Broken Arrow Trail

Distance3.34 mi
Elevation Gain404 ft
My Time1 hr 20 min
DifficultyModerate
Closest TownSedona
Food NearbyWildflower

Broken Arrow Trail

After a disappointing non-finish at a crowded Cathedral Rock I made my way over to the Broken Arrow Trail. Now the Broken Arrow Trail was a bit different. To start I was pretty much the only one on the trail and, more importantly, I could make it to the end! It also turned out to be one of the most beautiful hikes I have been on.

Getting Started

The Broken Arrow trail has a dirt parking lot down a bit of a dirt road. Make sure that you get to the parking lot and not on the four wheel road as that won’t go well. The trail begins as a pretty flat hike that heads through some trees before it opens up to a large flat and solid rock area where you will need to follow some cairns to make sure you are headed the right direction. This first opening gives you a good preview of the views that are to come.

An early view from the Broken Arrow rail shows two large rock formations in the distance.

The Middle Section of Broken Arrow

As you continue past the first rocky opening the trail becomes a mixture of dirt trail that makes its way through trees and brush and the occasional rocky open space. Signage and cairns are going to be very important on this hike. There are a couple of trail intersections and about a half mile up the trail there is a wide dirt opening where the trial gets a little hard to follow. There are also some large rock sections that get hard to follow along without finding the cairns on the ground to point you in the right direction.

An example of the dirt trail on the Broken Arrow trail.   Trees and bushes surround the trail with large rock formations in the background.

The trail does have a pretty steady incline throughout this middle section but nothing that is too hard to handle. It is more of a stair step pattern with a bit of a hill and then a flatter area followed by another hill. While the total elevation gain is around 400 feet for the 1.5 mile trip out the grades never get above the 20% mark.

Devils Dining Room and the Views

So apparently there is a section called the Devils Dining room that is a 90 foot sinkhole that driving tour visits. I didn’t see it on the walking tour as I think the hiking trail steers you away from it to avoid falls. A good time to talk tell you that there will be a series of 4 x 4 vehicles brining vehicles up the trail that don’t really get in your way but you can hear them.

The views for the second half of the hike are some of the most amazing I have ever seen. There are some large and flat rocky sections that you can stand out and be completely surrounded by limestone cliffs for 360 degrees. It is truly astonishing and had me in awe and I have seen a lot of views on my hikes.

Being by myself I got to spend a bit of time here and really take in the uninterrupted view. It really was stunning for my first full hike in Arizona. Here is another shot of what I was looking at.

The view from about halfway through the Broken Arrow Trail. The cliffs in the distance bathed in sunlight were just amazing rising above a field of green trees.

Finishing up

After those views I had a bit of a hop in my step to finish off the hike. From the above view it is only about a half mile to the end of the trail and it is pretty flat. There will be one more small hill to get you to the top but nothing too hard to handle. The top is another flat and rocky area with plenty of room. It is also the last stop on the jeep tours so make sure to keep an eye out for them.

I didn’t think the views could get much better on this hike but like usual I was wrong.

The view from the end of the Broken Arrow trail has an amazing view.  Between two tall cliffs the view is down into a valley of green trees and shows more large rock formations in the distance.

The views from the top are stunning. It was at this point that I decided I needed to take another trip to Sedona in the near future. This entire trail just had me in awe and I am so glad that I did it. If I would have been able to finish Cathedral Rock I wouldn’t have come to this one and I think this was a better hike!

This is an out and back so time to head back to the start and enjoy the views all over again on the way down!

Bonus Video

As I told you I am experimenting with video on this trip. Here is a break down on the Broken Arrow trail. Today’s experiment is adding some commentary and a couple of on camera cameos! I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to get updates when I post. Enjoy!

Fancy Edit

The Hikers Edit

For you serious hikers who are looking for what the trail itself is like here is a video for you!

Elevation and Distance

If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 3.34 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 404 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 4,626 feet. I was also moving for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Effort

This one wasn’t too bad. It was a pretty consistent uphill grade with a couple of steeper sections but plenty of places that flattened out to give you a bit of a break on trail. Here is the step count from my Fitbit.

The step count from the Broken Arrow trail was 7,749 steps according to my Fitbit.

Terrain

This trail was split about 50/50 on walking on a dirt or clay trail through some woods and walking out on some large boulders. There was nothing technically difficult about the hike other than some of the elevation gains and being able to navigate with cairns. I would suggest a good hiking shoe with grip to handle both situations.

Access

The Broken Arrow trailhead is located down a short dirt and rocky road. Any car should be able to make the drive as long as you take your time. The trail is located on Morgan road and is a combination 4 x 4 and hiking trail. There is room for about 20 cars in the parking area and I did not see any restroom facilities.

Wrapping up the Broken Arrow Trail

What an amazing hike. It wasn’t so difficult as to not enjoy it but it is hard enough to feel good about completing it. The views were just absolutely amazing. While you aren’t climbing to the very top of a mountain the variety of rock formations keep the view different for every foot of elevation you gain.

I am so glad I did this hike and would suggest it for anyone who visits Sedona. If you don’t feel like walking it, you could always book a Jeep tour and have the benefit of a tour guide explaining it all to you as well. What a wonderful way to spend my morning in Sedona before moving to the next stop on the Great Southwestern Road Trip.

I have added this hike and all of my hikes to the interactive map page you can find here. If you have any suggestions for hikes or comments feel free to email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com or you can follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

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