Anyone else wishing they were out on the trail today? If you happened to ask us what one of our favorite easy hiking trails of the year was, we most definitely would point to the Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point Overlook in Sedona, Arizona.
We hiked this trail midway through our Arizona road trip, and are grateful for the recommendation by a volunteer at the Red Rocks State Park Visitor’s Center. Given the reasonably flat terrain and that it’s less popular than some of the other Sedona overlooks, Chicken Point Overlook not somewhere we would have chosen on our own. So glad we did.
We hiked the Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point mid-week and later in the afternoon. Beyond the tracks of one mountain biker, we were the only people on the trail. From what we understand, it’s uncommon for this popular trail to be so isolated — no complaints on our end. The hike took us about 1 hour 45 minutes to finish, although we didn’t spend as much time exploring the overlook as you might, given we had one other hike in Sedona planned that day.
About Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point
Distance: ~3 miles round trip, more if you plan to hike around the Chicken Point Overlook formations
Elevation Change: 350 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back hike to Chicken Point Overlook; Can be extended to a longer hike via the Broken Arrow Trail (must use a shuttle back to the trailhead).
Suitable for kids or knee issues? Wide trails, limited elevation gain, and an easy out and back. We’d recommend this for kids and knee issues both.
Our total hiking time: Allow at least 2-2.5 hours, depending on how much time you plan to leave at Chicken Point.
Other Nearby Hiking Options: The Sedona area has more than 170 different trail options at all fitness levels. The Little Horse Trail connects with the Llama Trail, Chapel Trail, and Broken Arrow trails to extend the length of your hike. We recommend stopping at the Red Rock Visitor’s Center or picking up a local trail guide for more options. Our favorites in the area were Cathedral Rock Trail & Chapel Trail.
The trailhead for
The parking area here requires a parking permit for Red Rocks State Park. Your National Park Service annual pass also covers the parking fee.
What You’ll See
The Little Horse Trail begins as part of the Bell Rock Pathway, a large jeep trail that stretches out just past the signage in the parking area. At 1/4 of a mile, you’ll reach the signpost for Little Horse Trail and a basket cairn leading towards the route to Chicken Point. You’ll travel through a dry stream, and then climb slightly to a larger exposed plateau. This area is fully exposed, so be prepared for lots of sunshine and heat during the mid-day hiking hours.
On the road you’ll also reach the junction for Chapel Trail which leads to Chapel of the Holy Cross. From here you’ll have some stunning late afternoon views of the Chapel and surrounding rock formations. At 1.4 miles, you’ll pass through a cattle gate and in an additional 200 yards or so, reach the base of the Chicken Point Overlook formations. Climb on the bare rocks around the area for 360 degree panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.
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Other Routes to Chicken Point
Chicken Point can also be reached via the Broken Arrow Trail. This route is used by jeep tours though, and popular with mountain biking trips. Some of the locals we met recommended arranging for transportation from the Broken Arrow trailhead back to the trailhead for Little Horse, as a way to hike both routes.
Other Tips About Hiking to Chicken Point
- Be sure to pack enough water for this hike. There were vault-style restrooms at the trailhead, but no water available.
- Parts of the hike are exposed to sun. If you find a shady spot, be sure to take advantage as there aren’t many on the trail. Also pack sunscreen and a hat.