Boynton Canyon Trail, Boynton Canyon Trailhead, Sedona: Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness, Arizona

Boynton Canyon Trail - 6.1 miles

Boynton Canyon Trailhead

Boynton Canyon

Boynton Canyon

Round-Trip Length: 6.1 miles
Start-End Elevation: 4,542' - 5,205' (5,205' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +663' net elevation gain (+864' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Boynton Canyon Trail - 6.1 Miles Round-Trip

Boynton Canyon is located 4.35 miles from 89A in the Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness of Sedona. This wide box canyon is one of Sedona's most popular hikes, known for its vibrant walls and diverse vegetation.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Visitors will pass through open desert, red rock ledges and thick forests en route to great views high along the canyon headwall. Enjoy a short side trip to Boynton Spires, summer shade and brilliant autumn colors in the upper canyon:

The Boynton Canyon Trail begins outside the Enchantment Resort in a brushy desert flat, weaving quickly past connections for the Deadman's Pass Trail (.15 miles) and Boynton Spires (.35 miles), one of Sedona's famed vortex sites.

Mild grades wind over Enchantment on red-rock ledges lined with manzanita, scrub oak, agave and prickly pear. The trail hugs the north canyon wall before clearing the residential area and dropping to the canyon floor (1.0 miles : 4,623').

The trail levels in the center of the canyon, partially shaded by pinyon, juniper, oak and cypress. It bends northwest at 1.5 miles, keeping an easy pace through tall columns of pinyon and several notably large ponderosa (2.0 miles : 4,705').

The canyon abruptly narrows and grades steepen up a shifting path beside a wash (2.5 miles : 4,816') that's enveloped by a leafy understory and canopy (3.0 miles : 5,008').

Various oak and maple species give this fully-shaded segment an east-coast forest feel, and yield magnificent autumn colors. Take note of fir at these higher elevations.

A few short, steep bursts emerge above the canopy midway up the box canyon's terminal wall to a sign marking the end of the trail (3.05 miles : 5,205'). Hikers are discouraged from further travel, but there's enough eco-sensitive room to explore the area without harming delicate vegetation.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N34 54.460 W111 50.941 — 0.0 miles : Boynton Canyon Traihead
  • N34 54.521 W111 50.833 — .15 miles : Deadmans Pass Trail split
  • N34 54.723 W111 51.029 — .5 miles : Undulating travel above Enchantment
  • N34 55.040 W111 51.163 — 1.0 miles : Clear residential area, enter canyon
  • N34 55.331 W111 51.385 — 1.5 miles : Fast, level travel on canyon floor
  • N34 55.628  W111 51.664 — 2.0 miles : Past through tall pinyon-ponderosa forest
  • N34 55.542 W111 52.101 — 2.5 miles : Steep, uneven climb in heavy forest
  • N34 55.441 W111 52.699 — 3.05 miles : Trail ends midway up terminal canyon wall

Worth Noting

  • Boynton Canyon sees heavy foot traffic, especially on weekends. Arrive early to secure parking and avoid crowds. Consider nearby Long Canyon, a compelling alternative during peak times.

  • A number of well-defined social trails branch off the main trail as you progress up the canyon - some lead to reported vortex sites, some to climbing routes, and some to interesting viewpoints. Honor re-vegetation efforts and archeological sites by remaining on designated trails at all times.

  • Respect the privacy of residents and resort guests. Non-residents or guests must remain on the designated trail at all times, and may not use alternative access trails.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • There are no designated backcountry campsites in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. Dispersed camping is permitted in specific areas past trailheads and roads (see map page to view the PDF). It's advisable to contact visitor services at 928.203.2900 to review your itinerary in advance.

  • Backpackers must be at least one mile from the trailhead, or as indicated by the map or signs at trailheads (guidelines may vary slightly by trail).

  • Backpackers are encouraged to occupy sites used by others, and practice leave no trace ethics.

  • Water is scarce. Plan on carrying all of your own into the backcountry.

  • Campfires are permitted on a seasonal and forest condition basis. Fire restrictions are strictly enforced.

  • Bears and others animals capable of reaching your food inhabit Red Rock Country. Store supplies safely by hanging or using bear canisters.

  • There are 7 developed campgrounds in the Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness vicinity: Pine Flat, Cave Springs, Manzanita, Chavez Crossing, Clear Creek, and Clear Creek Group Camp. There are at least 186 combined individual sites and 4 group sites.

  • Individual sites range $16-18 per night, and group sites $65-200. Coconino Forest Campgrounds do not accept Credit Cards on site (except Cave Springs). Cash and in-state checks only. Reservations and credit card payments may be made in advance through or by calling 877.444.6777.

Rules and Regulations

Red Rock Pass - a fee is required to recreate in the Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness:

  • Daily Pass: $5
  • Weekly Pass: $15
  • Annual Pass: $20

The Red Rock Pass is valid for use as a parking permit to recreate in Red Rock Country, including access to Red Rock Country Heritage Sites.

It's not valid for other fee areas such as developed campgrounds, Grasshopper Point Picnic and Swimming Area, Crescent Moon Day Use Area, and Call O' the Canyon (West Fork Trailhead).

Passes may be obtained at all Ranger Stations, Visitor Centers, Online, and at a number of local kiosks and commercial vendors (e.g. grocery stores).

Directions to Trailhead

The Boynton Canyon Trailhead is located 4.35 miles from Highway 89A on Boynton Pass Road in Sedona, Arizona.

From the Highway 179 - 89A intersection, drive 2.9 miles south on 89A to Dry Creek Road. Turn right (north) on Dry Creek Road and drive 2.8 miles to Long Canyon Road. Turn Left. Drive 1.5 miles to Boynton Pass Road (toward Enchantment Resort). Turn right. The trailhead is located 100 yards on the right.

Contact Information

Red Rock - Secret Mountain Wilderness
Red Rock Ranger District
8375 State Route 179 (just south of the village of Oak Creek)
Sedona, Arizona 86341
8:00 - 4:30 Monday - Friday

Visitor Information: 928.203.2900

Administration Office: 928.203.7500 or 928.282.4119

Coconino National Forest
1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Visitor Information: 928.526.0866
Supervisor's Office: 928.527.3600

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"We had SO much fun hiking these trails on our visit to the Enchantment Resort. We hiked daily and I finished by climbing to the top of the vortex my last day. It may not seem like much of a feat, but I was a bone marrow donor followed up with extensive back surgery in January after a few years of not being able to walk 20 yards without my right leg going numb. We walked about 6 mies a day on the trails; every day was a new experience. The trails are easy enough for beginners- take water!"
Lynn McIntyre  -  Houston  -  Date Posted: September 28, 2018
"One of our favourite hikes! We do it every year and it never gets old. Wonderful mix of trails: Rocky, smooth, wide, narrow, in the sun, shaded. Views of the canyon are great. Not too demanding. Can be done with children. Don't give up before you get to the end: A beautiful place in the sun to have your lunch while you enjoy nature. "
Peter Schuerch  -  Holland, MI  -  Date Posted: February 17, 2015


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