Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
550.00 ft (167.64 m)
Trail type
1.30 mi (2.09 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Red Rock Pass


Incredible views. Very easy to get to. Well maintained.


Relatively crowded. Scarce parking. Trail can be very slick after the rain.

Trailhead Elevation

4,050.00 ft (1,234.44 m)


Big vistas
Geologically significant


Nearby Lodging + Camping

Red Rock District, Coconino National Forest
Red Rock District, Coconino National Forest


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.