Some of the most iconic images of the Sedona area have been photographs of the Cathedral Rock formation. But if you want to see and photograph this magical place for yourself, skip the Cathedral Rock Trail and head to Crescent Moon Picnic Area instead.
Once inside the park, it’s an easy stroll from the paved parking lot to any number of spots along the tranquil Oak Creek for spectacular vantage points of the towering red rock spires that make up “the cathedral.”
Great views of Cathedral Rock require only a short, easy hike on a trail that’s accessible to people of practically all abilities. Abundant shade trees provide relief from the intense Arizona sunshine and high temperatures. Special care should be taken if you venture into (or near) Oak Creek. Printable map of area
- Length: varies from 1/4-mile up to a mile
- Difficulty: Easy
- Highlights: Cathedral Rock formation, Oak Creek
- Precautions: water-proof shoes recommended
- Trailhead: Crescent Moon Ranch
- Pass/permit required: Crescent Moon Picnic Area Day-pass
Note: 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers
Video: What you’ll experience on this hike
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Because the trails in the Crescent Moon Park are relatively short, you won’t need much time to experience it. Still, I’d recommend at least a couple hours to get the full experience, especially if you’re serious about photography. Since Cathedral Rock is situated almost directly east of Crescent Moon Park, sunset is a popular time to visit the area.