At El Portal Sedona Hotel we love to help our guests with everything Sedona. We are starting a Hike a Month here on our blog just to give you ideas and information about the different hikes in the area.
This month’s hike is Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is one of the most spectacular hikes in the Sedona area. As a moderate hike, with an increase in elevation near the trail’s end, Devil’s Bridge captures the spirit of the red rock desert with amazing views, lovely formations, and the free-standing red rock arch. Devil’s Bridge itself is the largest natural stone arch composed of Supai sandstone.
With a variety of different trail heads that adjust the length of this hike, it’s a great option for the beginner or the expert hiker. From the Devil’s Bridge parking area, the distance to the arch is approximately 1 mile. The trail is wide and well used, snaking through washes with regional vegetation such as juniper, manzanita, piñon pines, yucca, and prickly pear. Soon the going is slightly more strenuous as the path begins an uphill climb. After about three-quarters of a mile, there is a “fork” in the trail. One path takes you to the base of the Bridge, the other to the top. Follow the path up a steep, natural rock stairway to a vast area that offers beautiful views. Keep going to reach another level to get to Devil’s Bridge. You can even walk across the bridge – just be careful – it’s a long way down.
Best hiked in mild weather, the steep portion of the trail can be dangerous in icy or wet conditions. In fact during rain or snowfall, the Forest Service will issue warnings not to attempt to climb to the arch. Several times a year, people fall or have died from falling. Be careful! Additionally, a fear of heights may make the climbing portion beyond the plateau to the Devil’s Bridge slightly stressful.
With breathtaking views, be sure to take in the arch from multiple angles to truly appreciate nature’s capabilities and beauty. A great hike for newcomers to the desert region or for those well versed in the beauty of the western landscape, Devil’s Bridge is a natural wonder to behold.
Remember to always wear appropriate footwear: hiking boots/shoes, sturdy tennis shoes/sneakers/runners, bring lots of water, and watch the timing of your hike. When the sun goes down here – it goes down and it is DARK, make sure you time your hike to end in the daylight!