With miles upon miles of grippy red dirt and stunning views around every bend, Sedona is an excellent place for any level of rider, including beginner and novice shredders. There are mellow, pedally trails like Bell Rock Path and there’s slightly more technical – but still manageable – singletrack like Llama and Chuckwagon. If you’re a beginner mountain biker, you’ll love riding the easy mountain bike trails in Sedona!
Sedona also happens to be one of my favorite places to ride and while I’m not exactly a beginner, I LOVE riding the tamer trails. They pass by incredible vistas and the tougher sections are fun to session if you want to work on little rock gardens, drops, or kickers.
I know that as a newbie mountain biker it can be hard to know which trails to ride and what to watch out for so hopefully, this guide will serve as an inspiration and resource for your next mountain bike trip to Sedona.
Here’s a complete beginner’s guide to mountain biking in Sedona including the best easy trails and beginner-friendly loops.
(There’s a good chance that affiliate links are scattered throughout this post. If you click on one I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you and I’ll definitely be using it to buy bike gear.)
Beginner FAQs for mountain biking in Sedona
What is the elevation of Sedona?
Sedona is situated at 4,350ft, which is actually quite high if you’re coming from a lower elevation. It’s easier to get sunburned and dehydrated at higher elevations, so be prepared!
What kind of bike do I need?
Anything from a hardtail cross-country bike to an all-mountain/enduro full-suspension bike will do on the easier mountain bike trails in Sedona. You do not need (or want) a downhill bike. If you’re looking to rent a bike, check out my post on where to rent mountain bikes in Sedona.
What about e-bikes?
e-bikes are not allowed on most mountain bike trails in Sedona. TrailForks (my go-to app for navigating mountain bike trails) lists whether individual trails allow e-bikes, so make sure you check before attempting to ride an e-bike on a trail in Sedona
What should I bring with me on the trails?
Snacks, lots of water (ideally a hydration pack with a 2-3L bladder), a phone, spare tube, multi-tool, and a hand pump. See my posts on What To Carry In Your Pack and Essential Mountain Bike Gear List for a more detailed list of what to bring with you on the trails.
How do I know where to ride?
Download the TrailForks app then use the links and info below to navigate!
When is the best time to mountain bike in Sedona?
Sedona is prime during the shoulder seasons of March-May and September-November. Riding is still good over the winter months as long as there’s no snow. I wouldn’t recommend trying to ride in Sedona during peak summer months because temps can easily top 100°.
NOTE: The only ‘true’ beginner/easy mountain bike trail in Sedona is Bell Rock Path. The link-ups below are some of the easiest loops in Sedona but don’t expect them to be sidewalks. There will be rocky features, steep climbs, and technical sections that may need to be walked.
The best Beginner-friendly trails & Loops in Sedona
Dry Creek is located out near West Sedona and it’s the most beginner-friendly network in the area. That being said, Sedona is NOT the most beginner-friendly destination (see above), so keep that in mind. There will be rocks, exposure, and tricky features.
This area is also very spread out and bailing is not always an easy option depending on where you are. Before you head out, make sure you have a route planned, plenty of water, and a map.
HOW TO LINK-UP DRY CREEK
Below are three easy(ish) mountain bike loops to do around Dry Creek:
Easy Girdner Loop
Beginner | 4 Miles | 438 ft +/ –
This is one of the most beginner-friendly and easy mountain bike loops in Dry Creek. It’s 4-miles and relatively flat with a fun descent down Saddle Up. If you want to add more riding to this loop, tack on Roundabout at the end.
Cultural Park – Girdner Parking > Girdner > Stirrup > Saddle Up > Girdner > Optional: Roundabout
Girdner Outer Limits Loop
Beginner/Intermediate | 11.4 miles | 1,036 ft +/-
If you want a bigger day out in Dry Creek, try this fun loop. It mostly features Girdner as a climb and Outer Limits as a traverse and descent. Outer Limits has some great flow through forested area, but the last section of Outer Limits has several steep downhill switchbacks and a bit of exposure, so keep that in mind.
If you’re looking for something even tamer, opt for Axis as a descent instead, which will take you back to the start at the Cultural Center.
Cultural Park – Girdner Parking > Girdner > Rupp > Cockscomb > Outer Limits (or Axis for easier route)
Beginner/Intermediate | 12 miles | 1,058 ft +/-
Mescal is one of the most beautiful trails in Sedona. It runs along the shelf red rock base of Mescal Mountain and the views out over Dry Creek are stunning. It is rated black on TrailForks, but if you are an adventurous beginner, go for it! There’s some minor exposure and a few tricky spots that are easily walkable. The last quarter of Mescal is a rocky descent with several switchbacks, so check your speed.
