SEDONA’S SUBWAY CAVE & DEVIL’S BRIDGE

We flew to Arizona for a wedding and stayed an extra couple days to explore. Sedona is known for its beautiful red rock scenery and hiking trails. It’s about a 2-hour drive from Scottsdale so we decided to do a one-day trip. We were ambitious and planned 3 to 4 hikes in one day but ended up only doing 2 trails. We did the secret Subway Cave trail at Boynton Canyon in the morning and Devil’s Bridge trail after lunch.

SUBWAY CAVE

We woke up at 6 AM and thanks to our jet lag, it wasn’t hard to start our day early. We arrived around 9 AM at Boynton Canyon to find the secret Subway Cave. When I first heard about the secret cave in Sedona, I read that only the locals knew where it was so I started researching online which spiral to hours of reading blogs and watching videos on how to find it.

The parking lot can only fit around 25 cars so if it’s filled, there is parking on the road on Boynton Pass Road which is where we parked. In the parking lot, there is a bathroom and a fee machine to purchase the Red Rock Pass (5 USD per day or 15 USD for one week).

First split on the trail. Stay on Boynton Canyon trail for the Subway Cave.

When you start the hike, start tracking the number of miles you walk. If you stay on the path to Boynton Canyon, you’ll see a huge Alligator juniper tree with lots of long branches about 2-mile in on the left side of the trail. When you see the tree, you’ll want to turn right. You’ll be going off the trail but don’t worry, we noticed lots of footprints the whole way there from others hiking to the Subway Cave. We also bumped into a few people heading back from the Secret Cave.

Look out for this Alligator juniper tree

When you make it to the bottom of the cave, you’ll realize that you have to rock climb up with both hands. It’s not hard but you’ll want to put away anything you’re holding or that may drop out of your pockets.

Bottom of the cave

We arrived before the crowd got there so we didn’t have to wait to get our photos. By the time we were leaving, there was a long line so get there earlier if you can. After taking photos of the cave, we walked to the right side of the front of the cave and around the ledge to the ruins. Remember to respect and not climb, sit, stand on walls or pick up any of the rocks. It’s beautiful and you can look back at the Subway Cave. It’s a bit scary for those that are afraid of heights to walk around the ledge but it’s worth it.

Rating: 10.0/10.0
What Have I Learned: Go early to avoid the crowds and if you think you missed the Alligator tree, you probably didn’t, it’s really big and you can see footsteps to an unbeaten path.
Hour: Mon to Sun: 6 AM to 11 PM

HIDEAWAY HOUSE

A flight of beer at Hideaway House

We were seated outdoor with beautiful views of the Red Rocks at Hideaway House. We started with the delicious french onion soup to warm us up. My husband ordered a flight of beer and a meatball sandwich and our friend also ordered a sandwich. I went a different route and ordered their lasagna that is more of a shared plate for two. The portion sides were huge but flavor-wise, I wasn’t impressed. My husband liked it but as someone who loves lasagna and had her fair share of different lasagna, I wasn’t a fan of the tomato sauce. A lot of people on Yelp ordered and recommend their Brick Chicken. Overall, I love the atmosphere and view from our table. It’s a great place to grab some food and relax after a morning hike.

Rating: 7.5/10.0
What Have I Learned: Over 2K reviews and 4.5 stars on Yelp. They have a beautiful outdoor seating in the back where you can enjoy the Red Rock scenery.
Cost: $$ Sandwiches are 15 to 16 USD and my Meat Lasagna is 19 USD Menu
Hour: Sun to Thu: 11 AM to 9 PM, Fri & Sat: 11 AM to 10 PM

OTHER FOOD RECOMMENDATION

Creekside American Bistro ($$) – Over 2K reviews and 4 stars on Yelp. Make sure to make a reservation because it was about an hour-long wait. This restaurant is in the plaza next to Hideaway House so you can always put your name under both restaurant and see which one calls you first. Mon to Sun: 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM Lunch Menu

DEVIL’S BRIDGE

After we filled our belly and rested, we headed to our next trail, Devil’s Bridge Trail. We also didn’t have any luck finding parking spots at this trail and ended up driving back to park on the side of the road. As we started our hike, we noticed there is a sign that cars can enter the trail but the road is super rough so if you have a passenger car, I would suggest just do the hike. The whole walk there and back, we noticed multiple Jeep tours passing us. As a little girl, I always wanted a Jeep and at that very moment, I started to wish I had a Jeep again. I am not sure if it’s the second hike of the day but this hike was a bit harder. Luckily, it was a cloudy day and not that hot that day but keep in mind the ground is uneven and there are no shades at this trail.

