If you’re looking for a great, easy hike suitable for all ages, try the Fay Canyon Trail! Ilchi Lee speaks of this lovely spot in The Call of Sedona and offers an energy meditation, “Communicating with Trees,” to be used for a unique experience with the old forest of oak trees found here.

oak tree

This all-weather hike has a relatively flat elevation through much of the main trail and takes you through a picturesque canyon on the side of Bear Mountain in a 2.3 mile (3.7 km) round trip. More adventurous types can take the side trail which branches off to the right at just over 0.5 mile (0.8 km) for a steep, difficult trail to Fay Arch and Indian ruins. (Recommended for sure-footed more experienced hikers only.)

How to get to Fay Canyon Trailhead:
Zero out your trip odometer and begin at the roundabout in Highway 179 known as the “Y” near Uptown Sedona. Travel southwest on Hwy. 89A toward Cottonwood. Turn right on Dry Creek Road. Drive to the stop sign at 6.1 miles (9.8 km) where it intersects Long Canyon Road and turn left onto FR 152C. Travel to the 7.7 mile (12.3 km) point where it intersects Boynton Canyon Road and turn left onto this stretch of Boynton PASS Road. At the 8.2 mile (13.1 km) point on odometer, the parking area will be on your right.


  • Trail open year round.
  • Difficulty: Moderate. Stay alert noting entry and exit points and take care at the top ledge, which drops off several hundred feet.
  • A Red Rock pass is mandatory.
  • Usage: Moderate to Heavy but there is ample parking (as well as restroom facilities).
  • Elevation: Gain 300 feet; Elevation Min. / Max: 4500 to 4800.
  • Length: about 1.2 miles (1.93 km) each way, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) total.
  • Facilities: yes.
  • Dogs allowed on a leash.

Special Tips:

  • Hiking shoes or boots are recommended.
  • In springtime, the weather on the trail can be sunny and warm, or cold and blustery, so plan accordingly. In summer, this trail will 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.

By Lynn A. Trombetta