A Phoenix to Sedona drive is likely one of 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 among 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 certainly one of Arizona’s most iconic huge cities into the center of pink rock nation. The drive incorporates pink rocks galore and tons of mountain climbing trails. There are cultural points of interest, 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 so much. 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’re prepared to sort out the Phoenix to Sedona drive. This is well certainly one of Arizona’s high street 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 via central Arizona and the dramatic desert panorama. Surrounded by pure magnificence, that is the proper day journey for wildlife, mountain climbing, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl probably the most direct route, then present an alternate route in case you fancy a detour.
Best Sedona Tours From Phoenix
Below are among the high excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice in case 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, in case you actually need, you possibly can drive again to Phoenix after spending a couple of nights in Sedona. If you intend a return journey, that is the proper time to make the most of our different 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 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 points of interest you cross as you start your Phoenix to Sedona drive. Lake Pleasant has over 100 campsites and RV spots – it’s a vastly in style pure getaway for these residing in Phoenix. When driving from Phoenix to Sedona, it’s best for an early morning refresher, thanks to its wealth of water actions. You may go for a dawn kayak. Or, in case you depart 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 proper wake-up spot. It is sweet to begin your day with some exercise, and in summer time 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 slightly desert city as soon as used for mining. The previous mining city is now a short 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.
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 recommend 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 throughout the Agua Fria National Monument. Short however candy, this path is simple to full and appropriate for hikers of all capabilities as long as they’ve primary 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 recognize 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 recommend spending slightly 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’d like as properly. Visiting Pueblo La Plata includes a 40-minute drive via a distant desert panorama to see an historical 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 likely one of the greatest issues to do in Arizona. The 20-story cliff dwelling is a outstanding early settlement minimize into limestone rock. This historical stone pueblo is likely one of the US’ most revered historic points of interest. You can take a ranger-led tour of Montezuma Castle or go to independently. It is only a brief stroll from the parking space alongside a paved monitor – taking below 10 minutes to full. While you possibly can’t enter Montezuma Castle, you may get fabulous views from simply outdoors.
Montezuma Castle National Monument is located simply outdoors of Camp Verde. It is well among the best historic points of interest 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
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 via some spectacular pink rock formations. Since Sedona is famed for its pink rocks, it’s no marvel this coming into street is stuffed with vivid, 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 manner. And actually, the one manner this can take additional time is if you’d like to cease and take some fast pictures.
7. Bell Rock
Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours Time required: 1-2 hours
Bell Rock is a dramatic pink rock butte you cross simply earlier than coming into Sedona. As a closing stop-off earlier than coming into the town, we suggest stopping and mountain climbing (or mountain biking) up Bell Rock. The path is just 0.8 miles out and again, however you’ll attain an elevation achieve of 203 toes – so be ready to get barely out of puff.
This path is ranked as average, and you’ll want to deliver some water and sound, sturdy sneakers. However, it’s certainly one of 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 an excellent 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 manner, you can too go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot National Monument – gorgeous and partaking points of interest. 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 individual judgment. The railroad, specifically, is greatest for individuals who don’t need to hike Bell Rock or have compromised mobility.
Since wine excursions are slightly incompatible with single-day street journeys, we recommend stopping in a single day in Old Town Cottonwood in case you select this feature. Unless you have got a chosen driver, getting two days out of this different Phoenix to Sedona route is greatest.
What To See and Do in Phoenix
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 are you going to hold your self entertained? What are among the greatest issues to do in Phoenix? Forget a day journey for at the very least the primary couple of days, as there’s simply a lot to see on this Arizona metropolis. You can go to a purchasing village, take a look at Arizona’s artwork galleries, or choose any of the points of interest under.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is likely one of the most unusual museums within the US, not to mention Arizona or Phoenix. There are over 15,000 artifacts – which is truthfully virtually unfathomable. Phoenix’s creative, cultured character is unimaginable not to love. And having the Musical Instrument Museum to recognize 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 totally useful purchasing heart.
Think snapping footage in entrance of aesthetic, previous west-style surroundings whereas rummaging via 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? Somewhat bit. But it may nonetheless get a smile out of even the grouchiest adults.
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is slightly solace amid Downtown Phoenix. It is run primarily by volunteers and has a peaceable environment, making it the perfect place to slink away to get pleasure from a brief stroll and some inexperienced area. The backyard has tiny pagodas, limitless water options, quaint pink 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
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 positioned in.
What To See and Do in Sedona
The Phoenix to Sedona drive may be a day journey, however you possibly can nonetheless spend a couple of days visiting Sedona when you arrive. Our recommendation: deal with your probability to go to Sedona as a brief getaway. Spend at the very least a couple 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 street journey to someplace particular close by, just like the Grand Canyon?
Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon is a shocking pink rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by whenever you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that pink rock surroundings and encompasses 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 deliver a digital camera too. Alternatively, in case you fancy a extra energetic manner 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 pink 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’ expertise – it requires psychological power to persevere via the ascent.
You’ve in all probability 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 collection 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 stunning at sundown.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Chapel of the Holy Cross is an summary Catholic church relationship again to the Nineteen Fifties. The bizarre-designed church juts up with floor-to-ceiling home windows and overlooks the pink rocks scattered outdoors. The towering concrete landmark seems extra like a spaceship than something spiritual – an actual piece of recent structure. Totally free to enter; it is likely one of the hottest points of interest in Sedona. Tourists like it for its novel up to date attract. It even has its personal on-line reward store.
The Grand Canyon shouldn’t be 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 likely one of the US’ hottest points of interest. People flock to the canyon to admire its dramatic surroundings, bask in helicopter rides, and head out on mountain 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 couple of days, including on a day journey additional north to the Grand Canyon. It is a fairly direct route, heading up via Flagstaff or Grand Canyon Junction.
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is likely one of the most stunning locations to admire the views close to Sedona. It is a wonderful sundown level when the pink rocks are illuminated in gorgeous shades of pink. The viewpoint overlooks western Sedona and sits on the finish of the airport street – therefore the title.
The huge parking zone is free to get pleasure from. So pack a picnic, deliver some blankets, and settle in for a romantic night overlooking Sedona. Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is likely one of the most romantic issues to do in Sedona for sundown and even after darkish in case 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 – preferrred 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 well worth the drive from Phoenix?
Definitely, Sedona gives a completely completely different perception into Arizona than what Phoenix gives. You’ll expertise actual ‘red rock country’ and street journey a ridiculously scenic route to get there. Sedona itself is stuffed with mountain 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 greatest scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona is by way of the Red Rock Scenic Byway. On this route, you’re surrounded by pink rocks, and it’s beautiful at sundown. If you need an iconic manner to enter Sedona, select this route.
Is the drive from Phoenix to Sedona simple?
The drive from Phoenix to Sedona is very 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 street like from Phoenix to Sedona?
The street from Phoenix to Sedona is primary and simple to drive. You are purely touring on highways – beginning on the Arizona Veterans Highway and switching to Highway 179. The highways run via desert terrain and are comparatively quiet when you’ve exited Phoenix.
The Phoenix to Sedona drive is fairly iconic, that’s for positive. The pink 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 mountain climbing 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 points of interest 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 in case you can tempt your self to cease driving and keep put for an evening. Trust us, you’ll recognize the attractive views and heat environment.