Sedona boasts a quaint small-town charm that you seemingly stumble upon in the middle of the desert. Despite the size of the city, the natural landscape that surrounds it is quite large. Around 1.8 million acres of national forest encircle Sedona.

It could take you weeks to fully explore the nature in Sedona. One of the most popular ways residents and guests can take in the sights is by hiking in Sedona. There are over 200 trails for you to explore in the area.

However, knowing how to hike in Arizona is important. The heat in late spring, summer, and early fall can be brutal. This guide will discuss the best ways to prepare for Sedona hiking trails.

Bring Lots of Water

We can’t stress enough that you need to bring water on your desert hiking trip. The last thing you want is to have your visit cut short because you or a loved one are dehydrated. You need to bring an adequate amount of water even if you’re out for a short time.

It’s recommended to drink around eight to 10 ounces of water for each mile you hike. Keep in mind that’s the reference for a moderate hike. You should double that amount if the weather is hot or the hike is strenuous.

You don’t have to bring water in numerous plastic bottles. Some ways you can easily transport water include:

  • Hydration backpacks
  • Water belt systems

You can also carry a small water filtration system to safely drink water from nearby creeks or lakes.

Get the Right Supplies

Water isn’t the only thing you should bring when hiking in Sedona. There are a few other essential items you should ensure you bring along. What you choose to throw in your pack depends on what the weather is like and how long your hike is.

Some of our top items to bring include:

  • Hiking clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Navigation devices (map, GPS, compass, etc.)
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen
  • Knife
  • First aid kit
  • Food
  • Hat

Doing your research ahead of time will ensure you bring what you need and no unnecessary items.

Research the Trail

There are many Sedona hiking trails you can explore of varying length and difficulty. Be honest with your skill level and the abilities of those coming on the adventure with you. The last thing you want is to choose a hike that’s well beyond your scope.

Unfortunately, there’s no standard of difficulty when looking at hiking trails. What might be easy for an experienced hiker could be challenging for someone new to the activity.

One way to help you figure out how to hike in Sedona is by looking at websites like All Trails. You can find the following information on their website or mobile app:

  • Length
  • Elevation gain
  • Route type (i.e., out and back)
  • Difficulty
  • Photos
  • Directions
  • Current weather

What’s great about All Trails is you can read reviews from people who’ve hiked the trail before. Their opinions will give you an unbiased snapshot of what the trail is like. You can use that information to determine if the trail you’re looking at is a good choice for when you visit Sedona.

Stick to the Trails

It might be tempting to go “off-roading” when you’re hiking, especially if you see something cool in the distance you want to see up close. You should always stay on identifiable routes and sanctioned trails when you hike.

Trails just aren’t there to keep you safe and on course. They’re designed to preserve the wildlife and ecosystem of Arizona. Don’t damage your surroundings by not following the rules.

Don’t Breathe Heavily

You should be able to walk and talk at the same time while hiking. Your body won’t get enough oxygen if you’re huffing and puffing. Failing to get enough oxygen could cause the following:

  • Depletion of your energy reserves
  • Make you feel sick
  • Cause your legs to feel heavy

Not all hikes are flat and easygoing. If you’re walking at an incline, walk at a comfortable pace.

You may think that you’re moving too slowly, but you’ll feel energized for far longer. Take small steps as you move through challenging areas.

Take Breaks

It’s recommended to take a five to seven-minute break for every 30-60 minutes of hiking. This short rest period can eliminate around 20-30% of metabolic waste that’s built up in your legs. Metabolic waste can cause your legs to feel sluggish and heavy.

Sitting down and propping up your legs above your heart level can help the waste drain from your legs. You should also do the following during your break:

  • Eat a snack
  • Drink water
  • Enjoy your surroundings

Fuel Your Body

As we mentioned earlier, you should bring plenty of water and snacks on your hike. A hike isn’t the time to diet or skimp on what you eat. You should drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Snack on salty snacks such as nuts can give your body enough electrolytes to keep going. Reward yourself with a large dinner at the end of your hike to replenish what your body has lost.

Be Patient

You shouldn’t exceed your normal level of physical training or activity when hiking in Sedona. Limit your heat exposure and exertion if you suffer from the following health conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Knee problems
  • Asthma

Be kind to your body and don’t push yourself if you’re feeling negative effects from your hike.

Explore the Great Outdoors by Hiking in Sedona

Hiking in Sedona is a wonderful way to take in amazing vistas and breathtaking scenery. Preparing for your upcoming adventure by researching the best ways to prepare for desert hiking is key. From hiking clothes to sunglasses to water, put your right foot forward when you visit Sedona.

Booking a wine tour is another fun way to explore nature in Sedona. Wine Tours of Sedona are here to help you experience the region in a new way. Check out our tours and book one for your next trip.

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