While Airport Mesa isn’t Sedona’s most famous rock formation, it has some of the best views of big-name rocks, including Cathedral Spire. The main hiking trail here is the 3.2-mile (5.1-kilometer) Airport Loop Trail that follows the edge of the mesa. If you’re looking for views without the hike, Airport Mesa’s Sedona Airport Overlook is a great place to park. This is also an included stop on some private and group tours of Sedona, which range from quick outings to all-day experiences. Some focus on Airport Mesa as a vortex, combining the site with other spots renowned for powerful energy. More nature-focused tours explore Airport Mesa on hiking trails, by Jeep, or in tour vehicles; featured stops on these tours may include other rock formations such as Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Seven Canyons.
Things to know before you go
- Bring plenty of water and sun protection, as the hiking trail has little shade.
- This trail can be muddy after rain, so it’s a good idea to wear high-topped boots following wet weather.
- Uneven surfaces mean the Airport Loop Trail is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.
How to get there
The main trailhead for the Airport Loop Trail is located roughly half a mile (0.8 kilometers) up Airport Road on the left side. Parking is very limited here, however, so if the lot is full continue to a larger parking area at the top of Airport Road. Starting at the secondary lot adds an additional 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) to the round-trip hike.
When to get there
As at other desert sites, sunrise and sunset are spectacular at Airport Mesa. In soft light, the surrounding rock formations turn rosy-red. It’s so beautiful that sunset can draw a crowd, so for a more solitary experience, sunrise is a great option.
Top Hiking Areas in Sedona
There are lots of places to lace on your hiking boots here. In Red-Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, the 7.2-mile (11.6-kilometer) West Creek Trail is a justifiably popular out-and-back hike in scenic Oak Creek Canyon. Popular with both hikers and Jeep tours, the Broken Arrow Trail offers big views of the surrounding desert.