A Phoenix to Sedona drive is among the very unlikely, lesser-discussed street journeys within the US. Unlike lots of the US’ mammoth street journeys, this Sedona street journey can simply be tackled in a day. And the route splits Arizona in two – heading north up to central Arizona and passing a number of the greatest locations to go to in Arizona as you go. Only simply over two hours in size, the Phoenix to Sedona drive covers 117 miles. It whisks you from one among Arizona’s most iconic massive cities into the guts of crimson rock nation. The drive incorporates crimson rocks galore and tons of mountaineering trails. There are cultural sights, too, like Montezuma Castle National Monument.
In this information, we’ll cowl all the pieces price understanding concerning the Phoenix to Sedona drive – which is definitely rather a lot. There’s an final itinerary developing, plus solutions to some widespread FAQs, and even some issues to do in Sedona and Phoenix. You can simply squeeze this stuff in earlier than and after your day journey of a lifetime. Let’s get began.
Phoenix to Sedona Drive Itinerary
So, you might be prepared to sort out the Phoenix to Sedona drive. This is definitely one among Arizona’s high street journeys – and day journeys – and we’ve ready the final word itinerary so that you don’t miss out on a factor. You’ll be chopping by way of central Arizona and the dramatic desert panorama. Surrounded by pure magnificence, that is the right day journey for wildlife, mountaineering, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl probably the most direct route, then present an alternate route when you fancy a detour.
Best Sedona Tours From Phoenix
Below are a number of the high excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice when you don’t have a automotive.
Top Activities and Tours:
The simplest way to full the Phoenix to Sedona drive is to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. From Phoenix Airport, hire a automotive, drive to Sedona utilizing this itinerary, and then fly from Sedona Airport. Or, when you really need, you possibly can drive again to Phoenix after spending just a few nights in Sedona. If you intend a return journey, that is the right time to make the most of our various route – you get the very best of each worlds.
Got your paper and pen prepared? Then let’s begin. This is the final word itinerary to expertise the Phoenix to Sedona street journey.
1. Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Distance from Phoenix: 55 minutes Time required: 1 hour
Lake Pleasant Regional Park is an enormous leisure space and one of many first notable sights you cross as you start your Phoenix to Sedona drive. Lake Pleasant has over 100 campsites and RV spots – it’s a vastly widespread pure getaway for these dwelling in Phoenix. When driving from Phoenix to Sedona, it’s best for an early morning refresher, thanks to its wealth of water actions. You might go for a dawn kayak. Or, when you go away it till 10 am, take a trip on the world’s largest floating waterslide at H2. Whoa!
Pack swimwear and a towel; use Lake Pleasant as the right wake-up spot. It is good to begin your day with some exercise, and in summer season particularly, Lake Pleasant has an exquisite environment.
2. Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City
Distance from Phoenix: 49 minutes Time required: half-hour
Black Canyon City is a little bit desert city as soon as used for mining. The previous mining city is now a quick stop-off level on the drive from Phoenix to Sedona. However, the unassuming city has one main draw – Rock Springs Cafe. The cafe has an aesthetic trucker vibe, with a faint signal etched in true Southern hospitality model on its partitions.
The cafe is stuffed with character with hyperlinks to the previous bootlegging days and over 100 years of native historical past. Its particular pies are simply an added bonus. Rock Springs ships pie all around the US and serve them to guests on arrival. We counsel stopping by for a fast brunch after your water actions on Lake Pleasant.
3. Badger Springs Trail
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour
Badger Springs Trail is a 1.5 miles hike with a trailhead inside the Agua Fria National Monument. Short however candy, this path is straightforward to full and appropriate for hikers of all capabilities as long as they’ve fundamental mobility. The path drops you down alongside the banks of the Agua Fria River, immersing you in Arizonian wildlife and taking you to some spectacular Perry Mesa petroglyphs hidden inside a canyon.
