The Hike to the Top of Submarine Rock
If you love the outdoors, one of the many advantages of living in Sedona is that you’re never more than a few blocks away from the National Forest and the spaghetti-like trail system that opens up the breathtaking and sometimes hauntingly beautiful red rock landscape. One of our favorite hiking areas, literally a couple blocks from our home, is the Mystic/Broken Arrow trail system that winds around Elephant Rock and brings the hiker in touch with such iconic Sedona landmarks as Chicken Point, the Devil’s Dining Room sinkhole, Submarine Rock, and The Chapel of the Holy Cross and Two Nuns. The trail system offers sweeping, expansive views of the surrounding Sedona community yet grants the hiker the feeling of peace and solitude in a wilderness setting. And, there are enough trail options available that the hiker can stitch together a trail to fit the desired length and degree of difficulty.
One of the more scenic hikes in the area that we enjoy is the Broken Arrow Trail hike to Submarine Point. The trailhead is found off of Highway 179 about .6 miles at the end of Morgan Road. The Broken Arrow Trail heads in a southeasterly direction and after about .5 miles, the hiker encounters the Devil’s Dining Room, a sinkhole that is about fifty feet wide and an estimated ninety feet deep. It is fenced off to keep visitors from falling in. It is also the home of a bat colony.
Hikers will most likely notice jeeps along the way since this hike parallels a trail for Sedona jeep tours transporting the excited tourists visiting Sedona every day. About a mile from the trailhead, hikers will encounter a fork in the trail: one path leads to Chicken Point, and the other leads to Submarine Rock. The trail to Submarine Rock continues for about .75 miles in an easterly direction. As the hiker meanders across red rock formations and through lush undergrowth, Submarine Rock suddenly emerges in front of you like an alien spacecraft.
Click an image to view slideshow:
- On the Trail in Sedona On the Trail in Sedona
- Sign Post, Hog Wash Sign Post, Hog Wash
- On the way to Submarine Rock On the way to Submarine Rock
- Signpost and Cairn Shows the Way Signpost and Cairn Shows the Way
- Family on Tour in Sedona Family on Tour in Sedona
- Towering Red Rocks along Trail Towering Red Rocks along Trail
- Greater Earless Lizard in Sedona Greater Earless Lizard in Sedona
- Rock Pool After Rain Rock Pool After Rain
- Pair of Red-Spotted Toads in Sedona Pair of Red-Spotted Toads in Sedona
- Breeding Red-Spotted Toads Breeding Red-Spotted Toads
- Overnight Ant Mounds Overnight Ant Mounds
- Submarine Rock Comes into Focus Submarine Rock Comes into Focus
- The Approach to Submarine Rock The Approach to Submarine Rock
- Jeep Tours at Submarine Rock Jeep Tours at Submarine Rock
- Blooming Agave Blooming Agave
- Agave Flowers Close Up Agave Flowers Close Up
- Submarine Rock Top Submarine Rock Top
- Submarine Rock View Submarine Rock View
- Descending Submarine Rock Descending Submarine Rock
- Below Submarine Rock Below Submarine Rock
- Geode-type Crystals on Sedona Trail Geode-type Crystals on Sedona Trail
- Rock Cliffs along Broken Arrow Trail Rock Cliffs along Broken Arrow Trail
Climbing to the top of Submarine Rock is not as obvious as one would expect. The easiest approach is to follow the jeep trail to the area where the jeep tour groups gather. There are other locations around the base of Submarine Rock further to the north and east, and it’s definitely worth the hiker’s time to do some exploring. The 360-degree panoramic views from the top are breathless. The beauty of Sedona is on full display and is candy to the eyes.
On the return trip, if time allows, a side trip to Chicken Point is definitely worth the effort. For those more adventurous hikers, a loop hike from the Broken Arrow Trailhead to Chicken Point, to the Little Horse Trail and into the Mystic Trail system makes for a great day of hiking. You can end at Poco Diablo Resort, just across SR 179 for a great lunch or dinner, or just a cocktail in their very comfortable lounge.