The other major trail of this loop is Chuckwagon, which is one of the iconic beginner trails in Sedona and a great loop to add to Mescal. Start with Chuckwagon since it’ll be the most taxing on the legs. If you’re not up for 12 miles, skip Chuckwagon and just go straight to Mescal.
Dry Creek Trailhead > Chuckwagon > Mescal > Aerie (lower) > Cockscomb > Dawa > AZ Cyprus (or OK Alternative > Snake > Girdner
Looking for more of a challenge? Check out my Complete Guide to Mountain Biking in Sedona for harder loops and everything else you need to plan your Sedona trip like where to stay and the best restaurants to dine at.
Village of oak creek
The Village of Oak Creek is technically still considered Sedona, but it’s a bit off on its own to the south via route 179. This area has some of the best mountain biking in Sedona, though, so it should definitely be on your radar. It’s also home to the stunning Bell Rock and views of Cathedral Rock.
HOW TO LINK-UP VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK
Here is a great beginner-friendly loop to do in the Village of Oak Creek (VOC):
Sedona Beginner Loop
Beginner | 9 miles | 766 ft +/-
This is a great beginner loop in Sedona. Bell Rock Path is super mellow and picturesque and a good introduction to Sedona slickrock riding. From Bell Rock Path, you’ll head over to Llama, which is one of my favorite easier trails in Sedona because of its minimal elevation gain and beautiful views. There are also some tricky sections that will most likely need to be walked (or sessioned if you’re up for it!), but all-in-all it’s very ridable and fun!
Finish with an easy lap around Big Park Loop or head back to the car.
Bell Rock Parking > Bell Rock Path > Llama > Little Horse > Bell Rock Path > Phone > Bell Rock Path Bypass > Big Park Loop
I only recently discovered the trails in central Sedona and now they’re some of my favorite! There’s a good mix of beginner/intermediate trails and more advanced technical riding. This is a great zone to explore with multiple levels of riders since all the trails basically start and end at the same place.
HOW TO LINK-UP CENTRAL SEDONA
Below is a great beginner-friendly loop in Central Sedona:
Central Sedona Beginner/Intermediate
Beginner/Intermediate | 5 miles | 531 ft +/-
This is a good loop for beginner/intermediate riders who like a bit of a challenge. The Adobe Jack climb is straightforward for the most part with a few punchy ups and one steep pitch. The traverse along Jordan is very scenic with lots of rock slabs. Take your time and enjoy it!
Javelina is the descent. It’s rated black on TrailForks, but if you go slow and take your time it’s very manageable for the adventurous novice. There’s really no big features and it’s actually quite pedally. If you don’t feel comfortable taking a black trail, head back down Adobe Jack. It’s a fun descent!
Adobe Jack Parking > Adobe Jack > Jordan > Javelina > Crusty
Sedona Mountain Bike Park
The Sedona Mountain Bike Park is a great place to hone your skills and work on fitness if you’re just getting into mountain biking. Its got several flow lines to work on cornering, a beginner jump line if you want to practice getting air, a pump track, and more. Spend a few hours here in the morning and then go hit the trails!
Directions: 525 Posse Ground Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336
Sedona Mountain Bike Rentals, instruction, & Camps
Whether you’re just testing out the wonderful waters of mountain biking and don’t yet have your own set of two wheels or you left your bike at home, there are a handful of places in Sedona that rent mountain bikes. Check out my post on where to rent bikes in Sedona and if you need a bike rack for your rental car, Thunder Mountain and Absolute Bikes can hook you up with those, too.
Mountain Bike Instruction & Camps
If you’d like to get a little mountain bike coaching in while you’re in Sedona, you have some great options:
Trek Dirt Series: Trek Dirt Series usually offers at least one coaching clinic in Sedona each year. Check out their schedule and sign up!
Ninja Mountain MTB Performance: These guys offer coaching and performance clinics throughout the US, including Sedona. They have top-notch coaches and can help you with any skills from cornering to sending drops.
Sedona Mountain Bike Academy: Sign up for a private and group lesson with Sedona Mountain Bike Academy. Their instructors are both skilled and super fun!
And there you have it! A beginner’s guide to mountain biking in Sedona.
If you have any questions or comments about the easy mountain bike trails and loops listed above, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below. Happy trails!
Hi there! My name is Becky and this is my bike travel blog. I’ve always loved exploring the world on two wheels and it’s my mission to help others do the same! My first love is mountain biking, but I’ll never say no to any two-wheeled adventure.