Home Sign in with Facebook
or Login with Email

BEST OF PHOTOS iPHONE / ANDROID FORUM DEALS search

Cathedral Rock Big Loop

Consensus:    (details)
 4.7 from 6 votes
  Difficult from 3 votes
Your Opinion:
Stars:  
Rating: -none- change
Rank: #3 in Sedona
#12 in Arizona
#194 Overall
Featured Ride near
“An all-encompassing loop with some moderate riding, some challenging riding, and incredible views.”
Michael Ahnemann on Feb 20, 2014
Getting There     GPX File     Print
12.3 Miles 100% Singletrack 1,145’ Ascent -1,144’ Descent 3,965’ Low 4,464’ High
Restrictions
This ride crosses the popular Cathedral Rock Trail, which is hikers-only, and gets people up from the nearby trailhead to the top of Cathedral Rock. Pay attention and be courteous here - it's an incredibly popular area for hikers, notably less experienced hikers. You'll likely get a few questions or comments from incredulous people asking if you've really ridden your bicycle to this spot!
Overview
This is the ride to do if you just want to do one thing in the Cathedral Rock area, and you're a confident intermediate or advanced rider. This loop has it all - nice flowy trail, technical rock sections, great scenery, and a couple of more advanced sections.
Description
Start at the Bell Rock Vista trailhead. To find the start point, head back down the short access road you just drove in to your parking spot. Cross the highway, and you'll see singletrack starting right at the end of the highway. This is the short connector that gets you to the start of Slim Shady Trail.

This one is definitely rideable by intermediates. Less experienced riders might walk a few short sections, but it's a nice flowy trail without too much to trip you up along the way. The trail surface is mostly red dirt - more dirt than rock on this one and definitely smoother than many of the other trails in the area.

After about 2.5 miles, Slim Shady intersects with Templeton Trail. Turn left down the hill onto Templeton. Templeton is more difficult than Slim Shady - it's still worth doing for intermediate riders but they'll find themselves walking a bit. The first section from Slim Shady is fairly mellow, with only a few very short rocky areas, but mostly just twisty red dirt cruising. The trail turns to 100% red rock as you contour around and cross the Cathedral Rock Trail.

The descent from Catherdral Rock area is the trickiest part of the trail, though most of it is rideable without terrible consequences if you fall. You'll follow several switchbacks and ride or walk over a sustained rocky section before reaching the bottom. Here, you'll be rewarded with a much more lush area along Oak Creek. There are plenty of spots for a dip if you're hot, then a rocky technical section to the end where Baldwin Loop starts.

Much of the riding on Baldwin is intermediate, but there are a couple of challenging spots. It's a loop that you can start at any point and go in either direction, though it's shown counter-clockwise here, and that's probably the best direction.

Starting from the intersection with Templeton Trail, it's a flowy cruise on soft red dirt at first. In 1/4 mile, you'll pass a small parking lot, and after that, the trail climbs and gets rockier. There's a nice vista at the high point with familiar views out across the area. Once the trail heads downhill, you'll encounter a few challenging spots on the descent (if you're headed CCW). You can bear right onto Highline Trail for an extreme downhill challenge.

Otherwise, this section of Baldwin is a great place to work on technical rock handling skills. Everything comes at you gradually so you can size it up before taking a plunge, and the consequences aren't as high as in other trails in the area.

The trail eventually winds through a flat rocky section back to the starting point at Templeton Trail. Once back to Templeton, make your way back up the rocky climb to the Cathedral Rock area. Go back through the busy intersection where the hiking trail comes up, go another 100 yards, and look for a trail leading down from Templeton, marked by white paint dashes on the rock. This is Cathedral Rock Connector Trail, a short but sweet slick rock ride down to the bottom. There are some fun moves to practice on, rideable, by intermediates if not a bit challenging.

