Fay Canyon Trail Fast Facts
Length: 2.5 miles out and back
Elevation gain: 380 ft.
Type: Out and Back
Dogs: Yes, on a leash
Approximate time to hike: ~1-2 hours
Red Rock Pass: Required.
Parking:Fay Canyon Trailhead
Local tip: Arrive early if you want to beat the crowds. The parking lot is large with plenty of spaces, but tends to start filling up by 10 a.m.
About Fay Canyon Trail
Fay Canyon is just a short 10-15 minute drive outside of Sedona, and is only 7 minutes away from the Devil’s Bridge Trail parking lot. Fay Canyon Trail is relatively short and easy enough for hikers of all ages and levels of experience, making it the perfect way to start your morning or cool down after a busy day. The trail offers gorgeous views throughout the hike, and the stream and waterfall at the end are really a sight to behold.
Hiking Fay Canyon Trail
Fay Canyon Trail is a fairly easy trail to hike, making it a great choice for groups with young children or older adults who don’t want to scramble up steep rocks for a nice view. The trail is a loose red powder with enough canopy from the cottonwoods trees to keep you out of the sun. Most of the trail takes you through a small canyon, though the trail itself is very flat with minimal elevation gain.
The “end” of the trail offers breathtaking views of a stream and waterfall, but this is only the end of the official trail, not where your fun has to stop! Once you reach the “end of trail” sign, you’ll find large sandstone rocks that you can scramble up for a nice view down into the canyon below. At this point, you’ll definitely need some good hiking shoes, and be comfortable with scrambling up and down large rock. While this isn’t necessary to complete the Fay Canyon Trail hike, we think it’s definitely worth the extra effort!
On your way back to the trailhead, there is another detour that you can take to get even more out of this trail. Along the way back, you’ll find a detour to the left up to a cave and natural bridge, this marks the detour trail leading to Fay Canyon Arch. While this is a very quick detour, it’s not nearly as easy as the rest of the trail and requires some scrambling. If you’re up for the challenge, the view at the end is well worth your effort.
Quick Tips to Hike Fay Canyon Trail
- Although there is good canopy coverage and plenty of shade on the trail, be sure to bring plenty of water along with you. Sun or shade, hiking 2.5 miles takes a lot out of you.
- Make sure you wear good hiking shoes if you’re going to scramble up the rocks at the end of the trail, or take the detour to Fay Canyon Arch.
- Make sure that you keep an eye out for bears along the trail. While most people never encounter a bear, you should be aware of how to respond if you do come across one while hiking in bear country. If you do encounter a bear, don’t run away or scream. Try to remain calm and back away slowly while talking in a low, calm voice. And of course, don’t feed the bears!
Photography pro tips
Fay Canyon Trail is a beautiful hike that’s photogenic from start to finish. The cottonwood trees overhead and large canyon walls are pretty enough on their own, but the views at the end of the hike are where you’ll really get some great photos. We recommend taking the scramble up the rocks at the end of the trail, and getting a great photo looking down into the canyon below. Your Instagram followers will thank you!