Sedona Hikes – Fay Canyon

Fay Canyon

sedona hiking, arizona

Get ready for one of the most pleasant experiences Sedona can offer with wonderful views and a short easy stroll through a canyon located in the Secret Mountain Wilderness.




This trail is easy to moderate.  A total trip of 2.5 miles round trip.  With only a 150 elevation gain, this trail is suitable for all ages.


What to Expect

This trail is best experienced at mid morning.  The lighting is beautiful as the sun makes its ascent over the canyon.  The temperature is still cool.  The canyon helps maintain this refreshing temperature until the sun is directly overhead.


This trail is also one of the best options in the winter months.  While other trails in the area may become messy at best and even risky, this trail seems to rid itself of ice pretty quickly.  However, if you do encounter an icy patch, be advised that the trail quickly turns from moderate to difficult, especially the climb.


You’ll come to a rock slide that appears to be the trail end.  But if you decide to continue, you can extend this pleasure another quarter mile on the other side.  From there you will have another incredible view of Bear Mountain.


At the end where the canyon splits, take just a short climb to reach the majestic views of Bell Rock from the overlook.


This trail provides plenty of shade, relative to other hikes in the area.  The canyon walls shield you from the sometimes extreme elements of this region.   The trail follows a wash to the end. Washes are impressive natural drainage for the expanse of water that rushes down after large amounts of rain.  


Views Along the Way


A tributary trail will take you almost a half mile to a natural arch in stone.  It’s a little bit of a climb,  and this part of the trial is not maintained and kind of steep.  Your reward for your efforts is a unique experience as you slip into the opening of the Fay Canyon Arch.  This opening is rather small and unnerving.    The arch is positioned along the northern canyon wall.  It’s expanse is about 20 feet.  It was formed as a result of the alcove ceiling falling in on itself, leaving nothing more than an archway in its memory.  It may not be easily noticeable from the trail so you’ll have to pay attention for the turn-off.  Although there is no sign, hikers have marked the spot with stacks of rocks that you can’t miss.


As you travel, you will see a rather diverse selection of vegetation, from cactus to wild grapes and even a forest of oak trees.  And in the right season, you can see an amazing collection of wild flowers.


Directions to Fay Canyon


Dry Creek Road off Highway 89A will lead you to Bynton Canyon Road where you will find the trail head of Fay Canyon.  Park at Boynton Pass Road and join the trail head just across the street from the parking lot.