Julie United States 67 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.

Hiking Stats

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
Location: West Sedona
Red Rock Pass: You will need to purchase a Red Rock Pass to do this hike. The pass costs $5 per day or $15 for one week. The pass can be purchased at the fee machine at the trailhead (credit cards only). If you have an America the Beautiful Pass, you can use this rather than purchasing a Red Rock Pass.

Devils Bridge Elevation Profile

Elevation profile of the round trip hike from the Mescal Trailhead.

Please practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace: plan ahead, stay on the trail, pack out what you bring to the hiking trail, properly dispose of waste, leave areas as you found them, minimize campfire impacts, be considerate of other hikers, and do not approach or feed wildlife.

Hiking to Devils Bridge

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

Devils Bridge Map

Map of the hiking trails and 4×4 roads to Devils Bridge.

Getting to the Trailhead with a 4X4

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 Dry Creek 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.

You must have a high-clearance 4WD to drive this road. There are several large rocks that you have to clear to even drive onto the road (see the photo below). And once on the road, it is extremely rocky and rough. We drove this road in a Jeep Rubicon (which we rented from Barlow Adventures in Sedona) and it had no issues at all on this road. 

Dry Creek Road Entrance

This photo makes those rocks look deceptively small. You must have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle to drive this road.

Getting to the Trailhead without a 4×4

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

Dry Creek Road Parking Lot

You can drive down Dry Creek 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, dusty dirt road.

As you walk down Dry Creek Road, you will get passed by 4WD vehicles and Pink Jeep tours. It will be a dusty, hot walk with very little shade. There is nothing scenic about this road. For a more scenic option, and a slightly shorter walk, start at the Mescal Trailhead (discussed next).

Dry Creek Road

Dry Creek Road

IMPORTANT: Unless you get here before 7 am, you most likely will not get a parking space at the Dry Creek parking lot. By 7:15 am, we have seen cars already spilling out onto Boynton Pass Road. The later you get here, the farther away you will have to park, and your 4.6 mile hike can easily turn into a 5+ mile hike, and most of this will be on roads. I recommend getting here by 7 am or waiting for the late afternoon.

Here are photos taken of the overflow parking on April 13, 2021 at noon.

Devils Bridge Overflow Parking

Devils Bridge Parking

Mescal Trailhead

Another option is to park in the parking lot for the Mescal Trailhead. This is how we did this hike. 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.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: I highly recommend hiking to Devils Bridge from the Mescal Trailhead than the Dry Creek parking lot. Not only is it a slightly shorter walk, but it is much nicer than walking down a hot, dusty road. It doesn’t take long to check this parking lot for an empty space.

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 Dry Creek 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 Dry Creek 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 Dry Creek 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

Dry Creek 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.

Note: In April 2021, we heard reports that people were waiting at least one hour to have their photo taken on Devils Bridge.

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. We did this hike June 2019.

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.

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.

If you are new to hiking or are curious about what you should bring on a hike, check out our Hiking Gear Guide. Find out what we carry in our day packs and what we wear on the trails.

Tips for the Devils Bridge Hike

If you are visiting Sedona during peak season (spring and fall), I recommend getting here very early or waiting for the late afternoon to do this hike. Get here by 7 am to get a space at the Mescal Trailhead or the Dry Creek Parking lot. Or, wait until 4 pm to do this hike (there are usually spaces at the Mescal Trailhead at 3:30 to 4 pm). In late afternoon, the lighting is great for photos and there is a good chance that the trail will be relatively empty. Our photos were taken in the late afternoon in June.

Check the Mescal Trail parking area for a space before joining the overflow parking on Boynton Pass Road. It’s a much nicer experience if you can avoid the walk on Dry Creek Road.

Rent a high-clearance 4WD and drive right to the trailhead. There are lots of other fun 4×4 roads to drive in Sedona…if you are looking for more adventure. 

Help Keep this Post Updated. If you recently hiked Devils Bridge, how was your experience? How did you do it and did you have to wait in line for a photo? Your comments can help out future hikers. Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks! 

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.

Get more hotel recommendations in our article Where to Stay in Sedona: Best Hotels for Your Budget.

A Sunset Chateau

More Information about Sedona

BEST OF SEDONA:  15 Epic Things to Do in Sedona
HIKES IN SEDONA:  12 Amazing Hikes in Sedona
SEDONA ITINERARY:  Sedona Itinerary: Best Way to Spend 1 to 6 Days in Sedona
ONE DAY IN SEDONA:  How to Spend One Perfect Day in Sedona
WHERE TO STAY:  Where to Stay in Sedona: Best Hotels for Your Budget
CATHEDRAL ROCK:
How to Hike the Cathedral Rock Trail
BELL ROCK: How to Hike the Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte Loop Trail
BOYNTON CANYON: How to Hike Boynton Canyon and the Subway Cave
SOLDIER PASS HIKE:  The Complete Guide to the Soldier Pass Trail & Soldier Pass Cave
BRINS MESA:  How to Hike the Brins Mesa – Soldier Pass Loop
BIRTHING CAVE:  Everything You Need to Know to Hike to the Birthing Cave
BROKEN ARROW 4WD TRAIL: The Complete Guide to the Broken Arrow 4WD Trail


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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Planning a trip through the United States? Read all of our articles in our United States Travel Guide.

