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Trying to narrow down which hikes to focus on in Sedona? I can help. Skip Boynton Canyon Trail to Subway Cave. Here’s why.

The Boynton Canyon Vortex is one of several main vortexes in Sedona, Arizona. Boynton Canyon vortex has combination energy – both masculine and feminine energy – which is perfect for those seeking to balancing energy within oneself and with relationships. Now Subway Cave is not the vortex, but a spot along the Boynton Canyon Trail. The vortex is Kachina Woman, located close to the parking lot. In fact, the vortex is just 1 mile from the parking lot round-trip. Subway cave on the other hand is 7-miles round-trip. But don’t worry – they’re all flat, so it’s the easiest 7-miles ever.

In all honesty, it’s just 7-miles of straight walking on Boynton Canyon Trail. You pass by a residential area, a resort, see some red rocks, then make a right at a tree into shrubs for a little before reaching Subway Cave. It is not the most exciting or challenging hike in Sedona. And not one that I would necessarily do again or recommend others do. If after my “raving review” on this you still want to visit, then check out Earth Trekkers for how to get there. If you’re still not sold and want more information, you can read more about what to expect once there and my experience below.

Once you reach Subway Cave, the easiest way to get to it is to rock scramble up a steep hill to the mid-way point of the rock formation. Steep hill pictured above on the left. From here, if you’re looking out at Boynton Canyon, you either have the option to go right or left.


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Go right first. To the right are old caves and Native American dwellings. You can continue wrapping around the cliff for more views of Boynton Canyon Trail.

When you go left towards Subway Cave, there is this huge enclave within the cliff that offers you a fishbowl view of Boynton Canyon. I honestly think that was the most wonderful moment of the hike. This view, not Subway Cave. The beauty is no one even stops to take a picture here so you have it all to yourself!


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For those who do want to continue to Subway Cave, you first need to make it around this super scary, narrow, steep, and dangerous ledge. Pictured above on the left. This is not for the faint of heart. I tried it and was doing it incorrectly and was terrified I would fall. Once we got into Subway Cave, I couldn’t wait to go back. I would not do it again – terrifying and the risk is not worth the reward. Plus, you can’t see if anyone is coming the other way which means you risk bumping into someone. Again, not safe…

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A post shared by Anna Gaxiola Lim (@annagaxiola)

My one problem with social media is that every single subway cave picture you’ll fine makes it seem like this special, unknown, rarely frequented place. Like the above. The reality is that’s far from the case. Not a single image on Instagram shows the true subway cave. The closest image I could find was the below second image in the carousel. But trust me, there are way more people than that. Subway cave makes for an excellent optical illusion…

The truth is that the entire part of this cave is packed with people waiting in line to take a picture. The edge of the cave is narrow too…so you have to feel comfortable with being high up, on the edge of a cave, crammed with 30 other people, who might fall at any moment. You also have to have a minimum 30 minutes to spare just waiting in line. It feels too much like an Instagram moment to me and one that isn’t worth it honestly. We went into the cave, saw what it was, and left. The amount of tourists looking to snap a pic removed any specialness that came with it. Oh, and how do you get down? Either walk back around or jump down the super steep crack, again, very dangerous! The true beauty of Boynton Canyon Trail was in the caves next to it as I mentioned earlier.

All in all, do I think Subway Cave is worth the hike on Boynton Canyon Trail? No. There are cooler hikes like Soldiers Pass and cooler spots like the Birthing Cave to visit that might be les dangerous, less crowded, and more scenic than Subway Cave. I’ve determined that Subway Cave is more of an Instagram spot than anything else that isn’t the best representation of Sedona’s magic vortex luster! Skip it.

>> Next: My Experience Hiking Cathedral Rock Trail Vortex in Sedona

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