Hiking Safety Tips

The City of Sedona and it’s partner Friends of the Forest Sedona urge you to follow these important guidelines to keep you, your fellow hikers and four legged friends safe.

Avoid Heat Stress

  • HIKE EARLY TO AVOID HEAT. Northern Arizona gets hot too. Summer temperatures are often in the 90s by late morning, and can reach well over 100 degrees.
  • Even on a cool day, the sun can be intense. Take shade breaks.
  • Pre hydrate with water and electrolyte drinks the day before.
  • Don’t just drink water, electrolytes are needed too. Hyponatremia is a real risk. 
  • One quart of water/electrolytes per person PER HOUR is recommended. Sedona Fire runs hundreds of heat exhaustion/stroke related calls each year.
  • Head back BEFORE half of your water is gone.
  • Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat or protective clothing.

Keep Your Canine Friends Safe

  • It is NOT RECOMENDED to take your dog hiking when the temperature reaches 90 degrees or more.
  • Per the American Kennel Club dogs should only be in 90+ degrees for very limited times 10-30 minutes depending on breed and size.
  • Ground temperatures can reach 140 degrees or more.
  • Use booties to protect dog’s paws.
  • Light colored dogs are susceptible to sunburn.
  • Take water, snack and shade breaks every 30 minutes.
  • Red silt roads radiate heat up which increases the impact on dogs.
  • PLEASE NOTE: You can bring your dog on the Sedona Shuttle, but they must in in a carrier or wearing a muzzle and on a leash. Service animals, of course, are exempt.

Don’t Forget…

  • Plenty of water and electrolytes.
  • Salty snacks and eat twice as much as usual.
  • Wear good hiking specific footwear to avoid slips and trips. Sedona Fire runs hundreds of fall injuries each year on the trails.
  • Sunscreen and First Aid Kit.
  • Hat and/or protective clothing.
  • Trail map and compass.
  • Cell phone with maps DOWNLOADED there is not always cell coverage – but don’t count on it working everywhere.
  • Always tell someone your hiking plan and when you will return.

If You’re Hiking to Devil’s Bridge, You Need to Know…

Devil’s Bridge generates among the most emergency calls of Sedona hiking trails. If you aren’t familiar with this iconic hike, please use caution:

  • Plan for a few hours on the trail and possible mishaps. 
    • The hike from the Mescal Parking lot is approximately 4 miles and two hours.
    • The hike from the Dry Creek Vista parking lot is approximately 6 miles Via Chuckwagon/Devils Bridge Trail and three hours.
    • The hike from the Dry Creek Vista parking lot is approximately 4 miles Via Forest Road 152C/Devils Bridge Trail and two hours with little shade.
  • Hike early in the day while temperatures are more enjoyable. 
  • Bring lots of water & electrolytes.
  • Carry a map and download a offline map. (or take a photo of the map at the trailhead) because cell service/GPS is not reliable due to terrain.
  • During periods of heavy rain or snow in the mountains, consider starting your hike to Devil’s Bridge from Dry Creek Vista Trailhead instead of Mescal. Flowing water in Dry Creek may make crossing the creek difficult or impossible.

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