Red Rock – Secret Mountain Wilderness

Extending north and west from Sedona, the immensely popular Red Rock – Secret Mountain Wilderness is home to some of the most iconic scenery on the Red Rock District of the Coconino National Forest. Originally territory of the Hohokam, Puebloan, Hopi, and Apache, it was made part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1984. It comprises 43,950 acres, and is administered by the US Forest Service.

The 10 Essentials

ACTIVITIES:

  • backpacking
  • bird-watching
  • camping
  • climbing
  • day hiking
  • equestrian
  • picnicking
  • stargazing
  • swimming
  • trail running

HIGHLIGHTS:

Devil’s Bridge and Vultee & Fay Canyon Arches
Spectacular canyons, including Illusions
Numerous archaeological sites, including cliff dwellings and pictographs
Perennial West Fork Oak Creek

HABITAT:

Red rock and sandstone cliffs drop from desert mesas into deep canyons, including perennial Oak Creek with its riparian surrounds.
Elevation ranges from 4500 – 7122’ (Wilson Mountain)

AVAILABILITY:

Open year-round. Check here or call the Red Rock Ranger District for current info on closures and restrictions.

AMENITIES:

60+ miles of established trail open to hikers and equestrians accessible from ~20 designated trailheads
There are no official campsites within the wilderness. Please follow LNT principles.
There are vault toilets and trash bins available at some of the trailheads.

PERMITS / FEES:

No permits or fees for general access. A Red Rock or America the Beautiful Interagency pass is required for parking at some trailheads.
There are several ‘fee-free’ days annually; more info here.
Check the website or call the Red Rock Ranger District for current fee information.

SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS:

West Fork Oak Creek is an ‘Outstanding Arizona Water
Wilson Mountain is a National Recreation Trail

ACCESSIBILITY:

Kid-friendly
Pet-friendly 
No ADA-specific amenities within the designated wilderness; some of the established trailheads have accessible parking & vault toilets.
No public transit 
**NOTE: Several of the designated trailheads are accessible only by high-clearance +/or 4WD vehicles. Additionally, most are too small for horse trailers. Make sure to check trail info before heading out!

NEAREST SERVICES:

Sedona is the closest full-service town.

HEADS-UP!

Risks include: climate- and temperature-related issues such as exposure and dehydration. Black bear, javelina, and rattlesnakes live here. Cell service is extremely spotty, and should not be expected, especially in canyons. Various fire bans or restrictions may be in effect, depending on the season and site.
Check here or call the Red Rock Ranger District for current info.

Flora & Fauna

In addition to the usual desert- and riparian-dwellers, the Red Rock – Secret Mountain Wilderness is also home to these species with special status:

Sedona
64°
Mostly Cloudy
6:42am5:39pm MST
Feels like: 63°F
Wind: 12mph S
Humidity: 54%
Pressure: 29.73"Hg
UV index: 0
TueWedThu
61/41°F
68/48°F
73/50°F

hike fay canyon!

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