It’s hard to beat Sedona’s Fay Canyon Trail for variety and views

Few trails in the Sedona area offer as much variety with spectacular views of the famous red rock formations as Fay Canyon Trail. Here’s the kicker: it’s only about a mile long.

Fay Canyon red rocks

Quick take

The trail starts out gentle and stays that way until the end. That’s a good thing since the towering red rock walls continually distract your eyes from watching the trail. Variety comes in the way of mixed surfaces (sandy to gravel to hard-packed) and vegetation. There’s a good mixture of sun and shade.

Bonus: If you’re the adventurous type, there’s a natural stone arch you can climb up to from the end of the dirt trail. It’s about 90 degrees to the right of the “End of Trail” sign. Bummer: I didn’t find out about it until after I went.

Fay Canyon red rocks

Hike summary:

  • Length: 1.1 miles one way, 2.2 miles round-trip
  • Difficulty: Easy, less than 200 feet elevation gain
  • Highlights: Gentle slope, shade trees, seasonal waterfalls
  • Precautions: Signs warn of bear activity
  • Trailhead: Fay Canyon Trailhead
  • Pass/permit required: Red Rocks Pass

Note: 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers

Video: What you can expect on Fay Canyon Trail

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Fay Canyon Trail is so short that you won’t need more than an hour to get the full experience. If you have more time, consider exploring one of the other nearby trails. Aerie and Cockscomb Trails are accessible from the same parking area. Doe Mountain and Boynton Canyon are also close by.

Map to Fay Canyon trailhead

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