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14 Short + Easy Hikes In Sedona | 2023 Hiking Guide

Slim Shady Trail

It’s no secret that some of the best hiking trails in the west in Sedona, Arizona!  

 

Sedona has a bit of everything – natural red rock bridges, river access, caves, and some of the most beautiful landscape in Arizona. 

 

I’ve already shared some of the most underrated hikes in Sedona and 3 hikes you should do on Sugarloaf trail, but this guide was written with kids and families in mind! 

 

Keep scrolling to read all about the best short and easy hikes in Sedona, Arizona.

short hikes sedona az

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Born and raised in Arizona, I’ve spent lots of time exploring Sedona’s towering cliffs and red rock cathedrals – it is a hiker’s paradise! From dazzling pools to easy hikes that offer panoramic views of Sedona, there are plenty of adventures for the whole family. 

 

With hundreds of trails to explore, today I’m sharing 14 of my favorite short and easy hikes in Sedona

Short Hikes In Sedona, Arizona

Table of Contents

Easy Hikes in Sedona That Are Absolutely Stunning

Underrated hikes in Sedona, Arizona | Fay Canyon

Fay Canyon Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 190 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: There is a spacious parking lot across the street from the trailhead
  • Facilities: Bathrooms at trailhead 
  • Fee/Permit: No
  • Fay Canyon on AllTrails.

 

Whenever asks me for a short and easy hike in Sedona, Fay Canyon is the first one I mention! 

 

With a small elevation gain of 190 feet, this is one of the more easy and family-friendly hikes in Sedona. The hike starts on a shady trail that winds through the cool canyon floor. 

 

Once you get to the “end of trail” sign, you can let your kids play on the boulders! If you are feeling adventurous and up for some scrambling, keep going up the trail to be met with sweeping views of Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock. 

 

west fork trail

West Fork Trail

  • Trail Length: 6.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 564 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: There is a parking lot at the trailhead but it is limited. If you can’t get a spot in the lot, you’ll need to park down the road and walk back to the entrance.
  • Fee/Permit: It is $11 (cash) per vehicle to park and $3 (cash) to enter on foot.
  • Find West Fork Trail on AllTrails
 

Nestled in Oak Creek Canyon, West Fork Trail is the best easy hike in Sedona with water

 

This trail is truly paradise from the steep canyon walls to the cool river and secret pools. It’s an easy and flat trail, and you should expect to get your feet wet with some stream crossings. 

 

Don’t be intimidated by the trail length – you can explore as much or as little as you want! With plenty of shade and water to play in, this is a great kid-friendly Sedona hike

 

Since this hike is so incredible, it is popular. I would suggest going during the week or in Sedona’s off-season. While the summer is perfect for hopping from pool to pool, the winter is less crowded and offers fall colors… yes, in Arizona, we have fall colors in the winter lol. 

Weekend in Sedona, Arizona

Cathedral Rock

  • Trail Length: 2.6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 383 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: No
  • Parking: Limited parking at the trailhead
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required
  • Find Cathedral Rock on AllTrails

 

I have to admit; this isn’t as easy as some of the other kid-friendly hikes in Sedona. BUT it’s worth a visit! 

 

Cathedral rock is one of the best vortex hikes in Sedona. Once you’ve reached the saddle, you will be greeted with 360-degree views of the rolling desert landscape. 

 

Since this hike is so incredible, it is popular. I would suggest going during the week or in Sedona’s off-season. If you want to avoid the nightmare parking situation, I highly recommend taking advantage of Sedona’s free shuttle!

Yavapai Vista

Yavapai Vista Trail

  • Trail Length: 0.5 miles 
  • Elevation Gain: 82 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy 
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: There is a parking lot at the trailhead – it features about ~30 parking spots, a bathroom and a fee station so you can get a Red Rock Pass. 
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required
  • Find Yavapai Vista on AllTrails

 

I stumbled upon Yavapai Vista Trail a couple of years ago and have visited several times since because it is the best easy hike in Sedona

 

This is a very short hike in Sedona that offers some of the best views, making it a great adventure for the whole family! This is a great spot for an afternoon picnic, just be sure to pack out everything you packed in.

