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How Hiking in Sedona Can Help in Recovery

Posted by arizonarecovery on July 8, 2020

When we talk about therapies for addiction, our mind draws a picture of medical treatments and a series of in-person therapeutic sessions. It is not wrong to say that almost every such program primarily includes these methods to help people fight addiction. However, recent trends show that the structure of such treatments is changing, and many recreational and outdoor adventure therapies are constantly added to these treatment programs.

When people think about addiction treatment, they usually don’t consider outdoor and recreational activities as therapy. However, these, when paired with the existing treatment curriculum, can become extremely helpful for the addicts and encourage them to live a sober and healthy life. And one of the best outdoor activities to help people in recovery is hiking.

What is Hiking Therapy?

It is a type of therapy that, obviously, includes going on an outdoor hike. Medical professionals usually view this approach as an outdoor or adventure therapy that can be beneficial for patients suffering from an addiction disorder. When an individual is out in nature, there are various challenges that they have to face by themselves. These roadblocks teach them how crucial it is to make better and more mature choices.

When hiking, individuals are solely responsible for taking control and be aware of their own actions. They also understand that even a small wrong decision can end up being harmful to them. This acts as a growth mechanism and pushes the individual to make better decisions. Also, it increases the mindfulness and strength required during recovery.

But does that make hiking the only treatment of addiction? Absolutely not. Most addiction treatment centers incorporate hiking therapy in a program that already has medicinal and other traditional therapies. Although it makes for a good complementary addiction recovery service, there is no therapist who would consider hiking as a standalone remedy for addiction.

Hiking Trails in Sedona

There are plenty of options for the people of Sedona interested to go on a hiking trail. Even for individuals who are currently in recovery, these hiking places will come as a breath of fresh air.

  • Cathedral Rock Hike

Most people who see these rocks as a landmark often ask if they can hike on it. Yes, you can. This hiking trail gives you a magical view of the colorful Mogollon Rim, Courthouse Butte, and Bell Rock.

  • Doe Mountain Trail

You wouldn’t want to miss out on this popular hiking trail at Sedona. The 1.2-mile trail (out-and-back) takes you up on the mountain top that seems like land on its own. However, you will still be able to see rabbits and other wildlife. Also, did we mention to gaze out over this beautiful landscape? You can view Courthouse Butte, Bear Mountain, Mescal Mountain, and Fay Canyon.

  • Courthouse Butte Loop Trail

If you like moderate hiking trails, this 3.9-mile loop trail is the one you should go for. And while stunning views and extending to Bell Rock, the magnificent Mogollon Rim, Courthouse Butte aren’t enough, you will also find a small spaceship-shaped rock towards the end of the trail.

  • Devil’s Bridge Trail

This is the easiest trail that almost anyone can do. Devil’s Bridge trail is the one that receives most footfall and you will find more jeeps, mountain bikes, and countless other hikers as you hike. It is a 4.2-mile trail in total that leads to a stunning natural sandstone arch. The view from there will leave you awestruck.

  • Teacup Trail

When those temperatures start to climb, we look for hikes that meet two requirements: short and scenic. And West Sedona’s Teacup Trail is one of our favorite brief hikes with top-notch views of one of Sedona’s most iconic red rocks, Coffee Pot. Sedona Monthly has this trail as their Sedona Hike of The Month.

Other beautiful hiking trails to have an enthralling experience are Bell Rock Pathway, West Fork, Airport Loop Trail, Boynton Canyon, and Soldier Pass. These hiking trails will not only let you have an amazing time but the solitude you will gain as you focus on nature’s beauty would be inexplicable. Scenic views will help calm your mind and provide change and personal empowerment.

This could be the reason why hiking or any other outdoor activity that involves mind-body coordination helps people in recovery. It is because of these physical exercises that we can not only improve our health but also gain enough mental stability to deal with the situations that can cause a relapse.

Benefits of Exercising Regularly

It doesn’t matter if you are going on a hike, for a brisk-walk, hitting the gym for some weightlifting, or even practicing yoga and meditation in peace, all physical activity is beneficial for your body.

When our body is recalibrating to a routine without drugs and alcohol, it undergoes numerous changes. Many of them are beneficial in the long run but are unbearable at the time they first happen. Less energy, lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety, all these can follow an individual even after several months of sobriety. The result? Possible relapse.

This is where exercise plays a crucial role. Individuals who engage in daily exercise experience better sleep, less stress, and feel more energetic throughout the day. If you are in recovery, there will be instances where you will get the urge to do it again. In such cases, exercising can keep you occupied and distracted from all the things that can force you to fall back to your previous habits.

Not only this, but it also improves mood. For people in the early stages of recovery, frequent shifts in mood can be overwhelming. One time, they would feel at the top of the world and the next, you will see them disheartened and lost. With regular exercise, our body produces more endorphins, which according to researchers provides feelings of happiness and euphoria.


Recovery is not an easy phase in an addict’s life. It takes a whole lot of effort and dedication to be able to get through recovery without relapsing. While medical treatment is definitely needed to cure addiction disorder, there must be personal efforts to help your body fight the change. Outdoor physical activity or even choosing to go on a hike can help you in your recovery process.

*Sedona Monthly is the premier news source in Sedona and they contributed information in this article – thanks Sedona Monthly!

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