The Best Hikes in Sedona

4,295 Triplog Reviews in the Sedona
Most recent of 1,404 deeper Triplog Reviews
16.13 mi • 1,896 ft aeg
West Fork of Oak Creek from FR253
Joe came up with this alternative 3 years ago. You get to visit the West Fork of Oak Creek, without fighting Sedona traffic or the parking woes at the West Fork. We had no trouble finding a parking spot, got to hit up 2 little used trails and still were able to enjoy the colors and scenery of the West Fork of Oak Creek.

We started to a chilly 28 degrees, frost on the ground and ice on the puddles. To make this balloon loop work we tied in a couple of FR's. The first 9495, to a short off trail to get to the top of the Telephone Trail #72. This trail can be steep and slippery in spots, but yields some sweet views on the way down. You get the added bonus of visiting the Peeps as you head down.

At the bottom, there's a short walk behind the guardrail to get to the park entrance and your $2.00 walk in admission. There were cars on the street and the lot was full, but while hiking it did not seem too crowded.

This really is a special place with all the contrasting colors and textures, highlighted by the fall pallet. The fall colors should be around another week or so.

We took lunch at a particularly picturesque area before heading out.

The starting point in the parking lot for the Thomas Point Trail #142 is currently obstructed with tall grass. Look for the trail sign that is barely visible through the grass. After you cross over the 89A, the trail climbs back to the top of the rim. The grade on this trail is much steadier the what we dropped in on the Telephone Trail.

A pretty hike and a preferred way to get to the colors, if you don't mind a few more miles. This hike could be cut shorter with a more capable vehicle with some good tires for the rocks. We did have a 4Runner pass us having 0 problems on the FR's
15.53 mi • 2,769 ft aeg
West Fork of Oak Creek from FR253
Another trip to Sedona's premier destination in foliage. Same as three years ago, we started at 28° battling mythical crowds.

Hiking down Telephone Trail #72 demands my full attention for foot placement but I still love the route. Appears the phone line was hit by a falling tree in the bottom third. Once again, nobody on this trail.

West Fork of Oak Creek
We carefully crossed the highway utilizing safety-first procedures and followed the use-trail along the inner guardrail. Parking was full, the highway was lined with parked cars. Busy in spots, a far cry from crowded. The end of the maintained trail had the largest gathering, maybe 14 people total in small groups spread out.

The autumn foliage was pretty sweet. Perhaps a third of the areas was in prime. Still, plenty of green maple leaves, which surprised me considering the overnight low was 22°. Appears to be trending late and should be good color for another week to the end of the trail. In total, three other groups did not have dogs, so we didn't feel like total poochless losers.

Everyone seemed happy to be out and friendly. We continuously passed a couple with a small dog wearing a sweater, the witty comments kept rolling. Along with an older couple that we accused of being runners over six times. Upon leaving, one lady wanted a report on snakes and tarantulas. Then a family of three, each with fruit picker baskets on a pole.

Thompson Point Trail #142 is the choice of better footing vs Telephone Trail. It sports better canyon views too but doesn't have the unique feel of Telephone Trail.

Perfect all around. Finished by 3 pm. Robbed Call of the Canyon without driving through Sedona.
5.1 mi • 1,343 ft aeg
Work and 89A construction delays put an end to my hope of a Damifino-Hangover loop, but I still had time for Damifino itself, one of my top 2 Sedona favorites. I parked along the highway, dropped down to Casner Canyon Trail, waded across Oak Creek, and soon came across 2 other hikers, who were as surprised to see me as I them. Made the turn onto Damifino and cruised up the ridge and then the bedrock terraces, which I enjoy.

The sun was low on the horizon when I hit the saddle on Mitten Ridge, so I went down the south side of the ridge on Hangover for a bit to check out some puddle basins I had seen for photo ops. I got a few sunset and reflection photos, and noted the rugged terrain below me…looks like it would be tricky/sketchy trying to descend off trail to Schnebly Hill Road below.

