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Cathedral Rock

Sedona’s skyline is distinctive for this crimson-hued sandstone formation, which stands like a giant sacred monument overlooking the red-rock landscape.

Hike up rugged sandstone ledges to the lofty saddles of Cathedral Rock or admire the views of this landmark rock formation from all over Red Rock Country. A well-known sight on the Sedona skyline, Cathedral Rock is a breathtaking formation of redbed sandstone. Spend some time watching the rock’s mesmerizing red tones changing as the sun moves across the sky and take photographs of the landmark in different lights. Lace up your hiking boots and take the short but steep trail that winds upward into the gaps between the towering columns of rock.

The Cathedral Rock Trail begins at a flat and well-marked trailhead. After 0.25 miles (400 meters), you’ll reach a broad ledge that offers stunning views back across the sandstone canyon and riverside vegetation. The next part is a steep ascent over the bare rock and a cleft with notched steps to assist with the climb.

Make your way across a series of ledges and climb to the saddle that lies between Cathedral Rock’s two main spires. Catch your breath under the shade between the rocks and take in the panoramic views around Red Rock Country. You’ll see a stunning vista of the craggy sandstone canyon and the fascinating patterns in the rock’s formation. Follow the same trail for your descent to complete the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) round hike.

The hike’s trailhead is situated by Back O’ Beyond Road. Extend your walk by joining up with the longer Templeton Trail. This hike skirts the base of the rock and features deciduous forest and Red Rock Crossing, a magnificent spot on a flat bed of red rock where you can photograph Cathedral Rock against the lush riverside vegetation. There are also good views from Baldwin Trail, another adjoining pathway.

There is little shade on the Cathedral Rock Trail, so be sure to protect yourself from the sun and bring plenty of water. Hike the trails between fall and spring to avoid the heat. Enjoy the views from afar at any time. You will need a Red Rock Country pass to park your car at the trailhead, which is 38 miles (61.2 kilometers) south of Flagstaff.

Popular Activities at Cathedral Rock

Ensure you have loads of time at Cathedral Rock. Here are some of the top things to do:

Taken you years to experience this fantastic attraction? Then you can't possibly go home without trying out a Slim Shady Trail Hike to Cathedral Rock & Buddha Beach.

For even more things to do, have a look at our Sedona things to do page.


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Cathedral Rock

See all 536 Properties near Cathedral Rock
Sedona Summit Resort by Diamond Resorts $169
Sedona Summit Resort by Diamond Resorts

Sedona Summit Resort by Diamond Resorts

4055 Navoti Dr, Sedona, AZ
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in West Sedona, this condo building is within 3 mi (5 km) of Amitabha Stupa, Sunset Trail, and Crescent Moon Ranch. Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

    Sky Ranch Lodge $132
    Sky Ranch Lodge

    Sky Ranch Lodge

    1105 Airport Rd., Sedona, AZ
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in West Sedona, this lodge is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Sunset Trail and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Sedona Art Center. Kuivato Gallery and Mountain Trails Galleries are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Arabella Hotel Sedona $195
      Arabella Hotel Sedona

      Arabella Hotel Sedona

      725 Highway 179 Sedona, Sedona, AZ
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Sedona, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Chapel of the Holy Cross. Bell Rock and Sedona Golf Resort are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Poco Diablo Resort $179
        Poco Diablo Resort

        Poco Diablo Resort

        1752 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in the mountains, this spa hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Broken Arrow Trailhead and within 3 mi (5 km) of Chapel of the Holy Cross and Sedona Art Center. Cathedral Rock is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

          New! Sweeping Views of Sedonas Most Iconic Red Rocks
          New! Sweeping Views of Sedonas Most Iconic Red Rocks

          New! Sweeping Views of Sedonas Most Iconic Red Rocks

          Sedona, AZ
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Sedona, this vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Chapel of the Holy Cross, Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock. Broken Arrow Trailhead and Exposures International Fine Art Gallery are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Stunning House and View- Walk 2 Red Rock St. Park , Secret Slickrock , Oak Creek
            Stunning House and View- Walk 2 Red Rock St. Park , Secret Slickrock , Oak Creek

            Stunning House and View- Walk 2 Red Rock St. Park , Secret Slickrock , Oak Creek

            Sedona, AZ
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in West Sedona, this historic cottage is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Crescent Moon Ranch and 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Cathedral Rock. Sunset Trail is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

              Luxury Resort Style Home - Stunning Red Rock Views, Salt Pool, Jacuzzi, Firepit
              Luxury Resort Style Home - Stunning Red Rock Views, Salt Pool, Jacuzzi, Firepit

              Luxury Resort Style Home - Stunning Red Rock Views, Salt Pool, Jacuzzi, Firepit

              Sedona, AZ
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Sedona vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Chapel of the Holy Cross and Cathedral Rock. Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and Broken Arrow Trailhead are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Elysian Escape
                Elysian Escape

                Elysian Escape

                680 Elysian Drive, Sedona, AZ
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Sedona, this vacation home is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Chapel of the Holy Cross and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Cathedral Rock. Broken Arrow Trailhead is 3 mi (4.9 km) away.