 

Easy Hikes in Sedona for Beginners

Birthing Cave Trail

Birthing Cave Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.0 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 291 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Limited road-side parking
  • Fee/Permit: No
  • Find Birthing Cave on AllTrails

 

Birthing Cave was once a place where Hopi women gained insight and comfort before giving birth. 

 

Now known as one of the most popular cave hikes in Sedona, it’s an easy trail that leads to a large but shallow cave. It’s fun to crawl into and if you are feeling adventurous, you can crawl up to the “belly button” for a full view of the cave. 

 

If you visit, please be respectful of the surrounding wilderness area by traveling on the main trail so as to not disturb the cryptobiotic soil and sensitive vegetation. This was once a sacred cultural site – do not remove artifacts, ruin walls, or deface the rocks. 

 

Read Next: How To Spend 2 Days in Sedona

 

Red Rock Crossing

Red Rock Crossing via Baldwin Trail

  • Trail Length: 1.0 mile
  • Elevation Gain: 65 feet
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Park at Baldwin Trailhead 
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Red Rock Crossing on AllTrails

 

Only a mile long, Red Rock Crossing is one of the shortest hikes in Sedona. This trail offers amazing views of Cathedral Rock and has plenty of shade, making it perfect for a picnic. 

 

Be sure to pack water shoes because you’ll need to cross a river! 

 

If you are looking for a more challenging hike, hit the Cathedral Rock trail and walk to the crossing. 

 

Baldwin Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 236 feet
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Park at Baldwin Trailhead 
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Baldwin Trail on AllTrails

 

Considered an easy, family-friendly hike in Sedona, Baldwin Trail offers amazing views of the red rock and desert scenery. If you’re looking for a trail to hike at sunset, I recommend this one! 

 

The trail is mostly rock and packed sand but after rain, you can expect some mud. Overall, this is a peaceful, low-traffic trail to explore.

 

Read Next: How To Spend 2 Days in Sedona

Bell Rock Trail

  • Trail Length: 0.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 203 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: There is a fairly large parking lot at the trailhead.
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Bell Rock Trail on AllTrails

 

Bell Rock trail is definitely at the top of short and easy hikes in Sedona! This popular trail offers amazing views of Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock. 

 

With practically zero elevation gain and a flat terrain, this is a scenic trail perfect for families visiting Sedona.

Slim Shady Trail

Slim Shady Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 347 ft
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Park at Courthouse Loop South Trailhead and cross the 179 to access Slim Shady Trailhead
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Slim Shady Trail on AllTrails

 

If you’re looking for an easy, family-friendly Sedona hike, combine the Slim Shady and Made in the Shade trails for a 2.3-mile loop!

 

This trail takes you next to beautiful Bell Rock and gives you great views of some of Sedona’s massive buttes. Follow the white marks so you don’t lose the trail!

Best Easy Hikes in Sedona

easy hiking trails in sedona

Sugarloaf Loop Trail

  • Trail Length: 1.9
  • Elevation gain: 354 ft
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: There is a small parking lot at the trailhead that fits about 10 cars.
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Sugarloaf Loop Trail on AllTrails

 

Sugarloaf Loop is one of the best hikes in Sedona because it’s easy, mostly flat, and offers amazing 360-degree views! This is one of the less crowded trails I’ve hiked in Sedona, and the surrounding red rocks look gorgeous at any time of day! 

 

Once you park at the Sugarloaf Trailhead lot, you’ll start your hike on Teacup Trail. Continue on Teacup Trail until you see a signed junction – turn right onto the Sugar Loaf Loop Trail! From there, the trail will keep curving to the right and connect back to Teacup Trail, where you can head back to the trailhead.

