I’m always looking for a good hike whether it’s a quick and easy one or a strenuous and longer one. This loop in Sedona is part of the Carroll Canyon Trail System. It’s easy and a great hike to get your heart rate up. The loop we did is approximately 7.4 miles.
Some of the benefits to the Carroll Canyon area are that it’s not packed like other hikes in Sedona. We literally saw less than five people on our hike…and we were there on a holiday. If you visit Sedona often, you know that’s pretty amazing. Another plus is that you get the gorgeous views of different areas of red rocks (including Cathedral Rock) because of where the hike takes you. You literally feel like you’re in the middle of it all. It’s like you’re visiting different lookouts that are meant to showcase the red rocks in all different directions of Sedona.
We parked at Sunset Park (just South of 89A, off of Sunset Drive) and walked slightly up the paved hill to get to Airport Loop Trail. We then connected Airport Loop Trail to Bandit Trail, which is kind of just a pass-through trail.
Next, we hopped onto Ridge Trail and took that until we got to Ramshead Trail which eventually led us to Old Post Trail. We stayed put on Old Post Trail until we looped back around to Bandit Trail and then followed that back out to Airport Loop Trail. We eventually made it back to our parking spot from there. Did you catch all of that? 😀 It’s okay, you can come back and visit if you need to re-read it to get it right.
Here’s what it looks like on my Garmin Vivoactive:
As I mentioned above, along the way are spectacular views including Cathedral Rock and the Carroll Canyon area is pretty desolate. I think we heard the helicopters going to/from the airport more often than we saw any humans. That was okay by us because it gave us more time to stop and enjoy the views rather than feel rushed with people on our heels. (Okay, so in full disclosure I’m mostly referring to myself here. My husband’s much faster than me and probably rarely experiences people on his heels to move over for, ha!)
The hike itself is pretty straightforward and there’s not a lot of room to get lost or go off trail. We pretty much just cruised the whole thing at a good pace. Some parts have a slight elevation gain (or loss) but it’s not bad at all. Most of the trail is similar to the below photo (sans my husband):
The beautiful thing about this area is, like other areas in Sedona, you can really create your own trail and add or subtract sections to design the loop of your choice. I highly suggest checking this combo of trails out or at least part of it. It’s really a nice, easy hike and suitable for many levels of experience. This trail is definitely better to get your distance in than practicing technical expertise, though. Let me know if you go and have fun!