May 31, 2023

Strolling onto Satan’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona, felt like a check of religion. The most important pure sandstone arch within the Sedona space is 57 ft tall and appears extraordinarily slender.

For some, who preceded me, it was sufficient area to bop round, sit, rise up once more, and achieve this for the digital camera.

I felt slightly extra nervous however up for the problem regardless of a longstanding worry of heights.

Dave on Devil's Bridge in Sedona, Arizona (photo by Kelly Lemons)
Dave on Satan’s Bridge (photograph by Kelly Lemons)

Simply because I’ve a worry does not imply I do not actively problem it usually. Journey has turn out to be useful for this.

Twenty-five years earlier, I inched my strategy to the sting of the Cliffs of Moher in Western Eire, 700 ft above the North Atlantic Ocean.

Seventeen years in the past, I jumped off a 30-foot waterfall in Montezuma, Costa Rica. And 7 years in the past, I floated above the clouds in a scorching air balloon trip in Cappadocia.

Returning to Arizona, the Satan’s Bridge Path is without doubt one of the hottest hikes in Sedona. It is a comparatively straightforward hike and affords stunning views of the encircling crimson rocks panorama.

That well-deserved favor additionally means parking challenges, many fellow hikers, and a probably lengthy wait on your flip to cross the Bridge.

I am not an enormous fan of waking up early for dawn hikes, however there are occasions when it is known as for, and climbing to the Satan’s Bridge in Sedona is one in every of them.

Satan’s Bridge Information

The free Sedona Shuttle can be used to help get you to Devil's Bridge
The free Sedona Shuttle

Parking and Shuttle

Kel and I awakened at 6 a.m. on a Saturday in late September and drove our rental automotive to the Dry Creek Trailhead. The small parking space was full once we arrived at 6:45 a.m.

As I later realized, guests will park alongside the aspect of the highway as soon as the lot fills up, a follow discouraged by native authorities.

The exercise can injury the soil and vegetation and be harmful for pedestrians and canines (which have to be on a leash).

No one was doing that but, and we did not wish to be the primary. As an alternative, we drove again to city whereas I searched for information in regards to the free Sedona Shuttle on my iPhone.

We made our strategy to the Posse Grounds Park and Trip (20 Carruth Drive) and caught the 7 a.m. Route 11 shuttle again to Dry Creek Vista Trailhead. We arrived at about 7:20 a.m., a delay of about 45 minutes.

Alongside the best way, the driving force knowledgeable us that the free shuttle had launched about 4 months earlier. It is snug and air-conditioned, and so they present free bottled water.

Tip: To attenuate your wait time for a photograph at Satan’s Bridge, the most effective time to reach on the car parking zone is by 6 a.m.; in any other case, catch the primary Sedona Shuttle.

Devil's Bridge Trail map
Satan’s Bridge Path map

Dry Creek Highway (FR 152)

You may entry the Satan’s Bridge Trailhead from the Dry Creek parking a number of alternative ways. The quickest is by 4×4 on a dust highway; nevertheless, this depends upon native situations.

If Dry Creek Highway is open, and you’ve got a excessive clearance automobile and off-road expertise, you may take it to save lots of time strolling.

It is a brief distance, solely about 1.1 miles from the forest highway entrance to the Satan’s Bridge Trailhead.

Entrance to Dry Creek Road leading to the Devil's Bridge Sedona
Entrance to Dry Creek Highway

Having walked this highway, even when I had a typical SUV rental, I would not have felt like I had the ability to navigate the deep ruts and rocks, which might solely erode additional with every new rainfall.

The highway was closed because of heavy rain the evening earlier than we arrived, so it wasn’t an possibility for anybody, which I appreciated as a hiker.

This dirt road is only accessible by 4x4 with high ground clearance
4×4 territory

Essentially the most environment friendly strategy to stroll from the Dry Creek car parking zone to Satan’s Bridge Trailhead in Sedona is to take the dust highway, which is what we noticed most individuals doing.

It is broad, with light ups and downs and probably massive puddles to stroll round.

It took us about half-hour of strolling at a relaxed tempo whereas stopping for images to achieve the Satan’s Bridge Trailhead.

One other climbing possibility from the car parking zone, should you desire to keep away from the dust highway, is to take the Chuckwagon Path, which is west of the highway however runs parallel going north, earlier than veering east.

That is the extra scenic route, however it’ll take longer to achieve the Satan’s Bridge Path, which could imply a extra crowded path when you get there.

A compromise could be to take the highway there and the Chuckwagon Path again to the car parking zone (and Sedona Shuttle pick-up).

Associated: Climbing Bell Rock in Sedona

Devils Bridge Trail map in the Coconino National Forest
Devils Bridge Path map within the Coconino Nationwide Forest

Satan’s Bridge Trailhead

Whichever method you attain it, the Satan’s Bridge Trailhead is well-marked, with a map displaying that it is just one mile additional to the well-known sandstone arch.

The Satan’s Bridge Path, one of the well-liked trails in Sedona, is a brief hike with some rocky sections which will require placing your fingers on the rock to ascend.

