Fay Canyon is a great trail for the whole family. Unlike many trails that require you to go “down, across and up” numerous arroyos (dry creeks), Fay Canyon is actually relatively flat. It is one of those trails that starts out good and keeps getter better that further you make your way back into this box canyon. The high red rock cliff walls coupled with the large oak and juniper trees make this a great trail year-round.
Fay Canyon is a favorite hike for many who prefer a shorter hike with minimal elevation gain or who enjoy the grandeur of red sandstone walls towering overhead. Some people visit Fay Canyon to see the natural arch located just under a half mile up the trail. Those who don’t know about it usually walk right past. Though the Fay Canyon Arch is by no means small, it looks so much like an ordinary rock overhang, it’s easy to glance right at it and not realize what you’ve seen. If you keep watching the rock wall to the north (right) side of the trail sooner or later you’ll spot it.
This small, hidden canyon supports a diverse community of desert plants and provides good views of the surrounding cliffs. It dead ends at a red Supai sandstone cliff. Throughout Fay Canyon you can marvel at the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you.
Canyon Outfitters, established over 19 years ago, continues to offer only quality clothing and outdoor equipment representing the leading brands you know and trust in the outdoor industry. We are recognized as one of the nation’s best independent specialty outdoor retail stores by manufacturer’s reps.
Whether your “expedition” is a day hike up West Fork or Wilson Mountain, or something more strenuous, Canyon Outfitter’s staff can set you up so your trip is safe and enjoyable. Our dedicated staff has over 100 years combined experience in hiking, backpacking, camping, use of outdoor equipment and technical clothing and footwear, rock climbing, kayaking, river rafting, search and rescue, and caving. Talk to the folks that “Have Been There – Done That”, for the best advice from real life experiences that a computer can’t tell you. We provide knowledge and experience, not just stuff!
Outfitting Sedona and the World
For comfort and safety, our clothing and equipment has been enjoyed by our customers on large and small expeditions as far away and as exotic as Antarctica, treks in the Himalayas, the high Arctic, Africa, New Zealand, Russia, and the Andes – on every continent in the World!
Whether your next adventure is a leisurely red rocks hike, a Grand Canyon trek, or a wilderness backpacking expedition, be assured we will outfit you correctly.
So stop in and see why Canyon Outfitters, Sedona’s original outdoor store, is still Sedona and the Verde Valley’s most complete, and most popular outdoor store.
Open everyday, Canyon Outfitters is conveniently located at 2701 West State Route 89A in West Sedona, just 2 1/2 miles west of the 89A/179 “Y”, double roundabout intersection.
Broken Arrow Trail
Behold the splendor of Munds Wilderness. This is one of my favorite areas to hike. Many hikers will avoid this trail because of the jeep traffic on a road parallel to the trail. My belief is that the strength and diversity of this trail is so great that it overcomes the minor distraction of the jeeps. Enjoy the splendor of the red rock cliffs and canyons as you make your way along the trail. Don’t miss Devil’s Dining Room, which is .6 miles from the start of the trail, as you make you way to the pinnacle point of the trail…Chicken Point. (Additional trail link options include: Broken Arrow to Submarine Rock, Little Horse, Llama, Chapel and Bell Rock pathway.)
Broken Arrow Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sedona, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
This quickie may just take the cake for combining ease of trail with classic Sedona beauty. It’s loaded with spectacular red rock views of Battlement Mesa & Twin Buttes to the west and white/red rock views of Mund’s Mountain Wilderness to the east. If you’re going to do just one Sedona hike, this should be at the top of the list!
Start your hike at the Broken Arrow Trailhead, just .2 miles past the end of Morgan Rd. You will be immediately greeted by Sedona slickrock trails and red rock views for days! Take a minute to sneak a peek at Devil’s Dining Room Sinkhole around 0.6 miles in. It has a sign and is just of to the right of the trail.
The trail continues coursing through some pristine Pinyon pine, juniper and cypress groves. Slick rock areas are scattered throughout the hike, adding to that vortex-feeding fulfillment that only comes from a Sedona escape hike. Signs posts and rock piled cairns make route-finding a breeze.
