Watching a glorious sunrise in Sedona is one of the best things to experience when you plan a trip to this desert town.

Packed with gorgeous geological wonders, including vortexes and red rocks, you have plenty of spots to watch the golden, bright orange and yellow sunshine colours transform the panoramas into beautiful scapes.

In addition to Sedona Sunsets, add watching the sunrise to your itinerary, especially if you love early mornings.

The distinct landmarks make these early dawn hours special, surreal views you will remember for a long time.

No wonder photographers from all around the world flock to capture the phenomenal spectacle every day.

If you are visiting Phoenix, check these guides for the best Phoenix Sunrise spots and the best places to watch a stunning sunset in Phoenix.



  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Distance – 6 miles round trip (out and back)
  • Duration – About an hour
  • Parking – Limited parking available from Monday to Wednesday

One of the popular spots for watching a calming sunrise in Sedona is Devil’s Bridge, which can be accessed via the Chuck Wagon trail.

It is a 2-mile trail one way that is primarily flat and takes about an hour. But wear proper hiking shoes as the path has many rocks.

Sunrise in Sedona
Sunrise in Sedona

You have the parking at the Chuck Wagon Trailhead lot off Boynton Pass Road. If you want a shorter trail, you can drive a 4×4 vehicle directly to Devil’s Bridge Trail.

You will arrive at the Devil’s Bridge Trail junction that opens to stunning panoramas of the bridge gleaming with different shades of colours, making it a fantastic Sedona sunrise hiking trail.


  • Difficulty – Easy to Moderate
  • Distance – 2.6 miles out and back
  • Duration – 30 minutes
  • Parking – Available at Jordan Road parking lot

Sedona’s most accessible trail for witnessing a sunrise is the Soldier Pass trail, which passes through different caves, pools, and even sinkholes.

You can access the Soldier Pass trail via Cibola Pass Trail, with a mile total hike length. For parking, you can use the Jordan Road parking lot.

A beautiful sunrise in Sedona

This is a popular trail as it covers two famous landmarks in Sedona, the famous Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole and the Seven Sacred Pools, before arriving at the Soldier Pass Cave.

This trail, open throughout the year, is very popular for mountain biking, running, and trekking.

The best time to do this hike is after rainy months as the pools will be full.

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  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Distance – 1.6 miles out and back
  • Duration – One hour
  • Parking – Limited parking available

One of the trails you can enjoy to watch a sunset as well as a sunrise in Sedona is Sugarloaf Mountain, which you can access using the Teacup Trail from the parking lot towards the Sugar Loaf Loop Trail. 

Since Sugarloaf Mountain towers over a valley of large Sedona red rock formations, it is the ideal viewpoint for watching a sunrise in Sedona.

Sunrise in Sedona

After parking in the Sugarloaf Trailhead parking area, you can hike on the Teacup Trail, a short walk on a flat path that will take you to Sugarloaf Loop Trail.

To reach the top, you’ll climb 250 feet summit, which, although steep, is not very long.

The early morning hot air balloons sail off in the distance as a beautiful sunrise greets you in Sedona and spectacular 360-degree views of the city.


  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Distance – 1.7 miles out and back
  • Duration – 20 to 30 minutes
  • Parking – Limited Parking

Whether it is a Sedona sunset or a sunrise, Doe Mountain is one of the famous places, thanks to its gorgeous 360-degree views at over 500 feet, which you can watch from the flat point.

Doe Mountain is one of the most accessible hikes for watching a beautiful sunrise in Sedona if you are looking for a short trail that will take you about 450 feet.

You will witness a spectacular display of colours above downtown Sedona. You can see Capitol Butte and Verde Valley from here.

The trail begins at the Doe Mountain parking area, and you will pass through the Aerie Trail junction. Continue further on the path, which has a slight incline to reach the top of Doe Mountain in about 30 or 45 minutes.

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  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Distance – 6 miles out and back
  • Duration – 2 hours
  • Parking – Limited Parking

Also known as Bandito Spire, one of the beautiful landmarks in Arizona is Boynton Canyon, which is also a fantastic spot to watch a colourful sunrise in Sedona.

