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"Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
61 posts
31 reviews
468 helpful votes
"Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

Hi all,

I'm planning to visit Sedona in a few weeks (day trip), and am hoping to spend some time at Cathedral rock (maybe half-day'ish or so to do some hiking, take pictures, enjoy the scenery, etc). From reading this site & others, it seems that there's 3 good ways to visit Cathedral Rock:

-going via Verde Valley School Rd

-Red Rock Crossing

-from Back o Beyond Rd

(all of which I assume have parking lots available to park your car at)

I'm just wondering which is the best way to take to visit Cathedral Rock...or do all provide pretty much the same experience?

Thanks in advance.

Edited: 6:03 pm, March 04, 2012
Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
Level Contributor
4,858 posts
84 reviews
72 helpful votes
1. Re: "Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

I prefer Back o Beyond, but parking is limited. You can continue down and around the base of Cathedral Rock to Oak Creek via Templeton and Baldwin from here as well.

Verde Valley School Rd can get a little rough. Here you start at Oak Creek and take the Baldwin trail and do the hike in reverse or hike all around Cathedral Rock, if you wish.

Starting at Red Rock Crossing from the West Sedona side will probably not give you access to the trails as you may not be able to cross Oak Creek.

Sedona, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
71,184 posts
250 reviews
249 helpful votes
2. Re: "Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

CTD covered the options well.

The classic views are from below to the west at Red Rock Crossing. If you're driving a rental car I would avoid Verde Valley School Road and enter from Red Rock Loop Road instead.

If climbing the icon is the plan, or even hiking around the base along the Templeton Trail then nearest access is Back O' Beyond. But parking there is limited to about 2 dozen vehicles.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
61 posts
31 reviews
468 helpful votes
3. Re: "Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

Great, thanks for your input CTD & RedRox.

Given that I'm using a rental car, and going on a long weekend (Easter), I think both Verde Valley School Road and Back O' Beyond will probably not be the best choices for me. Guess I will stick with Red Rock Loop instead.

Thanks again.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Pompano Beach
Level Contributor
4,858 posts
84 reviews
72 helpful votes
4. Re: "Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

If you are near Back o Beyond, give it a shot, if you want to hike. Many people climb Cathedral and leave, so there are cars pulling out of the lot all the time. Red Rock Loop will give you the view you are used to seeing. You can get similar views from Red Rock SP and do some hiking there as well.

5. Re: "Best" route to take to visit Cathedral Rock

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