This is a very popular trail for mountain bikes and runs alongside an extremely popular pink jeep tour route. Often, you will be treated to the sights of watching jacked up jeeps finagle their way up and over and around and on top and through and…….
You can easily combine this trip alongside Submarine Rock or hike down Little Horse to add on some mileage and more epic eye candy goodness.
Take in the views at Chicken Point, snap a few photos, have a picnic, just do you. Stay for a sunset and soak it all in. When you’re good to go, head back the way you came.
Cathedral Rock Trail is a short 0.7 mile but strenuous trail which quickly rises 608 feet in elevation. The midsection of the trail has a near vertical segment which requires climbing. The trail is well marked and many hikers can be found using the trail. The trail traverses the east side of the mountain and thus the hike is better taken in the afternoon so one is hiking in the shade. On the top, there is a narrow plateau with steep slopes on each side. The width is about that of a wide sidewalk and several stones are perfect for sitting. One can enjoy the view if not afraid of the heights. The hike ends at the northern saddle between the middle and northern spire.
There are few feelings more exhilarating than exploring Sedona by mountain bike, racing down steep declines nestled within the stunning red rocks and riding over hills amongst dense, lush forests. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran who brings their own bike or you’re looking to try out mountain biking for the first time and need a rental, there are many options for rentals and trail riding in Sedona. Mountain bikes can be rented at Absolute Bikes and can ride to many trails. Absolute Bikes is located 5 minutes from either home.
Welcome to The Big Hike!…Wilson takes you to the highest point in Sedona and provides the most dynamic panoramic views in the area. In order to get to this point you must put in the work. Wilson climbs over 2500 feet in just 4.5 miles (9 miles round-trip). This trail takes you through two distinctly different environments. The first part of the trail take you through a rough desert environment featuring low growth junipers, manzanita, prickly pear cactus and Parry Agave then past the “first bench” into a coniferous forest featuring a variety of large pines and oak trees. Don’t miss the views of San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff as you make your way up the side of Wilson after the “first bench.” San Francisco Peaks hold considerable religious significance to numerous American Indian Tribes in the area.
Wilson Mountain Trail is a 10.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Wilson Mountain is 7,122 feet tall and named after Richard Wilson. Richard Wilson was a bear hunter who was killed by a grizzly in 1885. His body was found in Wilson Canyon, which is also named after him. This is the tallest mountain around Sedona, Arizona. The trail to the summit leads to an absolute killer-view of Sedona and far beyond, of Oak Creek, and even of the San Fransisco Peaks. The hike has two parts: Part 1 goes up to the First Bench. This can be done from Midgely Bridge (most exposed, but most scenic) and from Encinoso Picknick Area., also called North Trail. Part 2 goes from 1 bench to the Sedona Lookout. If you start out late, or loose your wind, only going up to 1st bench is well worth the effort. But the Sedona Lookout is unsurpassed, as you can see! A stunning, vertical drop of several hundred feet straight down, looking right into the famed red-rock stone sculptings of Sedona. Absolutely amazing.
Although hot and at least moderately strenuous, well worth the time.
Ready for a challenge? This is one of Sedona’s steep and difficult hikes. The trail is considered difficult due to its terrain, elevation and ability to navigate. Known for its difficulty, it is also known for its spectacular views that only get better the higher you ascend. If you are up for the challenge then you will be rewarded with incredible 360°views of Sedona and San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff. From the trailhead this hike looks deceptively easy—however, you are only seeing 1/3 of the trail. The trail is made up of a series of plateaus that take you higher and further than what meets the eye. Note: This is a difficult hike and not meant for novice hikers. Proper gear, footwear and hydration is highly recommended.
Bear Mountain Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sedona, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
This is a strenuous trail not suited for many hikers. It is in the desert sun with no water along the trail. The difficulty that arises is that there are so many of them and you must travel so high, that it can easily wear down a hiker.
The hike is a five mile round trip with a vertical climb of 2000 feet from the creek bed to the true peak (as measured on USGS Topographic Maps). If you decide to take this trail you need to leave early in the morning and plan for an all day hike. Take lots and lots of water (1 gallon per hiker) and energy bars, along with hiking boots, sunscreen and a wide brim hat. A hiking stick or stabilization will also be of help.
