Cathedral Rock Trail, Sedona, AZ

While ordering breakfast, before heading out on our first adventure in Sedona, I noticed a slight surprise in the voice of the super friendly employees at Creekside Coffee, when we mentioned Cathedral Rock. They said the view was certainly worth the climb. They also suggested another hiking trail we might enjoy, West Fork trail. In fact we did enjoy that trail, later in the day.

Without much of a thought, we headed out to Cathedral Rock. According to Wikipedia, Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed sights in Arizona.

We arrived, got out our gear (camera, water, walking sticks, backpack) and off we went. We made it up to the first level, which offered beautiful views with a very large flat area. After a few photos, we set off, headed for the top of the trail. However, as it steepened, and required very steady footing and grippy shoes, we stopped and reconsidered this hike. The hike is rated “moderate” and although with some climbing and careful attention to footing, we could have made it… I chickened out. The grade was very steep, and a slight miss-step could send you sliding. We are not high experienced hikers (which was clearly obvious to the coffee servers!).

We decided to head back down, and we walked part of Temptation Trail that heads out from that first level with the beautiful views. We did not go out too far as that trail is over 7 miles out and back. Ironically, I took a slight tumble when the rocks under my feet started sliding, when I stepped aside for passing hikers. I got a nasty bruise on my arm (still not sure how that happened) but it didn’t prevent me from any future adventures.

We headed back to the car, I cleaned up (that dust is crazy messy) and off we went.

The sights at Cathedral Rock were beautiful. The hike was energizing. We felt slightly disappointed that we did not get to the top, but it beat slipping and falling. Clearly one needs to be careful when traveling over rugged ground on foot. …and now we know why the friendly folks appeared surprised that we were going to hike Cathedral Rock 😊

Note: We fell in love with our hiking sticks! I highly recommend for any walks or hikes that are not on flat walking paths.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Wind Kisses says:

    It is a beautiful place and a favorite hike of mine. That said….I am sure you will agree it should not be be listed as moderate. It is very difficult even though it is short in distance. My husband said he will not do this one twice.

    You were right to stop when it felt uncomfortable. We have seen too many rescues in Sedona from people who just “have” to do it. The photos are beautiful. And no doubt come with beautiful memories and a desire to return. Yes?

    Beautiful post. Donna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Maybe if I didn’t have my backpack with water and camera I may have tried it. I wondered if anyone ever fell off any of the rocks around Sedona. And oh yes, wonderful memories!


  2. lolaWi says:

    hope you’re well now, Lisa. you got to where you’re comfortable and the views did not disappoint. beautiful images! they are breathtaking! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lola! Still have a bruise to remind me of my fun! But ironically, no sore muscles at all on the trip, so we are not completely out of shape. It was a beautiful week for sure!


  3. It is definitely steeper than it looks! As you know, I backed out of this trail as well! As I waited for my hubby to come back from the top I people watched. I would say the majority of people turned around at some point and did not go to the top!! Sedona still is awesome though!! Lori

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just reread your post and I totally agree. I just did not feel balanced. We did get a shoe recommendation from someone on another hike. We had to reschedule a road trip to the Utah parks for next year, we will purchase better shoes that have better grip . The photos on your post are unbelievable!! Thank you Lori!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one!!! We are hoping to go to Utah parks soon!! Probably next year!😊

        Liked by 1 person

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