As we ascended out of the hot, arid plains we slowly were transported into rocky highlands, followed by stunning prairies.
We wanted to go to Sedona to visit some wineries and finally have our first “serious” hike as a couple. On the scenic 2 hour drive from our home in Scottsdale, AZ, Babygirl drove while I researched and took photos along the way. The agenda was to first hike to the popular Devil's Bridge Trail and then go into town for dinner and wine!
“Devil's Bridge Trail is a stunning 4 mile hike to the picturesque natural rock bridge seen here. 👋🏽Colorful and massive plateaus surround you with vibrant red and orange rocks contrasted with the green vegetation creating some of the most amazing landscapes we’ve ever hiked.
Less than 15 minutes into the hike, I had already taken dozens of pictures, and quickly realized today would be special.
The Trail to Devil's Bridge could be reached two ways.
If you have a jeep or some other off-road vehicle, you can drive it on the rocky mile of desert road to the trailhead. For the rest of us who don’t have souped up off-road trucks, there’s a parking lot. Walking to the trailhead from the lot had the option of a slightly longer winding path along the "off-road." We decided to do this to avoid the vehicles and the dust they kicked up, sharing the trail with other hikers and occasional mountain bikers.
Although not the most stunning part of the hike, the walk to the trailhead was nonetheless some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever seen.
Once we reached the Devil's Bridge trailhead, the volume of hikers increased as the folks in off-road vehicles joined us. This part of the hike is where we started to climb more serious elevation. Around each bend, we found a new vantage to take photos, or some strange rock towers, or…, generally felt like we were transported to another planet.
Honestly, all the red rock and colorful, massive plateaus felt like Mars.
Finally at the top of the hike was the Devil's Bridge.
It was so worth it.
150 feet above the forest below, we thought it might be a little crazy to walk across for a picture. But honestly, the view was too beautiful to pass up.
I guess about 70 other people thought the same thing.
The line waiting to take a picture on the bridge was almost as impressive as the bridge itself.
So, waiting in that line was actually pretty entertaining, kinda like waiting in line at Disney World.
So many people had so many ideas about how they would take their picture. One group of 9 took a 5 min photo shoot with various combinations of friends. One guy did push-ups. Some people had their own professional photographers. One lady blew up a giant number 9 balloon for her son's birthday.
During all this we made friends with a pair of young women who helped us maintain our sanity waiting in this line. We laughed about the absurdity of some of the poses, planned our own pictures, and bonded over The Handmaid's Tale.
Unsurprisingly, Babygirl also helped maintain line order. She’d let people know to “keep it moving” and to start moving to the bridge right after the previous groups were done.
55 minutes later it was finally our turn.
At this point we had agreed with our 2 new friends in line that we’d take their picture, and they’d take ours.
We quickly went through our poses that we had so much time to plan for, and then headed back to the line to head back down. We were complemented by a guy in line that we were the fastest couple he’d seen. Clearly, he was glad we practiced what Babygirl was preaching 😂.
The hike back to the car went much faster. This was expedited by taking the “off-road” although it did get pretty dusty when an off-road vehicle went by.
2.5 hours after the hike we began, we got back to the car. As we left the lot, we passed our two new friends from the line, so we decided to give them a ride to their nearby Airbnb. Apparently, they took an Uber Jeep all the way to the trailhead, but now couldn’t schedule one back. We traded all our photos and then went on our way to the village.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village was our final stop of the day.
This outdoor market, lined with cobblestone paths and decorative arches, featured art galleries, craft shops, and restaurants.
By now it was getting pretty cold. The 90ºF temperatures we left in Scottsdale had dropped into the 60’s and we were completely under dressed. Babygirl decided to go shopping for a jacket while I explored the many art galleries featuring mostly southwestern Native American themes. It was easy to get lost in the narrow passages of the village and its open courtyards.
We now required wine. Our next stop was at Vino Zona, a cozy little space on the second story of the village. We tried flights of wines based on our preferences as our sommelier described each bottle to us.
Now cozy and warm from wine, we went to dinner at El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano. Some traditional Mexican food was just what we needed at the end of this long day.
We finished dinner and I drove the way back to our home in Scottsdale, just in time to go out and party in the entertainment district that night. 💃🏽🕺🏽
QUICK TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO SEDONA
Must have on a hike on devils bridge
2. Layers: It can get cold, but you will heat up while hiking
3. Proper hiking shoes
Tips do hike with kids
1. Dry Creek Trailhead Parking lot (1st come 1st serve)
2. Take a 4x4 to Devil's Bridge Trailhead, avoid the fuss!
3. Bring pleasantly of snacks and water
Best jeep tours (For the casual hiker 😉)
1. A Day in the West (www.adayinthewest.com)
2. Sedona Offroad Adventures (www.sedonaoffroadadventure.com)
3. Pink Adventure Tours (www.pinkadventuretours.com)
1. The temperature is usually 10deg -15deg colder than Phoenix.
2. It can be very dusty on trail, a bandana or mask can help
3. It will be very sunny, headwear and/or sunglasses are invaluable
1. Devil’s Bridge
2. Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village (www.tlaq.com)
3. Winery 1912 (winery1912.com)
Picture tips (picture example for each ask Andrew)
You should try to get pictures at these perfect locations:
1. Dry Creek Vista (on way to Devil’s Bridge Trail Head)
2. Devil’s Bridge Trail (on way to Devil’s Bridge)
3. Devil’s Bridge (expect 20-50 line depending on time of day)