Airport Loop

Sedona

A technical, but gorgeous, loop around Airport Butte.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
5.2 km
Ascent
132 m
Descent
133 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.4 km
High Point
1.4 km
Gradient
Airport Loop Map

While the Airport Loop doesn’t make most lists of the best rides in Sedona, for the technically-adept rider this chundery trail is a true sleeper hit.

Description

The loop can be ridden in either direction, although most people recommend clockwise. At only 3.3 miles it’s not much of a ride by itself, but it can easily be connected to the Scorpion / Pyramid route via the Bandit trail.

From the primary trailhead, the loop begins with stunning views of Red Rock Country. The vantage of the valley provided by Airport Butte is one of the best in the region, so bring your camera!

Ridden in this combination, the most exposed section of trail comes first. The exposure on Airport Loop rivals the Hiline trail and even Hangover, and it’s only compounded by the fact that this trail is most definitely NOT bike-optimized. Unlike Hiline and Hangover, this route wasn’t constructed with bikes in mind, so some of the obstacles are very awkward and off camber.

After leaving the truly exposed section, the trail begins to ascend and arguably, only gets more and more difficult. The rocks are blocky and off camber, and yet, despite a few hike-a-bike sections, most of this trail is rideable for a decent advanced rider.

The back side of the loop drops into a lush forested area—a rarity in Sedona. The trail is still rocky, but slightly less so than on the front side. Finally, you’ll finish the ride with a short, flowy descent, that pops out right at the trailhead.

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • In the forest
  • Roots
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area