Devil’s Bridge Hiking Trail
★★★★★ Moderate / Sedona Area:
Ka’ching! It is rare to find a hike that provides the scenic jackpots of the Devil’s Bridge Hiking Trail, with so little effort. Walking only 1.6 miles – on a wide, gently tiered and treelined path – trail goers arrive at the base of one of Sedona’s most prized possessions: a monolithic, fifty foot high, natural sandstone arch, nestled into one of red rock country’s most beautiful valleys. Standing in the shadows of this centuries old curvilinear stone, or gambling to cautiously do your best “runway strut” across the sunlit, vertigo-inducing “catwalk” at the top, are both winning (and adrenaline producing) experiences.
TRAILHEAD: intersection of dry creek and Forest road 152, sedona • DIFFICULTY: MODERATE • DISTANCE: 1.8 MILES (3.6 MILES RT) • APPROX. TIME: 2-3 HOURS • ELEVATION GAIN: 400 FEET (28 STORIES) • APPROX. CALORIES BURNED: 470-540 ROUND-TRIP • BEST TIME OF YEAR: sept. – may • PETS: yes • KID FRIENDLY: 10 and up • FACILITIES: YES, BUT NO WATER • Fees: RED ROCK ($5 DAILY, $15 WEEKLY, $20 ANNUAL) OR NATIONAL PARK PASS ($85 ANNUAL) REQUIRED
The Devil’s Bridge Hiking Trail begins at the base of this scenic valley, either at the easily accessible trailhead noted above, or (for those with with super-gnarly, high-clearance vehicles) at a trailhead located one-mile further along what becomes an unpaved and deeply-rutted, Forest Road 152. Since the majority of vehicles don’t have the workings to drive this last mile, I recommend parking where noted and hiking the totally worthy 1.8 miles to the arch.
The first mile and a quarter of the Devil’s Bridge Hiking Trail meanders along a soft sandy path, in the shadows of pine trees and canyon walls, and with mild inclines. After this, a few moderately tiered portions of the trail lead to the base of the arch, which offers imposing views.
The one steep portion of the trail (which is completely doable for moderate level hikers) is the final short jaunt that takes you to the top of the arch. This brief section mounts a number of natural “stairs” at the side of a canyon wall, about three flights high. Once ascended – you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ll find yourself overlooking the top of Devil’s bridge with expansive views of the valleys behind. For those with daring souls, and little to no fear of heights, the arch can be accessed by making a sharp U-turn at the end of the trail.
At 50 feet (or about 3.5 stories) high, Devil’s Bridge is the highest natural arch in Sedona. Vultee Arch is a shorter area sibling.
Directions From the intersection of I-17 and AZ-170 (I-17 exit 298) turn north on AZ-179, towards Sedona. Drive 14.5 miles on AZ-179 to the intersection of AZ-89A. Turn left/west on AZ-89A and drive 3.1 miles to Dry Creek Road. Turn right/north on Dry Creek Road and continue approximately 2.5 miles to the trailhead parking lot on the right side of the Road.
- Arch, Dayhike, Moderate, Rock Formation, Sedona, Short, Views
- March 14, 2015