Backpacker Magazine Sedona, AZ: Baldwin Loop to Templeton to Cathedral 

Snag views of a red-cliffed valley and stand toe-to-rock with iconic 1,000-foot sandstone towers on this 4.9-mile, half-day adventure.

Our Apps

Map Tools

Share Trip
  • E-mail Trip
  • Embed Map
  • Social Bookmarks
    more bookmarks...

Download To

Create a Trip
* Requires a Trip Planner or Elite Membership
Author: Backpacker Magazine
Date: 11 Oct 2011 8:50:51 PM
Source: GPX file
Activity: Hiking
State: Arizona (AZ)
Distance: 4.92 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 1092 ft
Total Loss: 1082 ft
Net Change: 10 ft
Difficulty: 5 / 10
Tags: Arizona, Cathedral Rock, Readers' Choice, Sedona
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

It’s one of the Sedona classics with a cross-country twist. From the Turkey Tank parking lot, take the Baldwin Trail to the Templeton Trail, trace Oak Creek, ascend 600 feet of switchbacks, and follow cairns to the saddle. Circumnavigate the towers and descend the far side of Cathedral Rock to reunite with the Baldwin Trail for the 1.5-mile return.

-Mapped by Lauren Kelley

TO TRAILHEAD: From Sedona, take AZ 179 south 6.7 miles. Turn right on Castle Rock Road. In .4 mile, take the first right on Verde Valley School Road. Go four miles to the Turkey Tank parking lot, on your left.

Position Format: Datum:

Sedona, AZ: Cathedral Rock Loop

Distance: 4.92 mi Points: 486
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Points of Interest


Location: 34.812580, -111.809816
Turkey Creek Trailhead. Start on the Baldwin Trail, which leaves across the street from the dirt parking lot.


Location: 34.822082, -111.807350
At the first fork, turn right, staying on the right side of the Baldwin Trail loop.


Location: 34.822438, -111.799841
Stay right at the junction with the Templeton Trail and trace the river (Oak Creek?)


Location: 34.825445, -111.795092
Still on the trail, ascend switchbacks through crumbly sandstone.


Location: 34.824569, -111.792645
Follow enormous cairns across gorgeous slabs of sandstone, and cross impressive flash flood washes as you wrap around this rock formation, approaching the main trail up Cathedral.


Location: 34.819125, -111.792177
Turn right to follow the cairns to the saddle in the heart of Cathedral Rock.


Location: 34.818188, -111.792004
Head left off the saddle and follow smaller social trails around the smaller towers within the cluster. You are working your way to the far eastern side of the rock formation before you can descend the other side.


Location: 34.815917, -111.801440
Rejoin the Baldwin Trail.


Location: 34.815901, -111.807946
Turn left and cross Verde Valley School Road to return to your car.

Walking toward the saddle

Location: 34.820605, -111.790562

View from the saddle

Location: 34.818881, -111.792284
Looking east toward the Sedona Valley

Cathedral Rock

Location: 34.818630, -111.792433
Crossing a narrow sandstone ledge.

View of Cathedral Rock

Location: 34.822506, -111.799686
from intersection of Baldwin and Templeton Trails, at creek level.

Comparable Trips

Comments  Post a comment
0 Trip Comments