Sedona is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in America. Part of Coconino national forest, it hosts numerous breathtaking hikes. Living in Sedona 20 years has made us privy to many lesser known trails that you might want to check out to avoid tourists and see amazing views.
CR Ranch/Mayan Maiden
This is a smaller, barely marked, neighborhood trail. To get here you drive down Verde Valley School Road about 2 miles until you see a sign on the right that says CR Ranch. This is where the trailhead is. You can park either right in front or across the road in a pullout parking area. This trail has a few directions once you enter, but the primary hike is to the right. When you enter stay on the path to the right (at one point it splits -stay right). Eventually you will come to an open space – take a sharp right on a small, narrow, path (there is a fallen tree next to the path). This takes you up the the ridge. When you get to the ridge you can either go right or left. The right path leads you to the Mayan Maiden. which is a relatively short hike. The path to the left is much longer and takes you up and around the ridge. This hike has spectacular views and you can see the backside of Cathedral Rock, Castle Rock, and many smaller rocks.
This hike is located by a well trafficked hiking area, but not as many people choose this hike. To get here park at Courthouse Vista off 179. Take the Phone trail to the left. Follow it around for about 1 to 2 miles. You can go one of two ways to hike Baby Bell. If you want to go up on top of Baby Bell the best way is to take a sharp right when you get to the rock. This trail goes alongside Baby Bell. For a while you will feel like you are hiking away from the rock, but when you come to a big opening take a sharp left. This is unmarked and almost doesn’t look like a trail – it heads directly back to Baby Bell. This will take you around and up the rock. Near the top it is steep and rocky so wear good shoes. To hike the longer trail that goes back into the general area, pass by Baby Bell and come to the back of it. Here you will see a sign that says Baby Bell – take a right. (You can also cut up to the top of the rock on this hike – just cut left when you see the clear path). This hike winds around behind Baby Bell and offers beautiful views, is less traveled and takes you deep into the valley of rocks. It also hooks up to the Llama trail so you can loop back to the parking lot by meeting up with Bell Rock Pathway. The Llama trail lets you out right where the opening is for hiking up to the top of Baby Bell.
The Lama Trail
This is another trail off of Bell Rock Pathway. If park at Court House Vista (you will need a red rock pass) follow the phone trail and make a sharp left when you see Baby Bell. Follow this around until you come to big opening. You will see the trailhead for Llama trail on the left. This trail winds around behind courthouse and hooks up with many other trails. Eventually it will cross the phone trail again and you can take it back to the parking lot by taking a right.
This is a great trail that has amazing views and is on the more difficult side. To get here go to the end of Jack’s Canyon road. This is an unmarked trail and that what makes it fun. You need to forge your own way up to the top. Near the top it gets steep and rocky, but is quite exhilarating.
To get to this hike take 179 and turn onto Sombart Lane. Go up the street and park in the designated parking lot (you need a red rock pass). You will see a trailhead through a gate. The beginning of the trail is steep and then it levels off. To get to snoopy (which is less traveled) when you come to the first sign trail marker go straight. This will take you on long windy trail. It is not marked clearly, but enough so you can make your way. Once you get close to Snoopy it get steep and rocky, so wear good shoes.
Wild Horse Mesa
Take Jack’s Canyon road off 179 about mile or so on the right you will see a trailhead and big parking lot this is the trailhead. This trail goes up and through the saddle. Stay left to get to the top of wild horse mesa. There are Indian ruins at the top, but hard to find.
Cowpies (Need 4 Wheel Drive)
To get to this hike drive up Schnebly Hill road about 3.5 miles until you see a parking area on your right. This road starts out paved, but turns into a dirt road so a 4 wheel drive or sturdy car is advised. This is a beautiful trail, not marked well, but allows for lots of exploration.
Jim Bryant Canyon
This trail starts off Little Horse Thief trail. You can get there one of two ways – from the vista off 179 or back behind the chapel. I recommend the entry behind the chapel. This is a beautiful hike that takes you through broken arrow area without having to encounter lots of jeeps and hikers.
This hike is off of dry creek road and is an easy, nice, loop hike with pretty views. To get here take dry creek road off of 89A. Turn right on Coffee Pot Drive and to Sanborn. Turn left on Sanborn (which turns into Thunder Mountain Road) and for about a mile and look for the sign for the trailhead on your right. You can start this trail in either direction. On the backside are beautiful canyon views.
To get to this trail pull in off of 179 west side just across from Bell Rock. This trail lead up on castle rock with nice views. Very untraveled trail.