Vultee Arch

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3.9/5 (22 reviews)
Sedona, Arizona (Yavapai County)
Last Updated: 10/11/2023

Trail Information


Desert Category Icon Desert
Rock Category Icon Rock
Scenic Category Icon Scenic
Wash Category Icon Wash

The Vultee Arch trail in Sedona is the perfect place for your next offroad adventure. The trail runs through the beautiful red rocks, leading to a vast network of hiking trails in the Coconino National Forest and the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. The area is home to many natural wonders, including stone arches, natural bridges, pinnacles, cliffs, and slot canyons, all waiting to be explored.

If you have a high-clearance vehicle, you can easily drive to the hiking trailheads of Devil's Bridge, Brin's Mesa, Secret Canyon, and Vultee Arch. Even if hiking is your main attraction, off-roaders can take unique photos of their vehicle against the beautiful red rock backdrop along the Vultee Arch Trail. For the best photos, you should take the trail in the afternoon when the sun casts its warm light on Capital Butte and the surrounding ridgelines.

If you want to explore the area's history, head down the trail and take a short side trip on Forest Road 9917 to the nearly century-old Van Deran Cabins. These cabins were used in two movies back in the 1940s: "Riders of the Purple Sage" and "Blood on the Moon." A plaque at the site provides additional history of the previous owners and building materials used.

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Vultee Arch offroad trail is situated on the north side of Sedona, Arizona, and measures 5 miles in each direction. The trail comprises flat bedrock and protruding rocks with various small steps and ledges with small levels of off-camber. There are also a few dry wash crossings that may have water during a storm.

Before enjoying the beautiful scenery, you must conquer the gatekeeper obstacle at Waypoint 2. Navigating over this narrow ledge will give you an idea of your vehicle's capability to navigate the rest of the trail. Although not a technically difficult trail, overcoming the ledges and steps will boost a new offroad driver's confidence. Vultee Arch is suitable for most stock, high-clearance 4x4 vehicles.

The trail's southern end has heavy traffic due to hikers from the Dry Creek parking area heading to the Devil's Bridge trailhead and local offroad/Jeep tour companies.

Once you reach Vultee Arch Hiking Trailhead, it's time to turn around and get a completely different perspective while heading out.

Trail Reviews

3.9/5 (23)
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Rated 4/5
Visited: 11/11/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

I reviewed this trail due to the entrance obstacle in May 2021. I ended up going on the trail with a LC200 on 33s and armor months later and no issue. Visited today, same vehicle. Went over the left side of the obstacle, and my rock slider scraped a bit, but otherwise no big deal. Exiting the trail, however, I slightly high centered and the center skid plate scraped the rock. Easy going from entrance to the end. Slow going in rocky areas but other than dodging tour jeeps a fun trail.
This trail guide's difficulty was changed on 10/15/2023
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Official Crew
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Rated 5/5
Visited: 10/05/2023

We are updating the trail guide and video to provide the most up-to-date information. Rating is increasing to a solid 3. To be published soon! The gatekeeper will prevent low-clearance vehicles / cars from getting on the trail. It will also challenge high clearance Stock 4x4 vehicles. But, if you can get over that, your vehicle will have no issues on the rest of the trail. My stock rubicon on 33s scraped bottom going over it in both directions but more on the way out.
Trail Review: Vultee Arch - Todd Harkins
Trail Review: Vultee Arch - Todd Harkins
Rated 4/5
Visited: 05/18/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder

Not really “hard” but more difficult than the description. The rains this year have exposed a lot more rocks. There for it’s slow going. Still a very beautiful drive and definitely worth the drive!
Temporary Closure
Rated 3/5
Visited: 01/15/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Harder


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