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 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, much less touristy. 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.
Following the 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! Another benefit is Sugarloaf’s 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.
The Sugarloaf Trail is very well-marked. Unlike some of the more confusing trails in the area, there are many cairns (pictured below) to 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.
The combined Sugarloaf/Teacup trail is one of Sedona’s easiest & more picturesque options with great views of the magnificent red rock formations in every direction. 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.
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, including low foot traffic and ease of finding parking, make it more 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