Big Park Loop

  • Trail Length: 2.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 170 feet
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Small parking lot at the trailhead
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Big Park Loop on AllTrails

 

This easy Sedona hike is best experienced at sunset! With practically no elevation gain, this loop trail is perfect for families. 

 

This is a popular trail for mountain bikers so be sure to be aware of your surroundings, especially if hiking with kids!

Airport Mesa

  • Trail Length: 1.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 242 ft
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: There is a large parking lot with plenty of spots.
  • Fee/Permit: $3 parking fee 

 

Airport View Trail is a great, easy Sedona hike that offers panoramic views of the entire Sedona area! The trail runs parallel to Airport Road and Airport Loop Trail and you’ll get great views of Coffee Pot Rock, Doe Mountain, Sugar Loaf, Wilson Mountain, and Oak Creek Canyon!

 

Don’t forget your camera or binoculars!

Devil's Bridge Trail

Devil's Bridge Trail

  • Trail Length: 3.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 521 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Parking at the Dry Creek Road trailhead 
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required 
  • Find Devil’s Bridge Trail on AllTrails

 

Known as one of the best hikes in Sedona, Arizona, Devil’s Bridge trail takes you to a 54 foot high natural arch! This a short but steep Sedona hike that has stunning views all the way up. 

 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk on the natural bridge to take a photo! Please note that this is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona so you’ll likely have to wait in line to take a picture. 

Seven Sacred Pools

  • Trail Length: 1.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 108 feet
  • Route Type: Out & back
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Dog-friendly: Yes
  • Parking: Limited parking at trailhead. 
  • Fee/Permit: Red Rock Pass required. 
  • Find Seven Sacred Pools on AllTrails

 

This short Sedona hike is gorgeous and definitely worth the minimal effort if you can find a parking spot! You can’t miss the seven natural pools on this trail, but please note that they will only be full if there was a recent rainstorm!

 

 

If you’re looking to add on to this hike, I highly recommend continuing pass the pools to hike Soldier’s Pass!

 

 

This is a very popular Sedona trail so I would suggest going during the week or in the off-season. If you want to avoid the parking lot, I highly recommend taking advantage of Sedona’s free shuttle!

Sedona Hiking FAQs

Sedona Hiking FAQs

Are there easy hikes in Sedona?

 

Yes, there are several easy hikes in Sedona! In my opinion, Yavapai Vista, Fay Canyon, and Sugarloaf Loop Trail are the easiest hikes in Sedona. 

 

What is the shortest hike in Sedona?

 

If you are looking for a short hike in Sedona, I recommend checking out Bell Rock Trail. I believe Bell Rock Trail is also the easiest hike in Sedona. 

 

Which Sedona vortex is the easiest hike?

 

Red Rock Crossing, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock are all great, easy vortex hikes in Sedona.

 

Is Cathedral Rock Trail easy?

 

Cathedral Rock Trail is classified as moderate. Don’t let that discourage you though – the views are spectacular, no matter how far you hike on the trail. 

 

Is it safe to hike in Sedona?

 

Absolutely! I’ve been hiking for Sedona for years and have never had any issues with wildlife or fellow hikers. However, you should always take standard hiking precautions. Pack plenty of water, food, and the right gear for your hikes. 

Things to bring when you hike on the Sedona Trails

What do I need to hike in Sedona?

 

In addition to packing The Ten Essentials, here are more things to consider bringing on your Sedona hike. 

 

Hiking shoes 

 

Hiking in Sedona means lots of loose rocks and sandy sections so sturdy hiking shoes are a must. Since hiking in Sedona can get pretty hot, I prefer a lightweight hiking boot with a good grip

 

Merino Wool Socks

 

Over the years, I’ve learned that the socks you wear hiking are just as important as the boots! I love hiking in these merino wool socks because they prevent blisters and keep your feet cool and dry.  

