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Cockscomb Overlook

  4.0 ( 2 ) Favorite


2.6 mile 4.1 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 369' 112 m
Descent: -369' -112 m
High: 4,863' 1,482 m
Low: 4,565' 1,392 m


Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)


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Trail shared by John Maurizi

A great hike to the top of the Cockscomb.

John Maurizi

Features Views


The Cockcomb is a red rock formation with several distinct spires lined in a row giving the appearance of the head of a rooster. The top offers great views especially at sunset.


This is a wonderful less-traveled trail that is fairly easy hiking, at least until you reach the base of the Cockscomb. It does not have much shade so I would recommend hiking it in the late afternoon into sunset as the trail weaves between Doe Mountain and the Cockscomb on the west side. The setting sun lights up the sandstone walls on these two mountains for some amazing colors.

The signs and guidebooks list the mileage as 3.3 miles out-and-back but this trail is easily linked with the Aerie Trail for a loop route. Not many head out on the Cockscomb Trail as an out and back, unless you are like me and just go for the sunset. The trail does not ascend to the top, only passes by with the Cockscomb on the right. There is a social trail marked by a cairn that you can take to reach the steep hike up. It is not far and you only need to gain about 300 feet.

This trail and others in the immediate area are popular with mountain bikers as well, which is another reason why this is best to negotiate on foot in the late afternoon. Most mountain bike rentals need to be back to the shop by late afternoon.

As you work your way along the Cockscomb Trail you'll see the Cockscomb with it’s distinct top mesa with 4 round spires in a line going south. The trail passes the Cockscomb on the north. As you pass by you'll see several herd trails leading in the direction of the Cockscomb. You can follow these to the top. But beware! The trails are not maintained and are very steep. You can reach the very top by veering left and working your way up. But if you stay right you'll find a small spire with a pathway to a ledge that is the most perfect place to watch the sunset. It is secluded and private. This is a good option to watching the sunset at Doe Mountain. More and more people are going to Doe Mountain for this so if you want some privacy to watch the sunset, the Cockscomb is the place. However, it takes longer to get to so plan accordingly.

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes


  4.0 from 2 votes
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in Arizona


107 Views Last Month
2,430 Since Apr 27, 2017



Cockscomb is a must-see in the Sedona area.
Apr 27, 2017 near West Se…, AZ
The long approach to the Cockscomb only adds to your anticipation of reaching the top!
Apr 27, 2017 near West Se…, AZ
The Cockscomb Trail offers beautiful views from the climb.
Apr 27, 2017 near West Se…, AZ
You certainly won't be short on views along the Cockscomb Trail.
Apr 27, 2017 near West Se…, AZ
Nearing the top of the Cockscomb, the trail is steep and rife with cacti.
Apr 27, 2017 near West Se…, AZ
The Cockscomb Trailhead is well marked and easy to find from the parking area.
Apr 27, 2017 near West Se…, AZ


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