Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona, Arizona
There’s a good chance if you’re heading to Sedona, you’ll be looking to do some hiking. There’s also a good chance you’ll be considering a hike to Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona.
It’s one of the most popular hikes in the area, and therefore, can be a somewhat busy trail on a good day.
My husband and I travelled to Sedona in early December and chose this as our first hike. Just look at the pictures! It’s easy to see why it’s such a popular trail. It’s a moderate hike, so not too strenuous, adding to its popularity. There is some rock scrambling near the top, but overall, not a difficult trail.
Location and How to Get There
Devil’s Bridge Trail is in Sedona. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the Orchards Inn, where we stayed in uptown Sedona. Take the 89A south then make a right turn onto Dry Creek Road. A short way up you’ll see a road on the right, Forest Rd 152 (Vultee Arch Rd.) Follow this road until you see the Dry Creek Vista Trail Head parking lot on your left.
We missed the Forest Road 152 at first and drove right by. I think the first part was still paved but turned into a dirt road.
Unless you’re driving a high clearance vehicle, you’ll need to park here at the Dry Creek Vista Trail Head parking lot.
However, if you ARE driving a high clearance vehicle and want to continue to the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead parking lot, you can do so. You’ll go about a mile, and the Trailhead will be on your right.
Devil’s Bridge at a Glance
GPS: 34°54’11.6″N 111°48’50.3″W
Hike Time: 1.5 to 2 hours (will vary with starting point-could be longer)
Pass: Not required
For more information visit the USDA Forest Service website and their recreation page.
Parking and Starting the Hike
We had a rental SUV and opted to park at the Dry Creek Vista trailhead parking lot. This made our hike a bit longer of course, but we had all day.
The parking lot was busy and we circled the lot a few times before a spot opened up. There are outhouse style washrooms so go now if you need to!
Since we weren’t sure what way we were going, we stopped at the information board to check the maps and see what other info they offered.
In the end, we chose to take the road into the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead and opted to hike the Chuckwagon Trail back to the parking lot when we finished hiking the Devil’s Bridge Trail. One thing to note, the road is well used. Because of this, they don’t recommend you walk in on the road, but many do. You need to be watchful for the Jeeps and other off-road vehicles and keep out of the way.
Hike Options and Distances
There are a few options for hiking the Devil’s Bridge Trail. The sign on the info board was helpful, though a bit worn.
Option 1- Hike the Forest Road 152 to Devil’s Bridge- 3.6 miles roundtrip
(park at the Dry Creek Vista trailhead parking lot)
Option 2- Hike the Mescal and Chuckwagon Trails to Devil’s Bridge- 4.0 miles roundtrip (park at Mescal Trailhead)
Option 3 – Hike the Chuckwagon Trail from Dry Creek Vista parking lot to Devil’s Bridge – 5.8 miles roundtrip
We did a combo of two options(1 and 3) and our distance came out around 4.7 miles. (Forest Road 152 in, and the Chuckwagon Trail back out to the Dry Creek Vista lot).
One last option – if you have a high clearance vehicle and drive to the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead to park. Hike distance is 1.8 miles roundtrip.
As you can see there are several options, and you can easily choose one based on your needs and time. I recommend the Chuckwagon Trail as an add on, the surrounding scenery is beautiful!
Let’s get Going
On to the best part, the actual hiking! The Forest Road 152 in is an easy jaunt, you’re more just enjoying the scenery and watching for vehicles. A mile or so up you’ll come to Devil’s Bridge Trailhead on the right. Follow the signs and keep going!
The trail is quite wide for a good while. It’s a popular trail so you’ll have lots of company coming and going, children and pets included! We were there in December, which is less busy, but still, a good number were out on the trails.
The trail slowly inclines as you go, with some rock steps and uneven ground, narrowing as you get farther along.
As you get near the top, there is a section of rock scrambling where I had to use my hands to help steady myself and get up through, but that was the most difficult it ever got.
One more thing I should note, BRING WATER. Especially if it’s a hot day. I carried a small backpack with water and a few snacks, tissue, etc.
We Made it
Before you know it you are at the top! You’ll likely have to wait your turn to get those photos you’re after, as each person, couple or group makes their way around to the arch, takes their pictures and then makes their way back around to begin their descent back down the trail. There were approximately 12-14 people there while we were. One nice thing is that people would offer to take your photo if you were alone or wanted to be in a picture together if not alone.
You may find yourself lingering a while, to enjoy the views, take photos or even have a snack and a rest.
On our way back down, we took a side path a short distance and came out underneath the arch. This is a rather beautiful way to view and experience Devil’s Bridge as well. Be sure to look for it. You’ll likely see others coming and going along this path, and find it easily.
One other stop we made, another slight veer off the main trail, came out on to a rock outcropping and another great photo op. Again, you’ll likely see others here and be able to find the path easily.
Next, the Chuckwagon Trail
Once we made our way back to the Devil’s Bridge Trailhead, we crossed the road and jumped right on to the Chuckwagon Trail heading back to the Dry Creek Vista parking lot.
The Chuckwagon Trail in its entirety is 4 miles I believe. Our total distance worked out to just under 5 miles, combining the Forest Road 152, Devil’s Bridge Trail and Chuckwagon Trail for our roundtrip.
The Chuckwagon Trail is a hiking and biking trail taking you through a low growth forest, with some rolling hills and winding paths. Prickly pear cactus and Cypress trees dominate the landscape, but the true beauty of the trail is the surrounding views, of the red rocks and usually bluest of blue skies. I found December brought some cloudier times compared to March. It’s quiet and peaceful, and you’ll find yourself alone most of the time, unlike the Devil’s Bridge Trail.
Was The Devil’s Bridge hike worth it?
Yes! I loved the Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona. New hikers should find the trail challenging enough, I certainly did. Experienced hikers may find it an easier, shorter hike. The one thing both new and experienced hikers have to agree on is the payoff at the top. That incredible view.
You can read my related blog post, 3 Day Sedona Itinerary, to help with planning your own Sedona adventure!