Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area. Don’t let its name fool you: it’s one of the most heavenly sights in an area famous for them. From a trailhead elevation of 4,600 feet, there’s a mere 400 foot climb in altitude during this moderately difficult, 1.8-mile roundtrip trek.
The journey to reach the top won’t leave you breathless — but we would never say the same about the views you’ll witness when you finally get there. This popular hike has attractions for both casual hikers who lack the desire or the stamina to stray too far from civilization, and the more adventurous outdoors enthusiasts. Starting at the parking area, follow the trail-marker that points the way to Devil’s Bridge Trail. You’ll find the early going effortless; the trail, originally built for jeep travel, is smooth and clear and leads you through washes filled with juniper and prickly pear cactus. The path slowly inclines uphill, gently growing more steep as you progress. There’s some beautiful scenery to absorb as you proceed upward, but you’ve still got a ways to go before you get to see Devil’s Bridge itself.
After you’ve walked about three-quarters of a mile from the parking area, the trail will divide. Head down the path to the left and you’ll end up at the base of the bridge. For a cool view, stand directly under the 50 foot high arch and look toward the heavens — and take care not to strain your neck. But it’s the topside trail that provides the biggest treat. Follow it up a steep, natural rock staircase to a wide open area that offers some fantastic views. Keep going, and you’ll reach yet another level that leads directly to Devil’s Bridge. If you have the nerve, you can walk across the top; once you’re on it you’ll find it’s not such a tough walk. But use caution and exercise some common sense; it’s a long way down.