March 26, 2023

Driving into Sedona is an awe-inspiring expertise. Huge crimson rock mountains line the panorama. The very best issues to do in Sedona are out of doors actions, permitting you to take pleasure in these spectacular views.

I visited Sedona in Northern Arizona as an 11-year-old on a household trip to the American Southwest, although my reminiscences are faint.

There have been scenic drives, and a glimpse of the Grand Canyon, throughout our 10-day highway journey.

Thirty-five years later, I returned to Sedona one autumn weekend to have fun my birthday. Grownup Dave was excited to hit the paths, see the sights, and make new reminiscences.

Primarily based on my latest go to, I’ve put collectively this checklist of the most effective issues to do in Sedona and the encircling space. All of the spots are inside metropolis limits or a most 30-minute drive away.

Mountain climbing

Dave on Devil's Bridge, one of the best things to do in Sedona, Arizona (photo: Kelly Lemons)
Dave on Satan’s Bridge (picture: Kelly Lemons)

1. Satan’s Bridge

Let’s start atop a 57-foot tall pure sandstone arch, ominously known as the Satan’s Bridge.

It is among the finest locations for a photograph and never too difficult a hike to achieve. We noticed backpackers of all ages, from youngsters to older adults.

That stated, that is the desert, and one of the common out of doors locations in america, so it pays to start out early.

The very best time to start mountaineering the Satan’s Bridge Path is dawn, and going earlier than sundown is an alternative choice if you happen to do not thoughts doubtlessly mountaineering out at midnight.

The beginning elevation is 4,600 toes above sea degree, and there is a 400-foot elevation achieve. Our roundtrip hike took 2.5 hours, together with 20 minutes of ready in line for pictures on the stone bridge.

View toward the top of Cathedral Rock
View towards the highest of Cathedral Rock

2. Cathedral Rock

A brief however steep climb takes you up Cathedral Rock, one other one in all Sedona’s finest hikes.

We tackled this one the identical day as Satan’s Bridge; whereas shorter (about 1.2 miles roundtrip), it is the harder of the 2 trails.

Some scrambling is required in a single significantly steep part, so convey a small backpack to your water bottle, telephone, and digicam to make sure you can have each palms free. Correct mountaineering boots are additionally good.

The views of crimson rock formations are breathtaking. And if you happen to finally determine to not climb up, you may nonetheless see sufficient to know why visiting Cathedral Rock Path is of essentially the most unimaginable issues to do in Sedona.

Bell Rock in Sedona, AZ
Bell Rock

3. Bell Rock

For a simple hike, head for bucolic Bell Rock simply off U.S. Freeway 179. We entered the car parking zone at about 4 p.m. and walked the Bell Rock Pathway for one hour.

The path was comparatively flat and straightforward to comply with, and the close by Courthouse Butte complimented the views of Bell Rock.

Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout

4. Airport Mesa

The Sedona Airport is positioned on Airport Mesa (also referred to as Desk Prime Mountain). This regional airport is utilized by small planes arriving and departing Sedona and helicopters providing scenic rides.

Past transportation, there are a number of different causes to go to Airport Mesa. The Airport Loop Path is a 2.5-hour roundtrip path that goes across the airport.

If you do not have time for a hike, at the least drive as much as the Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout for a terrific view of West Sedona, Capitol Butte, and Wilson Mountain.

Cease by Mesa Grill Sedona on the fringe of the runway for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We watched many small planes take off and land whereas consuming brunch there.

Factors of Curiosity

The Chapel of the Holy Cross is built into the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona
A chapel constructed into the crimson rocks

5. Chapel of the Holy Cross

Constructed into the crimson rocks for $300,000 in 1956, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is seen to the bare eye from as far-off as Cathedral Rock.

Impressed by New York Metropolis’s Empire State Constructing, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, a neighborhood rancher and sculptor, commissioned the chapel.

The Roman Catholic chapel is a well-liked place for images and is open day by day from 9 a.m. to five p.m.

Out of respect for the non secular constructing, guests are requested to stay silent and never convey meals, drinks, or pets inside.

6. Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

Tibetan Buddhists constructed Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park to create a “non secular vacation spot for prayer, meditation, and the expertise of peace in a sacred place.”

The serene park in Northwest Sedona includes a stupa, a seated Buddha, and prayer wheels. It is an awesome spot for a couple of minutes of quiet reflection.

7. Sedona Heritage Museum

The Sedona Heritage Museum highlights the existence and work of the individuals who settled within the metropolis, starting way back to 1876.

Find out about ranching, cowboys, and flicks made within the area at this small museum in Jordan Historic Park in Uptown Sedona. Self-guided tickets for adults are $7.

8. Tlaquepaque Arts & Purchasing Village

If purchasing is a should for you, try the historic Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village close to the intersection of Freeway 89A and 179 (Crimson Rock Scenic Byway).

On this crafts village, you may discover a mixture of artwork galleries that includes native artists, outlets, cafes, eating places, and the Oak Creek Brewery. It is the right place to choose up a memento out of your time in Sedona.

Extra Actions

Courthouse Butte Vortex
Courthouse Butte

9. Go to a Vortex

Sedona is understood for its vortexes (vortices), swirling facilities of vitality emanating from the earth.

