How Long Is The Vortex Hike In Sedona? (Explained)

Sedona is one of the most popular destinations in Arizona, and it’s easy to see why. The red rocks are stunningly gorgeous and it’s a destination unlike any other in the area. 

However, if you’re planning on hiking one of Sedona’s famous vortexes, make sure you know what you’re getting into! 

In this post, we’ll cover everything from distance to wearing sunscreen on your hike through the vortexes at Red Rock State Park. 

By taking these steps before heading out on your journey through nature and energy, you should be able to enjoy one of Sedona’s most popular activities with ease:

Sedona Vortex Explained – YouTube
The length of the Vortex Hike in Sedona can vary depending on the specific trail and vortex you choose to visit.
Some vortex hikes in Sedona can be as short as 0.2 miles, while others can be several miles long.
It’s important to research and plan your hike in advance to ensure you have enough time and are prepared for the distance and terrain.
Consider your fitness level and any physical limitations when choosing a vortex hike in Sedona.
Remember to bring water, wear appropriate footwear, and follow trail markers and signs for a safe and enjoyable hike.

How long is the vortex hike in Sedona?

The hike is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) one way, so it can take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. This is a moderately difficult hike, so you should wear good hiking shoes and have plenty of water with you. 

You’ll also need a permit if you want to climb up Boynton Canyon and visit the vortexes on the summit; these are free but are only available for day hikers on a first come first serve basis.

If this sounds like too much for your legs, don’t worry! There’s also an easier option: biking! The bike tour from Sedona Bike Tours will take care of all the hard work for you as they provide bikes and helmets, snacks along the way, gear storage at their shop afterward…and most importantly: delicious post-hike beers!

If you’re planning to hike the Sunrise Trail, you might be wondering how long it takes to complete. Our article on the duration of hiking Sunrise Trail provides insights and tips to help you plan your adventure accordingly.

Easy and Moderate Hikes in Sedona

If you’re new to hiking, the Vortex Hike may not be for you. The moderate difficulty of the hike puts it in the “not for beginners” category. It’s also not recommended if you are afraid of heights or snakes. If this sounds like your kind of hike, continue reading!

Hike NameDifficulty LevelDistance (miles)Trail Type
Bell Rock PathwayEasy3.6Loop
Cathedral Rock TrailModerate1.2Out and Back
Devil’s Bridge TrailModerate4.2Out and Back
Airport Mesa TrailEasy3Loop
Fay Canyon TrailEasy2.4Out and Back
Boynton Canyon TrailModerate6Out and Back
West Fork TrailEasy7Out and Back
Soldier Pass TrailModerate4.2Loop

Best Time of Year to Visit Sedona

The best time of year to visit Sedona is during spring and fall. The weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller. 

The summer months can be very hot, so if you want to hike during those times of year, make sure you bring plenty of water with you. If hiking in winter is your thing, then there’s a good chance that it will be chilly but not freezing cold. But no matter what time of year you choose to go hiking in Sedona, there’s still a chance that it could rain!

Are you considering hiking the famous Besseggen trail? Find out how long it typically takes to complete this challenging hike in our guide on hiking duration for Besseggen, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey.

Why Are There Vortexes In Sedona?

Vortexes are areas of spiritual power. The energy of the earth is concentrated in these special places, and you can feel it as a sense of calm and well-being that permeates your body. 

Vortexes are also often associated with vortex points, which are spots where lines of energy converge or cross over one another. These vortex points can create a feeling of being pulled toward them, adding to the magic of this place.

Do I Need a Guide To Experience The Vortexes?

You don’t need a guide to experience the vortexes, but having one can make your Sedona experience more educational and enjoyable. 

If you choose to hire a guide, they should be able to show you how to connect with the energy of each vortex site. However, even if you go it alone and use other resources for guidance, you can still feel the energy from these places—and get all of their benefits too!

If this is your first time visiting a vortex area like Sedona or another place famous for its powerful energy spots (like Lourdes in France), then hiring an experienced guide might be helpful. 

They will know where all of them are located (many aren’t marked on maps) and can lead you through each one while explaining what they do and why they’re special. 

Guides will also teach people how best to interact with them so that visitors won’t accidentally disrupt any natural processes happening there.

Vortex ExperienceGuide Recommendation
Bell Rock VortexNot Required
Cathedral Rock VortexRecommended
Airport Mesa VortexNot Required
Boynton Canyon VortexRecommended
Schnebly Hill VortexRecommended

Quiet Your Mind Before You Start the Hike

Before you start your hike, it’s important that you are calm and at peace. Take time to sit in a quiet place and meditate or pray. Ask for help from the spirit world and ask for guidance on this journey that you’re about to embark on. 

Set an intention for your hike—this is something that’ll stay with you throughout the entirety of the hike, so make sure it’s something positive! 

You should also ask for protection from any negative energies as well as any supernatural beings that may be lurking around (if such things exist).

Embark on an exciting hiking adventure at Grayson Highlands! Discover the length of the hike and plan your trip accordingly by reading our article on how long the hike at Grayson Highlands is. Get ready for breathtaking scenery and memorable experiences.

Wear Comfortable Hiking Shoes

In this article, we will cover what you need to know about hiking shoes for the Vortex Hike. The hike is a moderately strenuous trail and I recommend wearing comfortable hiking shoes with good grip. 

