While hiking the Soldier Pass Trail, you can see many landmarks, before reaching the impressive cave. The 6.9 km loop trail near Sedona, Arizona, offers amazing views over the town and the hills and takes you to the Soldier Pass cave. It gains 253 m gradually. It’s also one of the many hiking routes in Coconino National Forest.
It’s a very popular hike and a part of many visitors’ to-do lists. One of the reasons it’s so popular is because, for a relatively easy hike, the hikers get to see several great attractions. There are several ways to do this hike and several detours that you can take along the way. It’s a kid-friendly hike, and you can take your dog with you as well, but make sure to keep them on a leash.
The hike begins from the Soldier Pass trailhead. There is a parking lot as well, which opens from 8 AM to 6 PM every day, but, as the trail is quite popular, you would have a hard time getting a parking spot. If you want to get a spot in this parking lot, you should get in the line early, before the lot opens. Keep in mind that if you park the vehicle here, you need to get it back before the gates are closed. If you can’t park there, you might be able to find a spot at the Jim Thompson Trailhead.
The first landmark that you would reach shortly after starting the hike is the Devil’s Kitchen. Keep hiking and after 0.3 miles, you will reach to the Seven Sacred Pools. This is a great spot to take photos. We recommend going during or after the rainy days, the pools could be filled with water, which will make them even more fascinating. If you go in the summertime, there is a great chance they would be dry.
To get to the Soldier Pass Cave, you have to take the spur trail located at 1.1 miles. It might not be easy to spot the trail that leads to the cave. Some hikers get lost, mostly because they do not pay attention during the hike. If you feel like, you are on the wrong track, don’t hesitate to take help.
There is a fork in the trail; if you take the trail on the right you will reach the cave, and if you take the trail on the left, you will get to Brins Mesa. From there, it’s just a 0.7-mile walk to the cave. It’s a steep path with some rocky sections. If you brought hiking poles with you, they will be useful here.
When the trail ends, you will see three caves, the Soldier Pass cave is on the right. There will most likely be people lining up to enter the cave. To enter this very impressive cave, you have to climb using the piled rocks. Getting into the cave is not that difficult, but getting back down could be a bit tricky.
When you are in the cave, take your time to enjoy this amazing structure. To get back, use the same trail and get to the main trail. When you are on the trail, you can either hike to Brins Mesa or go back to the parking lot.