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Sterling Pass Trail is a 3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 3.0 mi Elevation gain 1,804 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Forest

Views

Snow

Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

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

Directions from Flagstaff: Drive 22 miles south out of Flagstaff or 5.5 miles north from Sedona. The trailhead is a bit hard to see but it's on the west side of the highway, near mile marker 380. It's about a hundred yards north of the entrance to Manzanita Campground and a short distance south of Slide Rock Lodge. Parking is available some distance away, south of Manzanita Campground, on the east side of the highway.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (213)
Photos (240)
Recordings (131)
Completed (376)
Everest L Wyaco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 04 2020
HikingRocky
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madison waters
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingOver grown
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Christine Kohl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 09 2020
HikingOff trailOver grownRockyScramble
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Tom Phelps
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRocky
View Tom's Recording
Carissa LaConte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 31 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRocky

Fun hike! Rating is accurate as difficult. Many opportunities for photos! Trail after the saddle was quite overgrown but you could still navigate it! Took this all the way to the crash site. Next visit I’ll go all the way to the arch! A must for those that want a challenge and to get their heart rate going! Not heavily traveled!!!

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Hollie Thornton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
HikingOver grownScramble

Great workout with challenging elevation. It has an uphill section both ways. Beautiful views but tricky footing makes it slow going downhill too for a big part. Unfortunately trail started getting quite overgrown at around 2.3 miles so we didn’t see arch but still lots to look at. The area itself is busy due to slide rock and other water areas but trail itself was lightly trafficked. Saw only 3 other groups but it made parking more of a challenge. Does have some nice shade that helps with keeping cooler.

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Wade Baird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
HikingOver grownRocky
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Megan Light
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 23 2020
Hiking

I recommend going out to the arch after you reach the end of the trail. Ended up being 6 miles and closer to 2,000 ft gain than what the official trail description says. Pretty views, tough but not as hard as others like Bear Mountain.

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ReighClaire Braaten
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri May 22 2020
Hiking

Very fun! Definitely moderate to hard, but the trail is a little unkempt for most of it.

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Danielle Fairbanks
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 04 2020
Hiking

Secluded! My husband and I only saw 3 other groups of people the whole time. First incline is tough! Took us 3.5 hrs total

Chellsey Latham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 26 2020
Hiking

Awesome hike but a little unclear which summit your going to until you get to the fork Was 2 miles longer than planned

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David Jin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 24 2020
HikingRocky
View David's Recording
Clair Flynn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 17 2020
Hiking

I hiked this on 4/17/2020 and it was gorgeous and fun. It didn't feel like 3 miles each way, I think it was shorter but I didn't measure it myself. [I just found another site that says it's 4.8 miles roundtrip, that feels much more accurate than 6 miles]. At the end there's a sign that says Vultee Arch Left, Sterling Pass Right, and there's a trail that T's off straight ahead towards the arch that isn't on the sign. Some other hikers told me that's how to get to the arch. They said "you can go up on the red rock or bushwack up to the arch." Ok I thought, I'll bushwack up to the arch. Well that didn't work out. Once I got back down to the redrock and looked across at the arch I realize I was bushwacking above and past where the arch was, heading further and further away from it. Even with 45 min of intense bushwacking, I got back to the trailhead 2 hours 45 minutes after I left it. It was a good time. Trail was dry and weather was sunny and warm.

Hannah MacIsaac
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Apr 16 2020
HikingRocky

So much fun! Definitely an impressive incline getting up into the canyon but well worth the views. Hiked the the arch as well and ate lunch. I parked right before the Campground but there is a shoulder right at the trailhead where a couple cars are parked.

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Lisa Kochanie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 23 2020
HikingRockySnow

So nice! Great scenery you go from climbing red rock to pine trees and snow,depending on when you go. Snow parts are slippery but manageable and it's pretty steep going up both ways but totally worth it and great workout!

Mel Longo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 22 2020
HikingSnow

Hiking all the way to the arch from sterling pass is actually more like 6-7 miles. There was still snow on parts of the trail as of 3/22/20. Lots of switchbacks.

Sam Erdahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Mar 15 2020
Hiking

It’s 3 miles each way.. thought it was 1.5 out and 1.5 back for 3 miles total. Fun hike though!

View Sam's Recording
James Mould
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Mar 09 2020

great hike... amazing views.... a very challenging hike with elevation changes. hike completed on 3/9/20 black camera case found by the side of the road...message me with the type of camera and I will be happy to send it to if it's yours.

Meg Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Feb 07 2020
Hiking

Just a little ice. Mostly shaded trail. Steep so good workout and hiked to vultee arch . Went in the morning and didn’t see one other person the entire hike.

Traci Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jan 20 2020
HikingIcyOver grownRockyScrambleSnow

Quiet trail. Parking is side off the road. Def not easy in snow and ice. Not the best views in Sedona but private and a good workout

View Traci's Recording
Showing results 1 - 20 of 213