How to Hike the Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, Arizona
Hike the Devil’s Bridge Trail
The Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, Arizona is a relatively easy hike finishing with a bit of a climb as you get close to the famous Devil’s Bridge.
Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona is a natural sandstone arch in the Coconino National Forest. The arch stands 54 feet tall and 45 feet long.
This is one of Sedona’s most popular spots because of the ease in accessing, and of course, for the remarkable views and photo op that it offers. Be sure to hike Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, Arizona.
The three top hikes in Sedona are the Devil’s Bridge, Subway Cave, and Soldier Pass Cave.
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How does a natural bridge form?
Well, apparently some 300 million years ago, a plateau covered the whole area. A piece of the rock fell away, and over time, wind and rain wore away more rock, eroding the stone, and creating the arch.
Just a little bit of geological magic!
While there are ways to hike the Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, from another trailhead and with the assistance of a 4X4 vehicle, my instructions below will take you the way I went.
It was a perfect experience, so I recommend you follow these instructions for a beautiful adventure.
All this, and you can be home in time for brunch!
How long is the hike to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona?
The Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, Arizona is a 4.2 mile RT hike.
It’s designated as Easy to Moderate Difficulty.
Three fourths of it is easy and flat.
The final mile is more difficult as you get closer to the bridge.
You’ll climb up stone staircases that require a bit of rock scrambling.
The total ascent is 400 feet.
Know before you go
When is the best time to visit Sedona?
Sedona is gorgeous all year around.
I visited in November and we had ideal 75° degrees each day, with dips into the 50’s at night.
The summer can be very hot with temperatures in the 90’s during the day.
The fall and spring are probably your best bet with temps ranging from 70’s to 80’s.
The winter months can get pretty cold, but of course there are fewer people visiting.
What is a Red Rock Pass?
The Red Rock Pass program is a conservation tool designed by the U.S. Forest Service to protect, enhance and maintain Sedona’s awe-inspiring red rock lands.
A pass is required when recreating on National Forest Land in Red Rock County.
The pass is $5 per day or $15 for a week. You are subject to a citation if your car does not display one in the windshield.
The passes can be purchased at trailheads via a machine which accepts credit cards.
Our VRBO rental provided us with one for the trip which was a super benefit!
Tips for hiking to Devil’s Bridge
There are NOT toilet facilities in the Mescal trailhead parking.
There are pit toilets at the Dry Creek lot, however.
Download a trail map before hiking.
Bring plenty of water and snacks.
Wear hiking boots or sneakers with some tread.
Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Dogs are allowed, if you want to bring your furry friend.
Expect to wait for your turn to walk the bridge and have your picture taken.
This is a well trafficked hike which makes the delicate landscape vulnerable. Please be respectful and follow all the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace!©
Plan Ahead and Prepare,Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, Be Considerate of Other Visitors. And, I would like to add, NO Drones Allowed in National Parks! They are disturbing to both wildlife and people.
Where do I park for the
Devil’s Bridge hike?
Get to the Mescal Trailhead parking lot on Long Canyon Road no later than 6:30 AM – 7:00 AM if you want to be guaranteed a spot.
It is a small parking area and remember this is a popular hike, and becoming more popular all the time.
The trailhead is in the main parking lot. It will be really obvious.
If you don’t get a spot in the lot, then you will have to park at the Dry Creek Road for the Dry Creek Vista Trailhead with overflow parking on Boynton Pass Road.
From there, you will need to walk down a dusty, dirt road until you arrive at the Devil’s Bridge Trail.
This adds about half a mile to your hike and is not as nice as hiking the Mescal Trail.
I can’t stress enough how worth it is to get up early!
The best way to hike the
Devil’s BridgeTrail in Sedona, Arizona
Take the Mescal Trail to Chuck Wagon Trail to
Devil’s Bridge Trail
This trail is well marked and is only about two miles to Devil’s Bridge.
Follow the Mescal Trail into the woods for a short distance until you reach the sign for Devil’s Bridge Trail and Chuckwagon Trail.
If you start early, as we did, you will enjoy the incredible changes of light as the sun comes up.
Once you are on the Chuckwagon Trail, enjoy the beautiful sights of red rock surrounding you.
The array of cacti and trees are magnificent. Lots of manzanita, juniper, yucca, and prickly pear.
I really can’t get enough of the combination in tones of greens, reds, and beiges.
Literally, the lighting and colors change so much throughout the day, we wondered if it was vortex related!
to where you cross the road because on the way back, you may not remember which direction you came from and it may not look as obvious to you.
The Devil’s Bridge Trail in
Now you are on the Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, Arizona and are just one mile from Devil’s Bridge!
The trail starts off wide and begins to narrow before the incline starts.
There is a beautiful flat spot to rest and soak in the views just before you finish the climb.
The rock steps and scramble are a bit steep, but that section does not last for long.
And voilà! You made it!
Enjoy the wait for your photo op, meet some friendly hikers, have a snack and marvel at the natural creation of the bridge and its surroundings. Take your time on the decline and keep your eye out for unusual blue birds, deer, and lovely flowers that seem to grow out of rocks.
Where should I stay in Sedona?
Sedona has so many hotels, inns, and vacation rentals, it can get a little overwhelming to choose. Here’s a little information about locations and neighborhoods to help you narrow it down.
Uptown Sedona is the neighborhood known for being the tourist hub. Here you will find restaurants, shopping, and great views. The area is walkable and is a great area to stay nearby if you would like easy access to the tourist activities. There are plenty of places to stay in Uptown, but you are more of a drive to the hikes.
West Sedona is a more low key neighborhood with a more local vibe. You’ll be closer to the hiking trails and can still find lodging choices and restaurants.
How many days in Sedona is enough?
Plan on at least five days in Sedona. You want early mornings for hiking and the afternoons and evenings for dining, shopping, and relaxing.
Spend day one to arrive, enjoy your accommodations, the hot tub or pool, explore your neighborhood, find some good food, and shop a little.
Spend day two hiking to the Subway Cave.
Spend Day three hiking to the Soldier Pass Cave.
Spend Day four hiking to the Devil’s Bridge.
Spend Day five to relax before you drop off your car and catch your flight home.
I can’t seem to figure out why it is called Devil’s Bridge. Clearly, it was made by angels!
Travel safe, hike healthy, and let me know how it was!