The beginning elevation is 4,600 ft above sea stage, and there is a 400-foot elevation acquire to the highest of the arch.

Kel hiking to Devil's Bridge Sedona
Kel climbing Satan’s Bridge Path

Kel climbing the red rocks on her way up the Devil's Bridge Trail
Kel climbing the crimson rocks

This is not too excessive (rather less than the altitude in Denver, CO); nevertheless, much less match hikers could really feel the consequences on their coronary heart and respiration charges.

Dad and mom carrying infants, heavy hikers, or the bodily disabled can also discover climbing up (and later, down) slightly difficult.

No matter your health stage, take it gradual, and I am assured you will get pleasure from this nice hike. We noticed hikers of all ages, from children to older adults. And loads of canines, too!

Dave takes in the view facing west (photo by Kelly Lemons)
Dave finds the right spot to benefit from the view (photograph by Kelly Lemons)

The attractive views alongside the Satan’s Bridge Path on a transparent day in Sedona are breathtaking. It is laborious to not cease for images at each flip.

Even within the morning, ingesting loads of water whereas climbing is a good suggestion.

The whole path to and from the Satan’s Bridge is uncovered to the solar as soon as it has risen above the encircling mountaintops (a wonderful purpose to keep away from this hike between 11 a.m. to three p.m.).

The Dry Creek Trailhead signal recommends one gallon per individual; my 20-ounce Steamboat Springs bottle and some snacks had been ample.

The queue to walk on the Devil's Bridge
The queue to stroll on the bridge

The Line at Satan’s Bridge

From the Satan’s Bridge Trailhead, it took us about half-hour to hike the one mile to the arch. For these retaining observe, that put us there at about 8:30 a.m., an hour after we started on the car parking zone.

It did not really feel like many individuals had been strolling forward of us. Nevertheless, dozens of hikers had been ready for a photograph as soon as we arrived.

We took our place behind the road and ready to be affected person. I discovered it simpler to move the time by having fun with watching others stroll out over the tall pure bridge.

This additionally helped calm my nerves (although not the ladies doing handstands!).

No one bought in line behind us for 5 to 10 minutes after we arrived. Then, a middle-aged couple walked up and requested if this was the road for the Bridge. Sure, clearly.

The impatient man then proceeded to complain and make enjoyable of others having fun with their second on the arch, which I discovered impolite. Please, readers, do not be that individual in such a shocking place.

Associated: Methods to Forestall Overtourism

Dave standing on Devil's Bridge in Sedona, AZ
Dave standing on Satan’s Bridge

Strolling the Bridge

About 20 minutes after we would joined the top of the road, I gingerly walked out onto the Satan’s Bridge in Sedona.

I felt extra assured than I anticipated as soon as I might turned the nook and seen how broad the Bridge was at first. Nervous however feeling like “I bought this,” I pushed myself to stroll to the narrowest level.

As soon as there, Kel took some images of me earlier than leaving her DSLR and my telephone with a form couple that had gone earlier than us. They had been completely satisfied to take our photos, as we did for them.

Kel skipped out faster than I did, and after a number of images, I walked again and bought a few of her solo on the Satan’s Bridge.

Associated: Finest Hike Close to Phoenix

The Devil's Bridge in Sedona starts out wide before narrowing in the center (photo by Kelly Lemons)
The Satan’s Bridge begins broad earlier than narrowing within the heart (photograph by Kelly Lemons)

Whereas taking them, I might hear the person behind me proceed complaining, solely this time, it was about me and my girlfriend, which pissed me off.

I spoke up, telling him all of us needed to wait in line, an implicit counsel he “suck it up” and cease behaving like a baby.

Along with being distasteful and annoying these round him, I additionally thought-about it harmful to disparage others whereas they stood on a cliff, about to stroll out on a 57-foot excessive rock arch.

He did not consider that others could be nervous, to start with, not to mention bothered or feeling the necessity to hurry up as a result of he complained. It isn’t inconceivable somebody might get harm because of this.

Climbing to the Parking Lot

After taking a number of extra images, we accomplished the Satan’s Bridge hike by strolling again to the Dry Creek Trailhead and paved car parking zone to catch the Sedona Shuttle.

We had been happy with the expertise up to now and did not really feel the necessity to take the scenic Chuckwagon Path.

I feel a soothing brunch again in Sedona was on our thoughts, and we would discover it at Hideaway Home, an Italian restaurant with nice views that opens at 11 a.m. every day.

Closing Ideas

Total, I loved climbing to Satan’s Bridge in Sedona, although not the early wake-up time required.

The hike took 2.5 hours, with half-hour spent ready in line and taking images on the Bridge.

If I had been to do that bucket checklist hike once more, I might have gone straight to the Sedona Shuttle for the 7 a.m. shuttle as an alternative of making an attempt to beat the early birds to the car parking zone.

I believe the free shuttle will develop into far more well-liked within the coming years as Sedona cracks down extra on parking exterior the heaps and tourism continues to develop.

After brunch, we took the shuttle on Route 15 to hike Cathedral Rock within the afternoon.

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