Secret Canyon Trail is a 9.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length9.8 miElevation gain935 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlife
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Getting There

Off 89A, turn on Dry Creek Rd heading North. Turn right on FR 152 (Forest Road 152). You need a high clearance vehicle for this; it is not suitable for passenger vehicles. You have to drive in on FR 152 about 3.5 miles. This will take you about an extra 30 minutes each way, as there are lots of rocks and dips and turns. Very rough road. Trail head is well marked. First 2.5 miles is sand, dust, and rocks. Second half is where it gets lovely, with pine scents.

Arizona Office of Tourism, 2702 N. 3rd St., Suite 4015 , Phoenix, AZ, 85004, Phone: 888-520-3434, Fax: 602-240-5432, mfioritt@pni.com

Bug spray. Chalk to mark your route, or build markers to add to what others have done. This helped us a couple times, because as we all know, it's easy to get turned around out there. Protect sensitive gear (cameras, binoculars, phones), as there is a lot of DUST the first and last 2 miles, plus on the road out to TrailHead. I had a swarm of gnats around my face from mile 3 to about mile 4.5. Creepy. Not sure why they were swarming me, but wished I had something to fend them off - or even my bandana to cover my face. Take plenty of water. Allow extra time to just "be" there. We powered through, but would like to go back and allow 6 hours for it. It feels inspiring to be in those canyons - take time to let that seep in. I'd suggest you add an hour to our time, to give yourself some breaks. One more trip. We passed some horseriders, on a a narrow trail on a hillside. We yielded, as we trail etiquette dictates. However, here is a note of caution. We yielded on the downward side of the hill. A horse had difficulty, and lost his footing. Had that horse lost his footing one foot earlier, he would have taken out my husband. Yield on the higher side of the hilldside, so that if the horse struggles and has to grapple to regain his footing, you are not in his way.

Directions from Flagstaff: Drive 27 miles south from Flagstaff to Sedona on US 89A. Continue through Sedona to Dry Creek Road (152C) at the west end of town. Turn right on Dry Creek Road and drive for two miles to Forest Road 152. This road is rough, but can be traveled by passenger vehicles. It is not recommended during wet weather. About 3 miles up this road on the left (west) side of the road is a two-track road. Turn onto this road. There is a trailhead sign at the junction of these two roads. The parking area is approximately 200 feet behind the sign.

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Reviews (67)
Photos (133)
Activities (61)
Completed (186)
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David Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 18, 2021
Hiking

Anybody know if there’s any running water in the canyon currently?

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Andrea Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 7, 2021
HikingOver grownSnow

I don't have a 4WD, so I parked at Long Canyon and did Chuckwagon, went up the dirt path, and entered Secret Canyon Trail that way. The trail isn't very clear and there's a lot of overgrown trees that ultimately required off-path bushwhacking which wasn't very pleasant. After the fork with David Miller trail, there's a lot of snow and if there weren't footprints ahead of me, I wouldn't have known where the trail goes. Even then, the trail disappears around 1 mile in after the fork, which is unfortunate. I'd recommend waiting a while before attempting this trail.

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Kerri Gallagher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 23, 2021
Hiking

If you are flying in to from out of state to get here, do yourself a favor and get a Jeep wrangler or other high clearance vehicle from the airport rent-a-car place!!! We actually did not hike this trail. Because we rented a hybrid Ford Fusion. Should have spent the extra $400 to rent the Wrangler for the week from Enterprise instead of having to pay $400 to rent a high clearance vehicle for the day from one of the many places in town.

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Gennadiy A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2020
HikingGreat!Over grown

Did this trail in late October and it was amazing with the autumn colors. So many different colors with the tree and then the canyon itself is just awesome. I can imagine in the spring it's when cooler because the water from the creek may be running and the whole hike is along the creek doing switchbacks. The trail is pretty overgrown but follow the carrans and you'll be fine. Id also download an offline map of the area on google maps to have an idea of where you are along the creek. The trail is somewhat easy to follow as long as you look for footsteps and squashed vegetation and the carrans. where it gets more challenging is about the last mile especially for us because all the leaves covered the trail. However after getting slightly lost and find the end of the creek we turned back and found the initial trail. we stacked two large stacks of carrans to show where the trail is. not sure if they still stand but they were well structured. the end of the trail is on top a ravine. you'll see along the canyon wall some idiots spray painted LSD on the canyon wall and had a fire. if you keep walking along the trail on the right you'll just keep walking for another half mile to basically an animal trail or an extremely overgrown off trail. we did the hike in a day but I'd love to camp out there. tons of camp spots and great views

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Nathan Arndt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 7, 2020
BackpackingOver grownRockyScramble

Very overgrown. Trails hard to follow. HS Canyon does not connect to Secret Canyon. Secret Canyon trail disappears about halfway through, shortly after last campsite.

