Sugarloaf trail

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 34.87630°N / 111.7934°W
Route Type: Hiking
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required: Less than two hours
Difficulty: Easy Class 1

Route Description

Difficulty: Easy Class 1
Distance: 2.2 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain: 580 feet

The Sugarloaf trail can be done two different ways. You can either climb to the summit following the main trail and return the same way you came or you can return via a loop that continues around the other side of the butte back to the parking lot. Both are equal in difficulty and in distance.
The trail starts at the parking lot and you will be directed either by signs or by rock cairns made by the parks service. Their cairns will be a couple of feet tall and enclosed in wire. The trail starts out pretty mild so most of the elevation gain will be towards the end, although I can say that anybody in just about any type of shape could probably do this trail without much difficulty.
The trail will start out on the southwestern flank of Sugarloaf and works its’ way around to the right and then you will make one more turn to the right heading uphill. The majority of uphill occurs as you climb towards the summit. Along the way will be great views of Capital Butte, Chimney Rock, and Coffeepot Rock. If going in the spring you should see a fairly impressive display of wildflowers as well.

Getting There

From 89A heading South:

Once you reach the intersection of Highway 179 and 89A continue south along 89A for about 1.9 miles until you reach Coffee Pot Drive. Take a right here and follow it for about 0.6 miles and then turn left onto Sanborn. Follow Sanborn for about another 0.1 mile and then turn right on Little Elf Drive. Go another 0.2 miles and then take a right onto Buena Vista Drive. The parking lot will be obvious, park in it and start the ascent.

From Phoenix

Follow I-17 North until you reach Exit # 298 (AZ-179). Follow this exit towards Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon. Right after taking this exit, take a left onto AZ-179 for 14.5 miles. Then turn right onto AZ-89A towards the town of Sedona. From this point you will take a left on Coffee Pot Drive and then follow the above directions to the trailhead.

Red Tape

You will need a Red Rock pass, which are actually excellent deals.

One Day Pass - $5.00
Weekly Pass - $15.00
Annual Pass - $20.00

Weekly and Annual passes can be purchased online here

Rather than creating a very huge list of where you can buy passes either in person or by phone, I will just add a link with all of those details. Click here to see that list.


No camping allowed on the mountain.

When to climb

Sugarloaf can generally be climbed anytime of the year. During winter months Sedona does get snow occasionally but I wouldn't foresee that as a problem on this trail. Spring and fall would be great times to climb, and in the summer just be very cautious of afternoon thunderstorms and the heat, as it can reach 100 degrees.

Weather Conditions

Click the Satellite picture for a video loop of current weather