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Exploring the Wonders of Sedona Essential Tips for Hiking Airport Mesa PullOverandLetMeOut (1)
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Anna Marie

Exploring the Wonders of Sedona: Essential Tips for Hiking Airport Mesa

Airport Mesa in Sedona, Arizona, is an outstanding hiking trail worth traveling. This iconic trail offers stunning red rock vistas, serene Oak Creek Valley views below, and even the potential to tap into the powerful vortex energy that Sedona is famous for. Travel along with PullOverandLetMeOut and learn the essential tips for hiking Airport Mesa.
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Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

If you’re an adventure seeker and a nature lover, Sedona, Arizona, has a treat waiting for you – the breathtaking Airport Mesa hike. This iconic trail offers stunning red rock vistas, serene Oak Creek Valley views below, and even the opportunity to tap into Sedona’s famous vortex energy. Here are some essential Airport Mesa hiking tips to help you make the most of this incredible experience:

a picture of Twin Buttes and Cathedral Rock in Sedona AZ
Twin Buttes and Cathedral Rock views from Airport Mesa Trail in Sedona, AZ.

1. Plan for the Sunrise or the Sunset

When it comes to Airport Mesa, timing is everything. Plan your hike to take in the magnificent beauty of Sedona’s sunrise or sunset. The colors that dance across the red rocks at these times are truly mesmerizing and will leave you with long-lasting memories.

We arrived for our hike just before nine o’clock in the morning, and there was still plenty of parking near the trailhead, and it wasn’t too crowded. We also avoided the heat of the day by starting out early.

2. Bring Ample Water and Snacks

Despite the Airport Mesa trail’s moderate length, it’s critical to stay hydrated throughout your journey. Bring enough water and nutritious snacks to keep your energy levels high and your hike comfortable. The dry Arizona climate can be strenuous, so don’t overlook the importance of hydration. A refillable water bottle is a hiker’s best friend!

3. Wear Sturdy Shoes

Sedona’s rugged terrain necessitates appropriate footwear. Choose sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes with good traction and ankle support. This will not only protect your feet from potential hazards but will also improve your hiking experience overall.  Additionally, please take note that the soil has a reddish hue, which could stain your footwear. There’s a possibility that the color could transfer to your car if you’re not careful, so it might be wise to think about changing your shoes before reentering your vehicle.

a red rock butte in Sedona AZ
The trail circles the upper slope of Airport Mesa (Table Top Mountain).
a prickly pear cactus
Dirt, red rocks, and prickly pear cactus dot the trial.

4. Pack Sun Protection

Sun protection is essential in Sedona because the sun shines brightly. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s powerful rays. I try to find a good, natural sunblock that is free of chemicals if at all possible. Don’t forget to bring a light, long-sleeved shirt to protect your arms, especially if you’re hiking in the summer.

5. Stay On Marked Trails

Airport Mesa has several intersecting trails, so staying on the marked paths is essential to avoid getting lost. To stay on track and have a safe and enjoyable hike, pay attention to the signs and trail markers. We took the Table Top Trail for our hike, which is about a half-mile one way. It comes to an end with breathtaking panoramic views of the Red Rocks and the area’s most notable formations. We took the same trail back to where we parked because we were short on time. It was a delightful early morning one-mile hike to get the blood pumping.

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Sedona's rocks have a distinctive red hue due to a thin layer of iron oxide formed by the chemical weathering of minerals. This process is responsible for the rocks' iconic red color, which once covered Sedona in a layer as deep as 1,900 feet.

6. Respect the Environment

This one goes without saying and reminds me of my Girl Scout training. The natural beauty of Sedona is fragile and should be treated with caution. Respect the flora and fauna, avoid leaving any trash behind, and adhere to the Leave No Trace principles. With so many tourists traveling to Sedona, it’s critical for every visitor to do their part to protect the pristine landscape. 

7. Capture the Moment

Don’t forget to bring your camera! Airport Mesa provides numerous photo opportunities. The red rock formations, the valley below, and the postcard-perfect views are all worth photographing so that you can remember them forever. We took several selfies and met some nice people who offered to take our picture, so we reciprocated.

a man and a woman taking a selfie
Hiking Airport Mesa presents many photo-ops.

8. Experience the Vortex

Sedona is famous for its vortexes. These energy-dense areas are thought to be charged with positive energy and to assist you in gaining a higher spiritual perspective and becoming more connected to yourself. The Airport Mesa Vortex, which can be reached from the trail, is ideal for quiet contemplation and introspection. It is well-known for being an up-flow zone that energizes your spirit and vitality while also providing a heightened perspective, a sense of unity, and even healing. This makes it an ideal location for meditation and self-reflection.

Despite not feeling any energetic shifts, I held out hope for something transformative to happen!

a guide sign about the Vortex at Airport Mesa

9. Check the Weather Conditions First

Because Arizona weather can be unpredictable, it’s critical to check the forecast before setting out on your hike. Prepare for any potential changes in weather and have appropriate gear on hand if necessary. Our trip was in late April when it’s best to dress in layers due to the temperature swings between cool mornings and warm afternoons in northern Arizona.

10. Hike with a Buddy

Hiking with a friend or in a group not only adds to the fun but also improves safety. Share the adventure with someone you trust and enjoy the beauty of Airport Mesa together. If you prefer a more formal guided hike, there are a number of outstanding Sedona Hiking Tours to choose from. Learn more HERE.

Parting Thoughts from Airport Mesa

Airport Mesa in Sedona, Arizona, is a natural wonder that invites explorers from all over the world. With these essential tips in mind, you’re well-prepared to embrace the magic and make the most of your hiking experience amidst the captivating red rocks and alluring landscapes of Sedona.

The trail offers a moderate challenge with a pay-off of spectacular scenery, amazing views, and one of Sedona’s famous vortexes. Likewise, Airport Mesa is just the right length; the entire trail takes about 2.5 hours to complete. Even if you’re not a great outdoor adventurer, this is a manageable trail that lets you embrace the splendor of Sedona’s unspoiled charm.

We chose the condensed hiking route because it fit our schedule perfectly and gave us an incredible start to our day. Immersion in natural beauty is essential to any trip to Sedona, Arizona. It makes me happy that we were able to get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and fully appreciate the breathtaking landscapes of this enchanting location.

If you’re planning a trip to Arizona and have Sedona on your list, a visit to Airport Mesa for a hike is a winning itinerary choice.

Happy hiking!

Airport Mesa

483 Airport Road
Sedona, Arizona  86336

a woman and a man in front of Sedona Red Rocks
Hiking Airport Mesa in Sedona offers spectacular scenery as a reward.

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