Our last hike during our March, 2020 Sedona trip was the Airport Mesa Loop Trail and Airport Vortex. We were excited to hike this as it overlooks Sedona and has some beautiful Vistas. In addition, we were hoping as the sun set it would shine on the rocks and really enhance their color.
Airport Mesa Loop Trail in Sedona is basically a trail around the Airport Mesa. There are a couple of different places to park, including at the Airport Trail Parking Area which was full. We parked at the Vortex Parking. We got lucky as a car was just pulling out as we approached. Otherwise, I’m not sure we would have found a parking spot. The hike to the vortex from here is not far at all, less than 0.25 mile, but is up a steep rock. The airport loop trail is 3.3 miles. As we were here fairly close to sunset, we did not go around the entire loop. We hiked up the vortex and then hiked the south east side. According to my Fitbit, we hiked a total of 2.1 miles in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
This is a moderate trail which included drop offs. The trail itself was rocky and a bit slick with loose rocks. Careful footing was needed in spots to keep from turning an ankle. Because of this, we definitely did not want to be hiking this trail after dark.
Climbing up to the Airport Vortex was a good workout. If you don’t like heights this is probably not for you. The last part of the hike involves a steep incline with a chain to assist your climb.
The vortex area was very windy. One of the locals said that the wind was the power of the vortex. Not sure this is true, but thought I’d pass it on. I will say the vortex was a good place to people watch. It was definitely a place where you could do your own thing and no one seemed odd or out of place. Everything from yoga, to chanting, and even spiritual type actions. Most people there though just seemed to want a picture of themselves at the Vortex. It was really a cool place.
The Airport Loop showcased the dramatic rock colors we were hoping for as the sun made it’s way towards the horizon. The trail was fun and we saw very few people once we left the vortex. I would say less than10. We would have loved to hike around the entire Mesa, but the skies were becoming overcast and nightfall was approaching. As I mentioned, this was not a trail we wanted to be on in the dark.
The Airport Mesa Loop Trail and Airport Vortex are a couple of more reasons we love Sedona. I would not only do this again, but I would go early enough to hike around the entire Mesa.
When planning for this trail, we used the Great Sedona Hikes Guidebook. I liked this book because it gave straight forward information, good directions, accurate description and include a map. This book was easy to follow and contains information on over 100 trails in the area. The only thing I would have liked better is if the photos were in color instead of black and white. Although, there is an icon on each hike that you can scan on your phone that has great color photos of each hike.
I also used Sedona Trails Map while in Sedona. This is a sturdy map that fit nicely in my bag. Easy to follow and definitely worth having.
I also like to have my camelback packed and ready to go for these day hikes! You can click on this link to see what I pack in my day bag.