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Stan Kantowski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2019
Hiking

Instead of high clearance vehicle you can park you car by Long Canyon and take a Chuck wagon and then walk road 152 but it adds over 5 mile to a hike and road walk is nothing special. Trail itself is great with unique views in the middle and plenty of animals like javalinas and deers. Did not made all the way to the end because of the time but also very primitive vegetation, you fight the element, trees, brush etc. however I highly recommend the hike.

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Irvin Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 16, 2019
HikingOver grownWashed out

Great Trail, but the trail washes out about 4.3 miles into the hike, couldn’t make out any continuous trails or markers, which does make it a “Secret Canyon” lol . But overall a great hike with amazing views of course. The Stacked rocks help you keep track of the trail especially crossing the washes.

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Kenzie Southard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 18, 2019
Hiking

For some reason the “getting there” section says passenger vehicles can travel to trailhead — they can’t. So if you don’t want to hike 3 miles on the road going in to get to the trailhead and another 3 miles on the road going out, try this alternative way to get to the trailhead, showed to us by Penny at The Hike House. Take Dry Creek Road as if you were going to the Devil’s Bridge parking area, but stay on Dry Creek Road until it turns into Boynton Pass Road. Take a right at the T on Long Canyon Road, go past Mescal parking area, look for the Long Creek Canyon trailhead (park here) and take the Chuckwagon trail on southeast side of road for 1.5 miles. Turn left on Brinn’s Mesa and stay on it for 0.2 miles, then go left on road heading north for one mile to trailhead. This ends up being an approach of 2.7 miles on beautiful trail (with only 1 mile of it on the road, instead of 3 solid miles on the road coming from the Devil’s Bridge parking area). Secret Canyon was a beautiful, secluded trail, and if you get far enough in, you are rewarded with going down into a canyon with Ponderosa Pines and a cold babbling brook to soak your feet in (in April at least). There is direct sun for a lot of the path, and I drank all my 3 liters of water, even in April, with a round trip of 11.3 miles. Once you’re deep in the canyon there is more shade.

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Mark Barton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 12, 2019
Hiking

we hiked up Brins Mesa to dry creek rd (which is a 4x4 only road) the up dry creek about .8 miles to the secret canyon trail. we made it as far as the David Miller trail head and I recorded our return back to the Brins Mesa trail head. total distance was about 13.5 miles. great hike, trails in great condition, not crowded and great weather too

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Elijah Diaz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 1, 2019
Hiking

The walk to the trail head sucked. Other then that it was beautiful. Got off trail once or twice. Keep an eye out for the rock stack markers people left, They’ll help keep you on track. Definitely want to come back at some point and camp over night.

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Andy Porter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 31, 2019
Backpacking

Beautiful hike along Secret Canyon. The watercourse is typically dry but had nice flow on March 31, 2019. Plenty of camping opportunities. The first 2 miles are fairly open with some stunning views but after the David Miller Trail oak and ponderosa provide shade and limited views. The last half-mile of the trail (after the AllTrails "red" trail ends) is fairly overgrown, though it passes through a really nice gorge. Note that currently (Apr. 2019) the AllTrails default map shows HS Canyon Trail to form a loop with Secret Canyon Trail - this has changed and HS Canyon is not an out-and-back trail with its trailhead at the southern point of the AllTrails loop.

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Jack McClane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 30, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful hike. Did it as a two day one night backpacking trip with my buddy Art and my dog Lucy. Really beautiful scenery. Hiked at end of March and the days weren’t too hot and night wasn’t too cold. Highly recommend. Lots of mountain bikers in first mile or two and then after that we didn’t see too many people. Also - at time of year we did it plenty of water.

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Ben Ingersoll
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 19, 2019
Hiking

Great hike.

