Sedona, Arizona is in the heart of red rock country and the Bell Rock hike offers visitors an easy opportunity to hike to the base of one of the most prominent formations in this region.
The hiking difficulty throughout Sedona is generally on the easier side which is part of the reason why this area is such a tourist hot spot. The Bell Rock hike is no exception to this rule offering a relaxing stroll out to the base of its namesake red rock formation.
Not only is this one of my favorite hikes in the area due to the easy difficulty and incredible views, but it also offers Sedona vortex hunters an opportunity to check one off their list.
In this post I'm going to cover everything you should know before venturing out into red rock country and hiking to Bell Rock!
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Where is Bell Rock?
The Bell Rock Loop hike in Sedona is conveniently located on the south side of town roughly half way between The Chapel of the Holy Cross and The Village of Oak Creek along Highway 179.
It's about a 15 minute drive south from Sedona's main square and if you plan to visit The Chapel of the Holy Cross this is a great activity to pair with that stop due to their close proximity.
Other points of interest in close proximity to Bell Rock include the Yavapai Vista Point and Courthouse Butte Loop Trail.
As usual in Sedona, the parking lots for Bell Rock will likely be crowded with visitors circling for spots. Fortunately the trail is short (1.1 miles according to AllTrails.com) which means parking spaces turnover relatively quickly.
If you're patient, you should be able to snag a spot without too much difficulty! There's also a bathroom located at the trailhead which you'll want to use before venturing out on your hike.
Once you park and find the trailhead - it's a fairly straight shot towards Bell Rock since it dominates the horizon.
However, once you get a little ways in you'll realize the official trail isn't well marked. Don't let that deter you, the area is fairly open and easy to navigate. While the area is often crowded, the wide open design of this trail allows visitors to spread out.
In fact, the area is SO wide open that we spotted a wedding ceremony, tour groups, hikers and people teaching yoga classes each with plenty of room to do their own thing!
Is the Bell Rock Hike Difficult?
When we visited Bell Rock we only went up the easy portion of the trail, once the terrain started getting steep we turned back since we saw what we came to see. But there are more technical sections if you're interested on climbing partway of the side of Bell Rock.
The area surrounding Bell Rock is incredibly scenic and if you have more time you should also consider exploring some of the Courthouse Butte Loop trail which snakes through this area.
On your way out be sure to hit Yavapai Vista Point which offers incredible views and can be found across Highway 179 and slightly north of the Bell Rock Trailhead.
The Bell Rock Trail Offers 'Just Enough' Elevation Gain for a Great View
The view shown below is what you can enjoy by venturing up to the base of Bell Rock. If you're feeling more adventurous and go further the extra elevation will only improve the already spectacular scenery!
Bell Rock is a great alternative to Cathedral Rock
While parking at Bell Rock isn't great, the short duration of the trail helps mitigate the issue. On the particular evening we visited Bell Rock we had initially planned on doing the Cathedral Rock hike around sunset.
We failed miserably at getting a parking space for the Cathedral Rock hike as the parking lots were overflowing and traffic lined the nearby streets. We decided to bail on that idea and instead routed ourselves over to Bell Rock and ended up very happy with how our evening turned out as there is so much to see in this area.
Initially I was bummed that we missed out on the Cathedral Rock hike as it was our last night in Sedona, but I was very happy with how this area turned out instead.
We had three and a half days in Sedona and frankly it wasn't enough. There's still so much more I plan to see and do when I go back!
Looking for more Sedona ideas?
Be sure to check out my post on the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail if you haven't already. It's a must see stop in Sedona and while the stated trail distance is a somewhat lengthy 6.6 miles, you get to take in some of the best scenery at the beginning.
This means you can pick a distance that fits your schedule while still experiencing the best that West Fork has to offer!
If you're looking for a more comprehensive Sedona travel guide I've also put together a list of my favorite activities to do around Sedona you should check out. If video is more your thing, here's a link to my Sedona video travel guide on YouTube.
If you're visiting during the hotter months the West Fork Trail is a great option due to the amount of tree cover it offers. Hopefully you find this post about exploring Bell Rock helpful during your trip to Sedona, Arizona!