After a short drive down a relatively easy red sand and dirt off-road trail, the fun really starts with a sizable but rounded off ledge preventing less capable vehicles from accessing the majority of the trail. You'll continue onto the first patch of red slick rock that you'll find throughout this 4wd trail; however, the most challenging parts of the trail are still to come. The trail is well maintained so it's not too bumpy, but it's also designed to be challenging with steep hills and slick rock areas. There are plenty of places to stop and do some sight seeing, which you'll definitely want to do thanks to the amazing scenery. The off-road trail can also get crowded, especially on the weekends, making some spots difficult to pass through even if your following the discreet directional arrows found at most intersections. Fortunately there are plenty of pull off areas near the narrower parts of the trail. Also, be sure to watch out for the Pink Jeeps and other 4wd vehicles chauffeuring tourists around the trail; they tend to travel in packs. You'll also need to be aware of people on foot who are occasionally on the four-wheel drive trail.
For the majority of Coconino National Forest no permit or pass is required; however, if you plan to stop in any of the "improved" areas you will need to pick up a pass, and there is a high concentration of "improved" areas around Sedona. Also, be sure to stay on the designated roads and trails as much of the vegetation and rock formations are fragile.
1. Broken Arrow Trailhead (0.00 mi)
The trail is straight ahead from here. The trailhead is at the end of Morgan Road near the southern end of Sedona. Many people coming here are hikers, so it is common to see regular vehicles near the trailhead and in the parking lot.
2. Parking (0.10 mi)
This is a great place to air-down before heading in, and air-up on the way out. There's also a trash can and informational posters in the parking area. This is also where the Broken Arrow hiking trail beings.
3. Speed Bump (0.10 mi)
This speed bump is actually a decent step up at the beginning part of the Broken Arrow Off-road Trail, and will prevent low clearance vehicles from continuing down it. It's also where hikers cross the road and is intended to make you slow down and stop for the pedestrians.
4. Ledge (0.30 mi)
The ledge is to the right and is the first big obstacle on the trail. If you can't get up it, or are too timid to even try, there's a tight turnaround straight ahead. This ledge keeps less capable vehicles out of the majority of the trail, and for good reason as the adjacent sign spells out. The sign has information about the 4x4 trail and warnings of its potential danger. This ledge is the edge of a red slick rock area that you can play around on with the rest of the trail to the southeast corner.
5. Hiking Trail Parking (0.50 mi)
This is another parking area for those who don't want to park at the trailhead parking and have a vehicle capable of reaching this point. You can hike to this point from the first parking spot, and considering you need a decent 4x4 vehicle to get to this point anyway, the only reason I can think of to stop here is if you get overwhelmed by the off-road trail and decide to hike instead.
6. Intersection to Hiking Trail Parking (0.40 mi)
Go straight at this intersection to continue on the Broken Arrow 4x4 Off-road Trail, or you can turn right to head to the hiking trail parking area.
7. Split (0.60 mi)
Stay right at as the trail splits at this point, even though both sides will get you to the same spot. There even an arrow directing you to stay to the right as a way to help prevent traffic jams on this narrow 4x4 trail.
8. Broken Arrow & Submarin Rock trail Crossing (0.90 mi)
This is a hiking trail intersection. Watch out for hikers heading to and from Submarine Rock.
9. Intersection from Chicken Point (1.00 mi)
Stay left at this intersection, as you are directed by the directional arrow. This is because to the right is a narrow and very steep set of stairs that are part of the return path from Chicken Point. As with the Split, it's meant to prevent traffic jams on the most difficult part of the trail.
10. Intersection to Submarine Rock (1.10 mi)
Turn left (east) to get up close - or on top of - Submarine Rock, but if not interested in this amazing rock you can stay right (south) to continue on down the trail. I'd recommend going left, but if you're unsure of your ability to climb the next obsticle, you'll want to turn around and head back at this point.
11. Submarine Rock Hill (1.20 mi)
To get to Submarine Rock, you must climb a hill that is basically a rutted and stepped boulder at the far side of a dry river wash. If there's a heavy rain you'll want to avoid this area, as flash flooding could catch you off guard. Also keep in mind, this is the only way to drive back out from Submarine Rock.
