Devils Bridge Sedona

How to Hike to Devils Bridge in Sedona

Julie United States 2 Comments

Devils Bridge is a wonderful hike in Sedona. With an easy hiking trail, beautiful red rock scenery, and of course, the chance to have your photo taken on top of Devils Bridge, this hike makes the top of the list for many visitors to Sedona.

This is one of the most popular trails in Sedona so be prepared to share it with a lot of people. But it’s worth it if you want your photo on top of this iconic red rock arch.

Facts About the Hike

Distance: 2 miles with a 4×4; 4.2 miles without a 4×4
Length of Time: 1 to 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 400 to 500 feet
Difficulty: Easy with one short section of steps/rock scrambling
Red Rock Pass: You will need to purchase a Red Rock Pass for this hike. The day pass costs $5 and you display it in your car window at the parking lot. Learn more here. 

Hiking to Devils Bridge

Getting to the Trailhead

There are two ways to start this hike. Which one you choose depends on whether or not you have a 4×4 vehicle.

With a 4×4

With a 4×4, you can drive and park directly at the Devils Bridge trailhead. This makes the hike 2 miles round trip.

To get to the car park, you will have to drive on Vultee Arch Road. Drive past the paved parking lot and continue down the very rocky dirt road for 1.3 miles until you get to the parking lot for Devils Bridge.

Without a 4×4

Without a 4×4, there are two ways to get to the Devils Bridge Trail.

You can drive down Vultee Arch Road for a very short distance, park in the paved parking lot for the Dry Creek Vista Trail, and walk along the dirt road until you get to the Devils Bridge trailhead. This makes your hike 4.6 miles round trip, with most of that on a boring dirt road.

Another option is to park in the parking lot for the Mescal Trailhead. This small lot is located on Long Canyon Road. From here, you walk one mile on a singletrack trail until you get to the Devils Bridge Trail. This is a mostly flat trail through beautiful desert scenery. It is also a mountain bike trail so stay alert for bikers. But if you don’t have a 4×4, this is a very nice walk to the “official” Devils Bridge trail. Doing it this way makes your hike 4.2 miles round trip.

Map to Devils Bridge

We did not have a 4×4 so we started at the Mescal Trailhead. The next part of this article describes the trail from the Mescal Trailhead to the Devils Bridge Trail.

On the Mescal/Chuck Wagon Trail

From the parking lot on Long Canyon Road, follow the Mescal Trail into the woods. In just a short distance, the Mescal Trail ends. You now hike the Chuckwagon Trail until you get to Vultee Arch Road.

Devils Bridge Trailhead

This trail winds its way through short sections of forest and up and down small hills. The scenery here is beautiful. Cacti and yucca plants line the trail and off in the distance are the red rock mountains of Sedona. Tim and I loved this section of the hike.

The trail is very easy to follow. Along the way, there are signs marking the trail.

Hiking in Sedona

Hiking in the Desert

Sedona Hiking Sign

Pro Travel Tip: The Chuckwagon Trail is also used by mountain bikers. Stay on the lookout for bikers and give them room to pass should you meet one along the hike.

Just before reaching Vultee Arch Road, the Devils Bridge trail branches off of the Chuckwagon Trail. There is a sign marking this spot so you shouldn’t miss it. Then you cross Vultee Arch Road and pass through the parking lot for Devils Bridge.

On the Devils Bridge Trail

From the parking lot for Devils Bridge it is just one mile to the bridge (2 miles round trip).

Devils Garden Parking

Vultee Arch Road and the turn off for the Devils Bridge parking area.

At first the trail is very wide, the remains of an old access road.

View of the Trail

Along the way, if you look up at the rocky mountain in front of you, you might be able to see the balanced rock. It looks tiny from here and I zoomed in quite a bit with my camera to get this photo.

Balanced Rock Sedona

The trail narrows and then at the very end, climbs up to the base of the mountain. You will hike up several sets of steep, rocky steps and in some spots may even need to do some rock scrambling. This section does not last long and the good thing is that it ends right before Devils Bridge.

Steps to Devils Bridge

There is a wide, flat viewing area next to the bridge. This is the perfect spot to rest, enjoy the view, and wait to have your photo taken.

During the busier times of day, expect to wait to have your photo taken on the arch. This is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona so the chance that you will have the bridge all to yourself is slim.

We did this hike in the early evening in June. Tim and I started late not only to avoid the crowds but to also avoid the midday heat. We saw one mountain biker on the Chuckwagon Trail and a handful of people at Devils Bridge. Actually, I was delightfully surprised at how few people there were here.

Sedona Arizona

Julie Rivenbark

Thoughts on the Hike

Tim and I loved this hike. It’s quick, it’s easy, and seeing Devils Bridge is awesome.

Kids can do this hike. We saw several kids about 8 years old on the trail. Of course, keep an eye on young kids when at the viewpoint for Devils Bridge because there is a big drop-off here. However, the viewpoint is very wide and there is plenty of room to safely sit back and enjoy the view without getting too close to the edge.

We also hiked Bear Mountain Trail while in Sedona. This is a short but very strenuous hike to one of the tallest mountains in the area. It was a nice hike but we liked Devils Bridge much more.

Before traveling to Sedona, I purchased the book Sedona’s Top 10 Hikes. Along with this guide and some online research, Tim and I picked out our hikes. This handy little guide is filled with colorful photographs, maps, and interesting facts about Sedona.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at a wonderful bed & breakfast called A Sunset Chateau. This is a beautiful property located just outside of the town of Sedona. This property has a pool, hot tub, and a lush garden filled with tropical plants and trees.

A Sunset Chateau

Where We Ate

Mariposa. This place is awesome! It’s a huge restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating with amazing views of the red rocks. It is an upscale restaurant so I wouldn’t recommend wandering in here sweaty and dirty after just coming off the hiking trail. This restaurant serves latin-inspired food and we had the best burger ever here. Also try the Yucca fries…yum!

We also ate at Picazzo’s Healty Italian Kitchen which serves delicious Italian food. If you have a hankering for Italian, Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano also gets rave reviews.


If you plan to hike Devils Bridge and have any questions, or if you want to share your experience, comment below!

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Comments 2

  1. Hi Julie,

    This guide is perfect and your pictures are fantastic! I will be doing this hike in early August and had a few questions about your experience. I too would like to avoid the crowds and get some nice pictures on the bridge without hundreds of people in my shot. I will probably park at the Mescal/Chuckwagon Trail and hike from there. What time did you begin your hike? Did you have any issues finding parking at the trailhead?

    1. Post
      Author

      We did this in mid-June 2019. I think that we started the hike between 4 and 5 pm. We were the only ones who parked at the Mescal Trailhead and on the way to Devils Bridge, we saw very few people. There were small groups of people at Devils Bridge, but no more that 15 total who came and went. Maybe we did this on an unusually quiet day, but I was amazed at how quiet this trail was, since this is such a popular hike. Starting later in the day helped and the lighting is beautiful this time of day. Cheers, Julie

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