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Hike up rugged sandstone ledges to the lofty saddles of Cathedral Rock or admire the views of this landmark rock formation from all over Red Rock Country. A well-known sight on the Sedona skyline, Cathedral Rock is a breathtaking formation of redbed sandstone. Spend some time watching the rock’s mesmerizing red tones changing as the sun moves across the sky and take photographs of the landmark in different lights. Lace up your hiking boots and take the short but steep trail that winds upward into the gaps between the towering columns of rock.
The Cathedral Rock Trail begins at a flat and well-marked trailhead. After 0.25 miles (400 meters), you’ll reach a broad ledge that offers stunning views back across the sandstone canyon and riverside vegetation. The next part is a steep ascent over the bare rock and a cleft with notched steps to assist with the climb.
Make your way across a series of ledges and climb to the saddle that lies between Cathedral Rock’s two main spires. Catch your breath under the shade between the rocks and take in the panoramic views around Red Rock Country. You’ll see a stunning vista of the craggy sandstone canyon and the fascinating patterns in the rock’s formation. Follow the same trail for your descent to complete the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) round hike.
The hike’s trailhead is situated by Back O’ Beyond Road. Extend your walk by joining up with the longer Templeton Trail. This hike skirts the base of the rock and features deciduous forest and Red Rock Crossing, a magnificent spot on a flat bed of red rock where you can photograph Cathedral Rock against the lush riverside vegetation. There are also good views from Baldwin Trail, another adjoining pathway.
There is little shade on the Cathedral Rock Trail, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun and bring plenty of water. Hike the trails between fall and spring to avoid the heat. Enjoy the views from afar at any time. You will need a Red Rock Country pass to park your car at the trailhead, which is 38 miles (61.2 kilometers) south of Flagstaff.
Ensure you have loads of time at Cathedral Rock. Here are some of the top things to do:
Taken you years to experience this fantastic attraction? Then you can't possibly go home without trying out a Slim Shady Trail Hike to Cathedral Rock & Buddha Beach.
For even more things to do, have a look at our Sedona things to do page.
Located in West Sedona, this condo is within 3 miles (5 km) of Amitabha Stupa, Sunset Trail and Crescent Moon Ranch. Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.
Located in West Sedona, this lodge is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Sunset Trail and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Sedona Art Center. Kuivato Gallery and Mountain Trails Galleries are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Located in the heart of Sedona, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Chapel of the Holy Cross. Bell Rock and Sedona Golf Resort are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated in the mountains, this spa hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Broken Arrow Trailhead and within 3 miles (5 km) of Chapel of the Holy Cross and Sedona Art Center. Cathedral Rock is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.
Situated in Sedona, this holiday home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Chapel of the Holy Cross and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Cathedral Rock. Broken Arrow Trailhead is 3 mi (4.9 km) away.
Located in West Sedona, this hotel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Amitabha Stupa and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Coffee Pot. Sunset Trail and Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated in Sedona, this vacation home is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Sedona Golf Resort and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Crescent Moon Ranch. Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock are also within 6 mi (10 km).
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Bell Rock and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Sedona Golf Resort. Chapel of the Holy Cross and Cathedral Rock are also within 6 miles (10 km).