12. Submarine Rock Parking (1.30 mi)
There's limited parking right up next to Submarine Rock, but there is additional parking off to the side of the 4x4 Off-road trail as you approach this massive rock formation. If it looks full, your best bet is to stop, back into a spot off the main road, and hike in a short way. You cannot drive on Submarine Rock, so if you want to explore it, plan on climbing up on foot. If you're not good at climbing, you may just have to enjoy it from the parking area.
13. Deep Wash (1.40 mi)
If you skipped Submarine Rock, you still have an opportunity to drive through the dry river wash that divides it from the main off-road trail. Without good clearance, you may find your bumpers getting scraped as you navigate your way through this crevice.
14. Not so Deep Wash (1.50 mi)
Another dry wash, not as pronounced as the previous one, but still worthy of noting. This is one of the easier obstacles throughout the Broken Arrow Off-Road 4x4 Driving Trail.
15. Curves (1.60 mi)
The trail starts to get extra curvy as this point, so it's wise to mind Broken Arrow Trail's 5 mile-per-hour speed limit and take it slow. Otherwise, you could easily and suddenly come upon someone or something unexpectedly; like someone who's decided to "chicken" out on the most challenging part of the trail.
16. Intersection to Arrowhead or The Back Side (1.70 mi)
Turn left (south) at this intersection to head to the most scenic part of the trail. To the right (northwest) is the most challenging part of the trail, but since going left has no outlet you'll be coming back this way anyway. If you're feeling uncomfortable at this point and decide to "chicken" out, you can turn around and head back (northeast), but you'll be going against traffic that won't be expecting you. Fortunately, there are lots of pull-out spots along the way that will allow you to let other vehicles go by.
17. Chicken Point Hill (1.80 mi)
The most dangerous part of this hill are the blind corners at both ends of it. Fortunately, at the bottom there's room to pull off to the side to get out of the way of anyone descending. Even better, at the top there is a large area where your entire group can pull out to let others pass; which is good because two-way traffic is common in this area with it being the only way in and out of the most scenic part of this off-road trail.
18. Arrowhead (2.00 mi)
This spot is officially known as Chicken Point (a name that also applies to the broader area), but if your stuck on the name Broken Arrow, you're probably looking for an arrowhead at this point. You're in luck because there's a big rock formation shaped like an arrowhead right at the end of this part of the trail! Plan on spending some time here to take in the amazing scenery, after which you'll be heading back to the most challenging part of the trail.
19. Bolder Climb (2.30 mi)
As you head into the more difficult, western splinter, of the Broken Arrow Off-road 4x4 Trail, the first obstacle you encounter is an incline up a large but smooth boulder. However, it's only a small taste of what awaits you ahead.
20. Round-about (2.40 mi)
This round-about has a big rock protruding up out of the middle of it, that some people say looks like a mushroom, and thus like to call it Mushroom Rock. You be the judge. You can get a nice scenic view of Submarine Rock - and the surrounding cliffs - from here that will help you better understand why it's called Submarine Rock (in case you haven't figured it out by now).
21. Slick Rock Area (2.40 mi)
This area, that technically starts at the boulder climb, is full of red slick rock formations and one particularly short, but challenging hill climb (or descent if you're in a Pink Jeep). There are also steps of various sizes that you get to climb and descend for almost half a mile as you continue to approach the most exciting part of the trail.
22. Slick Rock Area End (2.80 mi)
This is the second half of the red slick rock area. It provides more steps and crevices to navigate but don't get too comfortable after making it through this area; the hardest part is yet to come.
23. Devil's Staircase (3.00 mi)
The most challenging thing about these steps, besides looking like an ominous rock crawling cliff, is that they are very steep in a couple of spots. Take it nice and slow. If your vehicle has fared well so far, this shouldn't be a problem as long as you stay in the tracks, keep the gears in low, and the foot smoothly on the brake.
After you get passed these steps, you'll encounter an intersection on part of the off-road trail you've seen before. Turn Left (north) to get back to the trailhead.
24. Split (3.40 mi)
Just as when you came in, stay to the right as the trail splits. This time, you get to take the other side of the split, as the directional arrow directs you to stay to the right to avoid oncoming traffic.
25. Submarine Rock (1.30 mi)
Technically not part of the trail, but certainly worth a look, since you'll be able to park right next to it. You will have to hike up a short but steep hill to get on top of it.