Sedona. I can still recall getting up before dawn and catching my first glimpse of the red cliffs all around before the sun peeked over the hills. Few mornings have felt as enchanting. Unlike that first trip to this spectacular corner of the southwestern U.S. where we had a few days to enjoy hiking in its breathtaking setting, our road trip this past spring was fast-paced; we had a mere afternoon to take in as much as we could. Which meant I wanted to find the easiest Sedona hike possible.
Yet I still wanted to find one that provided us with great views of the beautiful rock formations of this amazing corner of the southwest. I remembered one that was very close to the middle of town. It would be the perfect mix of fast and easy, and also provide an awesome view of the Sedona landscape.
Easiest Sedona Hike with a view
The trail of choice was the Teacup Trail, which would take us to the Sugarloaf Summit trail, which was the real goal. The trailhead is located in the middle of Sedona, in a residential neighborhood. You can find the parking lot on Buena Vista Drive.
The Teacup Trail is fairly well marked. You can generally follow the path easily, although there are places where you could possibly wander away from the main path. Any extra trails made by people who didn’t stay on the main path don’t disappear quickly in the desert. The damage is done.
If you do get confused as to where to go, you can generally spot a rock cage that will help guide you. These are placed fairly regularly along some of the trails in Sedona.
Even though this may be the easiest Sedona hike, there is no shortage of beautiful scenery. Some of the best is right here in the middle of town. The landscape is mesmerizing.
It will probably take you no more than about 10-15 minutes to come to the turnoff that will take you up Sugarloaf Summit. The Teacup Trail passes alongside the west side of this rocky outcrop, and you must hike back up from the north. You can see Coffee Pot Rock there to the left at the end of the mesa in the foreground.
Hiking Sugarloaf Summit
The Sugarloaf Summit Trail is a bit more strenuous than the Teacup Trail, but it really isn’t difficult. The trail is less than a quarter mile from the turnoff up to the top of the rocky dome. We took our time, and the kids enjoyed playing with rocks and looking for critters in the desert.
As you get to the top of Sugarloaf Summit, you start to get the best of the views. Sedona is truly incredible. I was just as amazed by this visit as I was by my first trip here.
There was a storm quickly approaching, and the wind was really moving across the top of Sugarloaf Summit. Luckily, it wasn’t cold. The temperature during our short Sedona hike was right around 70 degrees. Better than the cold we encountered later in the trip, and also better than the 90 degree days we spent enjoying Tucson (SEE: Kings Canyon – Gould Mine Loop Hike in Saguaro National Park).
Here is a panorama from the east side of Sugarloaf “Mountain”. You can see Coffee Pot Rock clearly in the center, and part of Sedona to the right.
Even though the kids aren’t all that crazy about hiking, they were sure enjoying this easy Sedona hike (SEE: 3 Tips for Hiking with Kids in the Desert). I think it was mainly because of the better temperatures and the fact they knew it wasn’t going to be all that far.
They were even being loving siblings. Which is sure better than dealing with the alternative.
We hiked a bit farther along the Teacup Trail, ending up pretty much right under Coffee Pot Rock before turning around. It was looking more and more like rain, and I wanted to make it back to the car before it started. Plus, we also had scheduled a time for my daughter to talk with a friend.
Overall, it was a great short hike. Hopefully we’ll be back to Sedona fairly soon to enjoy some more great, easy hiking.
Given our time constraints and the weather, our hike was the perfect length. It would have been nicer to see more of the exquisitely beautiful red rock surrounding us, but we had to settle for the easiest Sedona hike I was familiar with and knew would provide us with a lovely view of the valley. We’ll tackle something a bit more challenging next time.
Map image courtesy of Open Street Map.