Julie United States 26 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. 

Devils Bridge Elevation Profile

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

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!

More Information for Your Trip to Arizona:

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Comments 26

  1. I may try to fit this hike in to a ~ 2 hour window before sunset later in October. I am worried, there will be a full parking lot and then a line of cars over a mile long that will add ~2 miles to the hike and also worried the “line” for a photo on the bridge will be an hour long as some recent tripadvisor reviews have mentioned. Have you heard anything lately about the crowds / wait times lately in the late afternoons?

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      No, I have not heard updates recently. October is a popular time to visit, because of the nice weather and cooler temperatures. You might just have to budget the extra time into your schedule, just in case. Good luck!!

  2. We’re so happy we came across your website. It was so helpful in telling us what to do and how to get the best out of our hike. Spot on and we really enjoyed the hike. Worth the time and energy! What a view.

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      I am not sure about RV parking. The lot at the Mescal Trailhead is really just an enlarged shoulder of the road, so I doubt you can park an RV here. You have a better chance parking at trailhead for the Dry Creek Vista Trail (also labeled Devils Bridge Parking Lot on Google Maps) since this is a larger lot. You can see what each parking lot looks like on Google Earth or the satellite view on Google Maps. Cheers, Julie

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    2. My girlfriend has vertigo. Is the climb to the bridge steep? As steep as the Cathedral Rock? Even if its 50% of the Cathedral, she is not going to climb it. Please let me know! Thanks 🙂

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        We haven’t hiked Cathedral Rock, but this hike is not steep and there are not any drop-offs that I remember, not until you actually stand on Devils Bridge. There is plenty of room for your girlfriend to wait at the viewing area (the area across from Devils Bridge) if Devils Bridge is too narrow for her to stand on. Cheers, Julie

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      I’m not sure. Click the link for the Red Rock Pass to see if there is any information on the official website.

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      Yes, I think a 5-year old can do this hike. It is a relatively easy trail. There is one section of climbing up the steep steps, which you can see in our photos, but an adventurous 5-year old would probably think that this is the best part. Cheers, Julie

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    2. We did the hike today. It was very memorable. We started at about 10 am. It was already over 90 degrees (F) we had two golden retrievers. The kids were 3, 7, and 11 years old. 3 year old walked all the way up. We carried her in the end to move faster. With the oldest in her 60s. We took a few breaks but made it to the top. We should have packed more water and maybe wet rags to help cool the dogs paws. Both dogs were extremely tired by the end. . The one who is younger and more athletic gave up in the end. Just laid in the shade. Someone in our group got their Ford Explorer to rescue us. Take lots of Water. If taking dogs go early in morning or late afternoon so you get more shade, take water for them too. It was open for covid. People were wearing masks but I don’t think it was mandatory.

  3. Thank you for this hike information. We are going to Sedona in March and I was hoping you’d have some information about Sedona as we followed your advice when we toured Italy last summer. We’ve been once before and hiked up to the top of Cathedral Rock. I have to say, it was strenuous, but so worth the trek and it didn’t take a ton of time to do it.

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      Lots of great hikes in Sedona. We loved this one. Bear Mountain was OK. It’s views are nice but Tim but I didn’t really think it was worth the effort, especially on the hot morning that we did the hike. The book that I recommend is great, so if you are looking for more hikes, it is worth buying a copy of this book. Have fun in Sedona! Cheers, Julie

  4. 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?

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      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

      1. We did this hike today and it was fantastic! Lots of people in Sedona as it’s president’s weekend. We started the hike from Mescal trailhead and left there at 9:30 am. Saw very few people until we got to the Devils Bridge trail. Even then we felt we timed it perfectly. Everyone was super respectful to give everyone their own time for their photos on the bridge so only you/your party in the shot. Unfortunately, the nice young man who took our photos for us forgot to get the under arch in our photo so it just looks like we’re standing anywhere. Alas, we’ll need to do a little photoshop of our shots. Oh well. It was quickly getting more crowded as we started our descent so would recommend an early.

        Thank you for your website. It helped settle my nerves before we set out.

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          You’re welcome. 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you had a nice hike! Enjoy the rest of your time in Sedona and wherever you are going next. Cheers, Julie

    2. I did the hike in mid September of 2019 and I LOVED it! I too started at the Mescal/Chuckwagon Trail at about 7:30 AM and had no trouble with parking. On the first portion of the trail I only met a few other hikers as I got to the Devil’s Bridge Trail I met more people but we were well spaced and it was fine. When I got to the top to the bridge there were more people but everyone was great and we took turns going out onto the bridge and trading off phones and cameras to get pictures for each other. I hiked by myself and on the Devil’s Bridge portion met up with another woman who asked if I was alone and when I said yes she commented she was too so we finished together. It was beautiful and for myself a wonderful accomplishment to do the hike. Go early to avoid the heat as well. Visit the Hike House as you first come into town as they are full of information and I truly loved the book I purchased from them – explains all the hikes great. Have FUN!!!

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