Backpacking in Sedona

Indulge in the Ultimate Outdoors!

Moderators: Backpack Specialist, HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Area  • Sedona, AZ
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 125
Joined: Nov 16 2010 11:52 pm
City, State: Kingman, AZ

Backpacking in Sedona

Post by nikorock28 » Mar 04 2018 8:49 pm

My friend is visiting from out of state, has never been to Sedona and has scheduled 3 days for her and her friend to be in Sedona. Any recommendations? Long and difficult is likely encouraged. Thanks for the help!

no avatar
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 06 2018 1:02 pm
City, State: Phx, AZ

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by hellothere » Aug 06 2018 3:49 pm

I’m curious too. There’s not much camping I Sedona I’ve noticed. Maybe backpacking is different

User avatar
Posts: 1568
Joined: Dec 25 2005 8:24 pm
City, State: Apache Junction, Arizona

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Aug 06 2018 4:04 pm

Soak in Slide Rock ......
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

Current avatar courtesy of Snakemarks

User avatar
Posts: 6978
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by chumley » Aug 06 2018 4:28 pm

The official Sedona recreation guide lists where you can and can't camp. See the information on page 4, and the map which illustrates the boundaries on pages 6-7.
Good luck! :) ... 806979.pdf
Profound observer

no avatar
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 18 2018 12:56 pm

is there anywhere to backpack in sedona?

Post by inthesticks » Nov 07 2018 10:18 am

i know they’re strict on dispersed camping. and their campsites are super cramped. is there any good trails you recommend for backpacking?

i’ll make the most of this thread by asking another question, best trails to backpack in the winter? i’m not a fan of desert camping but up north will be snowing soon

User avatar
Posts: 2483
Joined: Aug 22 2003 9:16 pm
City, State: 221b Baker St.

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by te_wa » Nov 07 2018 3:47 pm

I fell in love with Secret Canyon. it's a fairly short out-and-back hike. but the scenery is great, and not as wet as West Fork.

User avatar
Posts: 7020
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by joebartels » Nov 07 2018 4:04 pm

Aside from fee campgrounds, camping is not allowed near any designated/maintained trail in the Sedona vicinity with a perennial source of water that I found.

Albeit out of the desert, large portions are desert like. @te_wa 's [ Secret Canyon Trail #121 ] suggestion might be the best chance to find water.

Anyone remotely thinking of having a campfire needs to have the skills to put it dead out, wet and cold to the touch before leaving. Here is the current list of hikes where overnight camping is allowed near Sedona. Several of the hikes require hiking in a certain distance which is mentioned at the bottom of the guide. I just updated all in this list that have special circumstances.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

no avatar
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 18 2018 12:56 pm

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by inthesticks » Nov 07 2018 4:33 pm

so i should be good with water on the west fork hike? plenty of places to sleep?

does secret canton have a water source?

User avatar
Posts: 1891
Joined: May 13 2002 10:07 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by hikeaz » Nov 09 2018 9:26 am

Woods Canyon....... [ Woods Canyon - Sedona ] -- [ Woods Canyon - Upper ] - - [ Woods Canyon - Upper ]
Note: a through-hike will require a couple of swims (unless you bring a cheapie raft) a couple of miles in from the top. Also about 500' of cordage to retrieve raft.

Also...maybe Pumphouse Wash - It is tough to ascertain from the obtuse FS map, but looks unencumbered by regs.
Last edited by hikeaz on Nov 09 2018 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

no avatar
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 08 2016 8:52 am
City, State: Phoenix

Re: Backpacking in Sedona

Post by hanmart » Dec 20 2018 12:53 pm

West Fork you will have tons of water. You do have to hike in a certain number of miles to get to the area where camping is allowed (I forgot how far back, but its several miles past the end of the trail). Note though that you are hiking through water most of the hike once you get to the end of the "official" trail so it will be cold! There are a good number of campsites, although I've never made it very far back. Keep your eye out for faint trails heading up the cliffs. But yeah, it might be a bit cold!

I've backpacked in Secret Canyon 2x and found water both times, but I would not necessarily say its reliable. Check out the latest water reports. Secret Canyon is a great trip. Looping it with David Miller is nice too, although the better camp spots are definitely in Secret Canyon. Also, you have to 4WD to the trailhead, otherwise you have a bit of a longer hike in. It's not bad. I hiked in along the jeep road at night once and it was a great way to avoid the crowds (mostly people heading to Devil's Bridge for their iconic instagram shot, which can be annoying).

Post Reply

Return to “Backpacking”