Cathedral Rock

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For other uses, see Cathedral Rock (disambiguation).
For the rock formation in the Australian state of Tasmania, see Cathedral Rock, Tasmania.
Cathedral Rock at sunset
Cathedral Rock from Red Rock Crossing
These saddle points or "gaps" may be reached via the steep Cathedral Rock trail.
Cathedral Rock from Red Rock State Park

Cathedral Rock is a famous landmark on the Sedona, Arizona skyline, and is one of the most-photographed sights in Arizona, USA.[1] Cathedral Rock is located in the Coconino National Forest in Yavapai County, about a mile (1.6 km) west of Arizona Route 179, and about 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of the "Y" intersection of Routes 179 and 89A in uptown Sedona. The summit elevation of Cathedral Rock is 4,921 feet (1,500 m).[2]

The Cathedral Rock trail (USFS Trail #170) is a popular short, steep ascent from the Back O' Beyond trailhead to the saddle points or "gaps" in Cathedral Rock.[3]

Geologically, Cathedral Rock is carved from the Permian Schnebly Hill formation, a redbed sandstone formed from coastal sand dunes near the shoreline of the ancient Pedregosa Sea. Ripple marks are prominent along the lower Cathedral Rock trail, and a black basalt dike may be seen in the first saddle.[1]

Cathedral Rock was called "Court House Rock" on some early maps,[2] and Courthouse Butte was called "Church House Rock",[4] which has caused endless confusion ever since.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Wayne Ranney (2010), Sedona Through Time: A Guide to Sedona's Geology. Zia Publishing, 3rd edition, ISBN 978-0-9701203-8-0
  2. ^ a b Cathedral Rock, USGS Geographic Names Information System
  3. ^ Cathedral Rock trail, with photos.
  4. ^ Courthouese Butte in USGS Geographic Names Information System

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°49′12″N 111°47′36″W / 34.8200185°N 111.7932108°W / 34.8200185; -111.7932108