One of the confusing factors that hikers may encounter is that it appears the end of the trail has moved. The “True” peak on the old USFS map (red map below) is actually north of the left fork of Boynton Canyon. This is confirmed on Typographic maps with an elevation of over 6560 feet. However, the new USGS map shows the trail end at a peak below the secondary peak which is at the west side of the left fork of Boynton Canyon (Blue USGS map to right). Currently, there is a Trail End sign at the trail peak (elevation over 6440 feet). The trail to the true peak is too poorly marked with many false trails to go further than the peak where the trail officially ends (as of 2016).
Beneath the highest structure in Sedona, lies an exquisite trail that takes you up 500 feet to a mesa overlooking Wilson Mountain, Mormon Canyon and Soliders Pass. This is a great trail when town is in full season. The parking and trailhead are located in a secluded area behind uptown.
How have I missed this all these years? That’s what you’ll think within the first 71 seconds of hiking the Brins Mesa Trail. Not only because of the surrounding beauty, but also because it’s so easy to get to. For a few lucky Sedonans, one of the trailheads is right out the back door. For everyone else, it’s just a few blocks from the pink jeeps and turquoise jewelers.
Before you get started, you should know there are two established trailheads for this hike. The most accessible is the Jim Thompson Trailhead — the one that’s so close to the strip. The alternative is out on Vultee Arch Road. If your SUV has wings or extremely high clearance, that trailhead is an option. Otherwise, take the easy route. You can navigate it with a Mini Cooper, and the hike is equally impressive from either end.
From the parking lot on the Thompson side, the trail hops up and over a small embankment and immediately passes two other trails (Jordan and Cibola Pass). The intersection is well marked. Keep right for Brins Mesa, which begins as an easy walk through manzanitas and junipers. Sedona red is all around, without any signs of civilization. Even the traffic noise disappears. It’s a lovely loneliness.
The trail points north at this point, and after about five minutes, it crosses into the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. There are certain responsibilities that come with hiking in these areas, including the principles of Leave No Trace. Please be responsible. A little farther up the trail, you’ll see what happens when you’re not.
The trail stays about the same — rocks and trees — for the next 20 minutes. That’s when the hike heads west and launches into the only significant ascent. There aren’t any switchbacks. Just a natural rock staircase that winds upward. Along the way, there are several points that invite you to stop, turn around and look around. Do so.
Ten minutes later, you’ll arrive on the mesa and see the effects of irresponsibility. The Brins Fire, which scorched 4,000 acres on and around the mesa, was ignited by an illegal, unattended campfire on June 18, 2006. Most of the trees on the mesa were lost, and their descendants won’t be back for many decades. It’s a drag. That said, the grass that moved in makes a gorgeous placeholder, especially in the morning. This time of year, that’s when you’ll want to hike Brins Mesa, and if you can time your arrival to see the sunrise from up on the mesa … well, it’s very beautiful.
From the top, the literal high point of the hike (5,099 feet), you’ll begin a gradual descent that offers long views in every direction. You’ll see Soldier Pass to the left, and up ahead, more trees — the fire line is obvious.
At the 50-minute mark, you’ll intersect the Soldier Pass Trail and begin a steep drop. It’s short, about 100 yards, and when the trail hits the bottom, it leaves the wilderness area and enters a good-sized wash. The forest is thicker down there, and some of the trees are unexpectedly big. One of the biggest isn’t around anymore, but the stump that remains can attest to the tree’s Bunyanesque heyday.
Just beyond the big stump, the trail crosses the wash, crosses again, and crosses once more before arriving at a large, flat rock, about the size of a Whole Foods’ produce department. The trail then parallels the wash, going back and forth for most of the rest of the hike — beware of flash floods, especially during monsoon season.
A few minutes later, you’ll pass through a fence and begin the 200-yard home stretch to the the trailhead on Vultee Arch Road. You probably won’t see anyone when you get there, but if you do, it’s a good bet their SUV has extremely high clearance. Or maybe a set of wings.