Start your morning off at the gorgeous and awe-inspiring Cathedral Rock, a famous landmark on the Sedona skyline located within the Coconino National Forest. This natural attraction is one of the most photographed sights in all of Arizona, a redbed sandstone formed from coastal sand dunes near the shoreline of the ancient Pedregoso Sea. Here you will find a summit elevation height of 4,921 feet, as well as several interesting geological ripple marks along the way and even a black basalt dike within the first saddle point in the rock formation. Any way you take this trail it is usually known more as a rock climb than a hike, a mostly unshaded and steep hike that ranges anywhere from 0.7 to 2.9 miles, depending on where you start and finish.
The basic Cathedral Rock Trail is a 2.9 mile loop that provides scenic views and moderate exercise, as well as year-round access and parking. Your group may choose to take the shortest 0.7 mile trail, which is quick but very strenuous, with a sudden 608 foot elevation rise and near vertical climbing segment in the Midsection. It is well-marked however, and provides the best hike in the area in the afternoon when the overhangings provide shade. Most trails are the width of a sidewalk and provide plenty of stones to sit on and take in that amazing panoramic view. Your group may also choose to take the Back o' Beyond Trailhead to get directly to the saddle points in Cathedral Rock and spend your time here just soaking in the sights!