We flew to Arizona for a wedding and stayed an extra couple of 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.
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 spiraled to hours of reading blogs and watching videos on how to find the Subway Cave in Sedona.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
What Have I Learned: Over 2K reviews and 4.5 stars on Yelp. They have 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 restaurants and see which one calls you first. Mon to Sun: 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM Lunch Menu
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 doing 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.
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.
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.
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
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