Vultee Arch Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers 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.

Distance: 3.6 miles Elevation Gain: 580 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash




wild flowers



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 4.3 miles up this road you will reach a small sandy opening or turn-a-round. Park here and proceed hiking out the east end of the opening along a short jeep trail which dead ends at a drainage. Continue on the foot path up the canyon.

6 months ago

I hiked in from Sterling Pass and did the last half mile on Vultee Trail, a scramble. The Arch is great, beautiful views and area.

8 months ago

Casual hike. Beautiful setting. Decently hard 4x4 road to get to the trail head. Need both clearance and 4x4.

11 months ago

Great trail. Lots of shade and view of arch is cool. Bring plenty of water. You’ll need it. Only encountered one other couple on trail. Need a four wheel drive with high clearance to get to trailhead unless you want to hike in. Long way from parking. 4.0 miles then trail is 3.6 and then hike back 4.0 to parking. A long day. My Rubicon made it to trailhead in about 35 mins. Tough road!! Do Devils Bridge if you are not up for it.

Fri May 03 2019

This trail was TOUGH! Rewarding views, but don’t go there unless you know what you’re getting into. Great scenery, lots of shade, lots of red rock. But it’s tough if you aren’t ready for it. 5/5

Fri Apr 05 2019

Sun Mar 24 2019

Absolutely beautiful in the fall, looked like we were in Vermont! Hiked the trail November 3, 2018. Fairly easy, parking is not plentiful so get there early.

off trail
Sun Mar 17 2019

Great hike in we crossed the creek 11 times, lots of water while we where there, the road in is a nice drive that's easy to moderate but had lots of folks hiking on it to the Devils Bridge hike instead of using the hiking trail all the way to save 30 min. (some don't know some to lazy) but after that point road was clear of hikers.

Sat Jan 05 2019

From the Sterling Pass trail...A lot of scrambling on your way up, I hope you are sure footed! Very steep inclines that reward you with stunning views of the hillsides and clear across the creek. Beautiful scenery in any season. Great outlook points. Once you reach the other side it's an easy march to the arch. If you do the arch trail and go out Sterling Pass, bring your trekking poles!

Fri Jan 04 2019

Did this trail in early January on a calm sunny day but entire trail was snow-covered until close to the arch. Although it appears you can drive to Vultee Arch trailhead, unless you have a super high clearance vehicle don’t count on it - if you plan to hike in leave yourself plenty of time. I tried to hitch a ride on the forest road to the trailhead but most cars turned back - I only saw one or two make it. On final 3 miles to the arch I was totally alone seeing no one in car or on foot. The trail itself was gradual and wound through trees a lot - I was wondering if I’d ever gain elevation enough to see the arch. It eventually reaches a fork for Sterling Pass Trail after which you ascend to flat red rocks where the arch is visible a couple of hundred yards ahead. Once at the flat rocks you can continue on to the arch, but in the snow I couldn’t find the trail and was running out of daylight to hike out the long way I came in, so had no choice but to take Sterling Pass trail out (shorter). Don’t make the same mistake! It’s a glute-burning ascent to the saddle followed by a treacherously steep descent - for me on snowy trail in failing light which was scary. Poles totally saved me. Plan accordingly for this one, but worth it if you do. A lot of work hiking it snow-covered unless you have crampons. See my review of Sterling Pass trail for more.

Thu Feb 22 2018

awesome trail

Sun Feb 18 2018

Did this trail via sterling pass and continued onto the trailhead then back to the arch. Trail itself is beautiful and easy with plenty of vegetation change and wildlife. Arch is a bonus. Can’t say anything about the road to the trailhead except that I’ve hiked part of it before while hiking Devil’s Bridge and wouldn’t feel comfortable taking my Jeep Cherokee.

Fri Jan 26 2018

Drove the Jeep road in a Jeep, and it was a breeze. It’s a rough road though. Absolutely worth it. The arch was cool, and the best part was we didn’t see another soul the entire hike. Sat at the end for 30 minutes of meditation. Hard to find that solitude in Sedona! Lovely.

Mon Jan 08 2018

Definitely worth it to walk out onto the arch!

