The Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona

21 Mar
2012
Posted in: Arizona, Hikes
By    1 Comment

Back when we were still dreaming of and saving for our trip (and when we had a TV), we loved watching Motion on the Live Well Network. Motion is hosted by Greg, a tour guide from CA, and we always enjoyed the show thanks to his energy and contagious enthusiasm for hiking and the outdoors. When Motion visited Sedona, one of the featured hikes was the Devil’s Bridge trail in the wilderness area outside the city of Sedona. We had to try this hike for ourselves.

This is a popular trail — it’s no insider tip — as you’ll realize as soon as you reach the parking area at the start of the trailhead access road. You really should park here. Do not even attempt to drive down the road if you’re driving anything other than a high clearance, 4WD vehicle (like, for example, a Ford Taurus)! It’s just a mile hike to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead from the parking area, and it’s a beautiful and entertaining mile. Not only are there gorgeous views of the surrounding hillsides, but there’s also the entertainment of watching people attempt to safely navigate the road in their nice and/or inadequate vehicles.

The hike itself is very easy…until it isn’t. Suddenly there’s a stairway made of rock slabs, then another and another. They’re really steep and only wide enough for a single person to ascend or descend, creating a few awkward traffic jams above and below. And then suddenly you’re above the Devil’s Bridge, an arch carved into the side of the rock outcroppings above the valley. You can climb right out on the arch, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, though 99% of our fellow hikers went out to pose for a photo and revel in their bravery. I preferred the view of the arch from below, as seen by taking a side trail right before the first rock stairway.

The area around Sedona is amazingly, shockingly beautiful. It looks a lot like southern Utah, with red rock formations and a few arches, but with much lusher vegetation. But the city of Sedona itself didn’t do much for us, not at this time in our lives. We don’t need art or turquoise or fancy meals or healing vortexes. We just need a plentiful supply of fresh, free nature. There are hundreds of miles of trails around Sedona and cheap national forest campgrounds nearby, so we may be spending more time here in the future.

Do not drive your Ford Taurus down this road. This guy took out his oil pan and it looked like the Taurus was finally headed for the junk yard.

Do not drive your Ford Taurus or similar down this road. This guy took out his oil pan and it looked like the Taurus was finally headed for the junk yard.

The trail gets interesting.

The trail gets interesting.

Once you climb a few sets of rock stairs, you get great views of the valley.

Once you climb a few sets of rock stairs, you get great views of the valley.

This rock outcropping is a great place for a snack.

This rock outcropping is a great place for a snack.

Another stairway.

Another stairway.

Some people...

Some people...

Closeup of the wind-eroded rock.

Closeup of the wind-eroded rock.

The arch from below.

The arch from below.

  • Camack53

    Beautiful photos.  Glad you parked Rocky safely at the start.