If you’re looking for raw outdoor beauty, I’d argue that Sedona is one of the best places in the world (and by far in the USA) to find it. Drive through Arizona in general, and you’ll have a hard time ungluing your face from the window, but when you get to Sedona – it’s a whole other world. Who can say no to good wine, red rocks and spectacular sunsets? Not me.
If you find yourself in Sedona, take your time and spend a few days there. But before you think about anything else, put on your hiking shoes and get up to Devil’s Bridge. Better yet, do yourself a favor and pack a bottle of wine for when you make it to the top. Trust me – you’ll want to stay up there and gape at the views for awhile.
Out of all the Sedona hikes, this one is hands-down the BEST. And I promise it won’t kill you to get to the view. Read on for how-to.
Devil’s Bridge is a well known spot, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. You can drive right out to the start of the trails and park your car at the Dry Creek Vista Parking Lot. There are no parking fees or anything to pay, and the signs are pretty self explanatory. At the trailhead, you’ll see signs for Chuck Wagon Trail & Devil’s Bridge (pointing in the same direction) – head that way.
There are a couple of ways to get out to Devil’s Bridge. If you don’t want to just park your car and hike, you can rent an old jeep or an ATV and ride out instead. With many of the trails being wide enough (and bumpy/rocky enough) for these off-road vehicles, it can be fun to take one out for the day.
If you do decide on this option, you can still start at the same parking lot. Just head out Forest Road 152. It will get you to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead in about a mile. It’s blocked off from regular vehicle use, but they’ve carved out enough room so that it’s plenty wide enough for off-road vehicles.
Regardless though, when you get to the base of Devil’s Bridge, you’ll have to ditch the vehicle and climb to get to the top.
There are a few trails you can take, and lots of viewpoints and places to explore. We took Chuck Wagon trail out to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead, which is a nice scenic route.
The hike directly out to the arch on Chuck Wagon Trail is about 2 miles – so all you really need is a couple hours of free time. It will be easy walking until you get to the base of the arch, but then you’ll have to go straight up (using your arms for leverage in some places). Keep in mind that you have to go up (and back down) some very steep steps formed out of the natural red rock. If it’s rainy, or if you have any problem keeping your balance, there isn’t anything to hold onto here – so be careful. On a normal day though, it’s not anything to be worried about if you’re in decent shape. We even saw dogs going up and down these steps!
Once you get to the top, prepare yourself. You’ll come around the corner and be hit in the face with one heck of a view.
This is what you came for. If you’re like me, you worked up a sweat because you knew what was waiting at the top. In fact, I would have hiked a lot longer and worked a lot harder to get to a spot like this but hey – not complaining.
Give someone your camera and head on out across the bridge. It’s really not as narrow as it looks once you walk out, so don’t think twice about it and just go. Afterwards, take a break and soak in the scenery. Enjoy!