Julie United States 40 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.

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.

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:

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

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Comments 40

  1. Hi, what a great post! My group will be doing this in July. How late did you start the hike? Trying to beat peak heat (and peak crowds) and decide if we should leave at sunrise or plan to get there before sunset. We are aware it will be hot and plan to bring plenty of water.

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      We did this hike in mid June. We started the hike around 5 pm and the heat wasn’t too bad. You could start even later than this, especially if you hike fast, just take note of sunset and maybe bring a headlamp. I think the lighting is nice at the end of the day. The advantage with starting at sunrise is being able to get a parking space. Late in the day it could be a little harder to get a spot. Then again it is the off season so hopefully crowds won’t be too crazy in July. Cheers, Julie

  2. Hi, I just checked out the hike for Devils Bridge and thanks for the tips. I will be hiking in the Cottonwood/Sedona area in mid May. I have all the Vortex hikes lined up and would like to know if you had any advise for extra things to see while seeing them. I also have three more days that I need to do. We hike about 5-10 miles at a time. Do you have any advise as to what would be the best/must see hikes in the area I should see? – thanks marty

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      Hi Marty. Believe it or not, we haven’t done much hiking in this area. Just Devils Garden and Bear Mountain. It’s definitely a spot we would love to get back to. On this post I give a link to a book that has great hiking recommendations. This would be worth purchasing with the amount of time that you have. You could also day trip up to the Grand Canyon and hike here. Or spend the night on the Grand Canyon and hike the South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails. If you do 10 miles a day, which is similar to us, you should be able to handle the rim to river to rim hike with an early start (staying somewhere on the South Rim or Tusayan). Just a thought. Cheers, Julie

  3. Hi! Our family hopes to take this hike in April. On average how much time do you believe we should plan if starting at Mescal/chuck wagon trailhead? 3 hours? I don’t want to rush it – so want to leave time to relax and take it all in- just curious……… thanks!

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      You will be walking just over 4 miles. If you are a fast hiker, you could do this in as little as an hour and half. Somewhere between 2 and 3 hours is more realistic for most people. If it’s busy, you might also have to wait a little bit to take your photo on the bridge. Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

  4. I’ll be doing this hike in a couple months when we visit Sedona. Your write up has been VERY helpful. Pictures are appreciated.

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  5. Great write-up! Thanks for sharing the details of your trip! The hike looks amazing and the property you stayed at looks really nice too. We will have to check this out, as we are looking to explore the US more this year in the wake of COVID and international travel being more difficult. Xx Sara

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      Both are great…the hike and the Sunset Chateau (we will stay here again on our next visit to Sedona). Most likely we will be limiting our travels to the US this year too. Maybe we will see out on a hiking trail. Happy travels! Cheers, Julie

  6. This is so informative! Thank you for being so detailed!! Reading this will make it seemless to hike to one of the most beautiful places in Sedona!

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  7. We just did this hike in December with a 35lb dog. We chose to carry her a little on the way down while going down the steep steps, but she was fine. Weather was perfect, only the the high 50s and very sunny. It gets a bit steep at the top. Even with Covid, the parking lot was full, we had to park on the road and there was a bit of a wait to get on the bridge. We didn’t bother, but the view even from across the bridge is magnificent, well worth the hike. We did take our pic with the bridge in the background. While we were there, a young couple was on the bridge when the man got down on his knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Was very sweet and everyone waiting in line cheered.

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      Wow!! That sounds like such a great experience…thanks for sharing it. What a cool spot to pop the question. Cheers, Julie

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