You’re in Sedona! The land of red rocks, mysterious landscapes, and hallowed ground.
Of all the amazing hiking trails in Sedona, you might be looking for one with a little more peace and quiet for those dreamy desert mornings.
Sedona, Arizona is known for the ‘vortexes‘ or believed spaces on earth that are more connected to the mystical realm.
That’s where Devil’s Bridge trail comes in, and we’re here to make your spiritual Sedona experience a reality!
We’re sharing what you can expect on the hike to Devil’s Bridge during a sunrise hike, photos to guide you, and tips on how you might get the area all to yourself.
Let’s get hiking!
Discover Devil’s Bridge Trail During Sunrise
Quick Facts About Devil’s Bridge Trail
- Trail Length: 4.2 miles out-and-back
- Elevation Gain: 400 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate (if climbing to the top of the bridge)
- Sedona Features: Natural sandstone bridge, Sedona views, best Sedona trail for sunrise and sunset
- Trailhead Location: Dry Creek Road, Sedona, AZ 34.9028° N, 111.8138° W
Getting To Devil’s Bridge Trailhead
Devil’s Bridge hike is a really convenient, 15-minute drive from the center of the town of Sedona.
We parked at this Devil’s Bridge trailhead before the sun rose, which meant we arrived around 6:00 am.
We were one of maybe two cars in the lot – it is not hard to grab a parking spot this early in the morning, but it becomes extremely difficult after 7:00am/8:00 am.
Because many of the hiking trails in Sedona interlink, this isn’t the only Devil’s Bridge trailhead, but it IS the shortest and most direct route to Devil’s Bridge.
Starting The Devil’s Bridge Trail
There are two ways to start Devil’s Bridge Trail from the main parking lot, and each has its own features. Both lead you to the same place, but one is on a dusty 4×4 road, and the other is a longer trail meandering through the desert.
Here’s a description of both trails:
Devil’s Bridge Via Chuckwagon Trail: This trail is a 5.7-mile out and back path.
It offers many opportunities for nature and wildlife viewing. It is also a longer trail than Dry Creek Road, but you won’t have to worry about dodging out of the way of those pink tourist jeeps.
Pink Tourist Jeeps? Yes, this is a Sedona adventure tourism company that takes you on custom trail drives and trips around the red rock area!
They often have special access to 4×4 off-road vehicle trails, which will allow you to get to trailheads quicker and shorten your hiking times. You also get your own guide with information, history, and fun facts about each of the hikes in Sedona!
Devil’s Bridge Trail via Dry Creek Road (the trail we took): Pictured below, this is a 4.2-mile out and back trail.
This is a direct, shorter route to Devil’s Bridge on a 4×4 vehicle road. You ARE permitted to drive your car farther down the road (cutting your hiking time by 70%) but it must have high clearance and four-wheel drive.
It’s a pretty rough road, so even if you have the slightest hesitation that your car won’t make it, just be safe and park at the parking lot.
The Ascent To The Devil’s Bridge
After 1.3 miles on Dry Creek Road (or Chuckwagon Trail if you’re opting to take that route), you’ll see a very obvious trail fork taking a right up into the cliffs.
You may see some cars collecting in this area as well, as this is also the parking area for those pink tourist jeeps and high clearance vehicles.
From this point on, the Devil’s Bridge trail gets rockier and steeper as you climb up the remaining 0.8-miles of the trail.
At the end of the trail, you’ll reach a fork that will lead you either to the base of the bridge, or a climb to the top. The left path will take you to the bottom and you can look up at the top of the bridge.
The trail to the right will be a steep trail to the top of Devil’s Bridge, where you can walk across the sandstone. This trail is rocky and requires a series of climbing and stair-stepping. Be cautious right after rainfall because the path can be slippery!
Note: We did not take the left trail to the base of Devil’s Bridge. Read below for an account of what you can expect from the top of the bridge!
View From The Top of Devil’s Bridge
The view from the end of Devil’s Bridge trail is absolutely breathtaking. Since we arrived during sunrise, we got to see the red rock cliffs in the background slowly light up and bring the desert valley to life.
It was kind of like when we experienced a beautiful sunset at Cathedral Rock – the world was quiet just for a little while!
Take a few moments to sit and enjoy the view and reward yourself for a hike well done! Pack a few snacks to eat at the top, sit down, and experience the stillness of the morning with an amazing view of Devil’s Bridge.
Important Safety Note (Read This If You Like Being Alive)
You are allowed to walk on the bridge, but as a safety precaution, we’re advised to let you know this is an extremely dangerous activity. In 2014, one woman did fall the 75 feet to her death by walking on Devil’s Bridge.
We encourage you to avoid the narrow sides and never step down to a lower portion of the bridge.
We also advise against walking on Devil’s Bridge in the occurrence of high wind, rain, accumulation of snow and/or ice.
It also should be noted that people with a fear of heights should avoid the top altogether and enjoy the view from below instead!
Tips For Hiking Devil’s Bridge at Sunrise
Taking a sunrise hike to Devil’s Bridge requires a few extra steps in order to do it safely! Read below for some considerations to make on the trail in the early hours:
1. Bring a Headlamp
If you want to experience Devil’s Bridge for sunrise, you’ll be taking the trail in the dark.
It’s important to see where you are going and what’s in front of you, so we suggest a headlamp to keep your hands free!
2. Taking Pictures? Bring A Lens That Works Well In Low Light.
All camera lenses are not created equal, so it’s important to pick one that works well in low light. What do we mean by a lens that works well in low light?
On the side of every lens (we use Canon so I’m sharing an example) is the millimeter information, and then the lowest aperture the lens can go.
In the pictures below, the right one is labeled with “F2” meaning the lowest it can go is 2.0. The lens on the right says 1:2.8, meaning it can go as low as 2.8.
All the complicated lingo aside, the lower the aperture number, the more light the camera lets in. This is what you want to consider when taking pictures at Devil’s Bridge during sunrise!
See the chart below to see a helpful visual from Photography Life to see what we mean!
3. Wear Layers
Depending on the time of year, the mornings at Devil’s Bridge will be quite chilly. If you are hiking in the winter, it will be especially cold (and possibly snowy!) so check the weather before you depart for Devil’s Bridge Trail.
However, when the sun comes up the temperature will rise fast and you’ll be peeling off layers on the descent.
Pack a light jacket, maybe a beanie, and wear breathable pants to help you stay comfortable on the way up AND down!
Have you ever taken Devil’s Bridge Trail in Sedona during sunrise? How about sunset? We’d love to hear about your experience! Tag #themandagies in your photo on Instagram so we can see them!
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