Southwest

How to Enjoy Bell Rock Vortex Sedona for an Incredible Adventure

May 4, 2022

Southwest

How to Enjoy Bell Rock Vortex Sedona for an Incredible Adventure

May 4, 2022

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Bell Rock Vortex, known for its unique bell shape, needs to be at the top of your Sedona bucket list. Alone, it’s pretty special, but with its proximity to Courthouse Butte and scenic surroundings, an adventurer like you will love experiencing this special formation!

And guess what? There is more than one way to enjoy Bell Rock. As a local, it took me years to figure that out, which is why I’m using this blog to spill all the tea. I’m going to tell you how to see all of Bell Rock’s surroundings, but I’ll also tell you how to get to the top!

That way, you have an easy time planning your trip to Sedona!

Let’s dive in!

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

FREE Masterclass: How to Get Paid as a Travel Influencer

In 60-minutes, I’ll walk you through 5-steps I use to get brands like Mazda, Adobe, REI, and Tourism Boards to pay me to travel the world!

And make sure you check out my other Sedona, AZ blogs:

But Okay, What is a Vortex?

A vortex is a large sum of energy from the universe. Some folks believe that Sedona is like the mecca for vortex energy. Bell Rock Vortex energy is said to be some of the most powerful in the area.

Some other popular vortex hikes you can do include:

Whether you have one day in Sedona or multiple, a vortex is a must-see!

Now that we’re all caught up on the vortex tea let’s get into some things you should know for planning your Bell Rock hike!

girl on the bell rock climb trail in sedona arizona

When to Go & How to Get There

From my experience, Bell Rock Vortex is best enjoyed at sunset because of its 360 views.

Surely, you can enjoy the top of Bell Rock for sunrise, but from my experience, there are some other sunrise destinations I’d consider first:

Keep in mind there are plenty of easy Sedona hikes you can enjoy too!

As mentioned previously, you can use two parking lots to access the trails you need to get to Bell Rock. But if you can, try to park at the northern lot.

I’ve marked on a map for ya (below), don’t worry. Going to the southern parking lot will make your hike longer.

Now, let’s cover the best ways to enjoy Bell Rock!

Insider Tip: For this hike, you will need a $5 Red Rock Pass. But you can avid the pass by having an America the Beautiful Interagency Pass handy — hang that on your car and you’ll be good to go!

Bell Rock Climb

  • Bell Rock Trailhead: 34.8050676,-111.7667896
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 0.8 miles round trip (out and back)
  • Time to Top: 45 minutes to an hour
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet
  • Parking: Limited with about 20 spaces
  • Best Light: Sunset
  • Red Rock Pass Required? Yes or America the Beautiful Pass

To see some of the best views Bell Rock offers, you’ll want to take the Bell Rock Climb trail.

But, fair warning, this hike isn’t for the faint of heart.

You will be scrambling a bit, and at times the trail can be hard to follow.

If you’re uncomfortable with heights, skip this!

We will discuss another option you can use to enjoy Bell Rock Vortex. 

Once you park at the Bell Rock Trailhead, you’ll hop on Bell Rock Access Trail and begin the easy, flat walk to Bell Rock.

It’s about 0.2 miles. Once you’re near the base of Bell Rock, start looking for the sign that reads Bell Rock Climb.

You’ll want to follow rock cairns and the faint trail to the top.

The trail ascends rather quickly—you’ll cover about 200 feet in 0.4 miles.

Wear sturdy hiking boots!

But, all of your efforts will be worth it! Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy unobstructed views of Sedona and feel all that juicy Bell Rock Vortex energy.

Courthouse Butte Bell Rock Loop

  • Bell Rock Trailhead: 34.8050676,-111.7667896
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 3.9 miles round trip (loop)
  • Time to Top: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 357 feet
  • Parking: Limited with about 20 spaces
  • Best Light: Sunset
  • Red Rock Pass Required? Yes or America the Beautiful Pass

If you’re not a fan of heights, the Courthouse Bell Rock Loop is just as great an option!

This trail can be best enjoyed at sunset or early in the morning. 

From the same parking area, you’ll jump on the Bell Rock Access Trail and walk 0.2 miles to the start of Bell Rock Trail.

