Explore Phoenix

Five Easy Sedona Day Hikes

Things to Do — By P. Escarcega on July 31, 2011 at 5:18 am

You don’t have to be an intrepid rock climber to get up close and personal with Sedona’s stunning red rock beauty. Simply strap on a pair of comfortable hiking shoes and explore some of the best scenery in all the Southwest with these five easy Sedona day hikes.

A day hike in Sedona can include a short trek alongside peaceful Oak Creek, where stunning views of red rocks and cottonwoods inspire visitors all year round.

Boynton Canyon: Famous for its status as one of Sedona’s most vibrant vortex energy spots, this popular trail offers great views of Sedona’s iconic red rocks, shimmering cottonwoods and, if you come in early fall, stunning autumn color. Although this is probably not the right hike if you crave solitude (this is one of the most popular trails in town, and a stretch snakes around Sedona’s posh Enchantment Resort), it certainly fits the bill if you want an eyeful of classic Sedona beauty. To get here, drive towards Cottonwood from the intersection of Highway 89A and Highway 179 and turn right on Dry Creek Road.

Baldwin Trail: This 3.3-mile trail is located on an unpaved stretch of Verde Valley School Road and affords excellent views of Cathedral Rock, one of Sedona’s most popular natural landmarks. A short detour along Templeton Trail leads you to the murmuring waters of Oak Creek.

West Fork: This wandering trail meanders alongside peaceful Oak Creek, allowing hikers to cross the waters about a dozen times during the course of one hike. Stepping stones keep your feet dry, although you may find yourself wading across the waters during periods of precipitation. The small parking fee is worth the enjoyable, relaxing hike along the creek. To get here, drive north on SR89A towards Flagstaff from the intersection of SR89A and SR179 for almost eleven miles and follow the signs to the trailhead.

Llama Trail Hike: This 4.4-mile loop hike is connected to another popular trail, the Courthouse Butte Loop, near the Village of Oak Creek. Although there isn’t much shade, the hike features a series of small pools and excellent views of landmark Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Lee Mountain. To get here, travel south on SR179 for about eight miles from the intersection of SR89A and SR179 to the trailhead, which lies just beyond Bell Rock.

Honanki Indian Ruins Hike: Widely considered one of the best preserved Indian ruins sites in the Sedona area, the Honanki Indian Ruins is only about 1/2 miles round trip but you’ll get a fascinating eyeful of red sandstone cliff dwellings. Be aware that Pink Jeep Tours, one of Sedona’s most popular commercial sightseeing companies, manages the Honanki site, so there are no official ranger stations on site.

Photo: visitsedona.com

Tags: baldwin trail, boynton canyon, honanki india ruins, llama trail hike, sedona, sedona day hikes, sedona hikes, west fork
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