Wow what a great experience! The trail is a cairn adventure. If you follow the over sized constructed cairns the trip is a breeze. I did some variations and followed the countless trails everywhere. I recommend the cairns on your first trip. From the trailhead check out the map. The trail is bare rock in most places making the cairns necessary. The setting is everything I had ever imagined a Sedona hike to be, yet took me a few years to find it!
Soon into the hike the task of climbing the sandstone slopes begins. I would never recommend attempting these slopes on a rainy day! For those coming from Tempe, this is very similar terrain to the slopes at the Papago Buttes. The steep angles take some getting used to. They are potentially dangerous if you get off trail. Some people find getting down is more difficult than going up. Personally, I think getting down is easier, you just slide on your butt. I know for those that hike this area on a regular basis it's no big deal. The reason you see folks standing idle on the slopes is obvious, it's a bit scary at first. Please use common sense and if it seems hard getting up, you might reconsider. If you stick to the bomber proof cairns there's really only one semi technical section. To make it even easier there's a few foot steps carved into the rock.
Upon reaching Cathedral Saddle there is an awesome ledge to the right. Be careful. The views are breath taking. - Sep 16 1999 joe bartels