Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail
The Seven Sacred Pools in Sedona are a set of trickling blue pools amid the vibrant red rock between the Oak Creek Mountains and Sedona’s desert. Deep green juniper trees frame the site, reminding you just how much the landscape can change the closer you are to water. The pools provide an important water source for local wildlife and a spiritual scene for visitors and locals. Take Soldier Pass Trail to access the pools via a 1.8 km easy hike. This trail is suitable for all ages and skill levels.
We recommend downloading your GPS track ahead of time as the trail can become a touch confusing where there isn’t clear signage. This area is shared by Jeep traffic, so hike with your eyes and ears open. Note that the parking for this trail is closed from 6 PM until 8 AM each day and there is no alternate parking during that time.
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Route Description for Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail
The Seven Sacred Pools are a work of art by Mother Nature, with pastel-blue water trickling from one pool to the next over the layered red sandstone that lies between the Oak Creek Mountains and Sedona’s arid desert. This area is important both for human spirituality and for the needs of animals, who come to the pools to drink before venturing further into the dry surrounding landscape. A shield of juniper trees provides visual contrast and a reminder of how quickly the flora and fauna can change closer to a source of water in the desert.
The pools are at their best in the springtime when there’s been a bit more rain. Try visiting in April or May if you can. Visiting in the heat of summer may mean the pools are less obvious.
This area is also used by Jeep traffic. Hike aware of the traffic on the trail. While the signage is alright, some users report relying on a GPS track to help navigate some unclear sections. We recommend downloading a map ahead of time.
The parking lot at Soldier Pass 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.
Beginning from the Soldier Pass Trailhead, head across Soldier Wash and turn left at the first junction. You’ll then keep right. You’ll be descending to the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole and then climbing back up, and there isn’t signage until you’re climbing back up. This is the only junction on the trail, but it’s a bit of a complex one, so don’t be afraid to double-check your map to make sure you’re on the right track.
You’ll hike parallel to the wash towards the pools. It’s a fairly quick journey, so take your time admiring the vibrant red earth beneath your feet, the agave and juniper growing alongside the trail, and the ever-present view of the surrounding mountains and buttes. Even a short hike in Sedona offers so much to enjoy.
At the pools, you can snap a photo from the overlook point and spend some time watching the flow of the water. The pools were created naturally by the gradual erosion of the water, each trickling into the next over the course of many years.
While the trail continues past this, you’ll want to turn around and retrace your steps to the trailhead.
Seven Sacred Pools
In the strikingly beautiful area between the Oak Creek Mountains and the arid desert of Sedona lies the Seven Sacred Pools, a series of natural pools that waterfall into one another over layers of deep ochre sandstone. These pools are both an important spiritual site for humans and an important source of water for desert wildlife.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get to the Seven Sacred Pools in Sedona?
The easiest and most direct way to the pools is via Soldier Pass Trail.
Why is it called Soldier Pass?
The area was named after General Crooks Army Scouts who lived in Fort Verde from the 1870s through the 1880s. They regularly traveled through parts of the Arizona Territory.
Can you swim in the Seven Sacred Pools?
While you could theoretically swim in the pools, they’re rather small. We don’t recommend swimming as it can disturb the animals and insects that use the pools- you’d be sharing the water with tadpoles!
Insider Hints for Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail
- You can continue on to the Soldier Pass Cave from the Seven Sacred Pools.
- This hike is amazing at sunset.
- We love a post-hike tamale at the Tamaliza Cafe.
Getting to the Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail Trailhead
The trailhead for the Seven Sacred Pools hike via Soldier Pass is off Canyon Shadows Drive.
Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail Elevation Graph
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Seven Sacred Pools via Soldier Pass Trail Reviews
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