Easy Hikes in Sedona
Hiking in Sedona with kids and family is a perfect way to experience the one-of-a-kind scenery. There are a range of trails to explore – both in difficulty and landscape – but we’re focusing on the easy hikes in Sedona so that everyone in the family can move their legs as they explore Red Rock Country.
What to know about Sedona
Sedona’s reputation for mystical energy is just as well known as its stunning views of red rocks in every direction. It has a variety of vegetation and wildlife – from cacti and oak trees to deer and javelina – and is located two hours north of Phoenix, Arizona and 45 minutes south of Flagstaff.
Depending on where you find yourself in Sedona, the landscape can vary, from a riparian environment alongside Oak Creek to a more desert-like landscape dotted with prickly pear and yucca as well as juniper, cypress, and piñon pine. You may also find yourself at the intersection of natural electromagnetic energy emanating from the earth – a vortex. These sites are said be “alive with energy” providing the right environment for healing, enlightenment, and self-exploration.
The weather is Sedona is generally mild throughout the year, getting much hotter and sunnier in the summer. It’s pleasant in the winter with light snow, and fall and spring tend to be perfect. Though sometimes snow melt in the spring can make the creeks high and increase the potential for flooding.
What to expect when you visit Sedona
Parking can be tough at trailheads with limited additional parking in the area. Get there early if you want to secure a spot. Or see if the shuttle can get you where you need to go.
Have a Plan B trail just in case the first one isn’t right for the day due to parking, high creeks, or a bit too much sun. Service can be spotty, so download your map or use AllTrails just in case you find yourself off course – sometimes it can be hard to distinguish a trail from a wash. And finally, make sure you pack smart – bring snacks, lots of water (especially in summer), layers, and sunscreen.
Now that you know a little more about the area, below are five great easy hikes in Sedona.
Five Easy Sedona Hikes for Families
Munds Wagon Trail
The first stretch of this hike is in Bear Wallow Wash/Canyon. It winds alongside a limited access road where you’ll see and hear tour jeeps passing through. There are good spots around the creek for trail snack breaks and exploring for kids. If you go far enough (2.5 miles), there is a side route to The Cow Pies slickrock where an energy vortex is said to be! Even farther, you’ll hit the Carousel – an area with stones, hoodoos and arches.
- Length of Hike: 8 miles to the view and back, but you can turn around at any point, easy to moderate depending on how far you go
- Location / Trailhead: parking near Huckaby Trailhead, signs for Munds Wagon Trail will direct you to the right
- When to go: late winter, early spring is nice. Less tree cover, so the cooler months are ideal. Snow melt keeps the hike interesting, stepping on stones to cross the creek and fun little waterfalls.
Fay Canyon Trail & Arch
This easy Sedona hike is mostly flat in the middle of a box canyon with lots of trees and coverage. At the end of the trail, you can climb up some rocks for a little fun and a better views. Kids love the scramble and will find some good rocks to sit on to rest and fuel up. There is a more advanced trail up to a natural bridge if you’re up for the climb (and up for carrying littler ones in a pack) – this offshoot is not marked and easy to miss! Multiple groups that we passed asked where it was while we were also trying to find it.
- Length of Hike: 1.6 miles, easy, mostly flat
- Location / Trailhead: larger parking lot across from the trailhead
- When to go: a great hike for all seasons
Jordan Trail Cibola Pass Loop
At the trailhead, you can go in either direction. We tend to go straight up Cibola Pass and come back on Jordan Trail, but either way makes for a fun, fairly easy loop. There are a couple of climbs, but the ups and downs make it more fun for kids, especially with so many rock stairs to aid the climb. There are a variety of plants along the way, like manzanita shrubs and juniper trees, and great photo opps and views of the red rocks. Watch for mountain bikers!
- Length of Hike: 2 miles, but you can also expand your adventure with a variety of other connecting trails that lead into the Secret Mountain Wilderness.
- Location / Trailhead: Jim Thompson Trailhead off of W Park Ridge Drive (the road to get here is tricky, but the parking lot is larger than others in this trail system)
- When to go: All seasons! Nice when it’s brisk in the fall and winter, but there is enough cover to provide shade in the summer.
Wilson Canyon Trail
This hike include lots of creek crossing and stone stepping as it goes in and out of stream beds. The wooded landscape has a variety of vegetation including many types of wildflowers, agave, and cacti, but also provides less views of the traditional red rocks. Going a little past the sign (with a little climb) offers a nice view of the broader Sedona landscape. Its twists and turns and ups and downs make it interesting for hikers of all ages.
A few detours that you can take on the trail: The Wilson Mountain Trail is off to the right just past the restrooms and picnic tables. A little later, the Jim Thompson Trail forks off to the left leading to the base of Steamboat Rock with more of a desert landscape.
- Length of Hike: 2.7 mi, easy to moderate
- Location / Trailhead: parking at Midgely Bridge lot – it’s very small and fills up early!
