Sedona Secret Canyons
​Sedona Backpacking
An Epic Experience

Trip Details

Type: Backpacking

Trip Code: RRSE

Duration: 3 Days

Distance: 23 mi/37 km

Fitness: 3
Comfort: 1
Solitude: 2

Origin: Flagstaff, AZ

Cost: $950/person

Trip Description:

Our Sedona Secret Canyons Backpacking tour is our essential Sedona backpacking trip.  We will hike into multiple iconic Sedona canyons, high ridges with outrageous Red Rock views,  and explore the 500 million years it took to scult this epic landscape.  Hiking in the shadows of some of Sedona's most iconic peaks, we will explore some of the most scenic and pristine wilderness in all of Arizona, and that's saying something.

As we hike, we'll learn about the wonderful cultural history, likely encounter more than a fair share of the nearly 500 species of animal that inhabit this area including eagles, falcons, bighorn sheep, and listen to the coyotes howl at sunset (which, by the way, is totally ridiculous!).  We will waltz through the dazzling rock formations and observe that epic scale of geologic time and space in one of the most sought-after destinations in the entire American Southwest.

  1. Secret Canyon, Sedona
  2. Coffee Pot, Sedona
  3. Sedona Hiking Trails
  4. Maroon Mountain, Sedona
  5. Wilson Mountain, Sedona
  6. Red Rocks, Sedona
  7. Red Rock Vistas, Sedona
  8. Christmas Colors in Sedona
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Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

The Sedona Secret Canyons Backpacking trip begins on a quintessential Sedona trail that provides some of the best views views of the iconic Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness (a classic Sedona landscape). After several miles of canyon hiking from the trailhead, we'll traverse a short section of a remote, rarely traveled 4x4 road. Our route then takes us near the base of Lost Wilson Mountain to scope scenic and stately Vultee Arch. 

Tonight's camp is in a peaceful forest of Cypress, Oak and Manzanita trees along a spring-fed creek, then day hike to amazing Vultee Arch (optional). After taking our time at the arch to snap photos and have a snack, we'll return to camp. Our first day ends with good food, amazing views, and the anticipation of things to come as we fall asleep to the sounds of nature.
Drive Time: 45 minutes
Distance & Elevation: 8.9 miles, 1000 foot ascent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:

On Day 2 we'll enjoy a relaxing morning and big breakfast, before breaking camp and hiking up a serene canyon bottom with a unique high desert creek. The canyon is adventurous and rugged with logs, rocky trails, and creek crossings. We will cruise into side canyons as our party chooses, discovering Secret Sedona. At the head of the valley we reach a new trail and enjoy amazing views in every direction as we descend into Secret Canyon, the longest and least explored drainage of this vast area. We soon find ourselves hiking at a higher elevation and in the welcome shade of Ponderosa and Fir trees. After another two miles we'll pitch our tents next to a pristine creek, enjoy another delicious dinner, and end our day with a pleasant moon-lit or star-lit cruise along the creek.
Distance & Elevation: 5.75 miles, 500 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:

On our final day we follow beautiful Secret Canyon out of Red Rock-Secret Canyon wilderness. This canyon holds water most of the year, and there’s a chance we may spot deer or javelina crossing the trail in front of us. Beautiful red rock buttes and spires greet us just after exiting the canyon. We’ll pass by the east face of Maroon Mountain and eventually return to our starting point. After finishing this tremendous adventure, we will stop in Sedona to celebrate like a geologist; with libations at a local place in Sedona!
Distance & Elevation: 6.5 miles, 600 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch
​Drive Time: 45 minutes

*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.

What’s Included:
A professional, degreed, licensed and medically trained geologist/guide
All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your geologist/guide will prepare all trail meals)
All food, including a mix of fresh and pre-made backcountry meals
Roundtrip Transportation from your hotel in Flagstaff to Sedona and all activities/attractions
Entrance fees, camping fees, and backcountry permits

Meals: what to expect
We provide all your meals from a light breakfast on day 1 through lunch the last day. Your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of meals on the trail that will fit the day's activity. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

All meals will consist of one entree, prepared by your geologist/guide.  Fresh options will be limited, as backpacking typically requires liightweight, non-perishable foods.  There will be trail snacks that consist of nuts, fruits, chocolate, and other "gorp" style mixes.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

What’s Not Included:
Transportation to/from Flagstaff, AZ
Lodging the night before/after the trip
Clothing, raingear, and footwear
Personal toiletries, sunscreen
Water bottles/hydration bladder
Headlamp or flashlight
Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet

How many people are in the group?
Most backpacking trips in Sedona will accommodate 5 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 8 people plus 2 guides.

Are there age restrictions?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble's scheduled trips.  This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy

How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation , we require an initial deposit of $500 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.  Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-602-904-2536
Travel Logistics

Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Flagstaff, AZ and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Flagstaff. You will want to fly into either Phoenix (2 hour drive) or Flagstaff. Please visit our  Travel Resources  page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.

Where do you meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 4:30pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the host hotel in Flagstaff. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation.  Most trips will depart between 6am and 7am.

*This meeting is not mandatory, but highly recommended, as we will depart early the next morning. If you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can make alternate arrangements.

What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
We will provide all transportation to/from trailheads for the duration of the trip. We will pick you up at the host hotel in Flagstaff and return you there at the trip’s conclusion. Guests staying at the host hotel can leave their cars at the hotel. These hotels will often store your luggage for you, as well. If not, we are happy to store extra luggage at a secure location for the duration of the trip. If you are staying at a different hotel, you will need to check with them as to whether you can leave your car there.

What time will we get back on the last day?
Expect to be back in Flagstaff by 5pm at the latest on the last day of the trip. Some trips will return earlier but we cannot make any guarantees. In general, it is recommended that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.

Trip Dates

2017 Dates
March: 1-3
April: 5-7, 8-10
May: 5-7
June: 13-15
October: 20-22

2018 Dates
March: 1-3
April: 5-7, 8-10
May: 5-7
June: 13-15
October: 20-22

More dates to come soon…
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-602-904-2536 or email us  for details.