Cathedral Rock

Rising majestically toward the sky from a red sandstone base, the spires of Cathedral Rock inspire wonder and awe in every visitor. Your first view from the trailhead uncovers the geographic beauty of this monument, as the delicate spires are hidden from view. However the short walk to the base of the rock will quickly tantalize your visual senses as the red and white layers of the sandstone unfold before you and the magnitude of this Cathedral becomes apparent. The first mesa location, which is fairly easy hike to access, is a great exposed location with red rock views from every angle.

This area is very busy and one of the most travelled and photographed locations. The first location wedding option is about a 5-10 minute hike up a trail to the first clearing with beautiful views of the Sedona red rocks. Most wedding ceremonies happen in this area and can accommodate larger groups of people.  More athletic and adventurous smaller groups can make the 30 minute climb up to the saddle.  Its what I call a “lung-buster” but well worth it for the unparalleled red rock vantage point.

Photo Tip:

Due to the exposed nature of this location, there is no shade and on a hot day will feel even hotter. Climbing up to saddle is exhausting, especially when it is 90+ degrees and sunny and takes about 45mins to 1 hour from the parking lot each way. I highly recommend waiting to visit this location closer to sunset and timing a climb to the top properly to get back to the parking area before it gets dark. It’s no fun to climb down if you cannot see the path.  One misstep and you probably won’t make it to the reception dinner – at least not without bodily injury.

**2021 UPDATE** Due to the overwhelming popularity of this area parking is next to impossible. When the lot fills up there are no alternative parking options and they will close the road to all incoming traffic.  Please inquire for another great spot that is just as beautiful.

USDA Website | Google Map Location


Sedona, ArizonaSedona Wedding PhotographerPhotographyHolmanAndrew