Mountaineering Sedona’s Devils Bridge Path

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Whether or not or not you imagine in vitality vortices, you’ll really feel one thing particular the minute you step foot on its trailhead. From multi-day journeys to easy-access dayhikes, the paths round this city run the gamut, and Devils Bridge is without doubt one of the hottest for a cause. At 4.2 miles, the hike to Devils Bridge is brief sufficient for brand spanking new hikers and households, however even skilled hikers will discover themselves marveling on the views, the desert, and the arch itself. Right here’s every thing you must know to move out on the path.

The Route

Mountaineering Sedona’s Devils Bridge Path
The Satan’s Bridge in Sedona, Arizona (Photograph: skitzafrenic/iStock through Getty Photographs)

There are two trailheads for Devils Bridge, relying on what car you’re taking there. For hikers who’ve a 4×4 with good clearance, beginning on the Satan’s Bridge Trailhead cuts two miles off of the full distance. Head up Dry Creek Highway to the trailhead, then begin up the trail. If you happen to don’t have 4×4 functionality, you possibly can both park on the finish of the quick paved part of Dry Creek Highway and proceed up the 4×4 monitor, or begin at Mescal Trailhead and take the extra scenic Mescal/Chuckwagon Path to the Devils Bridge Trailhead. We advocate the latter: Strolling up Dry Creek Highway tends to be dusty, very uncovered to the solar, and hash little in the best way of views. 

For a significantly better expertise, head to Mescal Trailhead, off Lengthy Canyon Highway. From the trailhead, head onto scenic singletrack by way of the desert. Crimson sand, juniper, and pine unfold out to all sides. A mile in, cross Dry Creek Highway to the Devils Bridge Trailhead. Weaving by way of patches of juniper and pine forest, the Devils Bridge Path spends a variety of time within the open, the place the red-rock mountains that characterize the Sedona space are seen within the distance. (The darker red-orange stripes on the backside and paler higher sections characterize totally different geologic durations, when totally different sorts of sediment had been shaped by the advance and retreat of a shallow sea. These mountains are literally eroded items of the Mogollon Rim, which splits the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Vary.) 

After beginning as a large former entry street, the path narrows. Look carefully on the mountain rising in entrance of you to identify an infinite boulder balanced precariously over the cliffs. Simply earlier than reaching the bridge, a collection of rock steps and occasional scrambles rapidly make up the remaining elevation achieve. A flat space beside the arch is the right place to absorb the bridge itself and the mountains past; adventurous hikers can stroll out onto the bridge itself for a singular picture op. The arch is about 5 ft broad the place you possibly can stroll alongside the highest, 54 ft tall, and 45 ft lengthy.

When to Hike the Devils Bridge Path

This route is without doubt one of the hottest hikes in Sedona (for good cause). Begin early or late to keep away from the crowds and warmth, and to make sure you get parking–the Dry Creek car parking zone can replenish in a short time, particularly on weekends, and the Mescal Path trailhead doesn’t have many spots obtainable. Within the standard spring and fall climbing seasons you may additionally have to attend an hour simply to stroll on Devils Bridge, so many hikers are there. Early-morning begins allow you to depart earlier than the crowds arrive. Alternately, begin later, when most hikers have already headed again to city for dinner, and catch the sundown earlier than climbing out by headlamp. Although the steeper sections of path could be icy within the winter (as can the bridge itself), the desert dusted in snow is a powerful web site, and with the precise gear a winter hike right here could be glorious. Summer season is commonly too scorching for many hikers, and afternoon thunderstorms are extra doubtless,  however in the event you regulate the forecast the season can supply good climbing alternatives, too. 

Gear for Mountaineering the Devils Bridge Path

Be sure to convey loads of water and sunscreen on this desert path, particularly on scorching days. Sturdy, breathable climbing boots will preserve pebbles and sand out of your footwear whereas stopping sweat from build up, and so they’ll deal with the scrambly sections of path with out a downside. Throw in a rain shell in case of inclement climate, and as all the time, ensure you have the ten necessities. 

Permits for Mountaineering the Devils Bridge Path

A Crimson Rock Go is required for this path ($5 a day or $15 per week). They are often bought on-line at recreation.gov or in-person on the Crimson Rock Ranger District Customer Middle or a number of of the supermarkets and resorts in Sedona. If in case you have an America the Lovely cross, you should utilize that as an alternative.