I'm sharing a fantastic hike south of Sedona, where you'll get fantastic views of the red rocks without all the other hikers. If you've ever been to Sedona, you know it's very popular, and sometimes many people are on the trails. So if you want to find a trail in Sedona that doesn't have a lot of people on it but at the same time gives you all the benefits of the great views, stay tuned.
I will share some pictures of my hike, how you can find the trail, and explain a little about my gear that helped me sweat less in this Arizona heat.
The name of the trail is called the Woods Canyon Trail. If you have any questions about my information and where you can look at more details, all the links and the show notes can be found below.
Sedona Arizona - Woods Canyon Trail
Woods Canyon Trail is in the Coconino National Forest, where Sedona is near. The nearest town to the trail is not Sedona. You drive south on the 179 down to the Village of Oak Creek. That's the town. It's just a few minutes south of Sedona, and there's a trailhead (with a large parking lot) called the Red Rock Visitor Center.
There are a few trailheads right there. That's where I started. It's a fantastic hike.
Backpack Airflow System - Sweat Less in Sedona, Arizona Heat
I did six miles elevation of 1000 ft. I will explain how you can get some great views without going that high. I went that high, and I paid the price. It was a struggle in the heat.. It took about three hours.
Let me share the trail with you. There are a few shortcuts, so you don't have to hike for three hours. You can probably do this in about two hours and get great views at an elevation of only 500. So what I'm sharing with you is a little bit more “extreme.”
I will break down the trail into four different sections.
The first section was leaving the trailhead and heading east to your right. There's Dry Beaver Creek to your right, and then to the left, you've got a hill, a butte, a plateau; however you want to describe it. You're hiking for the 1st 40 minutes, and it's relatively flat. Unfortunately, you don't have any views of Sedona, but we were the only people on the trail. So it was fantastic. It was peaceful. This is it if you are looking for peace and quiet in Sedona.
The second part. If you want to continue down Woods Canyon Trail, you can, but eventually, it ends. There is an intersection. I headed left, heading north in between two hills (two plateaus), where the incline started happening. The entire trail is relatively easy up to this point. This second part, which you can see in the photos, does have an incline. I'm climbing up, and the view is starting to change. It's starting to get more scenic. You're starting to think, “Okay, we are in Arizona.” There's a lot more red rock, which is very beautiful. But you start climbing, and it gets moderately more difficult; as I mentioned, you are no longer on the Woods Canyon Trail.
So the next part is what I would call phase three of this hike. Once you cut through the valley, you take another sharp left and are heading west. So you've made a loop, and you're starting to head “back to where you came from.” However, you start climbing even more for about 15 minutes. You can get a great view of Sedona and all the red rocks. It's stunning. You do have several options here. You can go back down. So no more climbing. You can go right, which is going back east. There are a whole lot more trailheads or intersections right there. Several options lead to what is called the Munds Mountain Wilderness. If you want to go right, if you want to go a whole lot more, five, six, or seven hours.
You can even go on the trail for several days of hiking if you do head east. So you do have that option to go even further. I went left because I wanted a better view. You don't have to take the view, but you already have a stunning view.
So I kept climbing and kept climbing several 100 ft, and later I got an even more stunning view of Sedona and all the red rocks surrounding the city. It's beautiful, but, as I mentioned before, I paid the price hiking up 1,000 ft in the Arizona heat. I was doing this in the summer. It was getting hot, reaching the high eighties.
It's up to you what direction to take. There are different options. That's what makes this trail so great. Also, there are few people, and you get some great views.
Step four, or phase four, of this hike is making my way down the plateau and heading back to the Red Rock Visitor Center. So if I had to do this again, I probably wouldn't climb to the top of the plateau. It was a bit of a struggle. It was very hot. You can get some great views without going that high.
- Weather - Sunny, temperatures starting in the 70s F and climbing to 87 F.
- Time on trail: 3h51
- Distance around 6 miles.
- Elevation gain is 1,132 feet.
Strava Tracking: You can review the hike's stats on my Strava account by clicking here.
AllTrails Tracking: You can review all the stats of the trail on my AllTrails account by clicking here.
With that said, I did have the Vaucluse Cool-Dry Frame, which I have here. You can see in some of the pictures what this frame does. This was helpful during the hike is it keeps the backpack somewhat separate from you. So you can keep the backpack close to your back as you need, instead of kind of lowering it down your shoulders to try and get some type of relief, you keep the backpack on you, and then it naturally with this frame it allows some airflow and so during this hike I was hot, definitely sweaty.
However, my back never got hot. I was sweating, but this helped keep my body temperature down in this heat, which was extremely helpful. So if you need assistance with some type of airflow in your backpack, check out vocals gear dot com. Check out our product, the Cool-Dry Frame, it will help you. Thank you so much for your time. See you on the trails.