11 Best Places to Watch Sedona Sunsets, AZ 2023

Are you wondering where to watch the sunsets in Sedona, USA? There are many places to see sunset views. The incredible red landscape of Sedona is at its best during the evenings. The rocky desert creates a perfectly picturesque backdrop for a desert sunset with steep canyons and unique rock formations.

Sedona is famous for its hiking trails. Several hiking enthusiasts flock to these nearby trails to be with nature and discover the raw desert beauty. The fantastic sunsets are the main reason behind the hype. The lasting rays of sun shining on the red magnificence of Sedona is a sight you will never forget.

The twilight rays falling on these ancient red structures make them grander. Please note that most Sedona hiking trails require a Red Rock Pass.

sunset spots in sedona arizona
Sunset Spots in Sedona, Arizona

Important notes:

  1. Cathedral Rock Sedona: The Red Rock Pass is required to access this point by car.
  2. Red Rock Crossing Sunset: A red rock pass is needed to start on this trail.
  3. Bell Rock: A red rock pass is required to explore Bell Rock.
  4. Devil’s Bridge: A red rock pass is necessary to hike up this trail.
  5. Doe Mountain: To access Doe Mountain, you must carry a valid red rock pass.

Sedona sunsets and sunrise Approx time in 2023

MonthSunrise TimeSunset Time
January7:34 am5:26 pm 
February7:25 am5:56 pm 
March6:56 am 6:22 pm 
April6:13 am6:48 pm
May5:36 am7:12 pm
June5:14 am7:35 pm
July5:17 am7:44 pm 
August5:36 am7:29 pm 
September6:00 am6:53 pm
October6:21 am18:10 pm
November6:47 am5:32 pm
December7:16 am5:15 pm
Sedona sunset and sunrise time Approx

1. Cathedral Rock Sedona

The Cathedral Rock is a natural sandstone butte in Sedona. Pictures of this fantastic creation of nature can be seen featured in several movies, articles, and videos. The hike to the top of this rock is moderately challenging, but the view above is worthwhile.

Cathedral Rock Sedona
Cathedral Rock Sedona

It has a steep slope with rugged cliff sides, and the summit is at a height of over 600 meters. Bask yourself in a golden sunset from the balcony-like flat viewpoint while the sun dips behind the mountains. Sunset at Cathedral Rock is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Address: Yavapai County, Arizona, U.S.

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2. Airport Mesa trail

The Airport Mesa Trail, or Airport Loop Trail, is the most famous in Sedona. It’s a 5.1 km long trail covering important rocky structures like Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Elephant Rock, and the Courthouse Butte. The hike is moderate, and the elevation is low and gradual, but the rocky terrain can throw some unexpected challenges.

Airport mesa trail sedona
Airport Mesa Trail Sedona

Easy car access has made this place a popular spot to view Sedona’s sunset or sunrise. Its panoramic view under the orange light of sunset is surreal. During weekends and holidays, it can be pretty crowded.

Address: 483 Airport Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, United States.

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3. Red Rock Crossing Sedona sunsets (state park, vortex, and byway)

Amid Sedona’s red deserts lies Oak Creek. It’s a natural water body with a calm and serene atmosphere. The Red Rock Crossing is the region’s name where this creek runs next to Cathedral Rock.

Red Rock Crossing
Red Rock Crossing

The trailhead is located at the Red Rock State Park. The hike progresses along the creek, lined by rocks on both sides. The length of this trail is 3.2 km and is of medium-level difficulty. The sunset here and the backdrop of the gorge are a sight to see. Visit the hot springs near Sedona, too.

Address: Red Rock Crossing Rd, Arizona 86336, USA.

4. Lovers Knoll

As the name suggests, Lover’s Knoll is a romantic viewpoint ideal for an outdoor date. It’s easily accessible by car. The top provides a clear and extensive view of all the other famous landmarks of the region, like Twin Buttes, Schnebly Hill, Lee Mountain, Courthouse Butte, etc.

Courthouse Butte rock - Sedona sunset point
Courthouse Butte rock – Sedona sunset point

Sunset here on a full moon night creates mesmerizing sceneries. This location is also a well-known wedding spot. The way to the top is a dirt road on the side. Look for the starting point, as anyone can easily miss it.

Address: 1891-1893 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, United States.

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5. Sedona Grand Canyon

The world’s wonder, the Grand Canyon, is beside Sedona. This wonder of nature is a must-visit place in Sedona. The 2-hour drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon has captivating views.

Sedona Grand Canyon
Sedona Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a favorite sunset spot among Americans. The last hues of the sun reflecting on these orange and yellow rocks create astounding scenery. The place always becomes very crowded during sunsets. Visit during sunrise for some peace and calm.

Address: Sedona

6. Vultee Arch

The Vultee Arch is a five miles trail through the wilderness of a desert. The trail includes a 50-foot-high red rock bridge passing over a canyon. Reaching the top and enjoying the view is the main objective of this hike.

