Devil’s Kitchen Hike
Devil’s Kitchen is the name of a sinkhole near Sedona, Arizona. This hike takes you to the sinkhole on a short, easy trail suitable for all skill levels and ages. The sinkhole was suspected to have begun many, many years ago as the southernmost wall began to sink. Two historic collapses in the 1880s and 1989 resulted in the cavernous hole you can see today.
This hike sees heavy traffic, so we recommend arriving at the trailhead as early as you can to secure one of the few parking spots. This hike follows the beginning of Soldier Pass Trail, which can also take you to the Seven Sacred Pools if you’d like to extend your adventure and see another one of Sedona’s natural landmarks.
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Route Description for Devil’s Kitchen Hike
Devil’s Kitchen is a sinkhole in Sedona, Arizona, that has been formed over hundreds of years. The first signs of sinkage indicate that the hole started to form before Western presence, with the southernmost side of the hole showing rounded rock edges and a patina of manganese oxide. The northern side of the sinkhole reflects more recent sinkage, with angular rock faces freshly broken off from their previous perches.
The first collapse of the sinkhole occurred in the early 1880s. Many residents of Sedona at the time heard the crash and reported dust filling the air all day.
In 1989, another collapse happened. The opening was enlarged by as much as 33% when the north wall detached.
Today, the sinkhole is a cavernous oddity where the earth has clearly fallen in on itself. It’s interesting for all ages to explore, and the trail to reach the sinkhole is suitable for all skill levels and ages. The trail you’ll take to the sinkhole is Soldier Pass Trail, which also leads to the Seven Sacred Pools, another natural wonder. Do both if you’d prefer a bit of a longer hike than this very quick trip.
The parking lot at this trailhead is small and can only accommodate about 15 cars. We recommend arriving early to secure a spot. This lot opens at 8 AM and closes at 6 PM. There is no alternate parking available outside these times, so plan your hike accordingly. Vehicles may be towed if they attempt to park at or near the trailhead outside of open hours. There is another parking area 3.2 km away and there is a red van shuttle service between the two if you need it.
While the trail is very short, it’s not a very clearly defined route and it’s easy to get turned around. We recommend downloading a map ahead of time.
Beginning from the Soldier Pass Trailhead, head across Soldier Wash. Hike northeast, checking in with your GPS track if you feel the route isn’t very clear.
Turn left at the first junction. You’ll then keep right and descend to the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole.
While climbing into the sinkhole is definitely not recommended, you can inspect it from all angles.
Also, take a moment to enjoy the large agave plants and prickly pear cactus that thrive here.
When you’re ready, retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Hiking Route Highlights
Devil’s Kitchen is a sinkhole in Sedona, Arizona. The collapse began prior to the presence of Westerners, and the hole was widened with a huge collapse in the early 1880s that left the sky filled with dust and created a crash loud enough for most residents to hear. Another collapse in 1989 left the hole about a third wider than it had previously been.
Frequently Asked Questions
What trailhead do you use for Devil’s Kitchen?
The easiest and most direct way to the sinkhole is via Soldier Pass Trail at the Soldier Pass Trailhead.
When was Devil’s Kitchen formed?
The hole began to sink before Western presence, but two notable collapse events occurred in the early 1880s and in 1989.
Is Devil’s Kitchen kid-friendly?
Yes, this is an easy, short hike suitable for children.
Insider Hints for Devil’s Kitchen Hike
- Bring lots of water if you’re hiking in the summertime, which can be very hot in Sedona.
- If the lot is full, head to the additional parking 3.2 km away and look for the red hiker’s shuttle van.
Getting to the Devil’s Kitchen Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the Devil’s Kitchen hike is off Canyon Shadows Drive.
Devil’s Kitchen Hike Elevation Graph
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Devil’s Kitchen Hike Reviews
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