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Running the Red Rocks: Best Trail Runs in Sedona, AZ

Sample 6 different trail runs, from short to long, through Sedona's iconic red rocks.

Trail Running Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Girdner -> Aerie -> Outer Limits Loop
Photo: Greg Heil


Sedona, Arizona’s towering red rock cliffs and mystical vortices are famous around the world, making it a premier desert destination for spiritual types and adventurers alike. If you’re heading to Red Rock Country for the adventure more than the spiritual element, you’ll find all manner of options here in Sedona. From hiking and trail running to rock climbing and mountain biking, Sedona is one of the best places to adventure in the Desert Southwest.

Sedona's interwoven trail system teems with people looking for their own personal dose of red rock desert adventure. Hikers flock to the popular overlooks while mountain bikers challenge themselves on death-defying descents. But as a trail runner, a nearly limitless multitude of route possibilities open up before you.

With the advantage of covering more ground in a shorter amount of time than most hikers, you'll be able to quickly gain a reprieve from the crowds and find some solitude on Sedona's more remote trails. Often after running just a mile or two from the popular trailheads, you'll find yourself in relative solitude. The singletrack twists through low pinion pines and spiny cholla cactus, traverses elevated red rock slabs, and sometimes scrambles straight up the near-vertical red rock domes that dominate the landscape. Sedona is otherworldly and getting to experience this landscape as a trail runner is an unparalleled experience.

In this guidebook, you'll find a sampler platter of routes to help you get started exploring Sedona by foot. A few of these loops, such as the Airport Loop and Twin Buttes Loop, are shorter and will help you dip your toes into Sedona singletrack. Others, such as this excellent route linking Girdner, Aerie, Mescal, and Outer Limits, will prompt you to stretch your limits on a long run through undulating terrain. Still other routes in this guidebook are technical trails most often traveled by mountain bikers, and others lead to the tops of the tallest mountains in the region.

Whichever trail you choose, you're guaranteed to have an incredible run through Arizona's magical Red Rock Country!

Routes included

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