Brins Mesa Loop
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1292)
Length: 5.0 mi • Est. 2 h 35 m
Parking is limited so you may need to park at the Jordan trailhead or at the Teacup parking lot and hiked the Teacup trail to Soldiers Pass, which will add over a mile each way. Please visit the park website for more updated information. Great hike with amazing views. You will want to bring sunscreen and water as there is little shade. This trail can also get relatively crowded, check out the waypoints for an alternate starting point if the trailhead marked here gets too crowded. The loop is great either direction, and there is also an optional turn off for the mesa if you want to add a little distance and elevation.Show more
#8 - Airport Loop Trail
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1450)
Length: 3.2 mi • Est. 1 h 34 m
Loop Trail is very pretty, but very rocky. It's not a super hard trail from an elevation and climbing perspective, but the rocky terrain can make it more challenging.Show more
#9 - Broken Arrow Trail
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1332)
Length: 2.8 mi • Est. 1 h 7 m
Although fairly short, the Broken Arrow Trail is considered one of the best jeep roads in Arizona. It is extremely fun to drive, hike, or ride, and the red rock scenery is out of this world. Some of the notable features include great views, slick rock, unique rock formations like Submarine Rock (this route does not go to Submarine Rock, but you can view it from here), Chicken Point, and Devil’s Dining Room Sinkhole. This is an extremely popular route and traffic can be very heavy at times. Pull-outs are provided. Do not widen the trail by trying to pull over anywhere other than the pull-outs. You may have to back up. This is also a very popular hiking and mountain biking area, so be alert and courteous at all times. If you park, hike, or stop along the route, you'll need a Red Rocks Pass Located in Coconino National Forest. For current conditions call Red Rock Ranger District (928) 203-2900. The parking lot is located off of Morgan Road. Several large rock ledges require high ground clearance but the obstacles are not overwhelming because little articulation is required. The hardest obstacle is called, "The Steps," which is driven downhill. This obstacle is very steep and will be intimidating to an inexperienced driver; however, stock SUVs with high ground clearance should be able get down just fine. You may scrape bottom so skid plates are recommended. This trail is very well marked and easy to follow.Show more
#10 - Munds Wagon, Cow Pies and Hangover Loop Trail
Coconino National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1060)
Length: 8.2 mi • Est. 4 h 6 m
Due to the heat and elevation gain, this hike is on the harder end of the moderate difficulty rating.Show more
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