We traveled to Sedona, Arizona the first week of March 2020 with a hiking itinerary in mind. Steve had an ENT Conference there so I was able to get some solo hikes in. We had a fantastic time and can’t wait to go back. I think for our first visit to Sedona we really found some awesome trails and great places to see. We were able to see a lot in a short time and I still had time for relaxing a bit. This is just a brief description of each day. You can click on the links to see details of each hike. I put this Sedona hiking itinerary together after having been asked how all of the places we hiked fit into a schedule.
- Flew to Phoenix, rented a car and made the 2 hour drive to Sedona.
- We stayed at the Hilton at Sedona Bell Rock.
- 6:00 am Early morning hike with Steve to Devil’s Bridge.
Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona is a moderate trail to a natural bridge. The firs half of the trail is a Jeep road. Once off the road, elevation starts to rise and you will follow a dirt path with some rock steps. The hike is a very pretty hike with lots of rock formations. We started before sunsrise and enjoyed seeing the first rays of sun light up the area. As you approach Devil’s Bridge, the area right before the bridge is steep with some drop off. The bridge itself is wider than it looks and you can walk out on it for some amazing photos. This hike took us 2 hours and 50 minutes and we tracked it at 4.1 miles.
- 10:30 am Late Breakfast
- 1:00 pm Afternoon Solo hike around Bell Rock and Courthouse Loop
Bell Rock and Courthouse Loop is a relatively easy loop trail hike. The trail is a good dirt path with little elevation and easy to walk on. There are plenty of connections and turn offs for other trails . This trail is awesome because there are so many beautiful rock formations every way you look. It is a heavy trafficked trail at times and bikes are allowed on parts of it. The hike took me 2 hours and 45 minutes and my fit bit showed it to be 4 miles. There is also a turn off to hike up the side of Bell Rock if you feel like climbing!
- 6:00 pm Meet and Greet at Hotel for Steve’s Conference
- 7:30 pm Dinner at Hotel.
- 7:00 am Breakfast at Hotel
- 8:35 am Morning Solo hike at Broken Arrow Trail
Broken Arrow Trail is an easy to moderate trail with both dirt and rock trails. There is elevation as you reach the end of the trail at Chicken Point. This is a 3 mile out and back trail, although I turned it into a loop trail by following Broken Arrow Trail part way down then hiking across High on the Hog Trail and then following Twin Buttes trail to the parking lot. This trail took me 3 hours and 15 minutes which included taking the wrong turn and having to retrace my steps. Regardless, this was a great trail to follow and I enjoyed the unique rock formations and beautiful vistas.
- 1:00 pm Lunch at Hotel
- 3:00 pm Evening hike with Steve at Soldier’s Pass Trail3:
Soldier’s Pass Trail is a moderate trail with both a dirt and rocky path. The Trail is a 4.2 mile out and back to Brins Mesa Trail but we decided to hike to the Arches instead which we tracked at 4.3 miles. There was a good bit of steady elevation towards the Arches. You will also pass the Devil’s Kitchen and Seven Sacred Pools. Both are pretty amazing to see. This hike took us 3 hours and 10 minutes. I really enjoyed this trail, it was a bit of an adventure and had some unique and iconic places to see. I also enjoyed the different rock formations around us.
- 8:00 pm Dinner at Rotten Johnnie’s Pizza in Sedona.
- 7:30 am Breakfast at Hotel
- 9:00 am Visited Tuzigoot Indian Ruins near Sedona
Tuzigoot Indian Ruins are about 35 minutes from where we stayed at Sedona. Tuzigoot is a National Monument and once home to the Sinagua People in central Arizona. The ruins set atop a summit overlooking the Verde Valley and Verde River. When you are visiting the ruins, it is easy to see why the Sinagua People built here, you can see all around for miles! The Sinagua farmed the land and also traded goods with other Native American People. The path around the ruins is easy to follow. There is also a museum and small gift shop here. A really nice area to visit.
- 10:30 am Visited Montezuma Castle Indian Ruins near Sedona
Montezuma Castle is about 25 minutes from the Tuzigoot Indian Ruins I had just visited and also about 25 minutes from where we stayed in Sedona. Montezuma Caste is not a castle but was named such as the regal look to it. It was once believed that it was built by the Aztec chief, Montezuma, but that is not so. He was never there. Built by the Sinagua Native Americans, these ruins rise majestically above the Beaver Creek area which was a life line to these people. The area between the ruin and Beaver Creek was used for farming. The Creek itself is fed by Montezuma Well which is upstream. There are also smaller ruins along the bottom of the cliff closer to the Creek. There is a nice gift store and museum here.
- 11:25 am Visited Montezuma Well near Sedona
Montezuma Well is about 20 minutes from Montezuma Castle and about another 20 minutes from where we stayed in Sedona. It is not actually a well, but a large, continuously filled sinkhole. It is at a constant level filled by an underground spring. There are also Native American Cliff dwelling ruins just below the rim of the cliffs and also towards the bottom near the water. There are also some ruins on the top as you make your way towards Beaver Creek you can see these. If you walk down to Beaver Creek, you will also see a 1000 year old hand dug irrigation ditch.
