Cathedral Rock

This is a short, steep climb into the saddle points or "gaps" of Cathedral Rock. The towering side rocks keep the saddle points shaded and breezy; but the lower portion of the trail is bare red rock with total sun exposure - be careful if you're doing this in the summer.

Trailhead:  From the 89A / 179 "Y" ... take 179 south 3.4 miles;
turn right on Back O' Beyond Road for 0.6 miles;
parking lot is on your left.
Length: 1.5 miles (up and back)   Elevation change: 600 ft
Notes: Steep!

cathedral rock saddle points     hiking trail map: cathedral rock, sedona

The Hike

view of cathedral rock from below
Looking up at Cathedral Rock near the trailhead


agave stalk     steps on cathedral rock trail
If you go early you can see the sun coming up behind a century plant high above your head. The first half of the climb is so steep that people have carved steps in the rock.


looking east from the saddle point on cathedral rock
View from the first saddle point


second saddle point on cathedral rock
Looking up at a spire in the second saddle point


cathedral rock spires
Near the third saddle, looking back


Detour: Templeton Trail

bank of oak creek along the templeton trail     boxelder


The Templeton trail crosses the Cathedral Rock trail near the base; if you take it to the right you'll descend into a deciduous forest and follow Oak Creek to Red Rock Crossing, with views of Cathedral Rock from the back. For the best views, stay on the path when it changes its name to the Baldwin trail, and when Baldwin ends at a dirt road turn right and walk down the road for 10 minutes. (There's also an unofficial trail that cuts from Baldwin directly to Red Rock Crossing, avoiding the dirt road - it's more scenic, but not always maintained and passable.)


hiking trail map: cathedral rock and red rock crossing, sedona


cathedral rock from red rock crossing

home  |  hikes  |  parking  |  weather