How To Hike To The Secret Birthing Cave Sedona, AZ

by | July 2020 | 4 comments

*All photos are protected by copyright and the property of Briana Nickas unless they are stock photos or otherwise noted.

Updated on 02/07/2023

Are you planning a trip to Sedona, AZ and looking for the best trails to hike in Sedona Red Rock Country? Do you also like to find secret caves?

Then you’re in the right place, my friend! The Birthing Cave Sedona is a hidden gem and one of Sedona’s caves that’s easy to hike to. But you have to know the way.

Lucky for you, I’m going to tell you exactly how to find the secret Birthing Cave! So keep reading for all the trail details. And be sure to Pin this post to refer back to for your Sedona vacay!

Birthing Cave Sedona AZ - How To Find the Secret Birthing Cave

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Hike Info for the Birthing Cave Sedona, AZ

• Distance: 3.0-miles roundtrip (counting a few wrong turns)

*NOTE: I tracked our mileage using the AllTrails app. But I’ve seen others, including the AllTrails Birthing Cave page, state the mileage as 2.0-miles total roundtrip.

• Elevation: 374-feet (according to AllTrails)

• Difficulty: Easy (with some scrambling to get into the cave)

• Trail Type: Out & Back

• Hiking Time: 1.5 hours (including time to enjoy the cave and take photos)

• Trailhead: Long Canyon Trailhead

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Briana in the Birthing Cave Sedona

Getting To the Birthing Cave Trailhead

From the main street of Sedona, head west on 89A for about 3 miles. When you reach Dry Creek Rd, turn right heading north for another 3 miles. 

Then turn right on Long Canyon Rd. After about ½ a mile, the Long Canyon Trailhead will be on your left. There’s a small dirt parking lot on the left side of the road at the trailhead.

We were there at the end of June and started our hike around noon after hiking Bell Rock. When we arrived, there were several parking spots available. But… it was HOT! 

And there were quite a few other people at the cave. You might be better off going early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds.

You may also like: Soldier Pass Trail in Sedona: How To Hike to the Secret Cave

Hiking to the Birthing Cave Sedona, AZ

The Birthing Cave Sedona hike was the easiest of the Sedona hikes we did with a fairly short distance and mostly flat trail. One of the few challenges was simply staying on the trail and finding the turn-off for the cave.

Hiking to the Birthing Cave Sedona

We ended up going the wrong way a few times and having to do a little backtracking. The first time we strayed from the trail was about 0.4 miles from the trailhead. There are some branches in what appears to be the middle of the trail.

Don’t do what we did and step over the branches continuing straight ahead. The branches are actually there to guide you and keep you on the trail to the left. When you see the branches, KEEP LEFT!

Long Canyon Trail Sedona - Keep Left Here

Also, at this point roughly 0.6 miles from the trailhead, you’ll come to a fork with an arrow pointing straight. This is the other place where we had to backtrack.

The Hidden Trail Turn-Off for the Birthing Cave on Long Canyon Trail Sedona - Keep Left Here

We initially followed the arrow straight, but you actually need to KEEP LEFT here too. The main trail continues to the right. But the path to the left is the hidden turn-off for the Birthing Cave! 

The Hidden Trail Turn-Off on Long Canyon Trail for the Birthing Cave Sedona

As you continue hiking, you’ll eventually see the opening for the cave ahead and start ascending a short but steep climb to the Birthing Cave Sedona. 

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The Birthing Cave from a Distance

Accessing the Birthing Cave

The closer you get to the Birthing Cave, the more scrambling you’ll have to do. You might have to get on all fours, especially once you’re inside the cave where it’s slick and practically vertical. 

It’s difficult to move around in the cave with how steep and slippery the surface is. You’ll want to wear shoes with good traction.

I love hiking with my HOKA ONE ONEs in general but especially when I’m hiking on slick-rock. They have great grips and do an excellent job at keeping me grounded.

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The Birthing Cave Sedona

The Birthing Cave is like a large bowl carved out of the red rock cliffs. The cave isn’t very deep and is actually quite shallow. But it’s massive and towers up over you.