You can then take a left or right to start your loop!

Taking a left, walk 0.3 miles to the Llama Trail junction. Then, walk Lllama Trail for a mere 300 feet until you reach Courthouse Butte Loop Trail.

This is the loop trail you’ll be taking for about 2 miles until it reconnects will Bell Rock Trail.

The entire loop almost 4 miles and pretty flat! So it’ll be a super easy, scenic hike for you.

Bell Rock Trail Maps

Navigating these trails can be a bit tricky, which is why I’ve created a couple of maps for you.

The map below shows the route you’d take to Bell Rock Climb.

And here is the map for the Courthouse Butte loop.

The blue line indicates your route when you take a left to begin the loop going clockwise!

trail map of courthouse butte bell rock loop in sedona az

Best Bell Rock Vortex Photo Spots

Bell Rock Vortex is one of the most Instagrammable places in Sedona, AZ.

The whole area is so photogenic, so get your memory cards ready!

As far as where to take the best photos, you’ll find that along Bell Rock Climb trail is pretty great for pictures.

So is the top of Bell Rock. 

However, if you don’t want to climb, you can take some amazing images along Courthouse Butte Loop Trail!

Best Friends Lookout Point is a popular photo spot.

Insider Tip: I also suggest going across the street to Yavapai Vista Point! This will give you a different perspective of Bell Rock Vortex and Courthouse Butte, minus the hiking!

What to Bring

Regardless of whether or not you decide to climb Bell Rock, there are a few items you’ll want to make sure you have with you!

Sturdy Hiking Boots

IDK about you, but I am a CLUTZ on trail. And when it comes to hiking in Sedona, tripping on some red rocks is no joke!

To protect my feet, I always wear my Keen Targhees.

I like them because they’re sturdy and have such good grip. That extra grip power goes a long way when you’re doing something like Bell Rock Climb!

Sunscreen

All Bell Rock trails have no shade, so you will be fully exposed to the sun’s harsh rays!

To protect your beautiful skin, get some sunscreen like Elta MD — their UV clear sunscreen does wonders for my acne-prone skin!

Hydroflask

Please remember that you’re hiking in the desert!

You need to stay hydrated and should have a reusable bottle with you.

I always recommend Hydroflasks, especially because their newest ones are extremely lightweight.

Small Pack

Whether it’s a stylish fanny pack or an Osprey Pack, I suggest you have a vessel to carry your belongings!

You’ll want your hands completely free while doing the Bell Rock Climb.

You don’t need anything large. However, if you don’t have pockets, at least have a tiny waist pack on you for your wallet and Apple iPhone!

You should also bring: a cute sun hat, a headlamp and Hydroflask.

Tips for Hiking Bell Rock Vortex

Avoid in the Rain

I would skip Bell Rock’s climb and the surrounding hikes in the rain.

The trails can become slick, muddy, and sometimes unsafe.

Going to Bell Rock for sunset on a clear day will give you the best chance at seeing an epic sunset.

So that’s another reason to do this hike during fair weather!

Get an Annual Pass

If you’re planning a 3 day Sedona itinerary, you’ll probably be visiting some other Sedona vortexes and hikes. Most require a Red Rock Pass.

However, you can completely skip the Red Rock Pass if you bring an America the Beautiful Pass!

That’ll also act as your national park annual pass—woohoo!

Additionally, you’ll get access to more Sedona hikes like Cathedral Rock and Doe Mountain!

Add it to a Larger Itinerary

There are honestly so many things to do in Sedona that you’ll have the best experience spending more time there!

I recommend a minimum of one day in Sedona, but a 3 days is ideal.

Doing this will allow you to explore more of the area before your sunset adventure up the vortex!

Get There Early

If you’re hiking around here for sunset, consider getting to the trailhead 30 to 40 minutes before the sun goes down!

Bell Rock Vortex is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona!

The trailhead locations are near the city entrance, so visitors always come around to explore!

The parking lots are small, so getting there early will help you secure a spot!

Next Steps for Enjoying Sedona

I hope this blog helps you enjoy hiking Bell Rock Vortex and the surrounding area!

