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Cathedral Rock Trail #170 - Sedona, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Sedona > Sedona SW
4.4 of 5 by 53
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,040 feet
Elevation Gain 700 feet
Accumulated Gain 750 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 5.25
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Collective Slideshow
18  2018-05-01
Sedona Hike
2  2017-05-10
Oak Creek quintet
15  2017-04-09
Cathedral Rock Loop
31  2017-04-09
Cathedral Rock Loop
48  2017-04-09
Cathedral Loop Plus
15  2016-11-12
Bell Rabbit Chicken Hog Church Cathedral
12  2016-11-12
Bell Rabbit Chicken Hog Church Cathedral
6  2016-06-19 pyro4lif
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Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  7:34am - 5:41pm
Route Scout App
Official Route
7 Alternative
Nearby Area Water
Easy Breezy Trail
0.4 mi away
2.2 mi
245 ft
Crescent Moon Trail
Crescent Moon Trail
0.6 mi away
1.0 mi
Gibraltar Rock
Gibraltar Rock
0.9 mi away
Bell Rock Pathway / Vista
0.9 mi away
3.5 mi
232 ft
HT Trail
1.1 mi away
0.8 mi
64 ft
Little Horse Trail #61
Little Horse Trail #61
1.1 mi away
1.5 mi
363 ft
Carroll Canyon
1.1 mi away
4.0 mi
400 ft
Twin Buttes Loop
Twin Buttes Loop
1.2 mi away
4.0 mi
673 ft
Red Rock Crossing
Red Rock Crossing
1.4 mi away
1.1 mi
-60 ft
Baldwin Trail
Baldwin Trail
1.4 mi away
3.0 mi
330 ft
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
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the LEDGE ends!
by joebartels

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.

  • Sedona Trails 2018
    region related
    Sedona Trails 2018
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Red Rock Pass - may or may not be required. Go to Red Rock Pass then check "When is a Red Rock Pass Required?". If you have questions contact the Coconino forest service.

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Phoenix go North on Highway I-17 to the Sedona Exit which is SR179. Turn left to go to Sedona. Past Oak Creek Village and about 3 miles before the 'Y' in Sedona ( 179/89A ) turn left onto Back O' Beyond Rd. From the turn it's only about 0.7 miles to the most obvious and usually crowded trail parking area on the left. (Note: I didn't get exact mileage on these directions)
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