A few weeks ago, we had some of our dearest couple friends in town for the weekend. Whenever people come to visit, we try to find at least a day trip that we can take with them to show them a different part of the state. Our friends, Ryan and Delia, have been to Phoenix before and have visited the Grand Canyon so we wanted to show them around somewhere a little bit more unique. We took them on a Phoenix to Sedona Day Trip and had a blast exploring Devil’s Bridge Trail.
Photos by Delia (DBK Photography)
We headed up to Sedona in the mid morning, hoping to get there by lunchtime. Of course, with a baby in tow, things never go as smoothly or quickly as expected. Luckily, Greyson had entertainment in the back seat with Ryan and Delia keeping him smiling when he wasn’t sleeping. We got to Sedona just in time for lunch and stopped by Outlaw Grille for some incredible burgers and fries.
Then we continued on to Devil’s Bridge trail which wasn’t far off the main road that goes through Sedona. As we pulled in, we saw tons of cars. We’ve learned as we’ve started to try out hiking in Arizona that when you see people in regular clothes, tennis shoes, elderly people or kids, that a hike will be easy. So as we pulled in and saw all of these things, we were relieved. We had researched the hike and saw that it was only 1.8 miles roudtrip, which we knew we could totally handle.
The weather was supposed to be in the mid 80’s but instead was in the mid-high 90’s, but we figured, hey it’s just 2 miles, we can do that.
That was until we realized that the 1.8 mile stretch started after the trail that lead to the trailhead. Reason being was that the starter trail was accessible via off road vehicles. We had a 4Runner with low range four wheel drive, but weren’t able to use it on the beginning trail because of the low clearance of some rocky areas. So, 10+ degrees warmer than we planned plus a hike that was doubled in length made for a loooong day.
We survived though with lots of water breaks! Poor Greyson got pretty warm but thankfully we were able to keep him cool with water and wearing him on my back (instead of front). The first stretch of the trail was completely unshaded, but the easiest part of the trail. After we actually got to the trailhead, we had some steep inclines of climbing rocks. Eventually we got to the first clearing where you could really see the Sedona landscape.
The next part was the hardest part of the trail. At first, Greyson and I stayed back so I could nurse him and get a bit of rest. Then Steven came back down to get us because he said we couldn’t miss the view we had come all this way for. The climbing part wasn’t as bad once Steven carried Greyson and I had had some rest!
This face. I can’t.
The views from Devil’s Bridge were definitely worth the trek! There was a line to get photos actually on the bridge. At first, I was like heck no I am not going out there, but eventually got some courage and went out on the bridge so we could snap a family photo. It’s actually not terrifying at all as far as heights go and seems a lot more narrow of a path when you’re far away than when you’re actually walking on it!
You can read more about this trip and see more of D’s breathtaking photos on her blog!
A few tips for hiking Devil’s Bridge:
-Bring TONS of water. We were lucky enough that a jeep guide (there are off road jeep tours that will take you through the first part of the trail so that you are only hiking the 1.8 mile part) stopped and let us fill up our waters on the way back. We each had a bottle and were almost out by the trip back. Especially if it’s hot, bring a lot of water in a back pack!
-Be prepared for longer than 2 miles. Every guide online said the trail was moderately difficult and 1.8 miles round trip. When you’re expecting that and the round trip is closer to 4, it’s a little rough on you!
-Be prepared to use your hands for balance while climbing up the last part to the actual bridge. It’s not difficult, but you wouldn’t want to be carrying a child without a carrier.
– If you plan to drive the first part of the trail, make sure you have four wheel drive and your vehicle is lifted a bit off the ground. With our 4Runner, the bottom of the car definitely would have scraped (we have standard height tires, no lift).
We absolutely loved having our friends Ryan and Delia in town with us! Also during their trip we ate at Joyride Tacos (my fave place to bring people!), had DutchBros coffee and played Ticket to Ride (where I lost horribly- because Ryan sabotaged me- and was a bit of a sore loser about it). Ryan and Delia have been some of our closest friends (I’ve known Delia since 2004) and we loved getting to spend time with them and let Greyson meet them! We can’t wait to visit them in Seattle sometime.
If you’re looking for a Phoenix to Sedona Day Trip, I definitely recommend Devil’s Bridge! It can be done easily in a day trip roundtrip.