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March 2018

Cathedral Rock Trail,


Distance: 2 miles                          Time: 1.5 hours                         Type: Round trip

There are no shortage of great hikes near Sedona. The Cathedral Rock Trail is  
a fairly short hike to a plateau underneath the top of Cathedral Rock on the outskirts of town. It's only 1.5 miles if you walk it there-and-back but you have the option of some detours to make a slightly longer walk and create a quasi-round trip. The two big things to note are that the trail is extremely popular (and therefore busy) and parking is pretty hard to come by near the trailhead - so an early start is recommended. But this is a great option if you are looking for a short walk close to town. `


From the town centre, head south on Highway 179 for about 10 minutes and then take a right on to Back O Beyond Road heading west. You will arrive at the trailhead parking lot after a couple of minutes but unless you are very early it may already be full. If so, you could try finding a spot further down the road but pay attention to any No Parking signs. I ignored a No Parking sign and returned to find a ticket on my windscreen - a pretty expensive and silly mistake. 


The trail is well sign-posted and it's pretty obvious where you're heading - straight for the most dominant feature around, Cathedral Rock, about 0.7 miles to the south. The trail climbs fairly steadily on the rock and zig zags at a couple of points, with the views improving as you gain height. You eventually reach a shady plateau in between two of the large rocks, which has some fun photo spots. 

You could head straight back down but I took a detour along Templeton Trail which heads further north and around the other side of the Rock. The detour is well worth it because you get away from the crowds and the views from the other side are quite sublime, looking over Oak Creek and the sweeping plains to the west. 



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