Badger Springs Trail is ideal for spending an hour or so stretching your legs. The path is comparatively busy however not packed, so it’s a good alternative to see some petroglyphs with out straining your neck to peer over crowds.
4. Agua Fria National Monument
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour
Now that you just’ve formally entered the central area of Agua Fria National Monument, you possibly can genuinely admire the 71,000 acres of protected pure area. Badger Springs Trail is a good way to begin your time within the nationwide monument – particularly with its historical past, wildlife, and Agua Fria River entry.
However, after this, we’d counsel spending a little bit additional time within the space with binoculars, simply taking a break from driving and having fun with the views. You can spot coyotes, mountain lions, mule deer, and even antelope in case you are fortunate.
You can detour to the Pueblo La Plata web site at this level if you need as properly. Visiting Pueblo La Plata includes a 40-minute drive by way of a distant desert panorama to see an historic Native American Settlement.
5. Montezuma Castle National Monument
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 45 minutes Time required: half-hour
Speaking of Native American historical past, Montezuma Castle is among the greatest issues to do in Arizona. The 20-story cliff dwelling is a outstanding early settlement reduce into limestone rock. This historic stone pueblo is among the US’ most revered historic sights. You can take a ranger-led tour of Montezuma Castle or go to independently. It is only a quick stroll from the parking space alongside a paved monitor – taking beneath 10 minutes to full. While you possibly can’t enter Montezuma Castle, you will get fabulous views from simply outdoors.
Montezuma Castle National Monument is located simply outdoors of Camp Verde. It is definitely the most effective historic sights you possibly can add as a stop-off on your journey from Phoenix to Sedona, and it is best to positively tick it off.
6. Red Rock Scenic Byway
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 50 minutes Time required: 20 minutes
Many individuals say that the Red Rock Scenic Byway is a gateway to Sedona. The scenic drive is roughly 7.5 miles lengthy and cuts by way of some spectacular crimson rock formations. Since Sedona is famed for its crimson rocks, it’s no marvel this getting into street is stuffed with brilliant, cherry-red rock options.
Driving, it solely takes 20 minutes; this byway is on the direct route from Phoenix to Arizona. It is the simplest attraction to mix with this street journey – you received’t have to exit of your method. And in reality, the one method this may take additional time is if you need to cease and take some fast photographs.
7. Bell Rock
Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours Time required: 1-2 hours
Bell Rock is a dramatic crimson rock butte you cross simply earlier than getting into Sedona. As a last stop-off earlier than getting into the town, we suggest stopping and mountaineering (or mountain biking) up Bell Rock. The path is just 0.8 miles out and again, however you’ll attain an elevation acquire of 203 toes – so be ready to get barely out of puff.
This path is ranked as average, and you’ll want to carry some water and sound, sturdy footwear. However, it’s one among Sedona’s most iconic hikes, so it’s unbelievable to full. The panoramic view you get on this hike makes all of it worthwhile.
Alternate Route: Via Verde Valley Wine Trail
Fancy a distinct drive again to Phoenix? Or would you favor to skip over the scenic byway and Bell Rock in favor of a very good wine tour? Looping up to Old Town Cottonwood is a good alternate route on the Phoenix to Sedona drive. You can incorporate one of many fabulous wine excursions on the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
If you detour this manner, it’s also possible to go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot National Monument – gorgeous and partaking sights. If you have got youngsters it’s your decision to cease on the Africa Wildlife Park, although we don’t suggest visiting establishments like this, this appears to be properly run. Use your personal judgment. The railroad, particularly, is greatest for individuals who don’t need to hike Bell Rock or have compromised mobility.
Since wine excursions are a little bit incompatible with single-day street journeys, we recommend stopping in a single day in Old Town Cottonwood when you select this feature. Unless you have got a chosen driver, getting two days out of this various Phoenix to Sedona route is greatest.
