One look at the car park and you can tell immediately what’s the most popular Sedona hike- the Devil’s Bridge. Even in low season, the car park overflows onto the road, and not just on a weekend.
The Devil’s Bridge has become very popular on social media and for good reason. The bridge is high up, has a huge arch, looks precarious and offers one of the prettiest sweeping views in Sedona.
Despite how busy it can get it’s definitely worth the visit. Here’s what to expect on your visit.
The Devil’s Bridge Sedona
Type of Hike: Return (there and back)
Distance: 3.6 km (2.2 miles) in total
Elevation: 104 metres
Time: 1 hour (including time for photos)
Starting & End Point: Devil’s Bridge Car Park (off Vultee Arch Road)
There are three routes to the Devil’s Bridge which vary in terms of difficulty. The easiest (and shortest) follows a 4x4 dirt road most of the way, the other two are more scenic, but a lot longer and harder going. If you have a 4x4 or ATV you can actually get to within 0.7 miles of the bridge.
Due to time constraints, we had to take the shortest and easiest track (this is by far the most popular). Contrary to what a lot of other people have said, the trail to the Devil’s Bridge isn’t one of the best in Sedona. There are many others that are more scenic in the area, but the end destination more than makes up for it.
It’s not a bad walk, it’s just that Sedona has so many spectacular hikes and the Devil’s Bridge trail has nearly two thirds which are along a dirt track road where you’ll have cars and ATVs passing you. The final stretch is a lot more picturesque, where it is primarily an uphill climb to the bridge.
What to expect on the trail
The road is a dirt track which goes downhill gradually all the way to the 4x4 car park. Along the way you’ll see the red rock cliffs and green forest for miles in each direction - something that never grows old in Sedona.
From the 4x4 car park it is uphill all the way to the bridge. Each step takes you up a little higher and there are nice wide steps for the majority of the way. There are a few places with lovely views to stop and take a breather as you go. We were lucky enough to see the waterfall frozen over!
There’s also a really cool natural rock platform near the top. We recommend having a stop to take in the view of the valley around you.
From here it isn’t far, but you’ll have the steepest/trickiest steps to navigate. We saw a couple of people give up at this point, even though it was literally metres from the bridge! It is a very short section, but the steps are a little steeper than on the rest of the track. For most people this won’t be a problem. Overall the trail is pretty easy and we saw many families enjoying the trail.
Once at the top of the large steps you turn the corner and will see this view!
Devil’s Bridge viewpoints
There are two great viewpoints to get that classic shot. To really get the height and scale of the bridge, the photographer will have to go towards the edge of the cliffside which is down a little way to the left from the main trail.
The perfect spot to shoot is the other side of the small waterfall. You can get there by crossing through it, or there’s a path at the top which skips over it and leads you down (this is the same path you take to get on the bridge itself).
This view offers more of the valley and is definitely our favourite.
The other good vantage point is looking at the other end of the bridge. Simply look for a small turning on the left of the main trail that you came in on for a ledge (it is the opposite end to the waterfall). From here you can get a less often photographed perspective.
The trail back
The trail back is a lot easier going. The path to the 4x4 car park is entirely downhill and not as hard work. From the car park it is just walking along the dirt road back to the main car park. The dirt road has a very gradual incline uphill, but isn’t anywhere near as steep as the climb you had up to the Devil’s Bridge!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Devil’s Bridge
When is the best time to visit Devil’s Bridge Sedona?
This was a nasty surprise to us. We’d read that around two hours before sunset is the perfect time. Clearly they all visited during the summer as we arrived three hours before sunset in February to find the bridge in complete shadow! Time of year clearly makes a big difference.
The Devil’s Bridge faces east and has several tall mountains behind it. The best time to have the bridge illuminated will be a few hours after sunrise and a few before sunset in the summer. In the winter it’s a trickier prospect, if you arrive at about 1-2pm it won’t be in shadow but you may have struggles with the sun being overhead.
If seeing this place without the crowds is your goal, then early morning is the best time. The busiest time in all places in Sedona is the middle of the day, but you normally see very few people on any of the trails in the early morning.
Is Devil’s Bridge Dangerous?
The Devil’s Bridge isn’t dangerous if you are careful with your footing and take your time. The trail to the bridge is well formed and of a very good standard. The bridge itself is solid a lot wider than you think. Photos make it seem narrow and scary but the reality is very different.
Having said this, if you don’t have a head for heights or are unsure about the bridge, just admire it from the viewpoint. This is the best place to take it in the whole view and it is worth going to the Devil’s Bridge just for this view.
We hiked the trail to the Bridge in February when Sedona had one of its rare snow storms. There was a lot of snow around and the waterfalls had frozen over. This didn’t affect the trail at all apart from the waterfall by the viewpoint (this had frozen over and there was a bit of ice around it. We don’t recommend climbing over it). Despite the weather you could walk all the way to the bridge on a clear path.
If you are concerned, then you can buy Yak Tracks which can slip over your boots and help with any icey parts. We regularly use them in winter and they are brilliant (although we didn’t have to use it for the Devil’s Bridge). You can check them out on Amazon below.
How wide is Devil’s Bridge?
Surprisingly wide! The beginning of the bridge felt like it was several metres wide and, although it narrowed in the middle (to about one metre), it never felt scary at any point. If the narrowest section unnerves you, you can still get great photos standing on the wider section.
If you want to see what it’s like on the bridge, watch the video below, sorry for the quality it was only shot as an Insta-story!
Devil’s Bridge Parking
The car park and trailhead for Devil’s Bridge is about seven miles away from the centre of Sedona and can be found along Vultee Arch Road. You won’t have a problem spotting it, it will be the only place where cars are parked along the road leading up to it.
Parking can be a struggle here - especially in the middle of the day.
If you are parking in the 4x4 car park it was tiny but very few people seem to use it so it had space both times we passed by.
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Are you planning a trip to Sedona? Would you hike the Devil’s Bridge? Let us know in the comments below!