Amazing views on this 3 mile loop trail in Sedona AZ with red rock formations (near and in the distance).
Distance: 2.95 mile loop
Time: 2-3 hours
Start: Bell Rock Vista Trailhead
Difficulty: Medium (Easy if not doing lookout).
Elevation Gain: 202ft
We started from a parking lot on the South side of bell rock (another parking lot on the North exists as well). Parking fee is $5 for a one-day pass or $15 for 3 day pass which works at a few different areas. You can use your credit card and place the receipt in your car window. The trail is clear and wide.
The map isn’t very helpful because it doesn’t even show all the trails (including the loop that we did). At the first split, we stayed left following Bell Rock Path around the left side of Bell Rock (the alternate path is Big Park Loop). At the second trail split, we stayed left again following the Single Track Bypass (the alternate path goes to Courthouse Butte Loop and Big Park Loop). There is a nice bench under a tree just after the split. There are several small unofficial trails heading directly up to Bell Rock. If you want to climb to some great lookout points and still climb safely, wait until you get on the North side of Bell rock and follow the other people and rock cairns to start climbing up.
We climbed up to a decent lookout point – just across from another steeper hill with a tree on top that looked too difficult to climb. It looked like you could climb a little bit higher, but with a light rain and potential for more we wanted to get down soon. The views were amazing – there were clouds hovering around the mountains and we could see almost in all directions.
When we climbed down we continued on the Rector Connector trail to continue our loop around.
It started raining on us and because our car broke down and was being towed to the mechanic (on Christmas Eve), we decided to jog back to our hotel which was almost 2 miles away after completing the hike. We were a little wet and soar by the end of this adventure. Luckily our alternator got completed in time that we had a car again for Christmas day and our return journey the following morning.