What To See and Do in Phoenix
After touchdown at Phoenix Airport, go away your self a day or two to settle earlier than heading on your Phoenix to Sedona drive. So how are you going to preserve your self entertained? What are a number of the greatest issues to do in Phoenix? Forget a day journey for not less than the primary couple of days, as there’s simply a lot to see on this Arizona metropolis. You can go to a purchasing village, try Arizona’s artwork galleries, or decide any of the sights under.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is among the most original museums within the US, not to mention Arizona or Phoenix. There are over 15,000 artifacts – which is actually virtually unfathomable. Phoenix’s inventive, cultured character is not possible not to love. And having the Musical Instrument Museum to admire improves Phoenix tenfold. Don’t simply go to the exhibitions; Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum has a 300-seat theater and hosts common performances. See if one aligns together with your go to dates, and cease by the reward store after.
Frontier Town is tremendous cool. The recreated previous west settlement is sort of a little time capsule and a unbelievable place to uncover an immersive Western expertise in the midst of the town. It isn’t only a Western pop-up attraction, although; it acts as a completely practical purchasing heart.
Think snapping photos in entrance of aesthetic, previous west-style surroundings whereas rummaging by way of store after store of cut price buys. If you need to cease by a present store or two, simply add Frontier Town to your itinerary. Is it a vacationer lure? A little bit bit. But it might nonetheless get a smile out of even the grouchiest adults.
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is a little bit solace amid Downtown Phoenix. It is run primarily by volunteers and has a peaceable environment, making it the perfect place to slink away to take pleasure in a brief stroll and some inexperienced area. The backyard has tiny pagodas, infinite water options, quaint crimson bridges, and ceramic wind bells. And when you’ve had a soothing stroll, there’s a tea backyard and tea home the place you possibly can seize a standard beverage to finish the expertise.
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire doesn’t make many high suggestions relating to issues to do in Phoenix. Located within the suburbs in close by Scottsdale, Frank Lloyd Wright Spire is a outstanding feat of structure – a 125-foot tall jagged spike of blue that juts out above the boulevard. The spire is an ode to the late architect based mostly on his proposed design as Arizona’s new state capitol in 1957. You can discover from the bottom of the spire and stroll across the park it’s situated in.
What To See and Do in Sedona
The Phoenix to Sedona drive could be a day journey, however you possibly can nonetheless spend just a few days visiting Sedona when you arrive. Our recommendation: deal with your likelihood to go to Sedona as a brief getaway. Spend not less than just a few days there after driving from Phoenix to Sedona. These are the highest collection of all of the issues to do in Sedona throughout your keep. Who is aware of, possibly you’ll plan a Sedona street journey to someplace particular close by, just like the Grand Canyon?
Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon is a surprising crimson rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by if you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that crimson rock surroundings and incorporates a swimming gap and a pure waterslide. Oak Creek Canyon is lower than 10 minutes away from Sedona by automotive.
You can simply use it as a half-day exercise – simply pack some swimwear, a towel, and snacks. Photographers ought to carry a digital camera too. Alternatively, when you fancy a extra lively method of reaching the canyon, hire a motorcycle and cycle to Oak Creek Canyon. The canyon is simply half-hour away by bike, so biking is a possible addition to this attraction.
Cathedral Rock Trail
When visiting Sedona, scary hikes are a should. Cathedral Rock path is as scary because it will get, and this steep hike ascends abruptly to a saddle that lies between two crimson rock formations. The 1.5-mile spherical hike isn’t for the faint-hearted, however positively, an achievement to get your blood pumping. Technically talking, Cathedral Rock Trail isn’t demanding of hikers’ abilities – it requires psychological energy to persevere by way of the ascent.
