The Bell Rock Loop trail is just a little under 1 mile loop that's out and back in Sedona, Arizona. It generally takes half an hour to complete with kids. Within this loop, there are entrances to other trails, such as to Cathedral Rock, which allows you to go up the mountain side.
There is another trail with a similar name, called the Bell Rock Pathway Trail, which is a 3.6 mile out and back that links to two other trail heads called Bell Rock Vista and Little Horse.
The Bell Rock Loop trail provides a direct pathway to the Bell Rock formation and is absolutely beautiful, and will allow your family to get beautiful family photos in front of the stunning rock that looks like a bell, which everyone poses for. It provides beautiful panoramas of the surrounding red rock city of Sedona.
Overview of Bell Rock Loop Trail
In any photo of Sedona, you'll find an image of the Bell Rock formation, which provides a "bell" silhouette close to Highway 179. This trail has slight elevation gain near the end of the loop and you'll find lots of people on the trail on any given day.
For families with young kids, this is a beautiful and breathtaking.
- Length: 0.8 miles
- Elevation: 203 feet
- Route Type: Out and Back Loop
- Usage of Stroller: Up to a quarter mile into the trail
There are also options for hiking to the top of the formation, but I wouldn't recommend this for kids younger than 10 years old.
Best Tips for Bell Rock Loop Trail with Kids
As a mom of four young kids, you are probably wondering what to expect on this trail.
It is definitely a place that you can get absolutely beautiful photos with the family, but the hiking trail has no shade and is pretty long for those that are uninitiated to hiking.
Here are a few considerations I would recommend that you review before planning your trip.
Parking at Bell Rock Loop Trail
In order to get a parking spot without waiting, you should get there a little after sunrise. For those going for the shorter Bell Rock Loop Trail, the wait right after sunset is generally pretty quick.
Yavapai Point Parking is located 0.5 miles North and has 20 parking spots that can serve as overflow parking for the Bell Rock Loop Trail.
However, when we went around spring break, or wait was no more than 20 minutes to get to the trail.
You can purchase a daily pass for all of the Sedona, Arizona trails for around $5.00. There are kiosk machines at each of the parking lots that accept credit card only.
There are bathrooms at the trailhead in the parking lot. However, there are no rest areas or bathrooms on the trail itself.
Things to Know About Bell Rock Loop Trail with Young Kids
Go Counter Clockwise When Hiking
I would recommend going counter clockwise to avoid sun in your eyes, which would help keep the kids excited about finishing the trail.
There is no shade on the trail. While there were trees sparingly on the trail, shade was few and far in between. In order to avoid the brutal sun, go in the morning or right before sunset to ensure that the heat doesn't upset the kids.
Bring water, sunscreen, and download the map.
Bring Lots of Water
While the trail is relatively short 0.8 miles, I would recommend bringing water for the kids.
We purchased water packs for the kids that they carried on their backs.
This is the one we got for our 5 and 7 year old that fit perfect.
- 【Keep 4 Hours Insulated】 KUYOU Hydration backpack have thick insulated layer, the insulated bladder compartment keeps your liquid cool or hot for up to 4 hours, and built-in clip for fixing water bladder in position.
- 【Lightweight & Durable & Festival Choice】Hydration water pack features rugged ripstop nylon and sturdy metal zipper. Weights just 16oz, included 1.5L water bladder pouch and small object pocket. Adopts anti-splash water surface, and is specifically designed for those who want to stand out from the next music festival, carnival, etc.
Not Stroller Friendly
While the beginning part of the trail is stroller friendly, once you turn off from the pathway, it gets rocky and bumpy. If you have a stroller that has lots of grip, there are areas that require lots of strength and muscle.
You can expect to turn around half a mile into the trail if you bring a stroller.
Bell Rock with Young Kids
In order to do the entire trail, I would recommend that kids no younger than 5 years old with 2-3 trail hike experience go on this trail.
Ensure that kids have comfortable, broken in shoes for this hike. These are the hiking shoes that we got our little kids for the hike.
- Safety: Anti-collision wrapped rubber toe cap and slip-resistant rubber sole provide better protection and grip for your kids during outdoor sports with confidence and safety
- Convenient: Designed with adjustable double hook-and-loops. These shoes are convenient for children to put on and take off by themselves and provide a snug fit
Clothing to Wear
Let kids wear lightweight hiking pants or shorts because it will be hot! However, make sure they have their knees covered for climbing things and a potential rock tripping incident.
In addition, I would recommend wearing sleeveless shirts as well as ensuring that all kids have some sort of hat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Bell Rock Trail Loop stroller friendly?
Is Bell Rock trail in Sedona kid friendly?
What's the difference between Bell Rock Trail Loop vs Bell Rock Pathway Trail?
If it is not too hot, I would recommend this hike for kids older than four years old. Bell Rock, while flat in some places, will require some climbing in some parts. Our five year old was able to weather the hike only because we had her hike around the trails in our area prior to the trip. If your kids have not gone on previous hikes, I would still visit, but only plan on hiking maybe a quarter into the loop.