Incredible vistas along the Brins Mesa trail in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is a wonderland of beauty – a picture-perfect destination for avid outdoor enthusiasts. Brin’s Mesa is just one of numerous awe-inspiring Sedona “red rock wonderland” hiking trails to add to your must-do list. Although it is not the most scenic in town, it is still a worthy addition to any hiker’s bucket list. As the majority of Sedona hikes feature otherworldly scenery, it’s quite an overwhelming task to narrow down the list.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to narrow hikes down based on distance, difficulty, proximity to town, crowd levels, ease of finding parking, etc. Brin’s Mesa is a relatively moderate short hike of just over 3 miles round-trip. Because of the lack of shade, Brin’s Mesa is a nice option for the cooler months. The wide open scenery leads to the most mesmerizing unobstructed red rock vistas.

Red Rock vista via the Brin's Mesa trail in Sedona, Arizona
Colorful red rock views on the Brin's Mesa hike in Sedona, Arizona
Hiking Brin's Mesa trail in Sedona, Arizona
View of Cathedral Rock via the Brin's Mesa trail in Sedona, Arizona

Brin’s Mesa is one of the most popular trails during the high traffic summer season. The convenient location and beautiful scenery via relatively little effort definitely puts in near the top of most tourists’ bucket lists. However, if you plan your adventure during the off-season, you will enjoy more desolate surroundings.

Brin’s Mesa is not the easiest, nor hardest hike in town. There is enough of an elevation gain (about 500 ft) where you will get in a quality workout, however, not enough to completely tear you down. The hike is just 1.5 miles each way, so short enough for most beginning/casual hikers.

In short, Brin’s Mesa is the perfect moderate fall/winter hike for those who wish to stay close to town.

Amazing red rock views!

While you may get really hot hiking this trail due to the lack of shade, you will get to enjoy some unobstructed views of the marvelous red rocks. From this trail, you can see numerous prominent red rock formations including Chimney Rock and Coffeepot Rock. You will also be in awe of the colorful views of Mormon Canyon and Wilson Mountain. On a side note, each Sedona rock formation was named after the shape it resembles. Attempting to guess the name of each formation becomes a fun game on each hike.

Gorgeous red rock views on the Brin's Mesa hike in Sedona, Arizona
Enjoying the amazing red rock views on the Brin's Mesa hike in Sedona, Arizona

For big red rocks views via a relatively easy trail that is close to town, Brin’s Mesa is definitely one to consider. For a longer hike, you can combine Soldier’s Pass and Brin’s Mesa for a moderate, 800 foot elevation gain loop hike of about 5 miles. Soldier’s Pass is another gorgeous Sedona hike on its’ own. This one features an active sinkhole, several arches, and a series of cascading natural pools. Do add it to your bucket list if you have the time.

Hiking Details

  • Location: From 89a in Uptown Sedona, turn onto Jordan Road (trailhead parking is at the end of the road).
  • Parking: Red Rock pass required ($5 per day, $15 per week, $20 annual).
  • Distance: 1.5 miles out-and-bcack
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft