Chances are, you’re finding this blog post because you’ve planned a trip to Sedona, Arizona – or are already here!
Like us, you’re drawn by the beauty of the landscape, the fresh air, the abundance of trails, and amazing hidden hiking trails in Sedona.
If you’re looking for an extra special hike, we’re here to tell you about the secret Birthing Cave.
Just off the ultra-popular Sedona trails is this secluded, quiet hike that brings you to an amazing hidden cave, with stunning vista views of Sedona, making you feel more connected to the sacred ground here.
We’re sharing what it’s like to hike to the Birthing Cave, directions on getting there, and sharing pictures of what you can expect on the trail.
Let’s get started!
Hike To The Birthing Cave In Sedona
Birthing Cave Hike Details
- Trail Length: 2 miles out and back
- Trailhead Location: Long Canyon Trailhead
- Exact GPS Location for Birthing Cave: 34°54’46.9″N 111°50’10.0″W
- Hiking Time: 2 hours total
- Permits: None. Note: Any trailhead with toilets require a Red Rock Pass ($5-day use fee). Long Canyon has no facilities.
The Birthing Cave is a public spot, where anyone can come and explore. We’re sharing directions because we believe everyone deserves equal access to information about the outdoor space. However, we acknowledge that posts like these make lesser-known spots a lot more accessible, increasing the risk of trail misuse and overcrowding. When we personally experience beautiful places like this, we gain an increased appreciation to protect them and want to educate others about responsible recreation practices. This is why throughout this post, we’ll be sharing ways you can enjoy this spot responsibly. Thank you.
Getting To The Birthing Cave Trailhead
To start your hike to the Birthing Cave in Sedona, you must find parking off the side of the road at Long Canyon Trailhead. However, this lot cannot hold a lot of cars, unlike the more popular Catherdal Rock or Devil’s Bridge.
If the lot is full, consider visiting another time. And as always, remember to follow Leave No Trace Principles! For this particular trail, this means coming with alternate trails to take if you need to reschedule, disposing of your waste properly, and being considerate of other visitors.
Parking is fairly easy, but during peak season in Sedona (April/May and September/October) we suggest arriving early in the morning to secure a spot near the trailhead.
If you are arriving in the early spring season (March), you may run into standing water on the road or trail. Watch out for this!
From the center of the town of Sedona, the driving time to the Long Canyon trailhead will be around 15 minutes.
On The Birthing Cave Trail In Sedona
The Birthing Cave trail was one of the easiest hikes in Sedona we took. The trail was wide and flat, and the scenery was gorgeous in all directions.
We passed several mountain bikers on the trail. They go fast so make sure to quickly step aside as they pass by!
After about 0.6 miles on the road, we approached this fork in the road. The main trail continued straight (right), and there was a smaller trail to the left, blocked by some brush and branches. Take the left, less-traveled path towards the red rock cliffs. This path will lead you to the Birthing Cave.
We found it helpful to save the turn coordinates on Google Maps, and then use the satellite feature to track your path. If you get lost, please retrace your steps, and don’t go off-trail to find your way.
After a short walk on this trail, (less than a half-mile), the path curves left and the cliffs will be on your right. Keep an eye out for a depression in the cliff wall, because this is where the Birthing Cave will be!
Once you feel as if it’s right in front of you, you’ll see a path here, that will take you up a rocky trail to the base of the cave. Avoid using shortcuts, and stay on the trail.
Take the short but steep trail up to the top! Stay awhile and enjoy the view of the Red Rock area of Sedona.
Best Photo Opportunities At The Birthing Cave
Since Berty and I are travel photographers, we love to find the best places for gorgeous photos!
Here are some of our favorite places to take pictures at the Birthing Cave:
The Birthing Cave (Obviously)
The Birthing Cave is a large but shallow cave nestled into a cliff’s edge. From a view at a distance, it looks kind of like a heart shape, with the cave ceiling curving into a point, and the base of the cave also coming to a point.
Bring a very wide-angle lens to capture the cave in one photo from the inside. In the photo below of the entire cave, we stitched several pictures together in Lightroom later on our computer!
We shot this image with a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, but we think the wider the lens, the better.
Want to take better photos? Read our favorite travel photography tips.
Also in the Birthing Cave is a small seat, kind of in the shape of a belly button.
Climbing up can be a challenge (as seen in Berty’s attempt below, haha!) but it’s doable, and an excellent seat for the Sedona vista view!
The Sedona Vista
From the inside of the Birthing Cave, there are seriously amazing views of the red rocks landscape in the distance. Take some time soaking it all in, grab a snack, and stay awhile.
Of all the amazing Sedona hikes, this one has one of the best views! Want some more information about where the sun or stars hit certain locations in the sky? Keep reading for one of our favorite star app recommendations.
Can you name the rock formations in the distance?
The Trail (On The Way Back From The Birthing Cave)
On the return trip back to your car, you’ll get an incredible view of the Sedona rocks in the distance. We had a hard time deciding if the scenery looked more like West World or the Lion King!
On some parts of the trail, the rocks perfectly line up for a symmetry-lovers dream shot. Keep your camera out to find these places along the trail!
Conservation Tip: During your time on the trail, remember to bring an empty reusable bag to collect garbage you see on the trail. Picking up garbage not only helps keep the trails clean, but also raises the bar on how others will treat the trail in the future. Leave this space better than you found it!
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When Is The Best Time To Visit The Birthing Cave?
Berty and I visited the Birthing Cave just before lunchtime in March (11:00 am – 12:00 pm). During this time, the cave was in full shade and the valley was well lit in the distance.
Looking to visit for a sunrise or sunset? If you’re serious about catching the light in a specific way, we suggest downloading the smartphone app called PhotoPills.
Not only will it tell you the exact locations of the sun, moon, and stars, but you can use it anywhere, at any time. It’s definitely worth the $10 if these features are important to you!
Other Nearby Hiking Trails In Sedona, Arizona
Love the Birthing Cave in Sedona? Here are some other nearby trails to check out during your trip!
Devil’s Bridge: Devil’s Bridge trail is a natural sandstone arch, which is one of the most popular landmarks in Sedona! The trail is a short, 4.2-mile out and back trail leads you to the bridge. You can walk across, but be careful because it’s a 150+ foot drop below!!
Cathedral Rock: Cathedral Rock is one of the most photogenic places in Sedona. It requires some minor climbing, and you must be okay with heights on this trail!
Soldiers Pass: Soldiers Pass trail provides interesting desert features, caves, and iconic views of Sedona. There are tons of offshoot trails to explore too, so make sure to bookmark at least an entire morning to see it all!
Have you ever hiked to the Birthing Cave in Sedona? What was your experience like? Share your stories with us by tagging us at #themandagies in your photos on Instagram!
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