Fay Canyon Quick Guide
• Distance: 2.5
• Type of hike: Out and back
• Elevation: 383
• Difficulty: Easy
• Trailhead GPS: (34.9016999, -111.8574497)
• Fee: 5$
-Annual red rock pass $15 for a week, or $20 yearly. Grand Annual Red Rock Pass $40 yearly. American the Beautiful $80 yearly Every Kid Out Doors (free for fourth graders)
• Dogs Allowed: Yes, on a leash and waste carried out.
• Shade: Yes
• Family Friendly: Yes, all ages
Fay Canyon Trail is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail in Sedona. The trail features a easy meandering stroll along a box canyon and an arch with a 170’ span on a short steep side-trail. The Fay Canyon trail is family friendly and good for all skill levels.
Fay canyon has spectacular views, but when arrived in late February it had been transformed into a winter wonderland. A fresh blanket of glittering snow on the red rocks, and low laying clouds made for an enchanting trailhead. The path starts across the road, and crosses the boundary into the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, and enters the wooded surroundings of the canyon floor. The path is wide and is an easy stroll as we slowly meandered the short mile towards the back of the canyon. The snow falling from the trees and the runoff from the snow made for a damp, but a beautiful hike in the high desert. After hiking just over a short mile we made it to the end of trail. We climbed up the slide area behind the official end of trail sign to see the sweeping picturesque views of the canyon.
Afterwards we head back about half a mile to find the Fay Canyon Arch. The arch is parallel to the taller cliffs just behind it, so is not easily seen until one is near it. A narrower trail that forks off to the left when leaving the canyon climbs steeply to the base of Fay Canyon Arch. The 200’ is on the east side of the canyon, and is formed in richly colored orange-red eroded Schnebly Hill sandstone.
Fay Canyon is an easy warm up hike that is family friendly, and it is worth the effort to visit while in Sedona. If you like a longer hike you could pair Fay Canyon Cockscomb Loop Trail 5.4mi since the trailhead is also located by Fay Canyon parking lot.
Common hazards found on the trail are falls, snakes, bugs and exposure. While this is an easy hike I recommend trekking poles to assist with climbing. Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. You are only as strong as the weakest person in your group. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water, more than what you need. Make an itinerary with your plan(s) and leave it with someone you trust. Our hiking guides are not a replacement for common sense
⚠️When you visit remember to leave no trace. Leave this beautiful place better than you found it. Treat this natural treasure with the care it deserves and you will have plenty of reasons to come back. ⚠️
Have fun and stay safe!
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