Welcome to my article on Devils Bridge Trail. My name is Robyn. I’m from northern California and went to Berkeley as an undergrad. I currently live in Virginia with my 19 year old daughter. I’m an Urban Planner by profession but am completing a Masters in User Experience Design.
Growing up, my family worked for the airlines – so I traveled a lot domestically. In 2015, I started traveling internationally and have been to about 40 countries so far. I try to travel to at least three countries per year. Hiking has become a new passion of mine mostly due to the pandemic.
I first discovered hiking in Peru when I hiked the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu. When I was going stir crazy during the lockdown, I rediscovered hiking as a great way to convene with nature and get some exercise (and maintain levels of social distancing) while the gyms were closed. I guess the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for me in that regard.
Road Trippin’ Across the Southwest
I have always loved the Southwest. If you catch the timing right, the weather is temperate, the scenery is amazing and the authentic Mexican food is a bonus! Seeing photos of Sedona over the years made me think that it would be the perfect place to do some hikes and take a vacation.
After doing some research, I decided to take a road trip starting in Tucson, stopping in Phoenix and then ending the trip in Sedona. In Tucson, I visited Saguaro National Park, the historica Barrio Viejo neighborhood and Mission San Xavier del Bac. In Phoenix, I visited Papago Park and Hole in the Rock.
The majority of my trip was spent in Sedona, but I also explored Montezuma Castle National Monument (including Montezuma Well), Taliesin West and Arcosanti along the way. It was an incredible trip!
Hiking Devils Bridge Trail in Hail
In doing my research, I saw amazing photos of Devils Bridge Trail and like everyone else put it on my list. After reading a couple of reviews, it looked doable as a four mile round-trip hike with a mild elevation change. I was torn between Soldier Pass Trail and Devils Bridge Trail but decided to do the latter as the parking at Soldier Pass is basically non-existent.
It turned out that Devils Bridge Trail was not just amazing in its own right but was probably the second best hike I have ever done! Along the way, I saw beautiful red rock peaks and Jeeps driving across parts of the trail.
My favorite part was when I rounded the corner after the last ascent and saw the overlook surrounding the bridge. It was hailing at this point and I was almost frozen. However, the view made the slippery ascent all worth it!
Challenges of Devils Bridge Trail
The biggest challenge of this trail is the unpredictable weather. On this hike, I experienced everything from sunshine and cloud, to rain and sleet. This combination quickly turned the ground to frozen mud which made it very difficult to get any traction and made it an extremely slippery hike.
On the way up during the last ascent when my hands and feet were frozen, and the ground was so slippery, I began to question why I would choose to hike in April during this type of weather. But it was absolutely worthwhile!
More Incredible Hikes in Sedona
Another great hike in Sedona is Bell Rock as it offers panoramic views. I have also heard that Soldier Pass Trail is epic, despite taking up to five hours and having difficult parking. I will likely return to Sedona in the future to do more hikes. My final recommendation is Chapel of the Holy Cross. It’s an architectural wonder! You simply have to visit.
Tips for Hiking Devils Bridge Trail
Like any hike, wear the right shoes, bring water, hike with a buddy and pay attention to the trail markers. I would plan to do six miles total since it’s unlikely you will find parking extremely close to the trail. Also, include time for photo opportunities at Devils Bridge itself as this can take some time.
The previous day the wait was around two hours when it was decent weather. Since my weather was scary and cold, the wait was just a few minutes. I would also bring a waterproof jacket just in case and a camera with a zoom lens. Thanks for reading and enjoy hiking Devils Bridge Trail!