Hiking Sugarloaf Loop Trail (Maybe The Most Underrated Trail in Sedona…??)

April 25, 2021

No matter where you go in Sedona, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to rewarding hikes with amazing views.  However many (though not all) are either crazy crowded or are a difficulty level not everyone wants to tackle.  But I present to you maybe the most underrated hike in Sedona…Sugarloaf Loop!

Sugarloaf Loop Trail...Maybe Sedona's Most Underrated Hike | If you're looking for a short, easy hike in Sedona with amazing views that's not too crowded, the Teacup Trail and Sugarloaf Loop and Summit are perfect for you! Sedona trail ideas, best Sedona hikes, easy Sedona hikes, Sedona sunrise hike. #sugarloafloop #sedona #arizonahikes #girlstrip

See my other Sedona posts for planning your trip!

15+ Sedona Travel Tips For An Amazing Trip

A Breathtaking Sunrise Hike Up Sedona’s Cathedral Rock

A Guide to Sedona Wineries

Where To Eat In Sedona: The Best Sedona Restaurants (& More)

Airport Mesa & Vortex…My Favorite Sedona Sunset Hike

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Sugarloaf Loop is a secret or anything.  The trail definitely came up in my pre-trip research but only on the periphery, an “also ran” or “if you have time” kind of mention.  And after hiking it, I think that’s nuts.

What’s to love?  It’s a pretty quick and mostly flat hike which—paired with the 360-degree views—makes it great for both sunrise and sunset (less hiking in the dark).  All told, it’s probably only 20 minutes each way.  And it’s far less crowded than any of the other trails I hiked in Sedona.

You’ve got magnificent red rock views in all directions and lush greenery, and for me it felt more like a chill stroll rather than a “hike”.  It was peaceful and beautiful.

The TL;dr version??  Incredible views with minimal exertion.

What to expect hiking Sugarloaf Loop

To find Sugarloaf Loop, I simply searched in my Google Maps and “Sugar Loaf Trailhead” came up.  I easily found the parking area at the trailhead and was on my way (be warned, there are no bathrooms).  Tucked away in a residential area off Buena Vista Road, it’s fairly small but I was one of only a couple people parked there on a Sunday afternoon.

One of the first things to clarify is that the first sign you’ll see will be for Teacup Trail, with not a mention of Sugarloaf Loop.  That’s still the trail you want right now.

Start Sugarloaf Loop at the trailhead and on Teacup Trail

You might also like:  10 Places I’m Dying to Visit in 2021

Generally speaking the Sugarloaf Loop trail is pretty easy to follow—I thought even a little more so than many other trails in the area.  Just be on the lookout for either the rock cairns designating which way to go, or the white painted diamonds on the rocks (see pic below).  Enjoy the plant life, like juniper trees and prickly pear cactus.

You’ll come to a juncture of Teacup Trail and Thunder Mountain, and want to continue on Teacup Trail.

Sugarloaf Loop is a pretty easy, short hike with panoramic views...where to hike in Sedona

You might also like:  11 of My Best Tips for ANY Trip

As you continue on, you’ll reach another juncture, this time with Sugarloaf Loop Trail going to the right and Teacup going forward…hang a right now.  The trail curves around the small peak that you’ll then summit.

You might also like:  9 Sunscreens I Swear By For Travel

To your left you’ll have close-up views of Capitol Butte (aka Thunder Mountain), Coffee Pot Rock, and other formations.

As you can see, this trail is DEFINITELY less crowded than something like Cathedral Rock (and way easier).  I mean, look at this view!  And not a soul in sight.

Sugarloaf Loop and Teacup Trail give you amazing views of Coffeepot Rock and more

BUT DON’T STOP HERE!

You’ll see a sign for the Sugarloaf Summit Trail, pointing to the right.  That trail will climb up a (fairly small) hill…it’s steps of a sort, so no difficult rock scrambling or anything like that.

Sugarloaf Loop Trail...Maybe Sedona's Most Underrated Hike | If you're looking for a short, easy hike in Sedona with amazing views that's not too crowded, the Teacup Trail and Sugarloaf Loop and Summit are perfect for you! Sedona trail ideas, best Sedona hikes, easy Sedona hikes, Sedona sunrise hike. #sugarloafloop #sedona #arizonahikes #girlstrip

You might also like:  The Best Cross-Body Purse for Travel

From the summit you have awesome views out over Sedona, and depending on which direction you’re looking you can see Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, the Soldier’s Pass area, Bell Rock, and even as far as Mingus Mountain and Jerome.

