Hiking Hotspot: Sedona’s Templeton Trail at Cathedral Rock
Sedona visitors looking for an easier, shorter trail which still offers stunning red rock scenery may just want to check out the Templeton Trail at Cathedral Rock. One of the newer trails in town, this beautiful course takes you along the base of the stunning Cathedral Rock formation. However, the real treat comes in later when you come across a quiet section of picturesque Oak Creek.
As most tourists will be climbing up the challenging Cathedral Rock formation, the Templeton Trail remains a nice little hidden gem which sees very little foot traffic. Thus, a hike along the Templeton trail really is a relaxing trek into nature, rather than a stressful, crowded tourist experience. Anyone looking for a little solitude and a look into what Sedona might have looked like in the past, will surely want to plan a little time for the Templeton trail.
And a little time is all you will need as this trail is just 2 miles total. You will start your journey at the Cathedral Rock trailhead. A slightly uphill 0.4 mile or so trek will take you up close to this majestic rock formation, which happens to be one of 4 vortex sites in Sedona. Vortexes are areas of powerful energy with supposed healing properties, thus making them popular tourist attractions. From here, most hikers will attempt to climb up the rock. While they are busy challenging their body & mind to complete this strenuous rock climbing activity, you can follow the signs for the peaceful, totally relaxing Templeton Trail.
A short walk downhill will eventually lead you to a little hidden, calm section of Oak Creek. Take a few great photos, relax, or dip your feet into the creek for the ultimate cool down on a hot summer’s day. Simply, enjoy this quiet time and peaceful red rock scenery without the hefty crowds!
Along the way, you will get to enjoy not only red rock views, but also some great up close looks at beautiful flowering cactus plants, along with other interesting forms of desert plant life that you will not get to see back home.
The trail ends at the intersection of the Baldwin trail for a nice little 1 mile out and back trek. The way back up is going to be a slight uphill climb, nothing too strenuous, and nowhere near as hard as most other Sedona trails. However, you will get in a nice little lower body workout.
Although the trail is partly shaded with some decent tree coverage, it still tends to get much too hot during the summer season especially when temperatures frequently soar into the upper 90’s-low 100’s. Therefore, this trail is much more enjoyable during the spring and fall seasons. However, due to the short distance, it is a much more bearable summer hike than the longer, hilly choices.
Tips for a great hike
*Set out early in the morning, especially during the summer months. The temps will be cooler, plus it will be much easier to find parking.
*Bring with plenty of water. The dry, hot climate of Sedona requires you to drink much more than you are used to.
*Wear proper hiking attire and shoes. Carry a hiking stick for extra traction.
*Plan your hike for the spring or fall months when temps are much more comfortable.
*Eat a quality breakfast before your hike. A day out hiking in Sedona is much more time consuming than you would think when you include all the driving to get to the trailhead. I recommend Indian Gardens on the beautiful Oak Creek drive.
Directions: Take 179 south 3.5 miles until reaching Back O’ Beyond Road which will be on the right. Drive 0.6 miles to the trailhead parking. Oftentimes, the lot will be full and you will need to park in the overflow lot.
Parking: A daily Red Rock Pass ($5) or Annual America the Beautiful Pass
Distance: About 2 miles total
Time: 1-1.5 hours