Next, you'll connect with Easy Breezy, which is just as it sounds for the most part. It's a mix of soft dirt and a few somewhat rocky, but rideable sections, as it meanders its way through tree cover with some nice shade. The first section of trail starts out a little rockier than the second section as it runs along the creek bed. It then crosses a usually-dry creek bed several times with a little roller-coaster feel in and back out of the creek bed. You'll cross HT Trail, then meet up with Templeton Trail.

Ride This section of Templeton a short way and look for Hermit Trail, a short simple connector leading to Coconino Trail. Coconino connects back in with Slim Shady. Complete your ride by retracing the first section of Slim Shady back to the start.
View in 3D
Bell - #1 T-Shirt
$30.00
57% off
$12.99
at Jenson USA
Pearl Izumi - EM Road N 1 Running Shoe - M...
$114.95
25% off
$86.21
at Competitive Cyclist
3T - Doric Team Seatpost
$169.95
53% off
$79.99
at Competitive Cyclist
Cateye - Stealth 50 GPS Cycling Computer
$149.95
13% off
$129.99
at Competitive Cyclist
Giro - Ambient Gloves
$44.95
33% off
$29.99
at Backcountry
Santa Cruz Bicycles - Tallboy LT Carbon X0...
$6199.00
15% off
$5269.15
at Competitive Cyclist
Capo - Thermo Roubaix LF Gloves - Men's
$39.95
20% off
$31.96
at Competitive Cyclist
The North Face - Single-Track Hayasa II Tr...
$109.95
40% off
$65.97
at Competitive Cyclist
Pearl Izumi - EM Trail N 2 Trail Running S...
$119.95
20% off
$95.96
at Competitive Cyclist
Crank Brothers - b8 Multi Tool
$19.95
25% off
$14.95
at Competitive Cyclist
Lezyne - Stainless 12 Multi-Tool
$39.99
25% off
$29.99
at Competitive Cyclist
Shimano - WH-MT65 Wheelset
$549.99
73% off
$149.99
at Jenson USA
MTB Project scours dozens of stores to
bring you the best bike deals!
Today

100° | 71°
Tomorrow

100° | 70°
Thursday

97° | 70°
Friday

97° | 70°
Saturday

97° | 71°
Recent Conditions
Jun 22
dry
Add a Condition Report | View All »
COMMENTS
OTHER RIDES NEAR HERE
5.0 (4)
Spectacular scenery covering many singletrack trails.
near Sedona, AZ
4.8 (5)
An epic, unique adventure that most would consider more of a hike than a ride...
near Sedona, AZ
4.5 (4)
A fast, fun, and scenic intermediate tour of the Courthouse Butte area.
near Village of Oak Creek (Big Park), AZ

YOU AND THIS RIDE
Your To-Do List: Not on it   Add it! | Your Full List »
Your Check-Ins:
  -none-
Add a New Check-In | View All »

Share This Page
Improve This Page
Add Photo or Map Symbol
Edit Description or GPS track

PHOTOS of Cathedral Rock Big Loop
 4.6 from 5 votes
Susan & Lily riding The Baldwin Trail (Sedona, AZ)
 4.5 from 4 votes
Midway on The Baldwin Trail Loop (Sedona, AZ)
 4.0 from 4 votes
Susan rides the nice slickrock benches on the Cathedral Rock Loop (Sedona, AZ)
 3.7 from 3 votes
riding along the base of cathedral (Sedona, AZ)
 3.7 from 3 votes
At the base of Cathedral Rock (Sedona, AZ)
 3.3 from 3 votes
slickrock drop (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
The start of the ride (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Cathedral Rock (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Riding the ridge (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
At the base of Cathedral Rock (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Cathedral! (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
At the base of Cathedral Rock (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Smiles on Slim Shady (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 3 votes
A view from the HT-Templeton intersection. (Sedona, AZ)
 3.0 from 2 votes
A scenic cruise on the Coconino Trail (Village of Oak Creek (Big Park), AZ)
 2.0 from 3 votes
On Templeton (Sedona, AZ)
© 2014 Adventure Projects, LLC Terms | Privacy | About Us