Boynton Canyon Trail
Road trippers headed to Coconino National Forest and day trippers from Sedona often make pit stops at Boynton Canyon. The flat trail takes about three hours to finish, making it one of the most casual hikes in the area, and the trailhead is 20 minutes west of Sedona by car. Jeep tours rumble along the trail toward Sedona-area canyons, while vortex tours search for rock formations and spiritual energy.
Things to know before you go
Always bring a hat and plenty of water. Sedona can be cooler than the desert at sea level but is still hot and dry much of the year.
The secret cave and Sinagua ruins are off an unmarked trail forking from the main trail at around the 2-mile (3.2 kilometers) mark. Find it—the view from the cave ledge is worth it.
Boynton Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in the region, and also one of the most crowded. Plan accordingly.
Hiking this trail requires a Red Rock Pass (US$5 at the trailhead) or an America the Beautiful Pass.
How to get there
The trailhead is at the intersection of Boynton Canyon Road and Boynton Pass Road, about 20 minutes west of Sedona. You’ll likely have to drive: from Sedona, take State Route 89A through West Sedona, and turn right at Dry Creek Road. Heading north, it will turn into Boynton Pass Road. Continue and turn right on Boynton Canyon Road—if you reach the Enchantment Resort you’ve gone too far.
When to get there
Sedona is a year-round destination, but spring and fall are the best times to get outdoors as the temperatures are mild. Summer is hot but has fewer crowds, while winter temps can reach below freezing. Note that the trailhead can get crowded during spring, with cars flowing out of the parking lots onto the sides of the road.
Where to find Sedona’s Energy Vortexes
A capital of New Age spirituality, Sedona is thought to house major energy vortexes, spirals of energy said to help with healing, meditation, and self-exploration. Three are sought out by visitors south of the city at the Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock rock formations. A fourth, called Boynton Pass Vortex, is just northeast of the Boynton Canyon Trail trailhead. The vortexes are believed to hold different types of energy, with some radiating toward the earth and others skyward—they also make fantastic hiking destinations.
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