You’ve most likely seen Cathedral Rock earlier than, but when not, try an image now. The sandstone butte is definitely one among Arizona’s most well-known sights. The jagged sequence of mounds make up the huge butte, and it’s a transfixing sight whether or not you climb it or not. Moreover, Cathedral Rock is a 12-minute drive from Sedona and stunning at sundown.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Chapel of the Holy Cross is an summary Catholic church courting again to the Fifties. The bizarre-designed church juts up with floor-to-ceiling home windows and overlooks the crimson rocks scattered outdoors. The towering concrete landmark appears extra like a spaceship than something non secular – an actual piece of contemporary structure. Totally free to enter; it is among the hottest sights in Sedona. Tourists like it for its novel modern attract. It even has its personal on-line reward store.
The Grand Canyon isn’t in Sedona itself. However, it’s only a 2-hour drive from Sedona, so the city is a unbelievable base for a day journey to probably the most well-known canyon. The canyon is among the US’ hottest sights. People flock to the canyon to admire its dramatic surroundings, bask in helicopter rides, and head out on mountaineering trails.
But, it’s removed from only a fairly face. Stretching 278 miles, it encompasses 11 related tribes’ ancestral homelands and boasts the Great Unconformity. The Great Unconformity is a lacking layer within the rock sample. It stays a complete thriller to geologists all around the world.
The Grand Canyon is rather more possible as a day journey from Sedona than Phoenix. So profit from venturing on this Phoenix to Sedona drive and keep in Sedona for just a few days, including on a day journey additional north to the Grand Canyon. It is a fairly direct route, heading up by way of Flagstaff or Grand Canyon Junction.
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is among the most stunning locations to admire the views close to Sedona. It is a wonderful sundown level when the crimson rocks are illuminated in gorgeous shades of crimson. The viewpoint overlooks western Sedona and sits on the finish of the airport street – therefore the title.
The huge car parking zone is free to take pleasure in. So pack a picnic, carry some blankets, and settle in for a romantic night overlooking Sedona. Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is among the most romantic issues to do in Sedona for sundown and even after darkish when you fancy some star gazing.
Phoenix to Sedona Drive: FAQs
The Phoenix to Sedona drive is a bucket checklist street journey. And this route is a breeze to full in a day journey – splendid for individuals who have little time in Arizona. So, what else is there to know? As promised, listed below are the solutions to your mostly requested questions.
Is Sedona definitely worth the drive from Phoenix?
Definitely, Sedona provides a completely completely different perception into Arizona than what Phoenix provides. You’ll expertise actual ‘red rock country’ and street journey a ridiculously scenic route to get there. Sedona itself is stuffed with mountaineering trails and tradition. It can be an ideal base to take pleasure in snowboarding or head to the Grand Canyon.
What is the very best scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona?
The greatest scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona is through the Red Rock Scenic Byway. On this route, you might be surrounded by crimson rocks, and it’s attractive at sundown. If you need an iconic method to enter Sedona, select this route.
Is the drive from Phoenix to Sedona straightforward?
The drive from Phoenix to Sedona is really easy. You keep on the Arizona Veterans Highway for a lot of the journey, solely altering to Highway 179 (the scenic byway) for the final half-hour of the drive. It is tremendous easy to navigate.
What is the street like from Phoenix to Sedona?
The street from Phoenix to Sedona is fundamental and straightforward to drive. You are purely touring on highways – beginning on the Arizona Veterans Highway and switching to Highway 179. The highways run by way of desert terrain and are comparatively quiet when you’ve exited Phoenix.
The Phoenix to Sedona drive is fairly iconic, that’s for certain. The crimson rocks of Sedona and the desert panorama you cross on this street journey are irresistible. You’ll have a wonderful time whether or not you cease by the traditional stone pueblos at Montezuma Castle National Monument or take one of many three mountaineering trails listed on this information. The better part is that the Phoenix to Sedona drive is simply two hours lengthy – which means you have got all day to fill with thrilling sights and stop-off factors.
Looking for extra Arizona inspiration? Why not plan to keep in an aesthetic, conventional cabin? These are the greatest cabins in Arizona when you can tempt your self to cease driving and keep put for an evening. Trust us, you’ll admire the gorgeous views and heat environment.