It’s about 6 miles round trip from the Boynton Canyon trailhead and parking lot, easy and ideal for everyone. You will pass through another landmark Kachina Woman, an 80-foot weird tall mushroom-like tower towering over the entrance to Boynton Canyon.

Sunrise in Sedona
Sunrise in Sedona

You will also reach Subway Cave, another spot worth stopping by for its unique formations. 

It is not a popular place for sunrise, unlike the other sunset spots in Sedona on this list, which makes Boynton Canyon trail a perfect spot for a secluded morning hike.


  • Difficulty – Moderate to Difficult
  • Distance – 1.4 miles out and back(3+ miles including the spire) 
  • Duration – About an hour
  • Parking – Limited parking available Monday through Wednesday

Cathedral Rock sunrise is one of the best in Arizona, and it is no surprise, given the gorgeous views you will encounter.

One of the best things about choosing this spot for watching a sunrise in Sedona from this place is that you will witness beautiful panoramas throughout your hike, not just at the Cathedral Rock itself.

Although it is a challenging hike, you will pass through many beautiful points where you can rest and enjoy the views. 

You will arrive at the base of the rock in about some time, opening to stunning views. 

Sunrise in Sedona

You can continue climbing further after you have admired the views here. 

To the left of the viewpoint, there is another smaller trail leading upwards to the Cathedral spire, which feels slightly more challenging than the journey so far, but soon you will notice that it’s only the rocks.

On your way down, be cautious and take care of your steps as they can get slippery. 

If you do both the hikes, it may take about 2 hours and a little more time if you include the time to watch the sunrise and photograph the same.



  • Difficulty – Moderate to Difficult
  • Distance – 2.5 miles out and back
  • Duration – About an hour
  • Parking – Limited parking available Monday through Wednesday

Although the views may not be as famous or spectacular as the others, the Fay Canyon trail offers pretty views of the sunrise in Sedona.

best sunset spots in sedona

At the end of the hike along a rocky path slightly uphill, you will witness a significant rock spire rise in front of you. 

Unlike the arid landscapes familiar on the other trails in Sedona, you can notice the lush green panoramas, which add to the mystic sunrise views. 


  • Difficulty – Difficult
  • Distance – 5 miles out and back
  • Duration – About 2 hours
  • Parking – Limited Parking

One of the challenging hikes in Arizona is Bear Mountain Trail, which is ideal if you are up for an early morning adventure. 

An easy start that gradually becomes tough as the incline seeps in, it is a perfect trail if you love hiking adventures.

The parking is available at the Doe Mountain parking lot, and the Bear Mountain Trailhead is close. 

It is best to start your hike early, maybe around 2 hours before, with good hiking shoes and a headlamp, as you may need a longer time than usual.

At Bear Mountain Summit, you can witness the magnificent panoramas encompassing the red and orange sandstone cliffs, kissed by the glow of morning light.

If you have timed your visit right, you can even witness the colourful hot air balloons floating in the sky, making Bear Mountain one of the best Sedona sunrise hikes!


  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Distance – 1.5 miles round trip
  • Duration – Within 30 minutes
  • Parking – Limited parking available

More popular among the locals than the tourists, one of the underrated spots for watching a sunrise in Sedona is Birthing Cave, which gets its name from the sacred powers and teardrop shape.

The best part is that watching a fabulous Sedona sunrise is an easy hike. 

You can start from Long Canyon Trailhead No. 122, a flat trail running for about half a mile, after which you will arrive at the red cliffs.

The cave is close to the cliffs, which you can access manoeuvring through the bush.

At the centre of the cave, nicknamed the belly button, you will notice the best sunrise views and its distinct teardrop shape.


  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Distance – 3.5 miles out and back
  • Duration – About 2 hours
  • Parking – Available

One of the stunning landmarks in Sedona, Bell Rock, is one of the first red rock formations that you will notice in the city.

Due to its more accessible trail and gorgeous formations, the Bell Rock Loop Trail is a popular spot among locals and visitors.

Sunrise in Sedona

Although it is a short trail, the uphill climbing will make it overall a 30-minute journey to get to the base section of Bell Rock from the parking area.

A vast viewing platform offers splendid views of the sunrise in Sedona. 

For more adventure, you can climb further to reach the upper portions of the rock. Also, check out Courthouse Butte in the early morning sunlight.


Veronica Samuels

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