Once the sun had set behind Mingus Mountain, it started getting dark quick, so I headed back north on Damifino, knowing it would be easier to negotiate the terraces before dark. Waded through chilly Oak Creek one more time in the dark and then drove back to Flagstaff.
3.3 mi • 1,050 ft aeg
After work hike from Midgely Bridgely up onto the Steamboat deck, then on to the western wall of Wilson Canyon. One of my Sedona favorites. Checked out a couple of side saddles I hadn’t been to before. Great sunset on the way down. 89A in Oak Creek Canyon was under lane restrictions, added a little delay to returning to Flagstaff.
5.25 mi • 615 ft aeg
Quick chill jog with a friend, first time actually "running" in over a month. Time to get back at it (although it should be said there wasn't actually much jogging done here)... Crossing at Jacks Canyon just after leaving the TH actually had water; not sure if this is normal, but I didn't expect it. A mile and a half or so in, foliage starts thickening, pretty pleasant really. Weather was very temperamental, going between hot and cool depending on the orientation of the clouds.

We went all the way to the end of the trail, then doubled back in the creek bed for a half mile or so. Mostly dry, but there was some light flow near where the trail gets close to the creek. 10-15 minutes of light rain on the way back. Nice area, enjoyed this trail a little more than expected.
8.25 mi • 1,336 ft aeg
Beautiful day on the trail today. Started around 10AM and it was hot, at least hot for us Pacific Northwest folks. Sunny skies and great scenery made up for it. First section actually has some shaded sections as you make your way up the wash. Saw a few people but once we were on the Cowpies trail we only saw one group. Had the saddle to ourselves for a nice long lunch. Saw a few other people along the Munds Wagon trail on our return after coming down the Hangover trail. We did this lasso loop counter clockwise. Saw a few geckos but that was it for wildlife. Was surprised to see some wildflowers as well as some pockets of water today. This continues to be one of our favorite Sedona hikes!
4.5 mi • 2,000 ft aeg
Prescott trip with Ryan, day 3, part 2:
Grabbing the last of the 4 or so uncomfortably close to the highway parking spots along 89A, Ryan and I started climbing west up to Sterling Pass. It had been probably 10 years since my last hike on this trail, and I had forgotten how beautiful this canyon was. After a thorough workout climb in wretched humidity we crested the pass and began dropping down the west side. Some brilliant red sumac foliage and a hint of red maple on the west side. Amazing scenery too. We passed about 10 other hikers, which was more than I expected. We saw Vultee Arch, and then made the return trek over the pass. Ridiculous amounts of poison ivy in places on this trail, which I attempted to remove with alcohol wipes at the truck. Ryan wisely wore pants, I never do or will. Only a bit of ivy rash on one ankle for a week, not too bad. Great hike and a nice end to our 3 day hiking road trip.

Scarlet sumac, red maple (isolated), and golden poison ivy.
1.35 mi • 355 ft aeg
Prescott trip with Ryan, day 3:
Left the truck under ominous skies, dropped into Oak Creek Canyon, forded the creek, and started up my favorite Sedona Trail. Re-evaluating the weather on top of the ridge, we opted to retreat and try a different Sedona hike. Disappointing for sure, but neither of us wanted to chance lightning on Mitten Ridge.
6.97 mi • 2,482 ft aeg
Hiked up with a very fit female. We made it to the trail end in just 2 hours. From there it slowed to a snail's pace. The track went straight through horribly thick brush. I went around to avoid some but also added distance.

The brush was constantly untieing my boots. Never had this happen before. There are some views along this portion. No registry cuz point 6506 is still not the summit! That would be a lengthy, intense adventure. Some day...
6.89 mi • 807 ft aeg
Fun out and back on a rare trip to Sedona. The road keeps out the riff raff, but is certainly worth driving and I would consider HC and 4x4, but not the worst. Most of the pools have water, but the only people we ran into had poor reviews of the “muddy” terroir.

The canyon is really a special spot and my friend Jen who lives and hikes in Sedona gave it two thumbs up which is good enough for me to make my way back down FR 152 to explore Brins Mesa, Vultee Arch and David Miller sometime in the near future.

end of page marker