Vultee Arch
Vultee Arch

Desert willows, acacias, and other beautiful wildflowers make this trail green and unique. A late sunset through these trees with rays reflecting off the limestone surface is something you cannot miss.

Address: FR 152, Dry Creek Road, Arizona 86336, USA.

7. Bell Rock

The Bell Rock is a vortex located in Sedona’s desert. Many believe this place has healing powers. Unique rock structures and canyons form this butte. It’s a 3.6-mile-long trail of moderate difficulty.

Although it’s part of a desert area, it was a thriving ocean area in the prehistoric era. Signs of this can be seen on the ancient rocks present here. It’s a popular family spot among locals.

Bell Rock
Bell Rock

You can go for a hike or soak in the spirituality of this place through meditation or yoga. Remember the incredible colors of the fading sunlight that shines on these magnificent rocks and creates an enchanting view.

Address: Sedona, Yavapai County, AZ 86351, United States.

8. Devil’s Bridge

The Devil’s Bridge is a naturally formed sandstone arch in the Coconino National Forest. Its highest elevation is over 4600 feet. Crossing the bridge is the most challenging part of the hike, as the bridge lacks any bars on either side. Even though the trail length is short from almost all starting points, it may take 2 to 3 hours for the rough terrain.

Devil’s Bridge
Devil’s Bridge

Some parts of the way also have slippery surfaces, which might be dangerous. The sunset from the bridge, overlooking the vast eternity of Sedona deserts, is a favorite among photographers.

Address: Devil’s Bridge Trail, Sedona, AZ 86336, United States.

9. Schnebly Hill Vista or Trail

Schnebly Hill is the perfect route to explore the beauty of Arizona. This trail takes you through a beautiful journey of Sedona deserts surrounding the intricate limestone structures and some desert vegetation.

Schnebly Hill Vista Trail
Schnebly Hill Vista Trail

The hiking route is quite challenging, and the total hike is over 6 hours with little to no shade areas in between. Guided jeep tours and off-road driving are better options for reaching the summit. The view from the hilltop encompasses the pine forest at the bottom. The sunset with this backdrop is worth the long journey.

Address: Schnebly Hill Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336, United States.

10. Little Sugarloaf Mountain

The Little Sugarloaf Mountain is a bit of a hidden gem of Sedona. Travelers cannot easily find the trail to the top on any map. The remote location makes the exploration even more exciting. Due to fewer people, this place is ideal for quiet time alone.

Little Sugarloaf Mountain
Little Sugarloaf Mountain

The trail itself is short but has a steeper incline. Be aware of your steps, as it’s not a well-maintained route. The summit is clear, flat, and provides a broad sunset view.

Address: Sedona, AZ 86336, United States.

11. Doe Mountain – Sedona Sunsets

Doe Mountain is a short hike best for people with busy schedules. The trail length is 1.7 miles, and it takes over an hour to reach the summit. The majority of the trail is relatively easy. It gets steep at the end, but this hike can be pretty fulfilling. You can get a clear view of the Red Rocks from this trail.

Some desert bushes, cactus, and trees line the walking trail. Typical of the Sedona landscape, the path can get rocky at times. The top provides a gorgeous view of the desert.

Doe Mountain
Doe Mountain

The neighboring Bear Mountain also adds to the natural beauty of this place. Although the sunset view from Doe Mountain is ethereal, it’s also quite popular as a Sedona sunrise spot.

Address: Doe Mountain, Sedona, AZ 86336, United States.

What is the Red Rock Pass Program?

The Red Rock Pass program is a tool designed to protect, develop, and maintain Sedona’s incredible landscape.

Proceeds from the PASS program make a difference by providing advanced visitor information, environmental protection, and a lifelong experience.

What is the cost of a Red Rock Pass?

An annual Red Rock Pass is $20, a weekly Red Rock pass is $15, and a day hike is $5. 

Where to buy a Red Rock Pass?

Visitors can buy a Red Rock Pass online or offline. Most tourists buy red rock passes by using the vending machine. The vending machines are placed on trailheads, and all the vending machines accept credit cards. If you have an “America the Beautiful Interagency Pass,” RED ROCK PASS is unnecessary.

Purchase a Pass from the Parking Lot

Another option is to purchase your Red Rock Pass from the parking lot. The Forest Service has a list of hikes that require a Red Rock Pass; check their website.

Where can I watch the sunset in Sedona without hiking?

The Airport Mesa is the best spot to watch a Sedona sunset without hiking.

How do I get to the reflection pool in Sedona?

Oak Creek near the Red Rock creates the reflection pool. Take the Midgley Bridge Trail, then turn right to Huckaby Trail, which leads to Oak Creek.

Is Devil’s Bridge better at sunrise or sunset?

Both sunrise and sunset are the most preferred time to visit Devil’s Bridge. But the view during sunrise is even better than at sunset. The sun’s rays slowly illuminate the desert and create an incredible view.

Is Cathedral Rock good for sunrise?

Cathedral Rock can be easily considered the best hike in Sedona. Its sunrise view is as beautiful as its sunset.

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