Cathedral Rock is one of the most photographed natural attractions south of the Grand Canyon. Many sightseeing tours from Sedona include a stop-off at Cathedral Rock and other red-rock attractions, such as Bell Rock, Snoopy Rock, and Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout. For travelers of a spiritual leaning, Cathedral Rock is also believed to be a vortex—a mystical area of high energy—and is often visited as part of spiritual tours. For a truly memorable view of the natural wonder, a helicopter tour will fly you over the crimson buttes.
Things to know before you go
- If you plan on hiking, be sure to wear shoes with good traction as the rocks here can be slippery.
- The parking lot at Cathedral Rock is small and often fills; be prepared to wait for a space.
- Bring water—it gets hot on the rock—and a camera to capture the views.
How to get there
Cathedral Rock is situated just southwest of Sedona, Arizona. Follow Route 179 south from Sedona, exiting onto Back O Beyond Road. Driving from Sedona takes about 10 minutes.
When to get there
Weekends are busiest. There is little shade at Cathedral Rock, so if you’re visiting in summer, come in early morning or late afternoon. If you plan on hiking, avoid going after rain as the trails are very slippery when wet.
Hiking Cathedral Rock Trail
Cathedral Rock Trail leads from the base of the rock up to a saddle connecting two of the main spires. Though the out-and-back trail is just 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) long, it’s not for the faint of heart, with steep sections and some scrambling required.