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Enjoy The “Dog” Days Of Summer: 6 Pet-Friendly Hikes in Sedona

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Tall red mesas seen from a distance as clouds roll by above.

An abundance of pet-friendly hiking trails, cool spots by the creek and shady foliage make summer a great time to escape the Valley of the Sun and visit Sedona with your four-legged friend. Sedona offers an adventurous getaway in the Red Rocks where you’ll enjoy quality outdoor time and a breath of fresh air for the both of you.

Our dog-friendly accommodations ensure that you and Fido have the perfect place to unwind after exploring Sedona’s trails. We offer doggie beds and bowls at your request, and our package “Red Rocks & Ruff” includes a special doggie goodie bag, a L’Auberge signature leash and foldable doggie bowl (perfect for hiking and traveling) and a $50 dining credit to enjoy at any of L’Auberge’s restaurants.

Below are a few of our recommendations for great pet-friendly hikes in Sedona that will have both you and your four-legged friend wagging your tails!

6 Pet-Friendly Hikes in Sedona

West Fork Trail

– Round Trip: 6.4 miles
– Hiking Time: 3.5 hours
– Difficulty: Moderate
– Elevation Change: 300 ft.
View Trail in Google Maps

This gorgeous and enjoyable trail is touted as one of the best hiking trails in Arizona and one of the top 10 trails in the United States. At just over 6 miles round trip, the trail features many twists and turns exposing incredible views of canyon walls and foliage that will make you eager to get to the next bend. The trail is an easy to moderate stroll, and you will have to cross the stream in a number of places (typically involving the negotiation of a few stepping stones and Fido will enjoy a romp in the cool water). The trail is less crowded in the mornings and on weekdays, and be sure to keep your pup on leash even if he’s wading in the water.

Looking down river through a ravine, as trees are scattered through the scenery.

Wilson Canyon

– Round Trip: 3 miles
– Hiking Time: 2.5 hours
– Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
– High Point: 4,887 feet
– Elevation Change: 443 feet
– View Trail in Google Maps

Once you’ve watered and leashed your dog (pack water in, as the wash is typically dry), head north from the parking lot to a signed trail junction for Wilson Mountain and Wilson Canyon Trails – go straight ahead into Wilson Canyon. Take an easy stroll along a packed dirt path that at 0.1 mile forks right (permanent cairns direct you) and gently climbs into the canyon. Soon you’ll be winding through shady spots and marveling at cliffs on either side of the wash and trail (your dog may even enjoy splashy romps as the trail winds in and around the wash!). Stay right at the fork to continue on Wilson Mountain Trail and head into the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness Area where you can take in the impressive views and shady rest spots before you head back. Arrive early, heed the leash rules, and you and your dog will enjoy this mostly shady, cool, and very scenic hike in red rock country!

Water dripping of edge of rock

Image from

Secret Mountain

– Round Trip: 5 miles
– Hiking Time: 3 hours
– Difficulty: Easy
– High Point: 6,618 feet
– Elevation Change: 200 feet

Located between Sedona and Flagstaff, this trail into the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness is the perfect quiet, remote and stunningly beautiful hike for you and Fido. The trail begins with a gentle downhill slope lined with towering pines and oaks that will keep you and your dog shaded and cool as you trek along the lip of Secret Mountain’s western rim. Enjoy a stunning ravine that often has water – offering up a great place for your dog to enjoy a splash break. Throughout the five-mile hike, you will observe beautiful rock platforms, a cabin and corral, and water pools from snowmelt and rains. A large, open ponderosa pine parkland with fire rings makes a great picnic and water break spot before you turn around and head back to the trailhead.

Tree covered valley seen from aerial view as the sun peaks over the horizon.

Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch

– Round Trip: 5 Miles
– Hiking Time: 3 Hours
– Red Rock Pass Required: Yes
– Difficulty: Difficult
– High Point: 6,000 feet
– Elevation Gain: 1,900 feet
– Creek Access: Yes
View Trail in Google Maps

If you’re looking for a heart-pumping challenge with a great reward, the Sterling Pass trail to Vultee Arch will certainly deliver. The trail follows a side canyon of Oak Creek Canyon along the north face of Wilson Mountain and begins in Oak Creek Canyon off highway 89A. It’s location offers shade-bearing canopies of Oaks, Junipers, and Ponderosa Pines, while boasting towering views of canyon walls, water Fido will love and a natural Red Rock bridge. The trail climbs to 6,000 foot Sterling Pass, then descends into Sterling Canyon – a quiet, shaded canyon with pine, oak and maple trees. Instead of taking the trail to Dry Creek Basin, stroll along a side path that leads to a large slab of red rock with an overlook of Vultee Arch – a large 40-foot-high natural bridge stretching 50 feet across the north wall of Sterling Canyon at the base of East Pocket Mesa. This makes a great photo op with you and your four-legged friend!

Red sandstone eroded to form a natural bridge over a treed ravine

Huckaby Trail

– Round Trip: 5.2 Miles
– Hiking Time: 2.5 Hours
– Red Rock Pass Required: Yes
– Difficulty: Easy
– High Point: 4,550 feet
– Elevation Gain: 250 feet
– Creek Access: Yes
View Trail in Google Maps

Huckaby is an easy trail with a diverse landscape that offers great views of some of Sedona’s most iconic landscapes. Depending on your pace, the 5 mile round trip should take you approximately 2.5 hours. The footpath is mostly made up of red dirt and a sandy stretch near the creek. The trail rises and falls until you fully descend to the eastern bank. From this trail you will have views of Red Rock formations “Lucy,” “Snoopy,” Cathedral Rock and Uptown Sedona, plus a nice variety of yuccas, prickly pears, agaves and junipers. The trail does not provide a lot of shade (except in the mornings and creekside), so if you cannot start your Huckaby hike early, bring plenty of water.

A stream running under a bridge through tree covered area.

Margs Draw

– Round Trip: 5.2 Miles
– Hiking Time: 2.5 Hours
– Red Rock Pass Required: Yes
– Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
– High Point: 4508 feet
– Elevation Gain: 125 feet
– Creek Access: No
– View Trail in Google Maps

Once arrived at the trailhead, you and your dog will instantly cross a wash leading you into the Munds Mountain Wilderness. Compared to Huckaby, this trail provides a combination of shaded areas as well as fully sun-exposed paths – don’t forget a hat, water and sunscreen! The trail starts off with a moderate incline and another wash, after which you and Fido will approach a short but steep rocky climb. You will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Munds Mountain. Other rock formations you will be able to see from this trail include Camelhead and sleeping “Snoopy”. In addition, you will find many beautiful spots for water breaks.

Image from Sedona Monthly

What are your favorite pet-friendly hikes in Sedona? Please share!

Hiking distance, time and trail maps listed above courtesy the Hike House.

Tall red mesas seen from a distance as clouds roll by above.

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