- 12:35 am Visited V Bar V Heritage Site near Sedona
V Bar V Heritage Site near Sedona is the largest Petroglyph Site in the Verde Valley. It contains over 1000 Petroglyphs from the Sinagua People. It is only 5.6 miles from Montezuma Well but takes about 15 minutes. The site is another 15 minutes from where I stayed in Sedona. This is really spectacular to see. Very well preserved and fun to interpret. The Petroglyphs are drawn on a Sandstone bluff with many different images to see. There is an interpreter on site. It is only open on certain days, I believe, Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon, check their web site here.
- 2:00 pm Lunch at Hotel
- 3:30 pm Evening Hike at Little Horse Trail and The Hog Trails with Steve
Little Horse Trail and the Hog Trals was my favorite hiking spot in Sedona and I’m glad this we aded this to our itinerary. This was a moderate trail starting with following Little Horse Trail up to Chicken Point. From there we followed Broken Arrow Trail, High on the Hog Trail, Hog Heaven Trail, Hog Wash Trail, and finally Mystic Trail. This took us through a neighborhood than we followed a trail to the parking lot!! It was a moderate trail with some scrambling, drop offs, and beautiful vistas. We tracked it at 5.39 miles and it took us 3 hours and 36 minutes. This trail was a lot of fun and so beautiful.
- 8:30 pm Dinner at Cafe
- 7:30 am Breakfast at Hotel
- 9:00 am Massage at Hotel
- 12:15 pm Lunch at Cafe
- 1:30 pm Afternoon Hike with Steve at Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock Trail is more accurately described as climbing up a steep rock rather than a trail hike. This difficult trail starts off as a path but quickly starts to ascend to the base of Cathedral Rock and becomes steeper as you approach the top of the trail. The trail itself is 1.5 miles long, round trip. The views are amazing and become even more amazing as you ascend up. This is not the trail for you if you do not like heights, steep slanted trails, have balance issues or vertigo, or have mobility issues.
- 4:45 pm Evening Hike with Steve at Airport Vortex and Airport Loop
Airport Vortex and Airport Mesa Loop Trail is the last hike of our Sedona hiking itinerary. The Airport Mesa Trail is a 3.3 mile trail which aptly named loops around the airport mesa. The Airport Vortex is just off of this trail. The Vortex is a bit of a scramble up the rock, but there are chains in the stone that assists your climb. The Airport Loop is a beautiful trail with panoramic views overlooking Sedona and the Red Rocks below. Very beautiful at sunset as the setting sun brings out the beauty in the rocks .
- 7:30 pm Dinner at Rotten Johnie’s Pizza
- Drive to Phoenix
- Fly Home
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. The resort was very nice. It was the perfect place to stay in Sedona and worked well with our hiking itinerary. Steve’s conference was here so it was convenient to stay here. The room was comfortable with a separate bedroom and a sitting room with fireplace. The room also had a small fridge and microwave. The two restaurants were good and we enjoyed the outdoor dining. I actually ate lunch there each day. There is an outdoor area with fire pits and seating, also an outdoor games area. The staff was very courteous and knowledgeable about the area.
Where We Ate
No Sedona hiking itinerary would be complete with out mentioning where we ate! Eating is important whenever I travel but especially when I am hiking. I am going to be honest, on this trip variety wasn’t in our plans when it came to eating. Other than our hotel, we only ate at two different places, just multiple times! It was about convenience. We ate at the resort and within walking distance because we were just too tired at night to put energy into deciding where to eat. At lunch, the resort was convenient for me as I waited for Steve to finish his seminar classes. All three places were excellent.
This amazing pizza place was just down the road from where we were staying, just a short walk. We loved this amazing traditional style pizza so much we ate here twice. The wings were great too!! The service was great and the pizza amazing! We figured after all the hiking we would burn the calories off!!
Corner Table Restaurant
This is another restaurant just down the hill from our hotel. As a matter of fact, it was just a few steps from Rotten Johnny’s! We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere here and the good food. Call us boring, but both times we ate here, Steve had fish and chips and I had a burger and fruit. I did enjoy a glass of wine here one evening and we split a blue cheese potato chip appetizer and a sinfully delicious chocolate cake.
When planning for hiking Broken Arrow Trail, I 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 photos are in black and white but there is also an icon on each hike which you can scan on your phone. These icons contain color photos of the hikes.
I also used Sedona Trails Map while following Broken Arrow Trail and the many other Trails in Sedona. This is a sturdy map that fit nicely in my bag. Easy to follow and definitely worth having.
Diary of a Gen-X Traveler is an Amazon Affiliate and the 2 links above are Amazon Links. I do receive a small commission from purchases from those links at no cost to you.