While hiking boots are not necessary, I highly recommend that you wear shoes with good ankle support because there are some steep sections of this hike. 

If you have never worn hiking shoes before, make sure that your feet are used to them by breaking in the new footwear before your trip. It is also important to make sure that the tread on your shoes is waterproof as there may be a few stream crossings during your journey.

Wear Sunscreen and a Hat

  • Wear sunscreen. The sun is strong in the desert, even during winter, so make sure to wear sunscreen on your face and body.
  • Wear a hat. You may not think it’s necessary, but wearing a hat will help protect your skin from damage by the sun as well as keep you cool while hiking.
  • A Good Pair Of Shoes

Bring Plenty of Water on the Hike

Bring plenty of water with you on the hike, and make sure it’s easily accessible. A good rule of thumb is to bring at least one liter per person. 

If you’re not a fan of drinking from a plastic bottle, consider bringing one that has a filter or straw so you can fill up without having to stop and unscrew anything.

Avoid Alcohol Before Hiking the Vortexes.

Alcohol is an unwise choice to consume before hiking the vortexes in Sedona. For one thing, alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes your body to lose more water than you take in. 

This can be dangerous when paired with strenuous exercise like hiking since dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and make you prone to injury. 

In addition, alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes you less aware of your surroundings which is especially problematic if you’re climbing up steep terrain or near cliffs!

Finally, alcohol affects everyone differently depending on their weight and tolerance level; some people are naturally more affected by it than others. 

Even if you think your tolerance happens to be higher than most people’s (because let’s face it: some of us drink way more than others), it still might not be wise for anyone who plans on doing intense physical activity shortly after consuming alcohol.

Curious about the time commitment for a mountain hike? Our article on how long a mountain hike takes offers insights and factors to consider when planning your mountainous adventure. Start your journey with confidence and knowledge.

Avoid Heavy Meals Before Hiking

If you want to do the hike fast, it is important to keep your body light and ready to go. A heavy meal will make you tired and slow, so it is better to eat a small breakfast or even skip eating altogether if possible. 

Fruit and nuts are good choices because they are high in protein, but don’t try to pack too much food into your stomach at once! 

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar as they will only make it more difficult for your body to digest food while hiking uphill on a hot day (and especially when carrying water/supplies).

Meal TypeRecommendation
BreakfastLight and Balanced
LunchLight and Nutritious
DinnerEarly and Moderate
Heavy MealsAvoid

Make sure you’re well-prepared if you’re going to hike one of Sedona’s red rock vortexes!

Be prepared for the hike:

  • Make sure you have enough water. You should drink a bottle of water every two hours during your hike.
  • Use sunscreen, even in winter, because UV rays can still burn under cloudy skies.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that allow you to move freely and won’t get caught on rocks or other obstacles (such as cactus plants) along the trail.

Be prepared for the weather:

If it’s hot when you arrive at your destination and begin hiking, take breaks inside one of Sedona’s many shops or restaurants until it gets cooler outside again. A cold beer or glass of lemonade always tastes good after an afternoon workout!

Be prepared for crowds:

There will probably be lots of people walking along with you on this path – so don’t forget to say hello! Or maybe just share some tips about what sorts of snacks they should bring next time they go out there too?

Heading out on a 7-mile hike? Make sure you’re well-prepared with our comprehensive guide on essential items to bring on a 7-mile hike. From proper gear to safety precautions, we’ve got you covered for a successful and enjoyable hiking experience.


If you are new to hiking in Sedona, we recommend taking a guided tour. You will learn about the history of the area and its natural formations. 

This will make your experience more enjoyable and educational. But if you don’t want to do this (and perhaps prefer an independent exploration), then make sure that you’re well-prepared with lots of water and sunscreen, comfortable shoes, hats, etc.

And remember: quieting your mind before beginning any hike is crucial!

Further Reading


What is the Sedona Vortex?

The Sedona Vortex refers to specific areas in Sedona, Arizona, where concentrated energy is believed to exist. These vortexes are often associated with spiritual significance and are believed to enhance meditation, healing, and personal growth.

How many vortexes are there in Sedona?

There are several vortexes in Sedona, and the exact number may vary depending on different interpretations. Some commonly mentioned vortexes include Bell Rock Vortex, Cathedral Rock Vortex, Airport Mesa Vortex, and Boynton Canyon Vortex.

Can anyone visit the Sedona Vortex?

Yes, anyone can visit the Sedona Vortex. The vortexes are open to the public and accessible through hiking trails or viewpoints. It is important to respect the natural surroundings and follow any guidelines or regulations in place to preserve the area.

What should I expect when visiting a Sedona Vortex?

When visiting a Sedona Vortex, you can expect a tranquil and serene environment surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. Many people report feeling a sense of peace, spiritual connection, or heightened energy when in the vicinity of the vortexes. It’s a great opportunity for self-reflection and personal exploration.

How can I prepare for a visit to the Sedona Vortex?

To prepare for a visit to the Sedona Vortex, it’s recommended to bring water, wear comfortable hiking shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather. It’s also a good idea to research the specific vortex you plan to visit and understand any trail maps or directions beforehand. Additionally, being open-minded and respectful of the spiritual beliefs associated with the vortexes can enhance your experience.