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Cathedral Rock Trail #170 - Sedona, AZ

Guide 195 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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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
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10  2020-09-26 KingLeonidas
9  2020-08-26 caragruey
9  2020-03-26
A day hiking around Cathedral Rock
4  2020-02-17 squatpuke
15  2019-10-09
Cathedral Rock Loop and Balloon
17  2019-09-28
Bell Rabbit Chicken Hog Church Cathedral Hi 2
12  2019-09-28
Bell - Rabbit - Hog - Chicken - Hiline Loop
18  2018-05-01
Sedona Hike
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Author joebartels
author avatar Guides 241
Routes 829
Photos 12,070
Trips 4,849 map ( 24,809 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Map - Beartooth Sedona
Forest Restrictions / Closures Check Fire Restrictions / Closures
Forest Coconino
Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:14am - 7:44pm
Official Route
7 Alternative

the LEDGE ends!
by joebartels

Wow, what a great experience! The trail is a cairn adventure. If you follow the oversized 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 it 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 slide on your butt. I know for those that hike this area regularly, 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 only one semi-technical section. To make it even easier, there are a few footsteps carved into the rock.

Upon reaching Cathedral Saddle, there is an excellent ledge to the right. Be careful. The views are breathtaking.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

1999-09-16 joebartels
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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)
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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