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Cathedral Rock

Central Arizona, Arizona

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Cathedral Rock

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  • The junction with the Eazy Breezy Trail just down the hill from the trailhead.- Cathedral Rock
  • Cathedral Rock (4,967 ft) from the Cathedral Rock Trail.- Cathedral Rock
  • Sedona's sandstone monuments, viewed from the lower part of the trail looking north.- Cathedral Rock
  • Views from the Cathedral Rock Trail.- Cathedral Rock
  • Cathedral Rock stands mightily over a steep section of the trail. This view is just after the Templeton Trail junction.- Cathedral Rock
  • The steepest part of the trail. Hikers hike up the trench at bottom center and then can either head up the trench at the top left or the one heading back to the top center of this picture.- Cathedral Rock
  • Prickly pear and Cathedral Rock viewed from the trail.- Cathedral Rock
  • The view of Sedona, viewed from near the top of the trail. Courthouse Butte (5,439 ft) is the monument standing alone on the right. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is located below the saddle of the two mountains on the left (viewable when zoomed in).- Cathedral Rock
  • The last few switchbacks, looking down from the top of the trail.- Cathedral Rock
  • As the sign suggests, this is the end of the trail.- Cathedral Rock
  • The view from the overlook at the end of the trail.- Cathedral Rock
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Incredible views. Very easy to get to. Well maintained.
Cons: 
Relatively crowded. Scarce parking. Trail can be very slick after the rain.
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Region:
Central Arizona, AZ
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
550.00 ft (167.64 m)
Parking Pass: 
Red Rock Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.30 mi (2.09 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,050.00 ft (1,234.44 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Cathedral Rock is the most photographed sights in Arizona south of the Grand Canyon. One of Sedona's most famous sandstone monuments, Cathedral Rock is visible from most of Sedona, particularly the large northern face that faces the city center as well as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, which is only a mile or so away. With all of this said, it is no surprise that the trail at Cathedral Rock is one of the busiest trails in Sedona. The trail is a short and steep climb to the saddle of the large sandstone rocks.

The Cathedral Rock Trail is accessible all year; however, the availability of parking hugely fluctuates. On any weekend, finding a parking spot in the small lot at the trailhead is truly a matter of luck. The trail seems to be more popular in the winter than in the summer because the trail is very exposed to sunlight all the way to the top. Like all trails in the Arizona desert, hiking this trail in the rain is very dangerous due to flash flood washes around the area (including one on Back O Beyond Road, the only road that accesses the trailhead). 

From the trailhead, the trail gradually heads about a third of a mile up to a junction with the Templeton Trail, which loops around the east side of Cathedral Rock to another trailhead a couple of miles away. While this junction looks like the halfway point to the top on a map, the Cathedral Rock Trail turns into a steep climb up the sandstone at this point. Most of the trail is still maintained packed dirt at this point, but a few narrow sandstone trenches are present that may pose a challenge for small children, dogs, etc. There are a few switchbacks near the top end at the saddle where the trail ends and rewards hikers with a nice view of Oak Creek.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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(35 within a 30 mile radius)

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