It’s easy to see why many of Sedona’s most iconic rock formations received their names – there’s no mistaking Bell Rock or Snoopy Rock. But Teacup Rock is a bit more difficult to discern. The best place to view this interesting gem is from the short and scenic Teacup Trail, which crosses the Soldier Pass area before traversing the base of Coffee Pot Rock. It’s a pretty hike at any time of the year. If you get lucky and there’s an early dusting of snow on the ground this month, all the better.
Begin your hike at the Soldier Pass Trailhead in West Sedona. We like to start out on Soldier Pass Trail because after only 0.11 mile, you come to Sedona’s most iconic sinkhole, Devil’s Kitchen. The sinkhole marks the intersection of Soldier Pass, Jordan and Teacup trails. Turn left here, and you are on your way. The trail begins as a Jeep road (be prepared to encounter tour Jeeps, especially on the weekends). Continue following the signs and make your way downhill. There’s an official metal sign for the Teacup Trail 0.28 mile from the trailhead. Hike uphill and in 0.63 mile, you’ll be looking down on the Cottages at Coffeepot, an exclusive gated development. Here the trail hugs the base of Coffee Pot Rock; walk another 0.2 mile, look up and you’re directly under the coffee pot’s “spout.”
The best glimpse of Teacup Rock comes 1.04 miles from the trailhead. Stop and look over your shoulder and you’ll see a cup-shaped rock balanced at the top of a red-rock spire just left of Coffee Pot Rock (appropriately enough). It might not be as obvious to spot as Cathedral Rock or Courthouse Butte, but you’ll find it. And don’t worry if you miss the formation while hiking in this direction. We like to end our hike 1.26 miles from the trailhead at a picturesque red-rock ledge. This area boasts views of Wilson Mountain, the Mogollon Rim, Mitten Ridge and, of course, Teacup Rock. The trail continues another 0.4 mile until it merges with Thunder Mountain Trail, but it doesn’t get any more majestic than the aforementioned spot. When you return to your car, you’ve hiked a very doable 2.5 miles.––Erika Ayn Finch