Aside from how cool the Birthing Cave itself is, the view looking out from inside this Sedona cave is stunning! The expansive vista showcases a valley with green vegetation contrasting against the red rocks. Ahhhh… I’ll never get sick of Sedona’s landscape. 😍

Sedona’s Birthing Cave is the perfect place to cool off in the shade, enjoy the peacefulness, have a snack, and take in the scenery. Enjoy!

*Please be respectful of the cave though and follow the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace. Don’t leave anything behind, including trash or writing. Leave the area as nice as or even better than you found it.

You may also like: Top 5 Best Hikes in Sedona, AZ You Won’t Want to Miss

Photography Tips for the Birthing Cave

I recommend using a lightweight tripod (this tripod is my favorite for hiking!) to take a clear shot. And if you want to capture the entire cave, you’ll need a super wide-angle lens.

Another option could be to try to digitally stitch several photos together with Photoshop like I did with this photo…

The Birthing Cave Sedona

*NOTE: The above photo is actually several different photos combined using Photoshop. It may not be an accurate depiction of the cave or what you can expect to see there. This photo is only an interpretation of the cave.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a single shot of the entire cave or the lower portion of the cave as there were other people there. Hopefully, you’ll be lucky enough to get the Birthing Cave in Sedona all to yourself. 🤞

There’s a small round hole on the back wall of the cave just large enough to sit in. Some people have described it as looking like a belly button, and I can totally see it!

The “belly button” is steep and challenging to get to. But if you can manage to climb up into it, you’ll have an amazing view with a perfect vantage point for a killer shot!

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Returning to the Birthing Cave Sedona Trailhead

This is an out and back trail. So once you’re done hanging out in the cave and taking in the stunning view, head back the way you came to return to the Long Canyon Trailhead. 

The views on the way back are the best on the trail (#IMO). Make sure you keep to the right this time at both points where you kept left heading up on the trail.

You may also like: 45+ Road Trip Essentials You Need to Pack Before You Hit the Road

The Birthing Cave Trail on Long Canyon Trail Sedona

Wrapping Up the Birthing Cave Sedona Trail

The Birthing Cave Trail is a short hike to a cool geologic feature that provides a beautiful view of Sedona’s Red Rock Country. If you’re spending the day hiking, it’s a perfect add-on before or after another short trail in the area.

If I’m being honest though, the Birthing Cave wasn’t my favorite hike (this was my favorite hike in case you’re wondering). But it’s a fun, easy hike that’s definitely worth experiencing if you have the time. 

The more hikes you can do to explore Sedona, the better! There are so many amazing trails and views there. You really can’t go wrong. Have you been to Sedona before? I’d love to know what your favorite hike was! Let me know in the comments below.

If hiking is your jam, be sure to grab your free Hiking Log to keep track of all the amazing hikes you do!

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How to Find the Secret Birthing Cave Sedona AZ

Hiking to the Birthing Cave Sedona AZ - How to Find the Secret Sedona Cave
Hiking the Birthing Cave Trail in Sedona AZ
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Briana Nickas of Next Destination Unknown

Behind the Blog

Hey there! I’m Briana, a blogger, hiker, traveller, RVer, photo-taker, and National Parks lover who is passionate about exploring the great outdoors while practicing clean living for a healthier lifestyle to continue doing the things I live for. My goal is to inspire others to live a life focused on wellbeing and wandering. Join me!


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Leave a Comment!


  1. Angelika

    I love Sedona! I grew up in Arizona and my family would often visit Sedona for a day trip. My favorite place was this church on top of a cliff. It’s so beautiful and rustic!

    • Briana Nickas

      Isn’t Sedona amazing?! I’ve actually considered moving there and am jealous you lived so close to be able to visit frequently. Haha! 😄 The Chapel of the Holy Cross is such a unique architectural gem that compliments the surrounding landscape perfectly. Love it!

  2. Amber

    Awesome post, I love the layout of your blog as well! One of my dream vacations to travel to would definitely be Sedona, AZ. These pics makes me want to go even more ✨🧡

    • Briana Nickas

      Thanks so much, Amber! 🙂 Sedona should definitely be on your bucket list. I hope you get to visit sometime!

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