If you are looking for one of the lesser-visited caves in Arizona, the Birthing Cave Sedona is one of the best ones you should add to your itinerary. Thanks to its popularity, though, from being the Secret Birthing Cave, it has become one of the famous caves. But you will still encounter fewer visitors compared to other attractions near Sedona.
It is one of the easy hikes in Sedona that can be completed within 2 hours, making it worth a stop on a mostly flat trail, and the views from the cave are gorgeous, ideal for most types of travelers, including those with no hiking experience.
As though it is a simple hike, since there are no well-marked signs, it can be unclear. But don’t worry. We got you covered. In this guide, you will find everything you need to know for hiking the Birthing Cave Sedona, parking and the trail details, along with some practical tips to spend the best time exploring the Birthing Cave.
QUICK INFO ABOUT THE BIRTHING CAVE SEDONA
- Distance – 2 miles round trip
- Type – Out and back
- Duration – 2 hours
- Trailhead – Long Canyon Trailhead
- Elevation Gain – 290 feet
- Hike Difficulty – Easy until the cave, and moderate climbing up into the Birthing Cave
- Parking – Limited parking
- Best Time – Morning to afternoon
- Pass Required – No
WHY IS IT CALLED THE BIRTHING CAVE?
The Birthing Cave is a shallow cave with a large diamond-shaped opening on the edge of a short cliff. It is known for its magnificent vistas of Sedona’s red rocks.
The Birthing Cave gets its name from the indigenous Hopi people who inhabited Sedona, and was a sacred site for the Native Hopi people.
The pregnant women of the community came to the Birthing Cave when it was time for them to deliver their babies, as it was a spiritual and healing place for them. As such, the cave is now considered a healing vortex site of concentrated feminine and sexual energy.
Whether you believe in the powers of vortexes or not, Sedona’s Birthing Cave is a beautiful landmark that should be respected as it is one of the protected areas and a sacred site.
BEST TIME TO HIKE THE BIRTHING CAVE SEDONA
Spring and Fall are the best months to visit Sedona in general, as the weather is excellent, gorgeous spring wildflowers are in bloom, and the beginning of the fall foliage is during October. Summer and winter are low seasons, as the weather is not great for being outdoors.
It gets hot in the summers, with highs reaching the 90s, while it gets pretty cold in the winter. But you can try hiking the Birthing cave Sedona if you want fewer tourists, ample parking space, less expensive accommodations, and cooler temperatures.
TIME OF THE DAY
If you’re wondering what time of day you should visit the Birthing Cave, since the cave faces southeast, it is spectacularly photogenic both at sunrise and sunset.
The light yellow, orange and golden colours offer some fantastic Sedona sunrise views. Also, the setting sun creates beautiful colours on the red rock, forming bright orange and red shades, making for perfect sunset views.
In the afternoon, there is a shadow in the caves, and you get splendid views of the red rocks and the surrounding mountains. So late afternoon is a fantastic time to photograph the beautiful landscapes from the cave.
But expect large crowds during the peak hours from 9 am to 4 pm, which means parking can be challenging. It is best to go around sunrise or after sunset to avoid crowds and get parking conveniently.
HOW TO REACH THE TRAILHEAD
The Birthing Cave Trail starts at the Long Canyon Trailhead, located off of Long Canyon Road. Note that there is limited cell service throughout the hike so it is best to download the map before your hike.
WHERE TO FIND A PARKING SPOT
Near the Long Canyon Trailhead is an ample dirt space on the side of the road, which is the unofficial parking lot. It is a small space and can hold only a few cars. There are no toilets at this trailhead. Along the shoulder of Long Canyon Road is overflow parking, but it is also limited.
Drive down Long Canyon Road if you cannot find parking in these places, as there is another dirt space around 0.2 miles from there.
If you cannot find a parking space in these areas, your next option is the nearby Mescal Trailhead, also located on Long Canyon Road, 0.5 miles south. No matter where you go, note that all are small parking spaces, and given that there are many hikes, the lot gets filled quickly, so it is best to plan your trip.
HOW TO HIKE THE BIRTHING CAVE SEDONA
Once you park your car, head north to find the Long Canyon Trailhead. , which is what takes you to the Birthing Cave Sedona. For most of this hike, you will be walking on a wide, flat, sandy trail, except for the last part, where you will have to climb to enter the cave.
We recommend downloading Offline Google Maps in the link mentioned above before you head out, as there is no cell service.
It is a beautiful trail offering fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes, and about 0.25 miles later, you will come across the first fork.
The fork is not a well-marked sign but more of a wooden fence where you must turn left onto another unmarked narrower trail. From here, you will now be walking towards the red cliffs.
There may be branches and smaller paths that look like trails but do not follow them but continue on your left for about 0.3 miles.
As you get closer to the cliffs, look for yet another fork, where you need to take the right that leads up into the cliffs. From this point, it is a short trek up with a slight incline to the Birthing cave.
You will find more people at this junction, so it is easier to stay on track. Keep climbing for another 0.1 miles, and you’ll reach the cave.
The cave interior resembles a heart-shaped depression in the cliffs from a distance; Here, the cave ceiling curves up to a point, with the cave’s base also coming to an end.
From the entrance of the Birthing cave, you can turn around and look out for sweeping views of the red rocks of Sedona. You can go to the higher levels passing through the shrubs at the entrance for better views, but you will have to scramble up to get there.
From here, there is more room to enjoy more spectacular views of the landscapes.
Note that the ground can be slippery, and there is nothing to hold. So make sure you have a firm footing and wear good-quality hiking shoes.
Going to higher levels of the cave is optional and only recommended if you are not afraid of heights and comfortable moving around there as the ledges are narrow, and it is a steep fall from the top if you are not careful. You can admire the vistas from the entrance of the cave itself.
GETTING BACK DOWN TO THE TRAILHEAD
Once you’re done climbing the cave walls and enjoying the epic views, retrace your steps back to the Long Canyon Trailhead, which will take about 30 minutes if you stay on the right track.
The trail could be more well-defined, so pay close attention while retracing your steps, taking a left at the first turn. Follow that path, which will lead you to a larger trail going right. Keep going on this, and you will arrive at the parking lot.
Most travelers who have a hiking experience can complete the trail and be rewarded with some of the best views in the Birthing Cave Sedona hike.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE HIKING THE BIRTHING CAVE SEDONA
Leave No Trace – Practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace, which means packing out what you bring to the hiking trail, being considerate of other hikers, and staying on track.
It is best to wear fully covered clothing as there are cacti with long and thick thorns and animals like rattlesnakes and other insects.
Since the trail is exposed, wear a hat and sunglasses, and carry water and sun protection.
Most importantly, wear a good pair of hiking shoes to facilitate a more leisurely hike overall.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIRTHING CAVE IN SEDONA
IS THE BIRTHING CAVE HIKE DIFFICULT?
Most Birthing Cave Sedona is straightforward, mainly on a wide flat trail. The final descent into the cave is challenging, as you will have to navigate through a steep, narrow path lined with cacti and rocks.
IS THE BIRTHING CAVE SEDONA DOG-FRIENDLY?
Dogs are allowed on the Birthing Cave trail as long as they are on a leash.
HOW LONG IS THE HIKE TO THE BIRTHING CAVE IN SEDONA?
The hike into the birthing cave in Sedona is two miles roundtrip, and it takes about two hours to do the walk and also spend some time enjoying the views and taking pictures.
DO YOU NEED A PERMIT OR HIKING THE BIRTHING CAVE?
No, you do not need any permit or a parking pass to access the trail or park at the parking at Long Canyon Trailhead, where the path to Birthing Cave starts.
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