Sedona’s Upper Dry Creek Trails System Offers Lots of Treats, Including The Devil’s Bridge (120)
By Amanda Lane, Owner, The Hike Shack
Sedona is loaded with trails, and in the winter months, it can be a slightly warmer destination than Prescott’s peaks. One of my favorite hiking areas in the Red Rocks is the Upper Dry Creek Trail system, which comprises lots of trails for all levels of skill and adventure. The Devil’s Bridge is one of my favorites, but there are lots to choose from.
I like to drive to Sedona on 89A over Mingus Mountain (the drive is shorter in mileage but may take a little longer than alternate routes). The Upper Dry Creek parking lot is about 55 miles from the Fry’s on Willow Creek Road in Prescott. Once you are in Sedona, take a left on Dry Creek Road, heading north. Two miles down Dry Creek Road, turn right onto 0, which leads to a large parking lot with restrooms and a great map of the Upper Dry Creek Trails. Bring plenty of drinking water; there is none available at the parking lot. You can park in this lot or use the dirt roads to get closer to the specific trails you would like to hike. An important note, here: the dirt roads require a vehicle with a little clearance.
On the day we hiked, we parked in the lot and took the Chuck Wagon Trail east to the Devil’s Bridge Trail, adding an extra couple of miles to our hike. The Chuck Wagon Trail is open to mountain bikes as well as hikers, and it’s rather exposed. It rolls through a valley between the towering red rocks. There are more than a dozen trails in this area, and you can make this an all-day event if you have the time.
The Devil’s Bridge Trail is very well marked, as are all the trails in this area. The Devil’s Bridge Trail is only a two-mile round trip and it has some steep sections closer to the bridge. The views are spectacular. You cannot see the bridge until you are almost on top of it. There are so many great rock formations along the trail! We spent an hour trying to figure out what the Devil’s Bridge was. Once you see it, you know. The bridge is a breathtaking arch hidden in a pocket of the red rocks. The trail actually allows you to go over and under the arch. The hike was rather popular and in the shade most of the afternoon. It would make a great morning hike in the winter months. The Devil’s Bridge was well worth the effort. The only thing I would advise against is hiking on the dirt roads in the area unless you like to eat dust. Remember to take plenty of water and bring a camera!