Bell Rock is one of the most well-known red-rock formations found in the greater Sedona area. Conveniently located right off Red Rock Scenic Byway (Arizona State Route 179) roughly 15 minutes south of Sedona, just north of the village of Oak Creek, Bell Rock is an easily accessible destination for visitors to the region. The area near Bell Rock is also one of the most popular spots for hiking around Sedona. Here you’ll find the trailheads for favorite local hiking routes like Bell Rock Loop Trail, Bell Rock Pathway Trail, Big Park Trail, Courthouse Butte Trail, and many, many more.
Bell Rock History and Background Information
Bell Rock is a striking landmark that most visitors to the region consider an essential part of the Sedona experience. This remarkable red-rock formation—unforgettably appearing to many pairs of eyes as resembling the shape of, yes, you guessed it, a bell—has long been considered one of the most memorable in all of Sedona and its surrounding area. Bell Rock stands at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, rising almost 500 feet into the air. In addition to its tremendous natural beauty, a portion of Bell Rock’s popularity is due to its location in the midst of several other area landmarks. These prominent sites found nearby include Courthouse Butte, Chapel of the Holy Cross, and Munds Mountain Wilderness.
What’s at Bell Rock
Not only is Bell Rock a favorite spot for photography buffs, who visit from far and wide to snap that perfectly lit shot of this indelible red-rock butte, but the area surrounding Bell Rock is rich in opportunities for hikers—there are even some stretches of path near here that are suitable for cyclists! One of the great features of this area, too, is that there are multiple trailheads found close by, which means that regardless of your enthusiasm, ability, and/or experience, there’s likely a trail here that’s suitable for you.
Popular hikes found around Bell Rock include Bell Rock Loop Trail and Courthouse Butte Trail. If you want direct access to the wonders of Bell Rock, including its summit, Bell Rock Loop Trail is for you. This moderate hike takes you around Bell Rock—and if you want, to its spectacular summit. Depending on which route you select, this hike can run anywhere between 1 and 1.5 miles. For those visitors wanting to include getting up close and personal with Courthouse Butte as part of the Bell Rock experience, Courthouse Trail Butte is for you; this approximately 4-mile hike runs around both famous formations, and contains a whole host of spectacular views along the way.
Located just steps from Red Rock Scenic Byway, Bell Rock is also an easy drive away from all manner of fun Sedona attractions and suitable accommodations. The village of Oak Creek, with its mixture of charming art galleries and fine hotels, is less than 2 miles south of here. The world-famous town of Sedona is just 15 or so minutes to the north. There you’ll find a wonderful selection of attractions, restaurants, tour companies, and lodging options.
Tips for Visiting Bell Rock
- No matter the time of year, finding a parking spot in the two parking lots located near Bell Rock can be a challenge. Most visitors eventually do find a spot, but it often takes several minutes of waiting, a number of trips around the lot, and a whole bunch of patience. If you want to minimize your parking stress, it’s usually best to visit Bell Rock first thing in the morning, when it’s typically less crowded.
- Accessing any one of the many hiking trails found near Bell Rock costs $5. This fee will provide you with a day pass good for hiking at any and all of the trails found throughout the Sedona area. You can purchase this day pass from a machine located near the trailhead (of any local trail)—just keep in mind that these machines only accept credit cards.
- Bell Rock is considered to be one of the best spots around Sedona from which to watch the sunset. If you plan ahead, and are prepared to deal with the search for a parking spot, this is a terrific time to visit Bell Rock.
- No matter which Bell Rock-area trailhead you set off down, chances are your hike won’t have much shade along the way. Regardless of the time of day or year, when hiking near Bell Rock you want to be certain to carry ample water with you. Sunscreen is also an essential resource here.