No matter if you are a seasoned hiker, or a new hiker, hiking Cathedral Rock in Sedona is definitely worth the trek. It is an out and back trail, with an elevation gain of 551 feet, but keep in mind, it’s only one mile long! Most people rate it as a moderately difficult trail, with several difficult sections, which is pretty accurate.
Hiking Cathedral Rock in Sedona
The start of the hike is on the easier side, but once you start walking up the rocks, you will notice that people begin to take more breaks. If it was raining, I would not recommend the hike at all, unless you are very skilled because I would imagine that the rocks get very slippery and there is not much to hold on to. However, if it is dry, keep working your way up because the view at the top is so worth it.
When hiking Cathedral Rock in Sedona, you do have to do a bit of climbing. Not a ton, but getting down low to the rocks and using your arms to work your way up is much easier, in my opinion. After the first scramble (with climbing), you will probably question how much more you can do, but I promise that it gets easier.
There are two hard parts (from my experience) when hiking Cathedral Rock: the first scramble and right before you get to the hike. The scramble is hard for those not used to hiking in Arizona and the second part is harder when it comes to endurance.
I absolutely loved the hike and would have done it 100x over again, but hiking cathedral rock is not for everyone. Either way, try it out, push yourself, and get to the top! Once you do get to the top, don’t forget to go out on the ledge (safely!) and take some great pictures.
Parking at Cathedral Rock
Keep in mind: parking is often a challenge at Sedona trailheads (unless you are a really early riser). If you are not able to park in the 2 lots at the bottom of Cathedral Rock, additional overflow parking is available at a parking lot, which you can find when headed away from Cathedral Rock. It does add a good distance on to your hike, though, so keep in mind.