Airport Mesa Loop

The Airport Mesa Loop is a system trail in the Coconino National Forest. Designated as Trail #211, it is well marked and easy to follow. This popular route is open to both hikers and mountain bikes. The trail begins at the overlook about halfway up Airport Road (shown below).
Airport Mesa Loop


From West Sedona turn off Hwy 89A on to Airport Road. There is a small parking area on the left as you go up the hill. The Airport Mesa Loop begins at the smaller parking area on the way up.
There is no pass required to park here, but there are less than a dozen spaces. The shortage of parking spaces is exacerbated by people wanting to climb up the little knob right next to the parking area, which is claimed to be a "vortex" by New Age practitioners (shown below).
Lower Airport Overlook
While the top of the knob is especially pretty at sunset (shown below) it is ALWAYS busy with visitors, partly because this is the easiest of the seven original "vortex" sites to access. Or at least it is now. It used to be much harder.
Airport Mesa sunset
Most visitors wanting to feel the "female" energy here are completely unaware that the original Airport Vortex was at the far end of the runway, and that it was "moved" here by the City of Sedona in order to reduce foot traffic at the (back then) unfenced end of the runway. Of course, the far end of the runway and the original vortex site is exactly where the loop trail goes.
There is a much larger gravel parking area at the top of the mesa. This parking area is never full -- except at sunset -- when the overlook directly across the road becomes packed with visitors (shown below).
Airport Overlook
The short Sedona View Trail connects the two parking areas, so it's always possible to park above and hike down to the beginning of the loop (shown below). Parking in the upper lot does require a fee. It also adds approximately 2/10ths of a mile and about 200 feet of elevation gain/loss to the total hike.
View from the trail connecting the upper and lower parking areas
For those interested in a long hike with more uphill, there are two additional parking areas that can be used to access the Airport Loop (see map below). These are located on Shelby Road in West Sedona (using the Bandit Trail) and Brewer Road near Uptown Sedona (using the Brewer Trail).


RATED: Moderate due to length, elevation gain and almost complete lack of shade. Early in the day and late in the afternoon one side of the mesa or the other will shade itself.
3.8 miles for the full loop
511 ft
2 hours for the full loop
September-May. This trail can be extremely hot in summer. Not recommended when thunderstorms are threatening.
Yes. Must be leashed at all times. Please pick up after your pet.