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Wilson Mountain North to South



10.2 mile 16.4 kilometer point to point
79% Runnable


Ascent: 2,451' 747 m
Descent: -2,659' -810 m
High: 6,992' 2,131 m
Low: 4,542' 1,384 m


Avg Grade: 10% (5°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


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Map Key

Trail shared by JC Condon

A steep and rocky route leading to some of the best views of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona.

JC Condon

Features Views · Wildlife

Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass required to park at either trailhead.


The view from the summit of Wilson Mountain provides one of the best views of Sedona and the surrounding area. Make sure to to take the trail to the north side of the mountain as it provides awesome views of Sterling Pass and Humphrey's Peak (on a clear day).

Parking at either trailhead can be difficult on a busy day. Start early and avoid the weekend if possible. A car shuttle is an option for this run, but cell service can be spotty in the canyon.

Need to Know

Snow can linger on the North Wilson Trail #123 in winter and early spring, and no matter where you go in summer expect brutal temperatures and be sure to bring plenty of water.


From the Encinoso Picnic Area Trailhead, run north out of the parking lot on the North Wilson Trail #123 and start heading uphill as the trail starts turning to the south. The trail is well-maintained and makes its way up towards the sandstone cliffs of Oak Creek among scrub oak.

As you near the cliff, the trail will bend back to the north as you climb sharply up the craggy slope. Lots of impressive rock work has been done here to stabilize the trail. When you top-out after the steepest section, you are rewarded with a sweeping view from the First Bench. Columnar basalt cliffs across the way and small glimpses of what you'll see if you continue to the top.

At the junction with the Wilson Mountain Trail #10, head uphill to one final steep section of trail to reach the flat summit (passing a fire crew cache box). There will be a signed junction pointing left for a Sedona View and right for the Oak Creek View. Both are spectacular, though the official trail as marked on this map guides you to the Oak Creek View as an out and back. The Sedona overlook is a short (less than 1 mile round trip) excursion and you can see Vultee Arch from above. Both of these are some of the most spectacular views of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon.

After you have had your fill of the scenery, head back to the first bench and the North Wilson Trail #123 junction. For the full adventure, head south (right) to take the Wilson Canyon Trail to the Midgley Bridge Observation Site trailhead. If you have someone picking you up, lucky you. If you are on your own, it is suggested that you run back down via the North Wilson Trail #123 to the Encinoso Trailhead.

The Wilson Canyon Trail winds its way down the slopes towards Sedona with great views along the way. At the bottom, you'll encounter a number of spur trails and the Wilson Canyon trail. Junctions should be well-marked leading to the trailhead, but so long as you head south and do not take the Jim Thompson Trail, you'll get to Midgley Bridge.

History & Background

Some large fires have burned the upper slopes in recent years, but substantial trail work has been done to re-route and stabilize the trail.

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We need help with the following missing trail information:

Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes


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Jun 9, 2019
Tyler Smith
Apr 4, 2019
Went to northern terminus of Wilson Mountain Trail and back to start. Flu. Trail reconstructed post-fire. 9.8mi
Dec 22, 2016
Mari Gobitz
Muddy 4mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 13 votes


  4.5 from 13 votes
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in Arizona


59 Views Last Month
4,679 Since Apr 23, 2015



Looking back at the imposing sandstone cliffs of Oak Creek Canyon while on the North Wilson Trail.
Nov 15, 2015 near Sedona, AZ
Sedona - Bridge
Mar 18, 2019 near Sedona, AZ
Wonderful red rock scenery on the Wilson Mountain Trail.
Dec 25, 2015 near Sedona, AZ
Wilson Mountain Trail after a December snowfall
Dec 25, 2015 near Sedona, AZ
Great scenery along the Wilson Mountain Trail
Dec 25, 2015 near Sedona, AZ
Snowier up high in Wilson Mountain.
Dec 25, 2015 near Sedona, AZ