Singletrack Enlightenment in Sedona, AZ

Sedona is a very special- and unique- place.  With the towering red rock formations surrounding the town, it’s clearly one of the most beautiful places in the United States.  Just ask Vanessa Hudgens after her recent incident.  That being said, there’s an interesting mix of visitors to the area- those looking to cleanse their auras, those looking to explore the landscape, those looking for mysterious vortices, and of course those looking to rip their famous singletrack.  We were the latter… although we saw plenty of the former three groups.


Mountain biking in Sedona offers a little bit of everything.  Some trails are smooth and buff, and let you carry speed forever without touching your brakes.  The West Sedona trail network (off Dry Creek Rd.) is an amazing “introduction” to what Sedona has to offer.


These trails include Mezcal, Chuckwagon, Aerie and Cockscomb among others, and are a must-ride when you’re in town.  Plan it right, and you’ll be there for an incredible sunset.



Sedona also offers a great selection of intermediate to advanced level technical trails, like you’ll find if you link Slim Shady, HiLine, Baldwin, and Templeton.  Once again, the views from that area don’t disappoint.



The HiLine trail is always at the top of “best ride” lists, as well it should be.  Other than a 1/4 mile long stretch of steep, extremely technical terrain, the trail is very fast and flowing, and can be ridden by most intermediate-level riders.  The climb up to the saddle makes you think otherwise though!



If you parked at the Bell Rock parking area, you’ll probably get to finish with an extended descent down Slim Shady (the same one you probably climbed up to start).


And to top it off, Sedona offers a few “special” trails, the type that will leave your palms sweating and have you wondering if you should have checked your brakes one more time.  The Hangover Trail is that trail in Sedona.


It starts with fairly mellow climbing and technical sections on the east side of the trail as you rise above Schnebly Hill Rd.  You even get to play around on some fun slickrock prior to the real challenge.


Once you hit the saddle, things get real.  Quickly.



All lines are optional and come with “walk arounds”, which most mortal riders will happily take.  This trail is for serious riders looking for a serious challenge.


Sedona is an easy 1-1/2 to 2 hour drive from the Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, which makes it a great 3-4 day weekend trip.  The trails above are only the tip of the iceberg in Sedona, which is why it’s super important to ride with someone who knows the terrain… like our guides!  Hopefully we’ll see you there in April or October



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AUTHOR: Steve Mokan

Steve is the owner (and founder) of Chasing Epic Mountain Bike Adventures, and contributes regularly to our blog. He's passionate about providing customers with incredible mountain bike vacations, and he loves photography and travel when he's not working. Truthfully, he loves those things when he is working too.