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Olivia Farr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 16, 2018
Backpacking

Backpacked in starting on the dirt road from the Dry Creek Trailhead parking lot. Adds more than 3 miles but we didn’t record b/c we’re dumb so not sure how many- by the scale on the map, looks about 5mi. It’s not strenuous by any means but it’s not shaded and it feels long. The trail to secret canyon is beautiful and challenging, especially with packs, but worth it. Very secluded and lots of camping options along the trail as you make your way into the canyon. We didn’t hike all the way in, found a spot near water and camped, then hiked out the next day.

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Kimberly Ohmsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 4, 2018
Hiking

Get there early.. So many people! Water crossings are not a concern at the moment. The views are well worth it. Those with off road vehicles are best fit for this trail. The walk in if you don’t have an off road vehicle is almost 3 miles..

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Tania Martinez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 29, 2018
Backpacking

I've back packed this trail both when the creek was dry and when the water was flowing great. Either way is gorgeous views but the flowing creek makes for a little extra adventure. For the most part, so long as you're paying attention, the trail is easy enough to follow, with the exception being you might have to search a little bit more when the creek is flowing. But otherwise, amazing hike every time.

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Kate Knott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2017
Backpacking

This was definitely a gem of a spot. Hope it stays a secret,but some gems are worth sharing. It was an easy backpacking hike from long canyon, to chuck wagon trail and down a 4x4 road (only made for true 4x4 vehicles), then rambled our way into secret canyon. It was around 5 miles. (Get a good map of the area and the trail linking was quite simple). We spent two nights there as it was the perfect getaway with our kids age 6 and 11. We loved day hiking to the end of the canyon where the trail faded away through old growth ponderosa pines. We packed in all our water, though we found some stagnant pools in a few places that could have been filtered for a last resort need, as it hadn't rained in 3 months. Hauling 6 gallons of water was a little crazy but the rewards of this remote canyon made it worth it. Beautiful views, great areas to explore and it felt like we were a world away. We saw a dozen shooting stars in the middle of the night. Truly a secret gem of a place.

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Cindy Howton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 21, 2017
Hiking

Trail is very poorly maintained. The overgrowth is 3 to 5 feet in many places. Views are limited. Not highly recommended as there are many other more scenic trails in Sedona. Do not attempt the 3 mile drive to the traill head unless you have an excellent all road vehicle.

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Renee Hammell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 2, 2017
Hiking

We weren't able to finish the trail due to time - started too late and it took SOOO long to drive in to the trailhead. And we did not make it to the trail head with a 4 wheel pickup. Parked probably a mile away. Probably could have made it but the road is extremely rocky and rough with steep drops. Definitely do not advise taking a passenger vehicle on this road. The distance we took the trail however was awesome. We will be going back sometime but leaving early and hiking the extra miles from Devils Bridge parking area.

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Clayton Carrillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 17, 2017
Backpacking

Awesome trail, beautiful views. 4x4 is highly recommended to get to the TH

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Collin Moore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 29, 2016

Another awesome hike. You can't really go wrong when you are in Sedona

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Adrian Michel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2016
Hiking

Need a high clearance car to get there, if not then you can just hike a few more miles to get to the beginning of the trail.

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Jason Raya
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2016
Backpacking

Lovely views, very few people on trail.

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Jerry Tolarchyk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 11, 2016

Great hike! We have a 4x4 and drove in 2 miles to cut down on the distance there. Lots of people and Jeeps those first 2 miles, but by the time we got to this trail, we were the only ones on it. Very peaceful and quiet.

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Rob Cardon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 20, 2016
Hiking

What a beautiful canyon! We went on this hike on April 16 and there was no moving water - only pools, but the canyon was incredible when contrasting the green forest to the towering red cliffs. Since the 3.5 mile road to this trailhead is pretty difficult to drive, few people seem to make it, since that turns the hike into 6 miles one way. Ultimately, we found ourselves almost entirely alone for 2 nights in some incredibly beautiful back country! Downside was that we had to pack in 6 miles to get to the canyon. Hiking from the devils bridge parking lot to the mouth of secret canyon is roughly 6 miles. We hiked 3.5 mile up secret canyon itself before turning around. This was where we also found moving water that we could filter. Trail is very easy to follow. There are also signs at all major trail junctions.

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