Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Airport Mesa all have one thing in common in Sedona: they all arewhirl!
Even better, you can combine a visit to these vortexes with a fun hike. Hiking the Cathedral Rock Trail insunrisewas a particular highlight of ours3 day trip to Sedona. If you're up for an adventurous challenge, then you'll love Cathedral Rock!
Many people visit Cathedral Rock with the intention of reaching the top, but end up turning around. Because?
The Cathedral Rock Trail is ashort but quite challenging hikewith steep slopes where you have to use your hands to scale the rocks. I'll share that and other things you should know about the Cathedral Rock hike in this post!
Here's everything you need to know to hike the Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona, AZ!🏜
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How to hike the Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona
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How to get to the Cathedral Rock Trailhead
- The address:500 Back O Beyond Rd, Sedona
- Parking spot:Minimum; arrive early!
- Rate:$5 for the Red Rock Day Pass or free/included if you have oneAmerica the BEAUTIFULNational park pass / other national association pass
Getting to the trailhead of the Cathedral Rock trail in Sedona is fairly easy. It is a 10 minute drive 4.3 miles from Uptown Sedona.
As for parking, Cathedral Rock has a lot at the trailhead and another just around the bend in the road. Both will have space for around two dozen vehicles each.
Since parking is minimal, sometimes crowded parking spaces are allowed on the back streets off Back O' Beyond Rd, but remember you still have to pay and show your pass.
You can get Red Rock Day Passes ($5) from the machines at the trailhead if you don't have oneAmerika El Paso Hermoso. Also, there is only one smelly toilet at the trailhead. Make sure you leave before you go upstairs! And remember to pack up the garbage you pick up, leaving nothing but footprints.
Cathedral Rock hiking time + trail length
- track length:1.2 miles round trip
- Unevenness:650ft elevation gain
- Difficulty:moderately demanding
- Time:Allow 1 hour for the ascent and 40-50 minutes for the descent
- Variety:Busy after 9am. M. and after 6 p.m. M. at sunset
Follow the official cairns (cairns) to find your way up and down the Cathedral Rock trail. Don't make your own little cairn and stay on track to avoid damaging fragile plants.
When is the best time to hike the Cathedral Rock Trail?
The Cathedral Rock Vortex hike is good any time of the day, but the best time is sunrise or sunset. We did a sunrise hike and although the parking lot was full we had the top of Cathedral Rock pretty much to ourselves as we hiked quickly.
Everyone climbs at a different pace and the trail opens wide once you hit the rocky slopes.
If you want to hike at sunset, be sure to bring onelantern or lighthouseso you don't get stuck in the dark on the way down.
How long does it take to climb Cathedral Rock?
It took us about 45 minutes to get to the top at a good pace and a little less to go back down. If you're not a frequent hiker, take it easy and walk at a steady pace as the elevation gain is about 650 feet. You must also allow time for water breaks and enough time to enjoy the views at the top.
We also explored the cradle of Cathedral Rock and came to another viewpoint that we had to climb a bit to get to. But it's worth it!
How difficult is the Cathedral Rock hike?
For most, it's a short but strenuous hike. There are several spots where you have to use your hands to scale the rocks.
At one point you have to climb a ladder of almost vertical rocks (more of a 60 degree angle). It looks scarier than it is and my partner who suffers from vertigo managed it very well!
Can you see Cathedral Rock without walking?
Yes and no. You can see Cathedral Rock from below, but you won't be able to see the cradle of Cathedral Rock and the panoramic view of the valley it offers from above.
IsTempleton-TrailIt's a good alternative if you want to see Cathedral Rock from afar (it branches off Cathedral Rock before the climb begins).
Are dogs allowed on the Cathedral Rock Trail?
The starting point of the Cathedral Rock trail is dog friendly, but once you get to the climbing portion it's not really dog friendly. We saw several couples with dogs at the beginning but they must have continued on Templeton Trail or Easy Breezy Trail.
Both trails branch off the Cathedral Rock Trail and are easier alternative hikes that circle the base of Cathedral Rock.
At the top of the Cathedral Rock Trail
As you near the end of the steep climb up Cathedral Rock, your reward is a deep view of the valley beyond.
At the top there is a somewhat narrow (about 8 feet wide) barrel ledge that opens into theCradle-Rock-Kathedraleor saddle. You are essentially trapped between two massive canyon walls on either side.
To the right of this saddle is a bold ledge that you can walk on for great photos. Have fun, but be careful if you take photos or videos here.
Before going back the way you came, go around the rocks to the left of the nativity scene. This takes you on a mini trail andClimb to another impressive vantage point. It's smaller and less quaint, but still pretty cool and quiet!
When you're ready, go back the way you came. The way back should take less time, but be careful not to slip and fall on the loose stones.
Acerca de Cathedral Rock Vortex Energy
When you visit Sedona, you may hear people share stories about their powerful Vortex experience. This vortex energy is one of the reasons many people walk the Cathedral Rock Trail.
In fact, I passed a woman who was telling a story about her friend who claimed to feel the vortex energy "Right Here!" while the woman stretched out her arms on a random section of rock face.
So can you feel the energy of the vortex in the Cathedral Rock chair or can't you?
I personally didn't feel any tingling, but I felt calm and rested.
Was it because I had just gotten a dose of endorphins after a strenuous hike, the Vortex, or simply because I felt good looking at our beautiful Mother Earth after a quiet meditation?
Whether you believe in vortexes or not, Cathedral Rock is known as one of the best of Sedona's four vortexes.
The energy that Cathedral Rock is supposed to emit is consideredfemale energythat calms, inspires and grounds. I've also heard that the "point" of the eddy at Red Rock Crossing is at the intersection of Cathedral Rock and Oak Creek.
When I shared one of my photos onmy instagramWhen sharing about the vortex, there were several people who commented with their own stories: some felt their hands/body tingle and others cried for no reason. I believe everyone experiences the energy of the vortex in Sedona in their own way.
So don't be disappointed if you embark on the Cathedral Rock Trail and don't get carried away by a magical portal (haha, as expected!).
Ultimate Cathedral Rock Hiking Tips
Aqua:Bring at least 2 bottles of water per person on this hike. There are no services or water refills nearby. It's also wise to bring a handful of salty snacks with you and eat each time you drink.
Clothing:Wear breathable, elastichiking clothessuch as flexible capris or sports shorts.Bergschuheare recommended, but a good pair of slippers with good grip will work just as well.
Without shadow:There is virtually no shade on this exposed trail. Be sure to take advantage of the fresh morning air to do the Cathedral Rock hike.
Chapel of the Holy Cross:Before or after your hike, be sure to visit the impressive Roman Catholic chapel called the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It's only a few minutes away. The chapel is built right into the sandstone and is a nice little place to visit. A panoramic view of Sedona awaits at the top.
Cathedral Rock eventually became one of my favorite hikes (and eddies) in Sedona.
If you love a good challenge and don't mind a little sweat or getting dirty, then you'll love this hike too.
Make sure you grab mine3 days itineraryto make the most of your trip to majestic Sedona, Arizona.
It's all about walking the Cathedral Rock Trail in Sedona in your bucket List?