Sedona doesn’t lack difficult hiking trails. The majority of our routes seem to be long, involve steep climbs and include rocky terrain. We are always on the lookout for trails that are suitable for all ages and physical conditions and also provide the total red rock experience (translation: views). The trail that consistently meets our criteria is the unmarked Coffee Pot Trail, which leads hikers to a beautiful spot right under the “spout” of the coffee pot. At only 1.15 miles one way and with a minimal change in elevation, the only thing that you have to worry about is snapping Christmas-card pictures.
To reach the path, begin hiking on Teacup Trail at the trailhead on Buena Vista Drive in West Sedona. Awe-inspiring Capitol Butte towers in front as you begin your journey. The trail meanders through a residential area and moves steadily but gently uphill. After walking 0.32 mile, you’ll come to the junction of Teacup and Thunder Mountain trails. Stay straight and continue on Teacup. The trail heads northeast, and Coffee Pot Rock stands to your left. Sugarloaf Trail meets Teacup after you’ve hiked 0.38 mile but stay straight. You’re looking for a bush on your left that is encircled with rocks, 0.53 mile from the trailhead. Behind the bush, you’ll see a rock cairn and across from it, a trail marker. Once you see it (it’s actually very easy to spot), turn left on the path. You’re now on Coffee Pot Trail.
Like Teacup, Coffee Pot Trail moves uphill, but it’s an easy enough climb that you can maintain a conversation with your companions. The red rocks look enormous here. The trail is studded with prickly pear cactus and broom snakeweed. After hiking 0.85 mile, you’ll reach a slick-rock shelf that feels like an amphitheater with Capitol Butte to the left and Coffee Pot Rock to the right. From here, the trail turns east across more slick rock and leads you along the base of the nearby cliffs. It ends directly under the spout of towering Coffee Pot Rock where you’re treated to expansive views of West Sedona. Look for Airport Mesa and the top of Cathedral Rock peeking out behind it. To your left, you’ll see Mingus Mountain; Sugarloaf Summit is the red rock mound in front of you. After soaking in the scenery, return to your car for a family friendly 2.3-mile hike.