Van Deren Cabin Trail

If you’re looking for a quick trail to get out and explore Sedona on, look no further. This short but scenic trail takes you past numerous great hikes before ending at the historic Van Deren Cabin. You do not need to purchase a Red Rock Pass for this trail.

Last Known Status: Open Trail type: Out & back Length: 5 miles roundtrip Approx. time:1-2 hours Traffic: Heavy
Permit Needed: No Current Info: Coconino NF/Red Rock R.D. (928-203-2900) Nearest City: Sedona Elevation: 4574'-4709' Best Time: Spring-Fall

Where to go:

From downtown Sedona, head west on Highway 89A for 3.1 miles. Turn right onto Dry Creek Road and follow it north for 2.0 miles to the turnoff for Vultee Arch. Stay right. Follow the paved road 1,000’ past a parking lot on the left. The road turns to dirt and heads northeast.


Trail Description:

Leaving the parking area, the trail turns to (red) dirt as it heads northeast. The trail winds back and forth as it climbs. After half a mile, the trail reaches a highpoint with a pull off before continuing north downhill. Near the bottom of the hill (0.7 miles) there is a small switchback as the trail crosses a wash. At 1.3 miles, you’ll pass the turnoff for Devil’s Bridge. Continue straight unless you want to see Devil’s Bridge, the largest natural bridge in Sedona accessible via a 1.8 mile roundtrip hike. The hike is moderate and climbs only 400 feet. Consider stopping here. Back on the main trail, continue north along the trail. The trail crosses another wash before climbing again. After another series of tight turns, the trail drops and crosses a wash before forking at 2.3 miles. Stay left here to access Van Deren Cabin. Continuing right will take on along the road to Vultee Arch Trail, another hike.

The remaining trail to Van Deren Cabin becomes more difficult. The trail drops into a dry creek bed that must be navigated to reach the cabin. Follow the tire tracks over the slick rock, which may require careful tire placement. The trail crosses the creek and makes a sharp left at 2.6 miles. The trail ends at a parking area at 2.7 miles. Van Deren Cabin is a short hike just a few hundred feet west of the end of the trail. The cabin isn’t much to look at other than a few stone walls and a tin roof but it gives you the chance to see a little bit of Sedona history you won’t find many other places. This cabin was originally a homestead built by Bill Fredericks in 1924.

Notes & Trail Ratings:

Majority of this trail is easy. Only the final 0.4 miles require high clearance. We’ve rated the trail a ‘5’ out of 10 because of the last section. 4-wheel drive is recommended but not a necessity. Because this is a short trail, just over 5 miles to Van Deren Cabin and back, allow for 1-2 hours of driving. Considerably more time can be added by doing one of the many hikes along this trail. 

Video by Lyle Tanner


Page last updated: 12/31/2018