Fay Canyon Trail: A Peaceful Hike Through Sedona’s Gorgeous Red Rocks
Sedona is home to 100’s of scenic hiking trails, the majority of which offer spectacular red rock views. Fay Canyon, a short & scenic box canyon, is no exception. This beautiful, easy short 2 mile loop trail offers incredible views of Sedona’s red rocks for the entire 2 mile journey. Luckily, the trail is mostly shady due to the abundance of trees, meaning you can enjoy it even during the hot summer season.
The Fay Canyon hike, due to its’ short distance, beauty, and easy terrain, is a fantastic option for those limited on time, in addition to casual hikers who are looking to experience some of Sedona’s wonderful views without going all out.
Amazing red rock views via a short hike
Picture-perfect views of the canyon’s towering red walls accompany you the entire hike. If you want to see the actual arch, you will need to take a side trail about 1/2 mile in. Note – the trail is not marked well, so wear a GPS watch. The short, yet very steep and unmaintained trail to the arch is worth it for the great views, just make sure you can handle the extra distance before attempting. Whether or not you take the side trail, the entire trail is really beautiful and peaceful. This is definitely one of the best-of-the-best for Sedona newcomers.
Below are a few of the magnificent red rock views you will take in during your walk.
Along the way, you will come across beautiful & diverse desert plant life, including the Prickly Pear Cactus.
The many trees covering the area will keep you from overheating during the hot summer months.
There is a gorgeous stream along the route, however, it is often dried out. I imagine the hike would be even more beautiful when the stream is running.
Why you should hike Fay Canyon
Hiking this trail will not take much longer than an hour and a half as it is completely flat (with the exception of the side trail to the arch). On weekday mornings and afternoons, the trail barely sees any crowds, making it a truly peaceful journey into nature. Overall, Fay Canyon is a wonderful easy hike with great views and plenty of shade. Bonus points for staying relatively quiet compared to more popular options like Devils Bridge.
*Wear sunscreen. Although the majority of the trail is shaded, remember that the sun is much stronger at high altitude.
*The trail is not marked very well, and thus, it can be easy to get lost on the return route. Always hike with other people. Wearing a GPS watch also helps.
*Be prepared for the summer heat. Daytime highs are usually in the 90’s. Drink lots of water before and during your hike. Dress appropriately. I recommend saving most Sedona hikes for the cooler spring, fall, and winter months.
*Be aware of possible wildlife encounters. Bears and mountain lions have been reported in the area. Carry a hiking stick to fend off mountain lions and carry bear spray just in case. Make a lot of noise on the trail and never hike alone!
*Plan your hike on a weekday for fewer crowds and an overall more peaceful experience.
*Bring a camera – there are plenty of great photo opportunities!
Enter the following coordinates into your GPS: 34°54’06.9″N 111°51’28.5″W. There is no fee to park at the trail-head.