Hike Airport Mesa Loop for 360-degree views of Sedona’s spectacular red rock formations

If you’re in Sedona for just a short time and want to hike one trail that guarantees you’ll see some of the area’s spectacular rock formations, be sure to do the 3.3-mile Airport Mesa Loop Trail.

The Spanish word ‘mesa’ means table in English. In the American Southwest, mesa is often used to describe a mountain with a flat top, sort of like a table. Airport Mesa in Sedona has a big enough flat surface on top that they built a runway and small airport on it.

Airport Mesa is popular place for visitors to drive up for views of the Sedona area from a high perch, especially at sunset and sunrise. Less popular is the 3.3-mile trail that traverses the midsection of the mountain like a belt.

Spectacular 360-degree views await you on this hike

Thunder Mountain and Coffee Pot Rock

From Airport Mesa Loop you can see:

  • Courthouse Rock
  • Bell Rock
  • Cathedral Rock
  • Chimney Rock
  • Thunder Mountain
  • Coffee Pot Rock
Airport Mesa Loop sign
Airport Mesa Loop sign

Parking Tip: To access the trail described here, look for a small parking lot on your left about halfway up Airport Road to the top of the mesa. It fills up quickly, but people also come and go frequently. If it’s full when you arrive, just hang out for a few minutes and a space will likely open up.

Cathedral Rock from Airport Mesa Trail
Cathedral Rock viewed from Airport Mesa Trail
Bell Rock viewed from Airport Mesa Trail in Sedona
Bell Rock viewed from Airport Mesa Trail
Airport Loop Trail Sign Sedona
Airport Loop Trail Sign Sedona

Hike summary:

  • Length: 3.3 mile loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Precautions: Rugged shoes and 1 liter of water recommended
  • Trailhead: Airport Mesa
  • Pass/permit required: none

Note: 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers

Video: What you’ll experience on this hike

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At 3.3 miles in length, Airport Mesa Loop Trail is relatively short hike, by Sedona standards. It’s easy to access and only requires about an hour and fifteen minutes to take in the full experience. You’ll get a good workout and get spectacular views of some of Sedona’s most notable rock formations. Bonus: The trail starts and ends at the Airport Mesa Vortex.

Related: Introduction to the vortexes of Sedona and where to find them

Map to Airport Mesa trailhead

Airport Mesa Trailhead Sign Sedona
Airport Mesa Trailhead Sign Sedona


    1. Yes, great question! I’ll update the post with that key piece of info. There’s a small parking lot about halfway up the road. It fills up quickly but people come and go often.

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