Near the Village of Oak Creek, the Courthouse Butte Loop is a pleasant 4.2 mile trail circling Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. It is best to do this hike in the early hours of the morning as it can become very hot and has little shade to offer. Always take a hat and plenty of water to avoid heat stroke and dehydration.
There is ample parking at the trail head just off Hwy 179, however you must display your Park pass to avoid getting a ticket. Passes can be purchased at the trail head through an automated vending machine that accepts credit cards. From here you take the main trail the heads directly towards Bell Rock. The trail is well marked at intersections with signs and with stone baskets making the trail as you move along.
You will come to a central intersection and from here you can take the loop going East or West, the choice is yours. Or you can spend a little time exploring Bell Rock which has many climbing trails as well as a Vortex. Just make sure you’re wearing shoes that have good traction on rocks as parts of the climb can be tricky. We recommend Altra Trail Shoes.
The trail loops around both Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte and on the far East side of Courthouse you will drop into a dry river bed. Depending on the time of year the river bed may or may not have water in it. None the less it’s a good place to stop and have a break. A little further North on the trail you will come to Muffin Rock also known as “UFO Rock”. It’s hard not to miss because it looks like a giant muffin. If you go around to the north west side of Muffin Rock you can gain easy access to the top. From here you have a view of the Verde Valley.
Be mindful that while on this trail you will intersect with other trails such as the Lama Trail and Big Park Loop, however each intersection is clearly marked with signs to point you in the right direction.
Sedona AZ Hiking Trail Round Trip: 4.2 Miles
Hiking Time: 2.5 hours
Photo Credit: Mark Schiefner
Camera: Nikon D810 & Sony a6000
Things to bring:
- Snacks or Lunch