Secret Mountain Trail

MODERATE 9 reviews
#69 of 167 trails in

Secret Mountain Trail is a 10.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

10.1 miles
2,552 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




Secret Mountain Trail climbs at least six, maybe seven separate sub-summits before reaching it's endpoint overlooking Long Canyon on the East end. Great red rock views along the way. No water to be found on the ~12mi round trip so plan accordingly!

2 months ago

Fewer viewpoints than expected, but the ones that are there are outstanding. Think of it primarily as a forest hike and you won’t be disappointed.

I went there on Memorial Day Monday and saw only one other party and was certainly the only one camping there.

Campsites are rare. Many of them on very rocky ground which makes staking the tent difficult. I found an area around mile 4 that is shaded by pines and with soft grounds, though no view.

Went there at the end of May and as expected there was no water up there. Bring all the water that you need and then some.

The trail is easy to lose in some parts — AllTrails was definitely useful in finding it back.

Overall the trail is easy with many shaded portions, but expect several sun exposed sections.

I reached Secret Mountain. via Loy Canyon. Loy Canyon is where you do the hard work, especially during the last two miles. On my second day I hiked back from Secret Mountain mile 4 to the Loy Canyon trailhead in 3.5 hours, stopping little and walking briskly as I was low on water. If you wake up early enough you will get to do the hard section of Loy in the shade, which I recommend in May.

4 months ago

We hiked Secret Mountain via Loy Canyon. It was 18 miles round trip and took 8 hours. I love the solitude of the forest hike. We only ran into two campers while on Secret Mountain.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The James Thompson review below is for Secret Canyon Trail, not Secret Mountain Trail.

Monday, November 17, 2014

This hike has been on my list to do for 3 years. The difficulty in getting to the Trail Head has prevented me from doing it up to now. This year I got up really early and completed the hike. When I left Sedona the temperature was 48 F. When I got to the trail head and started my hike it was 30F. Luckily for me I had brought warm closes in my pack, some good old Canadian long johns. I had to undress in the freezing cold and wind but once dressed and on the trail I soon warmed up. You will need to plan on the temperature variation if you are going to hike the Secret Mountain Trail. Also if you are going to start from the Secret Mountain Trail Head plan on about a 1Hr, 45 Min. drive along some pretty nasty dirt roads to get there. You don't need 4 wheel drive but you will punish what every regular vehicle you have, hopefully a rental. The other thing that nearly undid me was both the local maps and described this as a 5.3 mile hike in & out and that it would take 3.5 hours to complete. Well, it took me 5.5 hours to do and I felt like I had walked a lot more than 5.3 miles. I didn't stop much to take pictures and eat so it was almost all straight walking. I think the literature here is misleading. Based on my experience it was probably 5.3 miles one way. If you don't want to experience the nasty dirt roads you can start at the Loy Canyon Trail Head. However, by my calculations that would result in a 10 mile one way hike, 20 miles round trip. The nasty dirt roads would definitely be my choice or I would make it a 2 day adventure in real wilderness.
The trail itself is wonderful. I would rate it a 5 Star and I will definitely do it again. The trail is easy to follow but not obvious so you have to stay alert. It gives you the feeling that you are really in the wilderness. The forests you traverse are spectacular and the vistas all along the way are worth the trouble of getting there by themselves. At one point you pass an old log cabin and a horse corral. They are pretty dilapidated but you can really sense the challenges and hardships the early homesteaders had to over come. I read some where that this particular cabin belonged to horse thieves but who knows.The trail is not difficult and the 2,000 Ft elevation gain is not hard to handle. However, just the length of this trail makes it a strenuous one. At points the up and down hills are tricky due to the loose rocks you must walk on. I found it rough on my ankles and feet at some points. Some of the climbs had me panting but I think this was party due to the altitude. I live close to sea level and I am sure you are at 8,00 ft plus at the end of this climb.
Happy hiking Dave

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Secret Mountain Trail in located in Sedona, off Dry Creek Road, onto FR 152 for 3 miles to the trailhead. It is a beautiful hike in a Red Rock Canyon. The Secret Canyon trail starts out wide and flat with little shade, but climbs for the next three miles, with increasing shade and nice views of red rock formations. When you reach a saddle take the left trail, and proceed about 2-3 miles to the rim of the overlook. Along with my sons Ron and Bob, we made this hike on a beautiful June day. Except we never made it to the rim, we gave up after 1.5 miles pass the saddle. My son hurt his ankle and we were forced to return slowly back to the car. The Red Rock views and ranch lands were beautiful, nevertheless.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This Hike was a great one. Get to see a couple of old Cabins and some really spectacular views overlooking Sedona. Can't imagine what it must have been like to be a homesteader back in the day at this location, not to mention the HorseTheivinng days!!! Be warned, we came across the biggest Mohave Green Rattlesnake (right smack in the middle of the trail) up on the top of the ridge near the end of the trail. I was surprised to see one so high up in elevation and so late in the season. Made for an exciting day to the least, no one hurt but it was close.

8 months ago

Sunday, December 29, 2013