Stiletto & Sunrise Ledge

One of the best kept secrets in Sedona, the Stiletto, the Sunrise Ledge, and Mystery Cave offer spectacular views, an ancient cliff dwelling, and the remains of a Prohibition-era moonshine still. It is relatively flat and easy to follow as it wraps around into Fay Canyon (see map below).
The Sunrise Ledge

These three locations are a grand slam for photographers and are within a stone's throw of each other. Accessed via an easy hike, it seems like this would be one of the most popular destinations in Sedona, but so far it gets few visitors. Photographers will find great light here both early in the morning and late in the afternoon.


Start from the Bear Mountain parking area on Boynton Pass Road (shown below). A Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass is required to park here, but here but free roadside parking is still allowed as of 2022. The paid parking area is ridiculously undersized for the number of hikers wanting to hike these trails, so it fills up quickly almost every day.
Bear Mountain parking area
Take the Bear Mountain Trail approximately 1 mile. When you near top of the second step look for a social trail breaking to the right (see photo below). The photo below was taken from Doe Mountain and shows the approximate routes of both the Bear Mountain system trail and the social that leads to the Stiletto.
Bear Mountain

The critical turn is just BEFORE you reach the BIG cliff at the top of the second step. The Bear Mountain system trail goes to the left of the cliff and behind a large boulder at this point (shown below). If you reach this spot you have just gone a little too far.
There is one short uphill section, across rocky ground, where it is possible to lose the social trail. This is just before you reach the bend into Fay Canyon. The good news is that you are basically hiking on a ledge. It's almost impossible to get off of this ledge, so if you get off course finding the trail again isn't difficult... just look for it on the uphill side.
The photo below was made standing on the Stiletto, looking into Fay Canyon. It shows the smaller point just beyond the Stiletto. There is a break in the cliffs between these two points (visible in this photo) providing access to the Sunrise Ledge, which is directly underneath the Stiletto.
Stiletto, Sunrise Ledge and Mystery Cave
For scale there is a hiker standing on that smaller point in the photo below.
Once you drop down to the Sunrise Ledge there is a cliff dwelling and the remains of a Prohibition-era still.
Prohibition-era moonshine still

The Sunrise Ledge becomes extemely narrow if you continue beyond the ruins (hiker shown below). If you love the headrush that comes from walking on narrow ledges, you'll love this one.

Hiker on the Sunrise Ledge  
Those wanting to combine the Stiletto with the summit of Bear Mountain can connect social trail with the system trail. A short detour to the right of this route leads to Mystery Cave, a more photo worth grabbing even if you plan to go back the way you came. The cave is somewhat difficult to climb into, but most hikers will be able to make it. The "cave" is actually an arch, so it's possible to continue through and uphill to the Fay-Bear Connector route, but you'll encounter more brush going this way.
Hiker at Mystery Cave


RATED: Easy with some route finding. Connecting the Stiletto with the system trail is rated a moderate due to the uphill climb, route finding and brush.
2 miles out and back
510 ft
2-3 hours round trip
All year
Yes for the Stiletto. No for the Sunrise Ledge. Do not visit archaeological sites with your pet.