Formed by a wash that flows underneath it, Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch near Sedona. It is also one of the most popular hikes in the area.
Given its massive scale, photogenic red cliff backdrop, short trail, and close proximity to town, the arch’s allure is no surprise. On a busy day, smiling tourists line up to walk across Devil’s Bridge and capture a prized photo atop the arch. Take special care to be courteous to others and exercise caution as you navigate this spectacular natural formation.
- Distance: 4 miles out and back.
- Optional: Those with 4WD and high clearance can shave 2.3 miles off the hike by following a jeep trail to the trailhead.
- Hike Time: 1-2 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 400 feet
- Fee: Free
- Dogs: Yes
- Difficulty: Easy
For most, the hike begins at Devil’s Bridge Trail Parking Lot, on the left side of the paved portion of Vultee Arch Road (aka Dry Creek Road). From here, walk 1 1/4 mile up the jeep trail to the trailhead. Bear right and continue on the dirt footpath.
After 1/2 miles, the gentle incline becomes steep as you ascend well-made sandstone steps. At 3/4 miles, the trail splits. Bear left to continue to the bottom of the arch or bear right to continue to the top, where you have the option to walk across the arch. I would not recommend doing this if you have a paralyzing fear of heights.
Even though Devil’s Bridge has a reputation for being crowded, its magnificence more than makes up for the lack of solitude. Having said that, it is best to go early in the morning to avoid the busiest part of the day.
From Sedona, turn onto Arizona State Route 89A and head west. Turn right onto Dry Creek Road, continue 2 miles then turn right onto Vultee Arch Road (aka Dry Creek Road). If you don’t have 4WD and high clearance, park at Devil’s Bridge Trail Parking Lot. If you do, and are prepared for an off road adventure, continue 1 1/4 miles up the jeep road to the trailhead.
Although the trail is just outside of its boundaries, Devil’s Bridge itself is located within Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, a wilderness area within Coconino National Forest.
Tip: Do not underestimate how rough this road is. Even with 4WD and high clearance, some drivers won’t feel comfortable doing it.
- USGS Wilson Mountain, AZ – 7.5′
- Sedona Trail Map
- Flagstaff, Sedona [Coconino and Kaibab National Forests] (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map)