You will experience a bit of what roads were like in the horse and buggy days when you explore this trail. It was the mail route used by the post office in those times, giving it the name, the Old Post Trail.

Your hike begins by walking along an old road that is now a hiking trail. At the 0.66 mile (1.1 km) point, the Herkenham Trail branches off to the left. Keep hiking straight to stay on Old Post Trail.

Old Post Trail in Sedona, AZ

Photo courtesy of Lynn A. Trombetta

Soon, the trail begins to climb its way upward into the hills. This is where original maintenance on the road speaks to the long term use and importance of this trail. Earlier road maintenance is evident where the artifacts of built up rock support the sides of the road.

This is the most interesting part of the trail, and it is here you will discover some nice views from the higher sections.

At 1.5 miles (2.4 km) the Carroll Canyon Trail intersects Old Post Trail, coming in from the left. These two trails blend together here and the last bit of the trail is not as interesting. It is best to turn back at this intersection and retrace your steps to enjoy Old Post Trail in the opposite direction as you return to your car. (Note: Check a trail map if you would like to choose an intersecting trail around Airport Mesa and loop back instead.)

How to get to Old Post Trail:

Beginning at the roundabout where Highway 179 meets Route 89A, known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona, travel south on Route 89A toward Cottonwood for 4.2 miles (6.8 km) to the Upper Red Rock Loop Road. Turn left and travel Upper Red Rock Loop Road to Crescent Moon Ranch Park at the 6.0 mile (9.6 km) point. Follow this paved road to the parking area and trail head to your left at 6.2 miles (9.9 km) and park.


  • Trail open year round.
  • Difficulty: Moderate.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 200 feet
  • Length: about 1.5 mile (2.4 km) each way
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  • On warmer days, this trail can be hot, so hike early.
  • Always take plenty of water, especially in warmer weather, and possibly a snack, but please remember, “Leave no trace” and take what you brought along home with you.
  • Take your camera and binoculars to capture the views.
  • Carry a trail map if you would like to explore any other intersecting trail around Airport Mesa.
  • Don’t hike alone and let others know where you’re headed—just in case!

By Lynn A. Trombetta