Hiking Hotspot: The Sugarloaf Summit Trail in Sedona, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona is an oasis for outdoor and fitness lovers. More and more tourists are planning trips to the area to take in the beauty of the stunning ancient red rock formations. On the downside, this means that this beautiful red rock wonderland is becoming less of a hidden gem and more of a popular Southwest tourist destination. The parking lots for the most popular trails like Devil’s Bridge often fill up by mid morning, and the insane foot traffic on the trails themselves often make it difficult to feel like you are getting a true nature experience.
However, there are still many trails that remain underrated, and thus, remain underused. Sedona’s Sugarloaf Summit trail may just be the most scenic of them all, especially due to the limited time and effort it takes to enjoy the magnificent panoramic views. The Sugarloaf Trail begins with a short trek along the Teacup Trail (0.3 miles), followed by a scenic journey along an easy loop trail until reaching the summit climb, a totally rewarding trek of just 0.2 miles.
Views from Sugarloaf Summit
Following a short climb up Sugarloaf Mountain, you will be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of the entire area. Once you reach the top, you will want to soak in these tremendous views all day long. It really is hard to make the trek back to your car after witnessing such incredible views!
Why the Sugarloaf Trail is Great
Trail markings are adequate. Unlike some of the more confusing, unmarked trails, numerous cairns (pictured below) help guide you along the way. Obviously, a well marked trail is a must in the desert, especially during the summer season when temps often crawl well past 90! Getting lost on a 100 degree day in an area with little shade is not fun! Be sure to bring plenty of water with you and set out early in the morning, if possible.
Another benefit of this hike is the close distance to town. While many other trails take a half hour or more to get to, Sugarloaf is no more than a 10 minute drive or so from the Uptown area.
And finally, the combined Sugarloaf/Teacup trail is one of Sedona’s easiest & more picturesque options. Fabulous views of the magnificent red rock formations cover every inch of the trail. Another advantage of this trail is the lush greenery and many prickly pear cacti which line the route. The cacti here seem so much greener and alive than the dead, brown cacti you encounter along most of the other trails.
Why the Sugarloaf should be on your Bucket List
Despite Sugarloaf’s close proximity to town, the trail remains pretty peaceful even on weekends. On any given day, you are not likely to see many other hikers, perhaps just a few locals walking their dog or simply enjoying a picturesque workout. The laid-back, non touristy vibe of this hike add to its’ appeal. Low foot traffic and ease of finding parking definitely make it a more attractive option for any hikers seeking a nice relaxed stroll in the beautiful Sedona wilderness.
Sugarloaf Summit details
Location: Buena Vista Dr Sedona, AZ 86336
Distance: 1.9 mile loop
Parking: A Red Rock Pass ($5) is required.
Pet friendly: Leashed dogs are okay.