Hiking in Sedona, AZ

The scenery in Sedona is gorgeous, with towering red rocks in every direction you look. The problem with all that beauty so close to a town is that the town is overrun with people shopping, eating, hiking, driving really slowly, causing a dusty racket on ATV tours, and fouling scenic photos with their helicopter tours. We loved the countryside around Sedona, but we did not love the town of Sedona. I know we are in the minority with that opinion–what did we miss?

We did two hikes on two different days in Sedona. The first was on a Saturday morning, but fortunately the trailhead was on a road so difficult to drive that we only had to share with one other group. The second was on a Monday morning, but it was a less strenuous hike with easier access, so we had to share with a zillion other groups.

Hike 1: Cow Pies – Hangover – Munds Wagon Loop

The views on this 5.2-mile hike were stellar, and hiking on the red rocks was fun. It’s one of our favorite hikes we’ve done so far on this trip (and I’m writing this after we’ve done a lot more hiking in Utah). Only attempt driving Schnebly Hill Road if you have a high clearance, super badass car (like our F-150).

sedona hike cowpies hangover
cowpies hangover trail

Hike 2: Brin’s Mesa – Soldier Pass Loop

The scenery was beautiful, of course, on this easy 5-mile hike, but it was crowded with hikers, and in spots, tourists who spilled out of Jeeps to gawk at a view and then go on their noisy way. If you go, we recommend parking in the alternate lot (for a few dollars fee, as it’s in the Coconino National Forest, or display your America the Beautiful pass to get in for free) at the top of Jordan Road, because the main lot is tiny and fills quickly.

sedona brins mesa
sedona brin's mesa

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