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The Hike to Devil's Bridge via Mescal - Chuckwagon Trail

September 28, 2018

The popular Devil's Bridge in Sedona is one of the most iconic hikes known to the area, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. The hike to the actual bridge formation itself is only 1.4 miles roundtrip from the Devil's Bridge Trailhead. It's a very high trafficked trail however, so if you want to avoid crowds for a bit with an easier place to park, I recommend extending the hike by taking the route through Mescal- Chuckwagon Trail. It adds a couple more miles, but as this part of the trail is less crowded it gives you some time to enjoy the beauty and capture some great views before heading up to the bridge!

 

Overview:

Length: 5.6 miles out and back | Level: Moderate - a short but manageable steep climb toward the end | Duration: 3-4 hours | Elevation: 721 Dogs: Yes on leash | Parking: Free at Mescal Trailhead 

 

 

Winter months are the best to do this trail to avoid the heat. I visited here in November and couldn't have asked for better weather! Crowds were manageable up until the main bridge point. The best part about starting at Mescal Trailhead is that you will have the majority of that trail to yourself which is great for all the photo ops you'll want to snag!

 

 

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Begin at the trail-head, which is right off the parking lot. You will notice that other trails also connect here, so you want to follow the signs in the direction to Devil's Bridge and Chuckwagon Trail (above left photo). This trail is very well marked, so you'll see signs and markers like this are throughout the journey making it easy to stay on course.

 

 

The majority of Chuckwagon Trail is flat with sweeping views of the red rock mountains  just like you see here. You'll be making your way closer to those mountains through a few open areas for a couple of miles, and then eventually hit the main service road which will connect you to the start of the Devil's Bridge Trailhead.

 

(tap/click to enlarge photos)

The trailhead is clearly marked (above left photo) and is 1.4 miles roundtrip from this point and back. .7 will get you right up to the bridge. It's an incline right off the bat, but there are a couple of really nice viewpoints to take a quick stop and catch your breath.

 

(tap/click to enlarge photos)

 

The first of two really great view spots (above right photo), puts you at the halfway point to the bridge. Here you see the red rock range that was behind you at the start of the Mescal- Chuckwagon trail. 

 

 

(tap/click to enlarge photos)

Continuing on past that view point, you'll begin a second incline to the next viewpoint (above right photo) which is the more steep of the two. Not to worry though, it's short and not too difficult to manage. However if you are shaky on steep inclines I do recommend hiking poles  if you have them. If not, just take your time. Quick note- at the base of this incline, you'll see a trail marker with an unmarked option to veer to the left to descend. Skip that for now and stay to the right to head up to the bridge. We'll get back to that marker in a bit! 

 

 

Once you've made it up that last incline, and past a few twists and turns you have now made it to the bridge! Tons of people will be hanging out here, eating lunch, soaking in the views or waiting in line to get their photo on the bridge. Everyone is really respectful by taking turns to walk out onto the bridge allowing people to get their photo without others in it! Plenty will offer to take your photo in exchange for theirs.

 

 

The bridge itself is not too scarey at all to walk onto- it is wider than it looks. Be sure to check out my Facebook page here with a FULL 360 View of this bridge! Once you're done resting and taking photos start heading down the way you came. Remember that trail sign I pointed out above that descends right before your ascent? Now's the time to check that out. What people often miss on this trail is the view of the bridge from the bottom up! 

 

 

As you can see, the bridge is quite impressive from this angle too, and hardly anyone is down this way so it's kind of amazing to get this view of it all to yourself. After this, it's simply just following the same trail back to where you parked at Mescal Trailhead. Depending on what time of day you are at when completing the trail there's some great sunset viewing spots along Chuckwagon Trail in the open clearing areas you passed on the way. If you are like me, you'll want to stay and watch!

 

 

This timelapse was taken right off the Chuckwagon Trail. One of the best parts about visiting Sedona other than these great hikes are all the amazing and colorful sunsets! Hope you enjoy your time at Devil's Bridge! 

 

What's your favorite Sedona hike? Send me a message or leave me a comment below!

 

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