Jeeps on the Devil’s Bridge trail

After walking for about half an hour, we reach the sign that said Devil’s Bridge and that’s where cars that managed to make it through the rough road must park and walk the rest of the way. This is where you start hiking up and it’s still a bit of a walk until you reach the Devil’s Bridge. There is one part where you have to rock climb up and we saw a family with two small babies and two big dogs make their way down. If they can do it, I want to believe anyone can do it.

You’ll know you made it to Devil’s Bridge when you see the long line of people waiting to take photos with it. I think we waited around 20-30 minutes. As someone afraid of heights, my palms got sweatier as we got closer to the front of the line. Everyone that took the photos said it’s a lot wider at the bridge than it looks from the line and they were right but I was still nervous. I decided to walk out with my husband so we can get a photo together and then he can take a photo by himself. I chickened out and didn’t end up taking a photo by myself.

Devil’s Bridge

Rating: 9.0/10.0
What Have I Learned: A lot of the Jeep tours will drive through the first part of the hike with the 4WD but if you have a rental, it’s probably best to just hike it.
Hour: Mon to Sun: 6 AM to 11 PM

After the second hike, the three of us were super tired and decided to call it a day. We stop by the famous Chapel of Holy Cross which sits on top of the beautiful red rocks to take some photos and started our drive back to Scottsdale. Overall, Sedona is a beautiful city that I hope I’ll be able to go back and check out the other trails which include Cathedral Rock, Soldier Pass, Bell Rock, and Bear Mountain.

Chapel of Holy Cross

SEDONA

Rating: 10.0/10.0
What Have I Learned: You may purchase the Red Rock Pass at the self serve machines located at most of the trailheads, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center in Uptown Sedona, the Ranger Stations, or at local hotels and businesses around Sedona.
Cost: Red Rock Pass is 5 USD for the day, 15 USD for seven days, or 20 USD for the year. They accept America the Beautiful National Park Pass (80 USD annual).
Hour: Mon to Sun: 6 AM to 11 PM

FAQ

How many days do you need in Sedona? 2 to 3 days
How long did it take to get to Sedona? 2-hour drive from Scottsdale
Where did you stay? We only did a day trip from Scottsdale so we didn’t stay in Sedona but I would suggest staying in Sedona so you can do more hikes.
Is Sedona expensive? $$
When did you go to Sedona? April 2021

The ruins at Subway Cave
Boynton Canyon Trail
Boynton Canyon Trail
Devil’s Bridge Trail

  1. As I’m planning to go to Sedona this fall, this is a GREAT, informative post! I’ve heard of Devil’s Bridge and I definitely want to check it out, but holy moly, Subway Cave looks like a worthwhile one, too! When you mentioned climbing with hands from the bottom of the cave, do you mean actual rock climbing? I’m a complete novice to hikes, so I just want to know what I’m getting myself into with these hikes!

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    1. Yes I recommend the subway cave! It’s more like walking/ rock scrambling up a smooth incline so you don’t need ropes or anything. It’s a bit difficult to get up but very doable. Also you’ll want to watch out for the cactus when you go off the trail.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks so much! Definitely adding these destinations to my list when we visit Sedona this fall. Can’t wait to see where else you went in Arizona!

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    3. You’re welcome. The two other main attractions are Grand Canyon and Saguaro National Park which I won’t dive into the details of the day trips. If you have questions about them, let me know.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was about a 6-mile roundtrip hike. We started at 9:30 AM and got back to the car close to 1 PM but we spent an hour taking photos and taking in the view at the cave.

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  2. Great post and fantastic photos. The Secret Subway Cave looks amazing ! I love the wonderful rock formations and the vast landscape – walking through one of many Arizona’s canyons and valleys is probably the closest thing a tourist can get to visiting another planet. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

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    1. Thanks Aiva. The secret subway cave is one of the best trail I have been on and it’s truly one of a kind. I am hoping to get the chance to explore other national parks in the West. I heard it’s like visiting another planet as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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