Cathedral Rock - Back O' Beyond Trail

Sedona, Arizona 86336

Cathedral Rock - Back O' Beyond Trail

Cathedral Rock - Back O' Beyond Trail Professional Review and Guide

"The Back O' Beyond Trail approaches Cathedral Rock, a Sedona landmark, from the north. The trail first arrives at Courthouse Butte Vista, a large, flat slab of slickrock. From Courthouse Butte Vista, various formations loom in the distance, including Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte to the southeast.

It is also a beautiful spot for viewing the details of Cathedral Rock. The trail then climbs to the Cathedral Rock saddle, an area that separates the two main portions of this formation. From the saddle are close-up views of the imposing 1,000-foot Cathedral rock Spires. To reach the saddle requires hiking experience and is not recommended unless you are a competent hiker."

Cathedral Rock - Back O' Beyond Trail Reviews

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Easy at the bottom, but more difficult at toward the top. We brought our dog and she loved it, but don't bring a dog if you plan to go to the top. The steep flat rocks make it difficult for a dog to climb it.
This was my first Sedona hike and it was awesome but a little harder than I expected. I would rate the trail a moderate difficulty level because there are steep areas where you have to climb a bit, if you choose to hike to the saddle. Well worth the effort though and I actually thought that the steeper section was more thrilling than scary or dangerous. Wear good hiking shoes though.
Great view from the top, a little more difficult at certain points than I thought.
This was a great short hike. At the top you get spectacular views looking out and the towering rocks are impressive. I agree with other posters that it is harder than easy. Just make sure you wear good shoes and be prepared to use your hands and feet to get you up (and especially down) some of the steeper areas.
Very nice views at the top of this hike. I would also agree that this is a rather technical hike. Going up is the easy part but coming back down can be a bit of a scramble. It should be rated harder than "easy" that's for sure. Also whoever clocked the mileage on this hike should check again. It's 0.7 miles to the top of the trail (according to the trailhead sign) with the option of also doing the Templeton Trail that crosses paths with Cathedral near the bottom. There's absolutely no way that this trail is over 3 miles round trip even though I didn't officially clock it. All in all a very nice hike with many options, but the description provided by this website is very misleading at best.
It's a bit of a scramble but well worth the trip. The views from the notch are incredible! It's a little more difficult for us older day hikers. The sign at the bottom describes it well. I'd do it again.
We hiked Brins Mesa this morning and Cathedral Rock this afternoon. Both are rated easy to moderate. Cathedral Rock is a very technical hike -- at times, it is almost like hiking the Precipice in Acadia National Park -- and should be rated moderate to difficult. You need great faith in your hiking boots gripping power and this is a hike where you use as much your hands and knees as your feet. Challenging, fun,great views, especially from the saddle. Came down from the top in the afternoon in a major rain/sleet storm.

Cathedral Rock - Back O' Beyond Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
625 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
USGS Sedona
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018