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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    541 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    4.5 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Capitol Butte via Lizard Head Trail


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    Table of contents

    Capitol Butte is one of Sedona’s most dominant mountains. Also known as Thunder Mountain, the top of this peak is accessible on a 4.5 km hike that involves a lot of scrambling. As such, we don’t recommend this hike for kids, dogs, beginners, or anyone scared of exposure. If you’re adventurous and love a scramble, this could become one of your favorite hikes in Sedona! Expect moderate traffic on this route.

    Route Description for Capitol Butte via Lizard Head Trail

    Capitol Butte is one of the most impressive features of Sedona’s skyline. This towering sandstone mountain looks as adventurous to scale as it truly is. This hike requires a lot of scrambling, some of which is moderately exposed and a little bit technical. It’s a perfect adventure for those who want to get hands-on in exchange for a wicked view.

    We don’t recommend this trail for kids, dogs, or those who dislike exposure and heights. While the scrambling isn’t generally very difficult, the climb requires some routefinding and careful climbing. Bring more water than you think you’ll need for this trail.

    From the trailhead, ascend to a junction and stay left. You’ll traverse to the ridge, where you’ll turn uphill and climb. Where the scrambling is, look for the easiest, most worn-in path. Just before the summit, you’ll need to ascend a chimney. The first one you’ll find is a bit slick, so we recommend going just past this to another chimney that’s easier to climb. From the top, marvel at the view before descending.

    Getting to the Capitol Butte via Lizard Head Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for Capitol Butte via Lizard Head Trail is on Dry Creek Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:


    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Capitol Butte via Lizard Head Trail Elevation Graph

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