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.
Sedona, AZ: Cathedral Rock Loop
Distance: 4.92 mi
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
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.
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