- When to go: all seasons, but winter, early spring before it gets too muddy is especially fun with flowing water. Summer is nice, but dry.
Doe Mountain Trail (a little more challenging!)
Doe Mountain is a mesa with flat desert like terrain up top. The switchbacks up the mountain are fairly easy, gradual and wide. There is one scrambly spot, but it’s not as tricky as it might seem. The meandering switchbacks make the climb more enjoyable and it’s entirely out of the sun thanks to the trail being on the north side.
At the top, you can enjoy views without being right on the edge of the mesa. There are wide smooth rocks set back from the edge; it feels safe for enjoying a picnic or snacks as a family. And the top is easy to explore with lots of vegetation, animal tracks, and vast 360 views of Sedona’s monuments.
- Length of Hike: 3.6 miles, moderatee
- Location / Trailhead: a larger parking lot right next to the trailhead
- When to go: all seasons, but may want to limit your time up top in the heat of summer
Insider Info for Visiting Sedona
To stay informed or add to your Sedona adventure, here are some tips about seasons, where to eat, what resources to look at and other things to do after your short hike in Sedona.
Sedona in different seasons
Spring in Sedona
Spring is one of the best times to visit Sedona with comfortable temperatures ranging from the 60s to 80s. You’ll need light layers for the chilly mornings and evenings. In early spring, the snow melt from the San Francisco Peaks will travel down the various washes and creeks making trails a bit damper and greener than usual!
Hiking tip: Keep extra socks and shoes in the car for all the creek hopping you’ll be doing.
Summer in Sedona
Summer in Sedona tends to be hot, averaging around 90 degrees during the day (but its typically 10 degrees cooler than the Phoenix area). It’s still nice to explore Red Rock country especially if you find yourself creekside or near any watering holes. July and August are monsoon season in Sedona, typically bringing a burst of rain in the afternoon heat.
Hiking tip: Bring a hat and more water than you think, especially if you’re not sure of the cover on the trail.
Fall in Sedona
The air gets more brisk in Sedona in the fall with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Bring more layers as the weather changes and enjoy a few of the festive fall events or go for a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon.
Hiking tip: Find a creekside hike to take advantage the changing foliage.
Winter in Sedona
Winter is mild and often brings a dusting of snow on the tops of the red rocks. It gets chilly, but isn’t too cold with temperatures hovering around the 50s and 60s. There tends to be less tourism during the winter months, so visit at this time to avoid the crowds.
Hiking tip: Wear layers – it starts out frigid but warms up to the 50s and 60s later in the day.
Local Resources for Visiting Sedona
Here are a few good resources to make sure you’re up to date on any weather-related or environmental events before embarking on your easy hike in Sedona.
- Visit AZ511 for any news on road closures (important in fire season and snow season).
- Flagstaff National Weather Service is top notch. Their Facebook page is a good follow thanks to their great updates and graphics and is especially helpful for winter storms and during monsoon season with flash flooding.
- Coconino National Forest – Forest Service provides updates on road closures, lets you know current fire danger, and provides overall good information about the forest.
Beyond hiking and other outdoor activities, there is a lot going on in Sedona. There are a variety of events, markets, and things to do.
- For seasonal festivals, check out the Sedona Tourism website, Visit Sedona, and discover any events you want to make sure to be in town for.
- Outdoor art markets pop up in different squares around town.
- Bring your bikes to Posse Grounds Park to practice at the Sedona Bike Park. They have a pump park, tot loop, flow trail and more. There’s also a great playground for kids there.
- Wine tasting isn’t quite in Sedona, but it’s close by in Cornville. D.A. Ranch (with its vast lawn for families to hang out on)and Page Springs Cellars (located right on the creek) are two good options
- Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is a destination for art, artisanal handcrafted goods and a variety of other specialty shopping. Restaurants and live music can be found here as well.
- Slide Rock State Park was originally a historic apple farm, but now serves as a well-known watering hole in Oak Creek Canyon.
Where to eat after a short hike in Sedona
- Grab some donuts and coffee at Sedonuts before or after a morning hike.
- Indian Gardens is a quant little café in Oak Creek Canyon with a nice garden patio and good eats.
- Coffee Pot Restaurant is a casual spot that’s “Home of 101 Omelets” and an extensive, yet solid menu.
- Wildflower Bread can get you some satisfying soup, salad and sandwiches.
- Whole Foods is easy, quick, and has something for everyone. Plus a nice seating area and a coffee bar if you want it.
Hiking in Sedona
These easy hikes are a good way to move your body and see the views of Sedona all at the same time! The area is beautiful with two completely different environments to experience – the creek/riparian areas and the red rock desert environment. As you acclimate to the elevation and want to challenge your legs a little more, continue exploring all the magical Sedona landscape has to offer.
- 9 Best Tips for Hiking with Kids
- Hiking with a Baby in Warm Weather
- 7 Hidden Features to Point Out to Kids on any Trail
Easy Hikes in Sedona
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