 

Devils Bridge Sedona Arizona

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Comments 67

  1. We are going to Sedona (mainly hiking) on Thanksgiving weekend/2021, hopefully it is not too crowded, your article is very informative. thanks!

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  2. This site was so helpful! Spot on with the pro tip to use Mescal Trail to Devils Bridge. We started our hike at 445/450 and made it to the bridge within an hour. Great for sun setting pics & enough time to head back down before the sunset. Amazing advice! Thank you for thia

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      Yes, you could. Plus, there are lots of trails out that way to go mountain biking on, if you wanted to go farther. The Mescal/Chuckwagon Trail that I mention in this post is one of those trails. Cheers, Julie

  3. Hi, around what time of day would you say is best for photography here? If I go around sunrise or mid-morning, will the shadows look good?

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      The photos in this post were taken late in the day, just before sunset. I really liked the lighting here at the end of the day but I have not been here at sunrise. I’m not totally sure about this, but at sunrise, Devils Bridge may be in the shadows of the mountain that sits right beside it. You could Google “Devils Bridge sunrise photos” to see what it looks like at sunrise (and hope that people tagged the photos correctly). Cheers, Julie

  4. So glad I came across your site! Your write up is thorough and helpful as this will be our first visit to Sedona. We will be there next week (July 19) and looks like the temps will be cooler than what they are now, but still hot. Would you recommend early morning or late afternoon for this hike as we have heard it can rain in the afternoons in July. Also, would a 2016 Landcruiser be high clearance enough or would you recommend renting a jeep?

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      Before you go, make sure trails are open in Sedona. I have heard conflicting news about trails being open because of the wildfire danger. The Visit Sedona website gives no mention that trails may be closed but the Forest Service states that trails are closed. I am currently traveling in Alaska right now and have not had enough time to fully look into this. If you can hike in Sedona right now, I think that crowds would be relatively light. We like to get an early start when possible, so 6:30 am to 7 am might be a good time to go right now. I’m not sure what kind of clearance a 2016 Landcruiser has, but I have a hunch it might not be enough to get over the first boulder in the road. But you should be fine parking at the Mescal trailhead at that time and hiking over. It’s a very pretty hike. Good luck! Cheers, Julie

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        1. Thank you so much! I heard about the fires but it looks like next week the weather will be better. We will continue to check the sites and hopefully we will get to hike this and the other hikes you referenced in your website. I appreciate the links and safe travels in Alaska! It looks amazing!

      2. Hi Julie!
        Just wanted you to know that we did the hike on the 20th and it was amazing! This article was on point and very helpful..thank you! FYI for anyone wondering about driving the road to the trailhead from the parking area, a high clearance vehicle is a must! We saw a Toyota 4Runner try it and they barely made it over the first set of rocks at the beginning. They went to the second set or rocks and turned around as they couldn’t clear it. A Jeep or an ATV rental will have enough clearance. We hiked the road to the trailhead at 7am and it wasn’t busy at all. Awesome hike!

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          Hello James. Thanks for writing in. That’s good info about the 4Runner. It’s a massive rock at the start of the drive and I wonder how many people get stuck. Cheers, Julie

  5. Thank you very much, excellent information! I need to ask a question. I am planning to visit sedona, on the way from Palm Springs to Santa Fe. But I will only have a few hours, maybe we will arrive at 1 or 2 pm. The question: is this a good plan ?: First, Red Rock Scenic Byway; then at 4 pm start the Devils Bridge trail (following your advice). The main question is until what time is it “recommended” to stay at Devils Bridge? Can it be dangerous to return to the parking lot after sunset? Is it advisable to see the sunset there or is it better to return before sunset and see it, for example, from Airport Mesa? Thank you!!!

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      I think your plan is great. The photos of Devils Bridge in this article were taken in the late afternoon in June. It wasn’t quite sunset but the sun’s low position gave us great lighting for photos, in my opinion. I think that you do not need to wait for sunset at Devils Bridge, unless you are really enjoying the experience and want to stay longer. But Airport Mesa is famous for its awesome sunset lighting so you could go here, rather than Devils Bridge, for sunset photos. It just depends on how much driving you still have to do this day and if it’s worth it to you to wait until after sunset to resume your drive. Cheers, Julie

  6. Thank you for a very detailed article. I want to go to the bridge to take photos. Where can I sister stand to take photo of me with the whole view? Any tips and advice are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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      As you walk out towards the bridge, a short distance before you step onto it, there will be a viewpoint where you can get the entire bridge in the photo (like the header photo for this article). It will be very obvious once you are there. Try to go very early or late in the day when it is not too crowded. Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

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