Sedona Hikes – Soldiers Pass

Soldier Pass


Soldier Pass Trail is located in the Coconino National Forest.  This forest’s diversity ranges from the red rocks of Sedona to alpine tundra.  It consists of mountains and canyons and you’ll find lakes and creeks scattered throughout.  This particular two mile hike will lead you north on your journey across Soldier Pass.  Here you will experience desert like landscapes and plenty of incredible views.  Convert this three mile hike into a five mile loop by including Brin’s Mesa Trail.




This trail is rated moderate on the way up, but is an easy descent of about 450 feet.  At the summit of this mesa, the surrounding peaks and downtown Sedona come into view.  It is here that you will fall in love with this beautiful region all over again.


About one mile in, the terrain becomes a stone-step climb to the top.  From there it levels out and takes a downward slope with amazing views.


What to Expect


The first half of this trail is typically very busy.  There is also a Jeep trial that follows the path.  Frequent tours by Jeep will be conducted nearby.  Along the way, there will be opportunity for shade at first.  After about a mile and a half, the trail begins to inline steeply for about a quarter mile.  From there, the views begin to open up.


Views Along the Way


Sedona hikes offer incredible diversity and this hike does not disappoint.  Along the way, you will see much of the beauty of the Sedona landscape, including two natural arches, the Devils Kitchen, and the Seven Sacred Pools and the Sphinx Rock Formation.    From the Soldier Pass Trail, you can catch a glimpse of the Devils Kitchen Sinkhole, but if you want to get a closer look, you’ll have to leave the trail which can be re-joined just north of the sinkhole.  This sinkhole was recorded to be formed in 1880 when the ground gave way with a thundering crash and a massive plume of dust.  At approximately 150 ft in diameter and close to 80 feet deep, the Seven Sacred Pools are a series of natural pools carved in the bed rock of the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness.  They are replenished by a seasonal stream.  The Sphinx can be seen at the trailhead of Soldiers Pass.  This unique rock formation towers over the Devils Kitchen Sinkhole.  


About 1.3 miles from the trial head you will find a side trail that routes you to the Soldier Pass Arches.  Although, a little challenging, you can reach two of the three arches.  The third is dangerous and not recommended as you will be navigating a narrow trail on the face of the cliff.


Directions to Soldier Pass Trail
Soldier Pass is located west of Sedona.  Off Highway 89A, take Soldier Pass Road.   Follow the signs that will lead you to the trailhead.  Be sure to be out by 6:00 pm or you’ll be locked in.  The park closes at 6. If you break down on your way to the trail, we recommend calling Poly’s Towing, the best towing company in Arizona.

Sedona Hikes – Bell Rock

Bell Rock


The Bell Rock Pathway is a widely traveled hike.  Plan on passing many hikers along its four mile loop.  With less than 300 ft elevation gains and a variety of options from mountain biking to horseback riding, this trail attracts many people year round.  The views are stunning and the experience is one you don’t want to miss.  Bell Rock itself is a beautiful monument.  Layers of red, pink and orange sandstone adorn the church bell-like formation.    This hike is an extraordinary chance to take in amazing views and even snap some incredible pictures of the rock and the surrounding valley, which is adorned with wild flowers.  Bell Rock is considered one of the vortexes that surround Sedona.   There are four main energy vortexes in Sedona.  The others include, Boynton Canyon, Cathedral Rock, and Airport Vortex.  These vortexes are believed to contain energy cyclones coming from the earth.  It is believed that the energy can be felt individuals sensitive to these subtle nuances.


When to Visit Bell Rock


Bell Rock is available all year round.  But the autumn season proves best for this hike.  With lots of sunshine and relief from the scorching heat at the end of the day.  Come early, before 8 am, to beat the rush.  Lots of people visit this monument, from tourists to locals.




This trail is rated moderate.  The hike itself would be labeled easy to most hikers, but its the climbs near the end of the trail that give this trail its moderate rating.  And if you’re into this sort of thing, come ready to climb the rock itself.  The climb is worth it!  Don’t miss out on the opportunity for a vantage point that not many can claim as their own.  Overall, its a beautiful hike and fun for the whole family.


What to Expect


This trail begins at a well-maintained trailhead.  The trails are marked and maintained at the start. The beginning of the hike starts out easy and nearing the end you have the option of climbing.  Bell Rock Trail extends about halfway of Bell Rock.  The views from the top are beautiful and breathtaking. This hike offers you the chance to experience Sedona in a way that you never have before. You can even add to your hike the Old Courthouse Butte Trail and the Big Loop Trail if you want to make a day of it.  Along the way, there are several tributary trails that you can follow that are equally as impressive and the terrain is pretty much the same.  Expect some moderate climbing and sliding on the traverse.  There isn’t much shade on this hike, so wear your sunblock and bring a Camelback.  You’ll need plenty of water in the hot Arizona sun.  


Biking is very popular out here.  Be ready to jump off the trial as the riders pass by.  It’s been noted that the mountain bikers aren’t very friendly.  But, hey, we are all out here to have a good time, so let it go and take in the natural beauty that Sedona provides.


Directions to Bell Rock


This awesome hike can be found about seven miles south of Sedona on Highway 179 in the Village of Oak Creek.