Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch Hike

Summary:  A hike up the west side of Oak Creek Canyon connecting to Vultee Arch

Challenge Level:  Hard

Hiking Distance:  About 3 miles from the Sterling Pass parking area to the Vultee Arch parking area

Trailhead Directions:  From the "Y" (the intersection of State Route 89A and State Route 179), drive north on SR 89A toward Flagstaff for 6 1/4 miles. You'll need to find a wide spot in the road to park on the west side. The trail starts at GPS coordinates: 34 56.185' N; 111 44.829' W. This was a two vehicle hike with the other vehicle parked at the Vultee Arch trailhead at the end of FR 152 (see the Vultee Arch information for trailhead directions).

Description:  The parking along SR 89A isn't the best as there is no official parking area. You'll need to find a place where you can park near the trailhead. The trail is steep and you'll climb about 1000 feet and enter a pine forest. Some of the views are obstructed by the dense trees but you will find areas with good views. After you reach the saddle the trail starts down. About 1 1/2 miles in you'll come to the sign for Vultee Arch. You should hike the 1/4 mile down the Vultee Arch Trail to see Vultee Arch. If you only have one vehicle, retrace your steps back to your vehicle parked along SR 89A


Click on the photos below for a bigger view


For those of you who have a GPS unit, I have GPS data available for the hike which include "tracks," the route and waypoints.  

For detailed information on this hike, consider purchasing a copy of Great Sedona Hikes by clicking  HERE.


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Great Sedona Hikes
Last Updated November 29, 2014
Web Page by Bill Bohan (
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