To help you plan your best Sedona trip ever, I suggest checking out my other Sedona AZ blogs!

Bell Rock Vortex, known for its unique bell shape, needs to be at the top of your Sedona bucket list. Alone, it’s pretty special, but with its proximity to Courthouse Butte and scenic surroundings, an adventurer like you will love experiencing this special formation!

And guess what? There is more than one way to enjoy Bell Rock. As a local, it took me years to figure that out, which is why I’m using this blog to spill all the tea. I’m going to tell you how to see all of Bell Rock’s surroundings, but I’ll also tell you how to get to the top!

That way, you have an easy time planning your trip to Sedona!

Let’s dive in!

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

FREE Masterclass: How to Get Paid as a Travel Influencer

In 60-minutes, I’ll walk you through 5-steps I use to get brands like Mazda, Adobe, REI, and Tourism Boards to pay me to travel the world!

And make sure you check out my other Sedona, AZ blogs:

But Okay, What is a Vortex?

A vortex is a large sum of energy from the universe. Some folks believe that Sedona is like the mecca for vortex energy. Bell Rock Vortex energy is said to be some of the most powerful in the area.

Some other popular vortex hikes you can do include:

Whether you have one day in Sedona or multiple, a vortex is a must-see!

Now that we’re all caught up on the vortex tea let’s get into some things you should know for planning your Bell Rock hike!

girl on the bell rock climb trail in sedona arizona

When to Go & How to Get There

From my experience, Bell Rock Vortex is best enjoyed at sunset because of its 360 views.

Surely, you can enjoy the top of Bell Rock for sunrise, but from my experience, there are some other sunrise destinations I’d consider first:

Keep in mind there are plenty of easy Sedona hikes you can enjoy too!

As mentioned previously, you can use two parking lots to access the trails you need to get to Bell Rock. But if you can, try to park at the northern lot.

I’ve marked on a map for ya (below), don’t worry. Going to the southern parking lot will make your hike longer.

Now, let’s cover the best ways to enjoy Bell Rock!

Insider Tip: For this hike, you will need a $5 Red Rock Pass. But you can avid the pass by having an America the Beautiful Interagency Pass handy — hang that on your car and you’ll be good to go!

Bell Rock Climb

  • Bell Rock Trailhead: 34.8050676,-111.7667896
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 0.8 miles round trip (out and back)
  • Time to Top: 45 minutes to an hour
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet
  • Parking: Limited with about 20 spaces
  • Best Light: Sunset
  • Red Rock Pass Required? Yes or America the Beautiful Pass

To see some of the best views Bell Rock offers, you’ll want to take the Bell Rock Climb trail.

But, fair warning, this hike isn’t for the faint of heart.

You will be scrambling a bit, and at times the trail can be hard to follow.

If you’re uncomfortable with heights, skip this!

We will discuss another option you can use to enjoy Bell Rock Vortex. 

Once you park at the Bell Rock Trailhead, you’ll hop on Bell Rock Access Trail and begin the easy, flat walk to Bell Rock.

It’s about 0.2 miles. Once you’re near the base of Bell Rock, start looking for the sign that reads Bell Rock Climb.

You’ll want to follow rock cairns and the faint trail to the top.

The trail ascends rather quickly—you’ll cover about 200 feet in 0.4 miles.

Wear sturdy hiking boots!

But, all of your efforts will be worth it! Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy unobstructed views of Sedona and feel all that juicy Bell Rock Vortex energy.

Courthouse Butte Bell Rock Loop

  • Bell Rock Trailhead: 34.8050676,-111.7667896
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 3.9 miles round trip (loop)
  • Time to Top: 1.5 hours
  • Elevation Gain: 357 feet
  • Parking: Limited with about 20 spaces
  • Best Light: Sunset
  • Red Rock Pass Required? Yes or America the Beautiful Pass

If you’re not a fan of heights, the Courthouse Bell Rock Loop is just as great an option!

This trail can be best enjoyed at sunset or early in the morning. 

From the same parking area, you’ll jump on the Bell Rock Access Trail and walk 0.2 miles to the start of Bell Rock Trail.

You can then take a left or right to start your loop!

