Take me to church! If you can’t get enough of Sedona’s Cathedral Rock vortex, head to Baldwin trail for breathtaking views of this famous formation. This 2-mile moderate trek from the trailhead to the Hiline Trail crossing is like Baby Bear’s chair. It offers just enough challenge to get your heart pumping faster without punishing your body.
Your journey takes you through the sacred space between Oak Creek and the west side of Cathedral Rock. If you go during the hot summer months, you’ll find the area teeming with people and their pet pups seeking respite from the heat along the shore. You can see how arid it has been from the multiple dry beds lining the primary watercourse.
Parts of the trail are wide and soft, offering little slices of rock-free heaven for the trail running set. At other points, you will need to climb over boulders. You probably won’t need trekking poles — but they do increase your comfort level if knee issues leave you needing extra support on steep step-ups.
If you decide to tackle the challenging Hiline trail, ensure that you don’t have any issues with vertigo. The hike will exhilarate you, but it isn’t for the faint of heart — as the warning sign indicates. Another alternative is to park a second vehicle at the Cathedral Rock parking area off Back O’ Beyond Road.
When you reach the gate, you can take Templeton trail instead and end up at the front of this spiritual rock formation. You’ll nearly circumnavigate Cathedral Rock if you choose this route. If your soul needs a bit more healing after your hike, travel to the nearby Chapel of the Holy Cross to meditate and visit the gift shop for a token of your pilgrimage.
My route today took me to the Hiline crossing but not beyond. After doubling back, I took the Baldwin Loop bypass to complete the trek.
If you go: Take the 179 Sedona exit off I-17 northbound to the Village of Oak Creek. Turn left at the second traffic circle onto Verde Valley School Road. Follow VVS Road until it turns to dirt and follow the signs to the parking area.
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