Location: Sedona, Arizona. It’s a 5.5 miles hike with 1050 ft elevation gain
We were super excited for this hike, for me, it was partly due to the grand finale of the fun of exploring the caves.
We got to the trailhead around 8.30 am, but it was too late. The parking at the trailhead was very limited and it was already full. We were expecting this as we had read it on the other blogs.
We also read about Debbie the trail angel who graciously offers rides to the trekkers in her nice clean read van! We backed out and looked for her and there she was at the entrance of the parking lot. She told us to follow her to the overflow parking which was about 2 miles away. We parked there and she gave us and a few others a ride back the trailhead. All with a big smile and without asking anything in return! There was a tip jar so we tipped her well. She gave us a tip to take a jeep rad for return, which would be easier and faster if we were short on time.
We followed her advice and it helped us a lot with our afternoon plans of hanging out at the Tlaquepaque – Arts & Shopping Village for a lazy stroll and great food!
The first part of the hike was less steep, we reached the seven sacred pools in less than an hour. It was easy was a fun hike. We spent a good amount of time there just hanging and taking photos.
Next hour or so was the hike through the soldiers’ pass. Since our end goal was to explore the caves, we were keeping an eye for the arrow that was supposed to be on the ground made with rocks. There is no official trail sign to go to the caves.
The entire trail had many off-trails which looked like the main trail so it was easy to get lost to one of those. Downloaded AllTrail trail map was very helpful for us and it helped us stay on the right trail. I highly recommend downloading your maps before you start this hike.
There was a steep climb to the caves after we passed the arrow. Someone recommended we stay on the right when we get up to the caves which helped us. It definitely was easier to navigate the trail up from the right side.
We finally made it to the caves. The cave on the left was awesome for the views of the entire valley and the cave on the right had a way to get in via a few steep rocks, We were able to explore the caves from inside once we got up!
We spent a lot of time exploring the caves and finally took the jeep road back after the seven sacred pools.