Fay Canyon is the best bang for your buck in Sedona. Easy, flat and meandering through Red Rock canyons
It doesn't get any redder than this

Faye Canyon easily topped the list as our favorite activities in Sedona. This is because it was a perfect "cherry on top" to our first day in the town. We had wandered about downtown and passed the afternoon with a siesta by the pool. When the sun went down and everything was a bit cooler outside, we drove out to the edge of town and began our walk

Faye Canyon doesn't make the infamous list of Sedona Vortexes though it has a certain draw and power of its own. Nestled in the red rocks that have made Sedona famous for decades, its very accessible and easily done as a first or last hike of the day. Here is a map-

The hike is almost entirely flat and quickly delves deep into the canyon.Afternoon heat quickly dissipated under the cool respite of the sheer walls. Sculpted ancient skylines of the canyon were a welcome change from our urban life. We've never lived in the Southwest before though it felt like we were returning home. 

As we hike further into the ravine, the walls tended to funnel until we reached the end of the trail and it felt like we were hiking in a slot. Flora was actually quite lush in this section where the water converges and support humongous broad-leafed and pine trees. Rising on the right was the Faye Canyon Arch which can be easily missed if you're not looking for it. This is a hike well suited for a leisurely pace with plenty of stops

From the entrance
The maintained trail ends roughly a mile from the parking lot though numerous herd paths exist from here. We elected to take the one that headed west (left) from the end of the trail and quickly scrambled to some fine viewing points. In the afternoon light, the famous buttes of Sedona were illuminated and neatly framed inside the canyon walls. Ribbons of green flora crept up the sheer face of each side creating a perfect southwestern palate of colors. We were in awe.

Higher the herd path went and we eventually came upon a gigantic overhung red rock that looked like a gigantic, frozen wave. Its shadow towered over us and was an inviting place for an evening snack. The initial excitement and aura of being back in the part of the country we love the most had not worn off in the slightest and we must have passed a full hour just trying to take it all in.
Off the main trail, up the herd path

Though I'm sure we could have spent all evening there in the canyon, we eventually did turn around and head back the way we came. After scrambling back down from our "wave", we took about as long as we could wandering our way back. At this point the sun was setting and creating a brilliant display on the east-facing ridgeline that dominates the Sedona area-

This was an excellent hike and such a great bang for our buck. Just 2.4 miles total, according to out GPS and well worth the minimal effort. All of what people love about Sedona hiking was easily viewed. For us, it only fueled our thirst for more outdoors. 
Not surprisingly, many other great hikes leave from this area, not the least of which is the Doe Mountain Trail. This brings the hiker atop an isolated butte with tremendous views as well. Doe Mountain is visible from most of the Sedona are though is comparatively simpler to other "mountain hikes" of the region. Hence, the parking lot allows easy access to both a butte and a canyon with minimal exertion. We would be happy to return later in the week.

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