Distance: 3 miles Time: 1.5 hours Type: Round trip
Sedona offers big skies, bright red rocks, new age vibes and plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities. There is also no shortage of hikes, many of which are within a short distance from the town centre. The airport loop trail is a pretty easy and short walk which affords fantastic views over the town and surrounding area - perfect for late-afternoon or sunset.
Take the Airport Road from town and head up the hill. I parked at the viewpoint parking lot, which cost around $5 or so, but I got the impression there are some free parking spots further on. If there are any spaces free, the Airport Mesa (around two thirds of the way up the hill) is probably the best spot to park.
You could pop over the road to check out the viewpoint, although you will get similar if not better views on the actual trail. To join the loop trail you can take the path located in the north-east corner of the parking lot which is clearly marked and follows the fence line east. You get some good views of the town through the trees. After about 500 metres you reach the Airport Mesa, another viewing spot looking east.
After stopping to enjoy the view and take some photos, you make a start on the trail proper. You can walk the loop in either direction, but I chose to head in a clockwise direction. The path is fairly flat all the way along and essentially skirts around the edge of the airport perimeter. While the immediate foreground is nothing special, you do get some fantastic views in every direction: this is certainly a good walk to get your bearings. On the western end of the trail you have the option of taking a detour along Table Top; otherwise continue in a circular bearing. As the path swings round to the north side of the hill you regain sight of the town and here the trail lowers into the tree line. The simplest thing to do is to continue on the trail all the way back to Airport Mesa and then rejoin the path up the hill and along the fence line back to the viewpoint parking lot. Impatient, I took a short cut by clambering up the steep soil to join the Airport Road and then clambering up some more to reach the parking lot path - saving myself a good 20 minutes or so of walking.
It's certainly not the most spectacular hike in the area but an easy one to tag on at the end of the day or tackle as an early morning or late afternoon job.