Phoenix to Sedona Drive: What to See and Do on Your Day Trip

Phoenix to Sedona Drive: What to See and Do on Your Day Trip


A Phoenix to Sedona drive is without doubt one of the very unlikely, lesser-discussed highway journeys within the US. Unlike lots of the US’ mammoth highway journeys, this Sedona highway 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 finest 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 certainly one of Arizona’s most iconic huge cities into the center of crimson rock nation. The drive incorporates crimson rocks galore and tons of climbing trails. There are cultural sights, too, like Montezuma Castle National Monument.

In this information, we’ll cowl every little thing price understanding concerning the Phoenix to Sedona drive – which is definitely loads. 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

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Itinerary

So, you might be prepared to sort out the Phoenix to Sedona drive. This is well certainly one of Arizona’s high highway journeys – and day journeys – and we’ve ready the last 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, climbing, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl essentially the most direct route, then present an alternate route should you fancy a detour.

Best Sedona Tours From Phoenix

Below are a number of the high excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice should you don’t have a automotive.

Top Activities and Tours:

The easiest method to full the Phoenix to Sedona drive is to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. From Phoenix Airport, lease a automotive, drive to Sedona utilizing this itinerary, and then fly from Sedona Airport. Or, should you actually need, you possibly can drive again to Phoenix after spending a number of nights in Sedona. If you propose a return journey, that is the right time to make the most of our various route – you get the most effective of each worlds.

Got your paper and pen prepared? Then let’s begin. This is the last word itinerary to expertise the Phoenix to Sedona highway journey.

1. Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Distance from Phoenix: 55 minutes Time required: 1 hour

Lake Pleasant Regional Park is an unlimited 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 common 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, should you depart it till 10 am, take a trip on the world’s largest floating waterslide at H2. Whoa!

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Lake Pleasant Regional Park

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 time particularly, Lake Pleasant has a beautiful environment.

2. Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Rock Springs Cafe In Black Canyon City

Distance from Phoenix: 49 minutes Time required: half-hour

Black Canyon City is just a little 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 fashion on its partitions.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Lake Pleasant Picnic

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 everywhere in 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

Phoenix to Sedona Itinerary 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

Agua Fria National Monument Phoenix to Sedona Drive Itinerary

Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour

Now that you simply’ve formally entered the central area of Agua Fria National Monument, you possibly can genuinely respect the 71,000 acres of protected pure house. Badger Springs Trail is an effective 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 just a little 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 if you’re fortunate.

You can detour to the Pueblo La Plata web site at this level if you would like as properly. Visiting Pueblo La Plata includes a 40-minute drive by way of a distant desert panorama to see an historical Native American Settlement.

5. Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma castle national momument on drive from Phoenix to Sedona

Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 45 minutes Time required: half-hour

Speaking of Native American historical past, Montezuma Castle is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Arizona. The 20-story cliff dwelling is a exceptional early settlement minimize into limestone rock. This historical stone pueblo is without doubt one of 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.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Montezuma Castle 2

Montezuma Castle National Monument is located simply outdoors of Camp Verde. It is well among the best historic sights you possibly can add as a stop-off on your journey from Phoenix to Sedona, and it’s best to undoubtedly tick it off.

6. Red Rock Scenic Byway

Phoenix to Sedona Drive stops Red Rock Scenic Byway

Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 50 minutes Time required: 20 minutes

Many folks 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 highway is stuffed with shiny, 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 highway journey – you gained’t have to exit of your manner. And in reality, the one manner it will take additional time is if you would like to cease and take some fast photographs.

7. Bell Rock

Sedona to Phoenix Drive 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 ultimate stop-off earlier than getting into the town, we advocate stopping and climbing (or mountain biking) up Bell Rock. The path is simply 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 convey some water and sound, sturdy sneakers. However, it’s certainly one of Sedona’s most iconic hikes, so it’s incredible to full. The panoramic view you get on this hike makes all of it worthwhile.

Alternate Route: Via Verde Valley Wine Trail

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Via Verde 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 great wine tour? Looping up to Old Town Cottonwood is a superb 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 fashion, you can too go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot National Monument – beautiful and partaking sights. If you have got children you might have considered trying to cease on the Africa Wildlife Park, although we don’t advocate visiting establishments like this, this appears to be properly run. Use your individual judgment. The railroad, specifically, is finest for individuals who don’t need to hike Bell Rock or have compromised mobility.

Since wine excursions are just a little incompatible with single-day highway journeys, we advise stopping in a single day in Old Town Cottonwood should you select this feature. Unless you have got a delegated driver, getting two days out of this various Phoenix to Sedona route is finest.

What To See and Do in Phoenix

Things to see in Phoenix on your Phoenix to Sedona Drive

After touchdown at Phoenix Airport, depart your self a day or two to settle earlier than heading on your Phoenix to Sedona drive. So how will you hold your self entertained? What are a number of the finest issues to do in Phoenix? Forget a day journey for at the least the primary couple of days, as there’s simply a lot to see on this Arizona metropolis. You can go to a procuring village, take a look at Arizona’s artwork galleries, or choose any of the sights beneath.

Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is without doubt one of 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 creative, cultured character is unimaginable not to love. And having the Musical Instrument Museum to respect 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 along with your go to dates, and cease by the present store after.

Frontier Town

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Frontier Town

Frontier Town is tremendous cool. The recreated previous west settlement is sort of a little time capsule and a incredible 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 totally practical procuring middle.

Think snapping footage 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 entice? Slightly bit. But it might nonetheless get a smile out of even the grouchiest adults.

The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Phoenix to Sedona Drive The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is just a little solace amid Downtown Phoenix. It is run primarily by volunteers and has a peaceable environment, making it the best place to slink away to get pleasure from a brief stroll and some inexperienced house. 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 conventional beverage to finish the expertise.

Frank Lloyd Wright Spire

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Frank Lloyd Wright Spire

Frank Lloyd Wright Spire doesn’t make many high suggestions concerning issues to do in Phoenix. Located within the suburbs in close by Scottsdale, Frank Lloyd Wright Spire is a exceptional 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 primarily based 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 positioned in.

What To See and Do in Sedona

Phoenix to Sedona Drive What To do In Sedona

The Phoenix to Sedona drive is likely to be a day journey, however you possibly can nonetheless spend a number of days visiting Sedona when you arrive. Our recommendation: deal with your likelihood to go to Sedona as a brief getaway. Spend at the least a number of days there after driving from Phoenix to Sedona. These are the highest choice of all of the issues to do in Sedona throughout your keep. Who is aware of, possibly you’ll plan a Sedona highway journey to someplace particular close by, just like the Grand Canyon?

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon on Phoenix to Sedona Road Trip

Oak Creek Canyon is a surprising crimson rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by once you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that crimson rock surroundings and includes 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 convey a digicam too. Alternatively, should you fancy a extra lively manner of reaching the canyon, lease a motorbike 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

Cathedral Rock Trail Phoenix to Sedona Drive

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 shouldn’t be for the faint-hearted, however undoubtedly, 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, take a look at an image now. The sandstone butte is well certainly one of Arizona’s most well-known sights. The jagged sequence of mounds make up the large 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 lovely at sundown.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Things to see on drive from Phoenix to Sedona Chapel of the Holy Cross

Chapel of the Holy Cross is an summary Catholic church courting again to the Nineteen 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 to be like extra like a spaceship than something non secular – an actual piece of recent structure. Totally free to enter; it is without doubt one of the hottest sights in Sedona. Tourists adore it for its novel up to date attract. It even has its personal on-line present store.

Grand Canyon

Phoenix to Sedona drive detour Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon shouldn’t be in Sedona itself. However, it’s only a 2-hour drive from Sedona, so the city is a incredible base for a day journey to essentially the most well-known canyon. The canyon is without doubt one of the US’ hottest sights. People flock to the canyon to admire its dramatic surroundings, take pleasure in helicopter rides, and head out on climbing 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 everywhere in the world.

The Grand Canyon is way more possible as a day journey from Sedona than Phoenix. So take advantage of venturing on this Phoenix to Sedona drive and keep in Sedona for a number of 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

Phoenix to Sedona Road Trip stop Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout

Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is without doubt one of the most lovely locations to admire the views close to Sedona. It is a wonderful sundown level when the crimson rocks are illuminated in beautiful shades of crimson. The viewpoint overlooks western Sedona and sits on the finish of the airport highway – therefore the title.

The huge parking zone is free to get pleasure from. So pack a picnic, convey some blankets, and settle in for a romantic night overlooking Sedona. Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is without doubt one of the most romantic issues to do in Sedona for sundown and even after darkish should you fancy some star gazing.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive: FAQs

Phoenix to Sedona Drive FAQS

The Phoenix to Sedona drive is a bucket record highway journey. And this route is a breeze to full in a day journey – very best for individuals who have little time in Arizona. So, what else is there to know? As promised, listed here are the solutions to your mostly requested questions.

Is Sedona definitely worth the drive from Phoenix?

Definitely, Sedona affords a completely completely different perception into Arizona than what Phoenix affords. You’ll expertise actual ‘red rock country’ and highway journey a ridiculously scenic route to get there. Sedona itself is stuffed with climbing trails and tradition. It can be an ideal base to get pleasure from snowboarding or head to the Grand Canyon.

What is the most effective scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona?

The finest scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona is by way of 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 manner 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 many 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 highway like from Phoenix to Sedona?

The highway 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.

To Conclude

Phoenix to Sedona Drive To Conclude

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 highway 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 climbing trails listed on this information. The better part is that the Phoenix to Sedona drive is simply two hours lengthy – that 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 finest cabins in Arizona should you can tempt your self to cease driving and keep put for an evening. Trust us, you’ll respect the attractive views and heat environment.

Plan Your Next Trip to Arizona With These Resources


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