 

Sweat-wicking clothes 

 

No matter the weather, I always get hot and sweaty when I’m hiking in Sedona! For that reason, I prefer hiking in moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester because the fibers keep the sweat on the surface and transport your sweat to the outer layer of your shirt. Once there, the sweat evaporates!

Water bottle 

 

You will need to pack a reusable water bottle or water bladder for hiking in Sedona. Since it can get quite hot (no matter what time of year), it’s important to bring plenty of water and drink it throughout your hike.

 

Trail snacks for hikes in Sedona

 

It’s super important to fuel your body when you are hiking, especially when you are hiking in the desert! I love to snack on fresh and fruit, protein bars, and rehydrate with electrolytes! 

 

Sunscreen + sun protection 

 

Sedona, like the rest of the southwest desert, gets a lot of sun. Sunscreen and polarized sunglasses are essential for your hikes! 

 

Sunhat 

 

If there’s one thing I don’t ever go hiking in Sedona without, it’s a sun hat! If you’re looking for a recommendation, I love this hat from Sunday Afternoons! It looks great on everyone, keeps the sun out of your eyes, and isn’t too hot on the head so you can wear it hiking all year round! 

 

Hiking backpack 

 

If you’re bringing your 10 essentials, extra water, snacks, your camera, and layers, you’ll need a hiking backpack to carry it all in! Here’s my current favorite hiking backpack for day trips – I love that it comes with a hydration bladder!

best hikes in Sedona, Arizona West Fork Trail

Tips for Hiking In Sedona

While I will always encourage you to plan ahead for your hike, check the weather before you head out, dress appropriately, and always carry the 10 Essentials, here are some Sedona-specific hiking tips:

 

  • A lot of the hikes will require a Red Rock Pass to park at the trailhead. You can purchase daily or weekly passes at some of the trailheads or pick one up at a gas station. The daily passes are $5, $15 for seven consecutive days, or $20 for an annual pass.
  • Start early – especially if you are going to a popular trail like Cathedral Rock! Parking lots can fill up fast and depending on the time of year, it can get hot quickly. If you don’t want to deal with the parking lot, check out the free Sedona Shuttle
  • Be prepared to share the trail with other hikers and mountain bikers! Sedona is popular and everyone who respects the land deserves to see its beauty! Please be respectful of others on the trail.
  • Bring lots of water and snacks, wear sturdy shoes and sunscreen, and don’t forget your camera!
 
easy hiking trails in sedona
easy hikes sedona az

Final Thoughts on Easy and Short Hikes in Sedona

Sedona is one of the most magical places on earth and I hope this list of short and easy hikes inspired you to plan a trip! 

 

 

Before you visit Sedona, consider signing the Sedona Cares Pledge:  

 

  1. The rocks are red and the silence is golden. I vow to respect the natural quiet of Sedona’s open spaces and neighborhoods.
  2. I will be mindful of Sedona’s arid environment by minimizing my water and energy use and I will be extremely careful with fire.
  3. I’ll make my own memories, but not my own trails.
  4. I won’t risk life or limb (human or sapling) for more likes. I won’t get killed for a killer photo.
  5. When playing outside, I’ll be ready for rapid changes in weather and random episodes of magic.
  6. Leave No Trace and pack out your trash – that includes TP and your pup’s poo!
  7. I will discover art in Sedona’s galleries rather than making my own. Carving on trees or rocks, stacking stones, or defacing the environment diminishes nature’s art.
  8. If I can’t find a parking spot, I will not invent my own. I will go with the traffic flow, using my turn signal often and my car horn seldom.
  9. I’ll be caring and considerate wherever I go, because that’s the Sedona way.

 

If you liked this blog, check out my other Sedona guides:

 

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Meet the author

Jacey West

My mission is simple: Inspire you to get outside. I like camping, hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and exploring National Parks. I’m passionate about sharing all the details of my adventure so you can plan some of your own!

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