Taking a left, walk 0.3 miles to the Llama Trail junction. Then, walk Lllama Trail for a mere 300 feet until you reach Courthouse Butte Loop Trail.

This is the loop trail you’ll be taking for about 2 miles until it reconnects will Bell Rock Trail.

The entire loop almost 4 miles and pretty flat! So it’ll be a super easy, scenic hike for you.

Bell Rock Trail Maps

Navigating these trails can be a bit tricky, which is why I’ve created a couple of maps for you.

The map below shows the route you’d take to Bell Rock Climb.

And here is the map for the Courthouse Butte loop.

The blue line indicates your route when you take a left to begin the loop going clockwise!

trail map of courthouse butte bell rock loop in sedona az

Best Bell Rock Vortex Photo Spots

Bell Rock Vortex is one of the most Instagrammable places in Sedona, AZ.

The whole area is so photogenic, so get your memory cards ready!

As far as where to take the best photos, you’ll find that along Bell Rock Climb trail is pretty great for pictures.

So is the top of Bell Rock. 

However, if you don’t want to climb, you can take some amazing images along Courthouse Butte Loop Trail!

Best Friends Lookout Point is a popular photo spot.

Insider Tip: I also suggest going across the street to Yavapai Vista Point! This will give you a different perspective of Bell Rock Vortex and Courthouse Butte, minus the hiking!

What to Bring

Regardless of whether or not you decide to climb Bell Rock, there are a few items you’ll want to make sure you have with you!

Sturdy Hiking Boots

IDK about you, but I am a CLUTZ on trail. And when it comes to hiking in Sedona, tripping on some red rocks is no joke!

To protect my feet, I always wear my Keen Targhees.

I like them because they’re sturdy and have such good grip. That extra grip power goes a long way when you’re doing something like Bell Rock Climb!

Sunscreen

All Bell Rock trails have no shade, so you will be fully exposed to the sun’s harsh rays!

To protect your beautiful skin, get some sunscreen like Elta MD — their UV clear sunscreen does wonders for my acne-prone skin!

Hydroflask

Please remember that you’re hiking in the desert!

You need to stay hydrated and should have a reusable bottle with you.

I always recommend Hydroflasks, especially because their newest ones are extremely lightweight.

Small Pack

Whether it’s a stylish fanny pack or an Osprey Pack, I suggest you have a vessel to carry your belongings!

You’ll want your hands completely free while doing the Bell Rock Climb.

You don’t need anything large. However, if you don’t have pockets, at least have a tiny waist pack on you for your wallet and Apple iPhone!

You should also bring: a cute sun hat, a headlamp and Hydroflask.

Tips for Hiking Bell Rock Vortex

Avoid in the Rain

I would skip Bell Rock’s climb and the surrounding hikes in the rain.

The trails can become slick, muddy, and sometimes unsafe.

Going to Bell Rock for sunset on a clear day will give you the best chance at seeing an epic sunset.

So that’s another reason to do this hike during fair weather!

Get an Annual Pass

If you’re planning a 3 day Sedona itinerary, you’ll probably be visiting some other Sedona vortexes and hikes. Most require a Red Rock Pass.

However, you can completely skip the Red Rock Pass if you bring an America the Beautiful Pass!

That’ll also act as your national park annual pass—woohoo!

Additionally, you’ll get access to more Sedona hikes like Cathedral Rock and Doe Mountain!

Add it to a Larger Itinerary

There are honestly so many things to do in Sedona that you’ll have the best experience spending more time there!

I recommend a minimum of one day in Sedona, but a 3 days is ideal.

Doing this will allow you to explore more of the area before your sunset adventure up the vortex!

Get There Early

If you’re hiking around here for sunset, consider getting to the trailhead 30 to 40 minutes before the sun goes down!

Bell Rock Vortex is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona!

The trailhead locations are near the city entrance, so visitors always come around to explore!

The parking lots are small, so getting there early will help you secure a spot!

Next Steps for Enjoying Sedona

I hope this blog helps you enjoy hiking Bell Rock Vortex and the surrounding area!

To help you plan your best Sedona trip ever, I suggest checking out my other Sedona AZ blogs!

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