First Bench of Wilson Mountain is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and is primarily used for hiking and running. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,788 feet Route Type: Out & Back

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rocky

This trail is moderate-to-hard in my opinion, but definitely not as hard as some other ones marked as “hard”. It is about 3.2mi one way. All the way up you walk a narrow path, that is an incline 95% of the way up. The view is quite rewarding, though, although doesn’t change and you just see the bridge down below all the time. Around the “First Bench” you get a nice view north, at the San Fran Peaks. I think there are more spectacular walks / hikes in Sedona, but this one is quite a challenge, and might be rewarding to many.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful! Considering elevation gain, relatively easy incline. No super steep gains. Would rate moderate. Nice wildflowers throughout and PLENTY of views throughout. Highly recommend.

hiking
21 days ago

Easy to follow trail, nearly impossible to lose. Went on a Saturday afternoon in May and only passed about 6 other people in the span of 4.5 hours (there and back). Ended up being 7 miles total from the trailhead. Starts out fairly easy with more of a forest setting until the final bit of the trail, which is more of a climb with amazing views. Was more of a moderate trail, or better for hikers who want peaceful, secluded nature & don’t love technical trails or rock climbing/scrambles. Might be a very beautiful sunrise hike. Parking lot (fee) is small & at fills up quickly at trailhead so you may need to park in one of the turnoffs and walk along the road to the trailhead.

hiking
26 days ago

Great hike with spectacular views all the way up! A lil toasty today (100 degrees) but there are spots to rest in the shade... Pretty hard up hill until you can see Weavers Needle in the distance... Easy on the way back/down however!!

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scramble
1 month ago

Awesome! Take a hat, lots of water & snacks for fuel. Absolutely gorgeous - not too hard but not too easy. Layers are good - super windy & cold in spots

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snow
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! The snow melt made a little stream of water mid-way up the trail for quite a ways + mud and slippery conditions. Near the bench there was quite a bit of packed and slippery ice. If you continue up to the fork that takes you to the Sedona Overlook or towards Mt Wilson peak, there is about 15" of snow with most of it packed into a nice snowy trail. The views are amazing!

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4 months ago

Pretty easy, far from hard. Last 200 yards to the bench it gets icy and on top snow up to one ft and path icy. To go further take spikes etc

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fee
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5 months ago

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no shade
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scramble
7 months ago

This was a great trail! We started hiking at 6:30AM and it was so shady and cool. Parking was easy as we were the only ones there. We left our National Park Annual Pass (America the Beautiful Pass) on the dashboard of the car as it covers the parking/Red Rock Pass. Took us about 2 hrs to get to the top and probably about 1hr to get down. We only saw a couple people come up as we were going down at 9AM and it was HOT! No more of the shade that we saw in the AM. Highly recommend to start this trail early in the morning as we didn’t once feel hot going up but felt the heat when we went down. Everybody is right that this was a gradual incline and that some parts were narrow so be confident and careful where you step. Overall, we would rate this a moderate and not a hard for a relatively experienced hiker. Enjoy the beautiful panoramic views!

hiking
8 months ago

One of the most spectacular hikes I’ve done. Parking lot is tiny so be prepared, and there’s a $5 fee as well. We got there early and didn’t see a single person the whole way up, only about 10 on the way down. 11/10

hiking
Mon Apr 08 2019

This was a fantastic hike. There is constant elevation gain throughout the hike. We were on the trailhead by 7:30 and there were a few parking spots left. There are several hikes that begin in the lot. The elevation gain is constant and gradual. We do a lot of rock hiking so this was different to see a lot of green. The views going up are outstanding. We are both in our 60’s and in pretty good hiking shape, it was not that difficult. Watch your footing in the exposed areas. There is some room on the trail for error, but at several points it’s straight down if you fall. We were in and out in 3 1/2 hours including time for breakfast and several stops for pictures. The best part of the hike was only seeing 8 people the entire time! This beats any hike we’ve done in Sedona.

hiking
Sun Mar 17 2019

Steady uphill ascent through the entire hike, but you are rewarded with amazing views along the way but even better along the last mile after you get above the trees. Only saw a few other people, was very peaceful and quiet. Be warned though that most of the trail has loose rock so hiking poles and good shoes are advised.

recorded Wilson Canyon Trail

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Fri Mar 15 2019

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Sun Mar 03 2019

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Sun Mar 03 2019

The views on Wilson Mountain Trail are outstanding. Our group didn't have time to make it up to the first bench (we hiked about an hour up and didn't make it there before needing to turn back). The trail was quite muddy, likely because it rained the day prior. The trail is rated "hard," but definitely is not. There was minimal scrambling and a couple in our group did not have hiking boots and had no issue. Would love to hike the full trail next time!

Tue Nov 20 2018

All time go to hike, then up to the second bench, all the way to the back, overlooking the wilderness and San Francisco Peaks

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