Well being-conscious and non secular vacationers come to Sedona to spend time in these energetic fields.

Meditation, yoga, and therapeutic ceremonies are a number of the methods they attempt to harness these unseen forces.

The 4 best-known Sedona vortex websites are:

  • Airport Mesa
  • Cathedral Rock
  • Bell Rock
  • Boynton Canyon

Probably the most accessible and closest to the town heart are the Airport Mesa Vortex and Bell Rock Vortex.

Of the 4, the Boynton Canyon Vortex is the furthest. All are labeled in Google Maps to make discovering them simple.

I visited three of those vitality vortexes and might’t say I felt any totally different, although I used to be on the transfer, mountaineering trails and savoring the surroundings, not feeling the rocks for vibrations.

10. Mountain Biking

The most effective methods to discover Crimson Rock Nation is on a mountain bike. You may cowl floor extra rapidly than on foot, and it is extra thrilling, too.

Sedona presents mountain bikers 250 miles of singletrack, appropriate for all ability ranges, from newbie to superior.

Bikers share these trails with hikers and horseback riders, so protected using and good etiquette are a should!

The annual Sedona Mountain Bike Festival is held the primary week of March and brings collectively greater than 90 distributors and lots of biking fanatics. In the event you’re on the town, it is a superb alternative to demo bikes.

11. Scorching Air Balloon Journey

In the event you’re not afraid of heights, contemplate a scorching air balloon journey for superb views of the crimson rock panorama.

I ventured skyward in a scorching air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey. Whereas it scared me, the surroundings and expertise had been unforgettable, and I think about the identical may be stated for ballooning in Sedona.

The Milky Way Galaxy as seen from Sedona (photo: Taylor Wright)
The Milky Approach Galaxy as seen from Sedona (picture: Taylor Wright)

12. Stargazing

Sedona’s beautiful views do not finish when the solar goes down. The neighborhood has invested in lowering gentle air pollution to make the evening sky extra seen.

Consequently, Sedona was designated a Dark Sky Community in 2014. Whilst you could also be shocked by the variety of stars you may see inside metropolis limits (as I used to be after dinner at Mariposa), there are locations the place the sky is even brighter.

My buddy Valerie Stimac, creator of “Dark Skies: A Practical Guide to Astrotourism” (Lonely Planet), put collectively a listing of unimaginable spots for stargazing in Sedona. Test it out.

13. Wine Tasting

In the event you’re searching for a break from out of doors adventures that contain climbing rocks and strolling alongside cliffs, attempt a wine-tasting tour.

The Verde Valley Wine Path runs from Vineyard 1912 in Sedona to Cottonwood, about 19 miles to the southwest.

That is one in all Arizona’s latest wine areas, with seven wineries and eight tasting rooms open to guests—simply sufficient locations to make a day journey out of it.

Issues To Do Close to Sedona

800-year-old petroglyphs at V Bar V Ranch
800-year-old petroglyphs

14. Petroglyphs at V Bar V Ranch

Get a glimpse of what life was like within the Verde Valley between A.D. 1150 and 1400 with a go to to V Bar V Ranch, dwelling to essentially the most in depth petroglyph website in Crimson Rock Nation.

Centuries in the past, indigenous individuals carved greater than 1,000 photos reflecting their way of life into 13 rock panels. Immediately, archaeologists check with their strategy because the Beaver Creek Rock Artwork Fashion.

The ranch is a couple of 17-mile drive south of Sedona on Freeway 179.

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Fortress

15. Montezuma Fortress Nationwide Monument

13 miles southwest of the petroglyphs, simply off Interstate 17, is one other notable archaeological website, Montezuma Castle.

This 20-room dwelling close to Beaver Creek was constructed inside a limestone cliff and is a wonderous sight to see in individual.

The constructing belonged to the Sinagua Individuals and was the third Nationwide Monument devoted to defending Native American tradition when it was established on December 8, 1906.

In the event you’re touring to the Sedona space from the south, cease by Montezuma Fortress in your manner into city.

The monument is open day by day, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Grownup admission is $10, and it is a quick stroll from the Customer Heart to see the fort.

16. Oak Creek Canyon

A brief drive north of Sedona lies Oak Creek Canyon, a forested space alongside the creek. It is an awesome place to go swimming, fishing, or tenting.

The canyon is a part of the Coconino Nationwide Forest, a 1.8-million-acre wilderness space encompassing Sedona’s crimson rocks and mountains.

West Fork Oak Creek Trail (photo: Jeremy Bishop)
West Fork Path (picture: Jeremy Bishop)

17. Slide Rock State Park

The Slide Rock State Park is about three miles north of Oak Creek Canyon (and 7 miles north of Sedona).

The park is known as after Slide Rock, an 80-foot pure waterslide. There are additionally a number of quick mountaineering trails (beneath a half-mile every) and locations for swimming and fishing.

The park is open day by day, and admission is on a per-vehicle foundation, from $10 to $30, relying on the time of yr.


Sedona might not be the most affordable place to go to in Arizona for the budget-conscious, however if you happen to can swing a go to, even for just a few days, you may be richly rewarded.

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