Cathedral Rock Trail- Sedona, Arizona

This was the first hike on our agenda during our first visit to the Sedona, Arizona area. I had been in contact with someone from this area a few times by email and she simply stated, “it’s a right of passage” to the area and you must give this trail a try. Say no more, I told my husband and son this would be our first hike of the visit and they were all in.

We researched this trail in detail before leaving and found that it was short, 1.5 miles round trip to be exact. It was also rated as HARD in many resources that we read. And after watching two videos taken while climbing this rock from fellow hikers, I knew it would be a challenge but I had my heart set on making it to the top of this rock.

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We arrived in the early morning just as the sun was rising over the mountains. We were told parking was an issue at this particular trailhead and when we returned to the vehicle, the lot was full.

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Note: you will need a red rock pass to park at this trailhead.

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As we prepared to conquer this hike, my boys both stood in awe at this magnificent sight.

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So with camera in hand, bladders emptied, and our packs loaded and ready we headed up this rock.

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We knew exactly where the technical part of this hike would be when we reached it. There is a crevice that needs to be scrambled up and eventually down during this short hike that had my stomach in knots.

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When we reached this crevice, we stopped, packed up our cameras to have both hands free, and I secretly said a prayer. It’s one thing to do these types of hikes on my own, it’s a whole other thing to know my husband and son are right behind me and can fall at any moment. However, it’s the life we live and we love it so we continued after a quick family picture.

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Eventually we reached the top and it was worth every grey hair I gained making it through this crevice. It was amazing. I was so relieved, we made it, worked together as a family, and succeeded.

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We spent about a half hour on the top, taking pictures, resting and just enjoying the view. I can see why I was told it was a right of passage to accomplish this hike. The feeling we felt when reaching the top was indescribable.

However, the thought of going back down is what really had me stressed. Although, I am happy to say, it was much easier than I had imagined to make our way back down the same way we came up. The only difference was we were on our rears instead of our knees. Here is a bit of what down looked like.

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It took us a total of about 2.5 hrs. to complete this hike with about a half hour of this on the top. People we ran into were respectful of sharing the crevice and not rushing anyone on the way up or down. This may seem like a short hike in distance but you will still need plenty of water and when the sun rises above the mountain the temperature rises quickly.

In my opinion hard was an accurate rating but completely worth it!

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