Distance: 1.9 miles out and back from Devil’s Bridge Trail Parking Lot; 4 miles out and back from trail head on Long Canyon Road.
Elevation Gain: 629 feet
Trail Head: There is a parking area on Dry Creek Road which can only be accessed by high clearance vehicles. If you’re driving a passenger vehicle, you will 100% bottom out on this road so don’t try (we were driving a Prius so this obviously wasn’t happening for us). The alternative is to park at the parking lot on Long Canyon Road and hike via the Mescal Trail and Chuckwagon Trail before connecting with the Devil’s Bridge Trail. This will be a 4 mile round-trip hike when all is said and done.
Devil’s Bridge, along with Cathedral Rock, is one of the most iconic rock formations in an area defined by it’s dramatic rock formations. Whether you do the 1.9 mile or the 4 mile hike, it’s a reasonable length for a half-day hike and gives you what is quite possibly the best view in all of Sedona.
Starting at the parking area along Long Canyon Road, you’ll start off hiking on the Mescal Trail before reaching a junction with the Chuckwagon Trail. At this point, you will bear to the left onto the Chuckwagon trail which will take you to the Devil’s Bridge Trail Parking Lot which can only be reached if you have a high clearance vehicle. It’s about one mile from Long Canyon Road to the Devil’s Bridge trail and it’s mostly flat so it doesn’t substantially add to the total hiking time if you’re forced to take the longer route.
The trail has more tree cover than some other hikes in the area so it was a nice change of scenery…the shade wasn’t bad either.
After 0.75 miles on the Devil’s Bridge Trail, the trail splits. If you branch off to the left, you’ll arrive at the base of Devil’s Bridge. If you branch off to the right, you’ll have to scramble up a rock staircase that leads you to the view overlooking the bridge. The climb to the arch is steep but it’s short and isn’t terribly difficult. If you’re hoping to have the arch to yourself, then we’re sorry to say that this almost certainly won’t happen. Devil’s Bridge, at 54 feet tall, is the largest natural arch in the Sedona area, so naturally it’s a popular attraction. When we arrived at the overlook, people were taking turns taking photos of one another as they walked out on the arch. It’s only a few feet wide in some of the more narrow sections, so walking out to the center of the arch is nerve racking even if you’re not afraid of heights. One guy walked out there with his dog, which seemed like a questionable decision at best.
This is easily one of the best hikes in the area. We’d say it’s neck and neck with Cathedral Rock, but the fact that you can walk out onto the bridge probably gives it a slight advantage. Both hikes are short enough so that you can do them in the same day if you really want to.