Sun Nov 12 2017

We went via sterling pass, pointers: 1. It is 3.5 miles to reach Vultee arch from sterling pass trailhead. 2. Only 6 to 7 cars can park in the space right at the trailhead and you must have a pass which you can buy at gas stations. 3. It is a difficult trail, right from the start it is a steep hike, 1.5 hours to reach the highest point then an hour descending to reach the trail going to the arch it self. It is a steep climb to the arch, so please wear hiking shoes with good tract, and if you want to walk on the arch, you must conquer your fear of height if you have any

Mon Oct 16 2017

Note that this is a 11.8 mile round trip to the arch itself. 4 miles on an off road then 1.4 to the arch on single footpath. Varied scenery and we had this all to ourselves.

ohv/off road driving
Wed Sep 27 2017

I would recommend a high clearance vehicle. You can drive to the trailhead. It's a 1.5 mile hike from the trailhead to the arch. Ran into a few vehicles on the road, but not a single person on the trail.

Fri May 05 2017

This route is entirely on a Jeep Rd. You could instead connect the trails to the west to get to the end. The end of this route is not Voltee Arch, it is the end of the road. There the trail begins to another 1.5 miles to the arch. Beautiful area, I only suggest not taking the jeep road and keep in mind there's another 3 miles round trip at the end.

Sun Oct 23 2016

In conjunction with sterling pass you can miss the heavily trafficked road. The arch is very similar to devils bridge, but less confit traffic make this one more appealing. Great fall colours.

ohv/off road driving
Mon Apr 04 2016

Fun trail to go on if you looking for moderate terrain for your 4x4. this trail has amazing scenery all throughout the trail. The trail is moderately trafficked by other but everyone is extremely polite when driving around you.

Fri Mar 11 2016

If you've done Devil's Bridge you have done Vultee Arch (and vice versa). Both leave from the same road and both are about the same hiking distance. Fairly flat trail until you reach the arch. Depending on the time of year, you'll see a lot of flowering bushes and lush greenery. This sets it apart from Devil's Bridge. Vultee also has a lower chance of encountering other hikers.

Thu Sep 24 2015

Depending on where you access the trail, you need a high clearance vehicle from the Dry Creek Rd access. Otherwise it's about a 4 mile walk to the trailhead.

Sun Feb 22 2015

Very nice hike. Razored in from dry creek trail parked at vultee trailhead hiked in about 1.8 miles to arch. Nice trail with lots of trees and deer tracks. Easy in and out.

Tue Mar 04 2014

Hike from Sterling Pass trail starting just north of Manzanita campground. You'll see the red trail climbing upward and there is a narrow place to park your car off the road.

Sun Dec 01 2013

November 30, 2013: Two days of heavy rain the week before postponed our plans to hike this trail along Sterling Creek. The Coconino National Forest web site recommends a high clearance vehicle and to avoid travel during wet weather. They weren't kidding! We were able to make it in a Ford E350 2WD van. The road ends at the Vultee Trail. If you want to go to the Vultee Arch but avoid 4 miles of very rough road, I suggest taking the Sterling PassTrail. It's 2.1 mile trail (one way) vs 1.7 miles. Some web sites indicate a Red Rock Pass is required for the Vultee Trail and can be obtained at the junction of Dry Creek Rd and FR152. Neither is true. There is parking for about 10 vehicles. The Vultee Trail is an easy hike with a gradual climb until you get to the bronze plaque placed in memorium of Gerard and Sylvia Vultee who lost their lives in an aircraft crash on January 29, 1938. We hiked in the late morning and remained in the mountain shadow most of the time. The leaves had already dropped this day before December, and the pine beetles have taken their toll on the pine, but the views of the mountains are beautiful. The trail was clear. Downed trees that had fallen across the trail were recently sectioned to provide uninhibited access along the entire path. There are a few rocky places where the trail crosses the creek bed. Though it rained the week prior, the creek was dry. There is now a clear trail that goes to the Vultee Arch so no bushwacking is necessary. Getting onto the arch is not for the faint of heart. There are several other trailheads along FR152, as well as another trailhead at the parking area for Vultee Trail. So one could make a full day hiking and enjoying the wilderness in this area.

Fri Sep 21 2012

Trail was fair. Mostly going along the bottom or on the side of a dry creek bed. Did not get steep until the last 1/4 mile. There is no defined trail to the top of the arch. Was very steep and included some rock climbing and a lot of scrub brush getting there. The trail was covered with alot of trees so it was shaded until you got to the arch. The road in was a decent dirt road. Can get bad in wet weather.

Wed Mar 07 2012

Easy hike back to see the arch. Also noticed an optical illusion arch below and left of Vultee.

Sat May 28 2011

Nice trail I would call it more easy than moderate. The arch is on the hillside once you reach the trails end on your left. Very sandy trail makes for a nice walk. High clearance vehicle needed for access.

Wed Aug 25 2010

Very difficult to see the arch from the marked trails.

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