Airport Loop Hike
Debbie and I went on a beautiful hike the other day. The airport loop hike is about 4 miles and took us 3 hours to finish. Luckily we had a nice breeze with us. This is one of the few loop hikes in the area. It circles Airport Mesa and gives you fantastic views of Courthouse Butte, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Thunder Mountain and Coffee Pot Rock.
The start of this hike is at the Airport Vortex. Which I highly recommend for awesome views at sunset. The Vortex isn’t much of a hike though. It would take you about 7 minutes to get to the top for your 360 views.
The Airport Loop hike veers to the right of the vortex and is on the edge of a cliff. If you are afraid of heights this may not be the hike for you. You walk along a narrow cliff edge for a good portion of the way, which at times doesn’t seem like much of a trail. The views are spectacular though. A bonus was all of the wildflowers are starting to bloom. There were so many pretty flowers everywhere. Just loved it!
This hike is scored as moderate and I would say that is accurate. There is some elevation gain as you climb to the top of the mesa heading south into the sun. This can make picture taking tricky, so I recommend going early in the morning. And as we were pretty hot in the afternoon sun, we were wishing we had come to the trail a little earlier in the day. The trail is relatively flat, but you kinda go gently up and down little hills. It’s not too difficult.
We did find it odd that this trails does not have trial markers as most of the trails do in Sedona. There was a portion of the trail on the other side of the airport that was confusing and we thought we were lost for a bit. I recommend bringing plenty of water. Debbie and I actually ran out of water! This is a first for me. The recommended amount of water for a decent hike is 4 to 6 liters. If in doubt always bring 4 liters. Debbie has one of the camelbacks and I was kinda jealous.
You can find a video of part of the hike here.