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Sedona’s Sacred Arena

Peak Summited2022 Wilson Mountain
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadN. Wilson Trail #10
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

The parking lot at the trailhead is not very big, so plan on getting there early! I arrived at the parking lot around 7am and was able to secure a spot, get situation and use the pit house restrooms before heading out.

The trail starts with a nice uphill climb right away, tucks around some vegetation before opening up a bit as you pass under some power lines. I remember thinking, hmmm…I think this is the first time I’ve seen (or noticed) powerlines on a hike in Sedona! However, after that, the trail turns more remote and rugged and opens up to some of those red rock views we all know and love.

It is single track for sure, and I would recommend wearing long pants if you can deal with the added layer. My legs got scratched up quite a bit with overgrowth from vegetation on the trail. There was one part of the trail that I had to stop and really look for the trail – the path winds around a smooth portion of a rock mass in kind of a U shape – the immediate trail seemed to disappear, but after looking a little further up, it become evident again. I was also lucky at this point to have a hiker behind me who had done this trail before, so she helped point me in the right direction!

After that, it was an uphill grind to the first bench! Thankfully most of the climb was shaded as I hit the trail early. I did not stop at the first bench, although there did seem to be ample opportunity and areas to check out the amazing views. I continued to the top and found an epic spot to enjoy my breakfast at around 9am. About 20 min. later I reached the split where you could either turn left for the Sedona overlook or right for the Canyon overlook and decided to check out Sedona first.

All I can say is wow! After peering at the beautiful red rocks and view of Sedona below, I chose to venture down a small little trail that led to another viewing area about 100 yards away (I’m directionally challenged, so I’m not confident if it was east, west, south or north!). I sat at the edge of and just tried to take it all in. I felt like I was sitting in a sacred arena. The way the metropolis of Sedona and the flat area of the airport could be seen just beyond the more immediate peaks of the red rock mountains – it was flat out stunning.

I took out my journal and wrote for a bit, and when I looked up again, I was hit with a dizzying feeling of tininess. There truly is nothing like Sedona to make you pause and give you some perspective.

After I spent some time enjoying those peaceful views, I made the trek across to visit the Canyon Overlook. The trek across the top of Wilson Mountain was remarkable! Wildflowers in bloom everywhere and a small little trail to follow. Again – long pants are advisable here unless you want to get a little scratched up by the overgrown vegetation!

The Canyon Overlook was also beautiful – and added about 3ish miles to the overall hike. Expansive views of the Flagstaff area with a nice sight of the San Francisco peaks! I was also able to see some dark clouds rolling in nearby, so I didn’t spend too much time before starting the hike back to the trailhead.

All in all, a fantastic hike with amazing views – moved to the top of my “must do Sedona hikes” list!

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