This was late afternoon, and I was bummed I couldn’t experience this at sunrise or sunset—I’ll bet it’s magnificent!

Sugarloaf Loop and Summit gives you amazing views over Sedona, without the crowds

So I told you this trail is pretty easy…the proof??  I accidentally had to hike this in a dress.  I’d been exploring wineries all day in a dress and sandals, but threw some hiking clothes in the car.  Sadly I forgot a shirt which is like…kind of important.  So I threw on my tennis shoes and tackled the trail in my sundress.

THE HEIGHT OF FASHION.

You might also like:  Things You Might Not Know About Your Credit Card

I loved the interplay of the cloud shadows on the landscape!

Sugarloaf Loop and Summit give you amazing views over the Sedona area...take Teacup Trail from the trailhead

You might also like:  The Only Carry-On Suitcase You’ll Need

I couldn’t resist doing a full circle turn on video…I recommend looking at it on full screen!

When you walk back down from the summit to the main trail, you can either continue on the trail and complete the loop (it will keep curving to the right and connect back to Teacup Trail, back to the trailhead).

Or you can go back the way you came (what I did because I stupidly didn’t realize despite the name that the loop was real).

Sugarloaf Loop Trail...Maybe Sedona's Most Underrated Hike | If you're looking for a short, easy hike in Sedona with amazing views that's not too crowded, the Teacup Trail and Sugarloaf Loop and Summit are perfect for you! Sedona trail ideas, best Sedona hikes, easy Sedona hikes, Sedona sunrise hike. #sugarloafloop #sedona #arizonahikes #girlstrip

You might also like:  What It Was Like Flying During COVID

A quick summary of hiking Sugarloaf Loop & Teacup Trail

  • You can find the trailhead in Google Maps as “Sugar Loaf Trailhead”, it’s off Buena Vista Road.  This site has very straightforward maps and info.
  • The parking lot is fairly small but it wasn’t crowded when I went.  But since the hike is pretty short people will come and go frequently even if it’s crowded.
  • You’ll need to pay for parking (I think $5?) or if you have the Red Rock Pass or a National Park Pass those will work too.  There are no bathrooms or other services.
  • This trail is great any time of day, but would be awesome at sunrise or sunset.  Since it’s such a short and fairly easy hike, it would be great bringing a picnic along.
  • As you start on the trail, you’ll only see a sign for Teacup Trail, with not a mention of Sugarloaf Loop.  That’s the trail you want initially.
  • You’ll come to a juncture of Teacup Trail and Thunder Mountain, and want to continue on Teacup Trail.
  • You’ll reach another juncture, this time with Sugarloaf Loop Trail going to the right and Teacup going forward…go right onto Sugarloaf Loop, curving around the small peak.
  • You’ll see a sign for the Sugarloaf Summit Trail, pointing to the right.  That trail will climb up a (fairly small) hill…it’s steps of a sort, so no difficult rock scrambling or anything like that.
  • When you come down from the summit to the main trail, you can either continue on the Sugarloaf Loop trail and complete the loop (it will keep curving to the right and connect back to Teacup Trail, back to the trailhead), or go back the way you came (what I did because I stupidly didn’t realize despite the name that the loop was real).
  • There are also several trails that branch off from Sugarloaf Loop as well, including ways to connect to the Seven Sacred Pools (overrated) and Soldier’s Pass as well.

Other hikes with great views that you’ll love:

Pin for later!

Sugarloaf Loop Trail...Maybe Sedona's Most Underrated Hike | If you're looking for a short, easy hike in Sedona with amazing views that's not too crowded, the Teacup Trail and Sugarloaf Loop and Summit are perfect for you! Sedona trail ideas, best Sedona hikes, easy Sedona hikes, Sedona sunrise hike. #sugarloafloop #sedona #arizonahikes #girlstrip

Prev Post

Things To Do In Cincinnati: A Solo Weekend Trip

April 13, 2021

Next Post

Tips For Driving In Costa Rica & Adobe Rental Car Review

May 6, 2021