Planning a hike to Devil’s Bridge, Sedona? This practical guide covers everything you need to know before you go and a few tips to help you along the way.
Sedona’s hikes are magical – and no, I’m not just talking about the vortexes. Picture a rugged red landscape dotted with sandstone buttes, natural arches, steep canyons and pine forests. It’s gorgeous, I’m telling you.
The Devil’s Bridge is a sought-after hiking trail and one of the best things to do in Sedona. As the largest natural arch in the city, it’s hard to believe you can reach this picturesque landmark after just a short hike. But you can/
So, if scenic views and an exhilarating walk over a sandstone arch is what you’re looking for, it doesn’t get better than Sedona’s Devil’s Bridge hike.
Hiking the Devil’s Bridge: In Detail
Read on to discover everything you need to know about hiking to Devil’s Bridge, Sedona.
The Devil’s Bridge Trailhead
Step one: find the trailhead. The Devil’s Bridge Trailhead is situated along the unpaved part of Dry Creek Road, which requires a high-clearance vehicle to access.
Don’t panic if you don’t have one, as you can take the Sedona Shuttle or park at the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot, about a mile from the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead.
There is another parking area, the Devil’s Bridge Parking Lot, but it is relatively small and fills up very quickly, especially during the high peak season. If you’re lucky enough to park here, you’ll only need to trek along the Devil’s Bridge Trail, about 1.8 miles out-an-back.
While it’s a short hike, the path to Devil’s Bridge can be treacherous. The route comprises gradual ascents and a series of natural stairs. You’ll have to scramble up a few inclines before reaching the base; from there, you’ll begin the climb.
The Devil’s Bridge hike will take about 30 minutes each way, so you’ll spend about an hour hiking. Budget another hour or so for taking photos and waiting in line — yes, there will be a queue.
The Devil’s Bridge Hike
The hike to Devil’s Bridge is a moderately challenging route with an elevation gain of about 4,600 feet. Although relatively short, the Devil’s Bridge hike takes about an hour and requires a thigh-burning climb.
The scenic views atop the natural arch are certainly worth it. Fair warning, though: as one of the most sought-after Arizona hikes, the Devil’s Bridge trail attracts many hikers all year round. So don’t expect solitude.
Arrive early at the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot to beat the crowds – I can’t stress this enough. In peak season, this lot fills up as early as 8 am, but throughout the year, groups are heaviest between 10am and 3pm.
Top Tip: Another great time to hike to Devil’s Bridge is in the afternoon, just before sunset. The views from here are pretty spectacular.
The Devil’s Arch, Sedona
Taking gorgeous snapshots from atop this natural sandstone arch is what every hiker has in mind when trekking to Devil’s Bridge. But you’ll have to wait.
As I mentioned before, the Devil’s Bridge is a popular hiking trail in Sedona; hence it’s always packed with queues of hikers. So expect to wait in line for anything between 15 and 45 minutes to get a photo.
Once you’ve reached the top of Devil’s Bridge, take a few minutes to take in the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You can get the best pictures of yourself on Devil’s Bridge by asking your hiking companion to take photos of you from a vantage point on the edge of the cliffside, left of the main trail.
The Devil’s Bridge Hike, Sedona: Alternative Routes
You can hike the Devil’s Bridge trail in a few ways if you don’t have a high-clearance vehicle. The Chuck Wagon Trail and the Mescal Trail are the most popular routes to Devil’s Bridge.
Each trail adds length to the 1.8-mile hike, giving you more time to admire the surrounding landscape. Here’s a quick breakdown of each alternative route to Devil’s Bridge.
Chuck Wagon Trail to Devil’s Bridge
From the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot, take the Chuck Wagon Trail and follow the markers pointing to the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead.
This will be an effortless walk as you’ll trek through smooth washes dotted with juniper and prickly pear cacti.
The trail will split about three-quarters of a mile from the parking lot. Take the path on the left and continue hiking until you reach the base of the bridge. Follow the topside trail up the steep, natural staircase to an open area with great views; continue the climb and behold the famous Devil’s Bridge.
This route is about 5.8 miles out-and-back and will take between two and three hours to complete. The Chuck Wagon Trail is the longest route you can use to get to Devil’s Bridge.
Mescal Trail to Devil’s Bridge
You can access the Mescal Trail along Long Canyon Road. Hike the Mescal Trail for about a mile until you reach its intersection with the Chuck Wagon Trail. This is the more scenic route to Devil’s Bridge, as it meanders through red-rock terrain dotted with wild vegetation.
From the Mescal-Chuck Wagon Trail Connector, follow the trail markers pointing to the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead, and about three miles later, you’ll reach the base of the bridge. But don’t worry, you’ll catch sights of the natural archway before you arrive at its base.
Taking the Mescal Trail to Devil’s Bridge is about a four-mile round trip, and it will take about one and a half to two hours to complete. This is the second shortest route to reach Devil’s Bridge.
Note: You can also take the Sedona shuttle to the Mescal Trail Parking Lot.
The Devil’s Bridge, Sedona Hike Parking
As I mentioned earlier, parking can be a challenge when hiking to Devil’s Bridge. The Devil’s Bridge Parking Lot only accommodates about 12 cars. And, although the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot is more spacious, it also fills up quite quickly.
You can use the Mescal Trail Parking Lot for a third parking alternative, which sits along Long Canyon Road. To access this parking area, you’ll need a Red Rock Pass.
Practical Tips for Hiking the Devil’s Bridge Trail, Sedona
- Avoid the stress of looking for parking by taking the Sedona Shuttle to the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot. The shuttle runs from Thursday to Sunday, from 8 am to 5:30 pm, all year round.
- No parking fee is required to use the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot, but you’ll need a Red Rock Pass to use the parking area at the Mescal Trailhead.
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes for the steep parts and the gradual ascent towards Devil’s Bridge – there will also be stairs.
- Try hiking to Devil’s Bridge during the best time to visit Sedona (off-season), as this often reduces the queues.
- Bring your furry friend along if they are always on a leash. If your fur baby is on the small side, you’ll have to carry him (or her) up the stairs to Devil’s Bridge.
- Always exercise caution at the top of the arch bridge, as steep drop-offs and slanted areas exist. Always have them within arm’s reach if you’re hiking with kids or dogs.
- Bring lots of water to keep hydrated while trekking to Devil’s Bridge and a few snacks to re-energize while waiting in line. Remember to pick up your litter and leave no trace.
The Devil’s Bridge, Arizona: FAQs
The Devil’s Bridge Map
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