Although it’s nothing compared to a California freeway during rush hour, Sedona’s traffic can be notable, especially on weekends in the summertime and during holidays or special events. And while the workday commute is bad enough, when you’re on vacation and trying to make the most of your time, sitting in traffic is particularly frustrating.
So, bypass the crawling cars and take a stroll through some of the area’s best trails instead. The below hiking paths are walk-able from your Diamond Resorts’ hotel room.
Rise Above the City from Los Abrigados Resort & Spa
Tucked along the creek in the very heart of Sedona, Los Abrigados offers easy access to stunning creekside and canyon scenery with vistas looking out over the city. Four trailheads lie within 1.5 miles of the resort.
Huckaby Trail rolls out photo-worthy views of uptown Sedona, riparian areas along the creek and towering monoliths. At trail’s end, play in the shimmering waters near Midgley Bridge, one of the top spots to cool off on a hot day. You can park a vehicle before traffic hits at the Midgley Bridge parking area for a two-mile, one-way hike, or return to the resort the same way you came. The trail is rated as moderate due to a few steep sections.
Marg’s Draw Trail can be hiked as an easy, two-mile loop when you access it from the Sombart Lane Trailhead 0.8 miles southeast of the resort. Look for the entrance just beyond the Circle K mini-market. The half-mile spur from the trailhead ascends to a nearly flat ridge. Turn left for up-close views of Snoopy Rock and Camel Head before the trail leaves Munds Wilderness and returns to the Huckaby Trailhead.
Brewer Trail offers a way to enjoy the amazing views from Airport Mesa and Tabletops without having to vie for a parking spot. Hook into Brewer Road just west of Los Abrigados, and follow it southwest to the trailhead. The mesa is one of the top spots for watching the sunset, but be sure to bring a flashlight for the way back — or a smartphone to summon one of the city’s few ride-hailing options.
Channel Your Spiritual Side at Sedona Summit
Scenic national forest is less than one-third of a mile from Sedona Summit Resort. Girdner Trail offers a smorgasbord of hiking possibilities. You can park a car at a second trailhead along Dry Creek Road if you want to take a one-way hike of 4.5 miles. The strenuous trail dips and climbs throughout its course. (Allow about four hours to hike it round-trip.) Or, veer off onto the Centennial Trail to take it easy on a mile-long hike through a juniper forest that emerges on a scenic overlook with panoramic red rock views.
Wind your way through some of Sedona’s most beautiful suburban neighborhoods as you walk two miles to the Thunder Mountain Trailhead. Follow the well-marked trail as it forks off to the right from the Chimney Rock Loop Trail. In roughly one-third of a mile, a narrow trail leads toward colorful, triangular flags that herald the location of the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, a unique way to get in touch with Sedona’s spiritual connection to nature.
Follow a path around the stupa structure to enjoy the stunning views. When you’re done, exit by the same path and turn right to enjoy panoramic views along the Chimney Rock Trail before returning to the trailhead.
Grab a quick lunch on your way back at the Sundowner Restaurant on Navajo Road, one of the best local haunts. Shop for crystals or other spiritual items at Crystal Magic on 89A, or get a foot or total body massage at Namti Spa, where walk-ins are welcome.
Bask in Village Views at The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort
If you’re staying at The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort, you’ll have access to a few hidden-gem hiking spots. Kel Fox Trail, for instance, is usually only traveled by locals, as its trailhead is secreted away in a residential neighborhood. The small trailhead on Arabian Drive, just south of the resort, winds through high desert. It’s particularly beautiful in late spring and early summer, when the cacti bloom. Although the trail is about 2.5 miles in total, the scenic viewpoint halfway through is the real draw.
The remaining trail meets a trailhead on Beaverhead Flat Road on the other side of the hills. For a real treat, get dropped off at the other trailhead — southbound traffic typically isn’t an issue — and hike back to the resort to be entranced by red rock views as soon as you top the ridge.
Just one mile south, the Woods Canyon Trail begins at the Red Rock District Visitor Center, where you can acquaint yourself with local wildlife and flora. The trail winds and ascends to majestic views of Bell Rock and the surrounding red rock panorama along its 3.5-mile course. Water and restrooms are available at the visitor center.
Pedal or Hike from Bell Rock Inn
Absolute Bikes, located just 0.2 miles from Bell Rock Inn, offers an alternative to see the Village of Oak Creek’s red rock scenery with the latest models of mountain bike rentals. Pedal the easy 3.6 miles of the Bell Rock Pathway — most of the pathway has a wide, hard surface, suitable for novice mountain bikers — or explore the Big Park Loop to taste about two miles of beginner-friendly single track. Both trails serve up picturesque views of the namesake monolith along with Courthouse Butte and other red rock landmarks.
If you’re going it on foot, take a 4.2-mile side trip into the Munds Wilderness on the Courthouse Butte Loop. (Note that bikes aren’t allowed on wilderness trails.)
For more advanced riders, Slim Shady Trail begins just across Highway 179 from the Bell Rock Vista. Hike or bike the hard-packed single track, and connect with Made in the Shade, Templeton Trail or Hiline Trail for hours-long bike-riding loops or a full day’s hike among the red rocks on well-defined paths.
Taking in the views as you meander around Sedona’s natural scenery on foot is one of the best ways to enjoy this destination’s unparalleled beauty. On your next visit, be sure to build some hiking time into your trip itinerary.
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