Bell Rock Hike
Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s most recognizable rock formations, and the hike there is a gorgeous, popular trek. Bell Rock can be reached via a quick 1.3 km trail, which this guide will follow. Longer loops can include Courthouse Butte, Baby Bell, and other nearby points of interest. This guide details the most direct route to Bell Rock beginning from Bell Rock Trailhead. This is an especially nice hike during sunrise and sunset.
This hike is family-friendly and short. You’ll need to be able to complete very short sections with hands-on climbing. The further you go up the rock, the more climbing you’ll need to do, but the views are still fantastic from the most accessible viewpoints of the trail. This route gets busy, so arrive early if you can.
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Route Description for Bell Rock Hike
Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s defining rock formations, and many, many people make the quick trek to the base of the rock each year. With views of Courthouse Butte and Cathedral Rock, it’s a stunning spot. One of the joys of hiking near Bell Rock is the easy access to other trails. You can make a loop around Courthouse Butte, head over to scramble up Baby Bell, hike back via Gibraltar Rock on Little Horse Trail- make it your own!
This hike is beginner and kid-friendly, but there is one section where you’ll need to use your hands a bit. Those with mobility challenges and very young kids may struggle. While the lower levels of the rock are easily accessible, going higher on the rock is best for more experienced adventurers.
The signage on this route is great until you reach the lower levels of the rock. From here, it’s a pick your own adventure kind of hike. The higher you go, the more scrambling is required, and there’s not a defined path up the rock. Go as far as you like and are comfortable with. The views are still amazing even if you remain on the lower levels of the rock.
From the trailhead, go straight through the junction on a wide path marked on either side by fencing. Large agave plants and cacti also line your trail.
At the next junction, go straight again to stay on Bell Rock Trail. The Bell Rock Pathway that intersects here loops around the back of Bell Rock and continues to the Bell Rock Vista Trailhead.
As you climb up the layers of stone preceding Bell Rock, look for the path of least resistance. People come from many directions here, and on some larger sloping portions of rock, there are various points where climbing up to the next level can be done easily. You can strictly follow the GPS route or just ascend where it looks easiest for you to do so.
There’s a wide, open plateau partway up the rock that gives you an amazing place to look at Gibraltar Mountain, Baby Bell, Courthouse Butte, and Cathedral Rock further on. It’s definitely camera-worthy, and you’ll likely see hikers snapping selfies with Gibraltar in the background. This is an excellent stopping point if you want the easiest hike possible.
You can scramble further up the rock if you’d like. Again, there’s no best trail, just choose the route that feels right for you and go as far as you’re comfortable with. Going all the way to the top of the spires is hazardous, so we don’t recommend it unless you’re an experienced climber. When you’re ready, retrace your steps back down the rock and to the trailhead, or onto whichever route you’re exploring next.
Bell Rock is a butte near Sedona, Arizona, in Yavapai County. It’s one of the most recognizable features in the city, with a dome-like silhouette rising beside Courthouse Butte. The top of the butte sits at 1,499 m, and the incredible view from the rock makes it a popular hiking destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get to the top of Bell Rock?
Adventurous hikers with some climbing skills can get to the top of Bell Rock, but it’s strenuous and hazardous. Staying lower on the rock provides excellent views without the risk.
Is there a vortex at Bell Rock?
There is said to be a vortex at the rock. See if you feel any special energy while you’re there!
How can you see Bell Rock?
Bell Rock is visible from Highway 179.
Insider Hints for Bell Rock Hike
- This is a great sunrise hike!
- Bring lots of water if you’re hiking between June and September. While this is a short trail, Sedona can get very hot.
Getting to the Bell Rock Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the Bell Rock Trail is off Red Rock Scenic Highway.
Bell Rock Hike Elevation Graph
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Bell Rock Hike Reviews
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