A Phoenix to Sedona drive is likely one of the impossible, lesser-discussed highway journeys within the US. Unlike most 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 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 one in every of Arizona’s most iconic huge cities into the center of crimson rock nation. The drive incorporates crimson rocks galore and tons of mountain climbing trails. There are cultural sights, too, like Montezuma Castle National Monument.
In this information, we’ll cowl every little thing price understanding in regards to the Phoenix to Sedona drive – which is definitely so much. There’s an final itinerary developing, plus solutions to some frequent FAQs, and even some issues to do in Sedona and Phoenix. You can simply squeeze these items 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 definitely one in every 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 reducing by central Arizona and the dramatic desert panorama. Surrounded by pure magnificence, that is the right day journey for wildlife, mountain climbing, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl probably the most direct route, then present an alternate route in the event you fancy a detour.
Best Sedona Tours From Phoenix
Below are among the high excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice in the event 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, hire a automotive, drive to Sedona utilizing this itinerary, and then fly from Sedona Airport. Or, in the event you really need, you’ll be able to drive again to Phoenix after spending just a few nights in Sedona. If you propose a return journey, that is the right time to make the most of our different route – you get the very best 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
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 move as you start your Phoenix to Sedona drive. Lake Pleasant has over 100 campsites and RV spots – it’s a vastly standard 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 may go for a dawn kayak. Or, in the event you go away it till 10 am, take a journey 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 time particularly, Lake Pleasant has a beautiful environment.
2. Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City
Distance from Phoenix: 49 minutes Time required: half-hour
Black Canyon City is a bit of desert city as soon as used for mining. The outdated 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 type on its partitions.
The cafe is filled with character with hyperlinks to the outdated 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 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 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 simply’ve formally entered the central area of Agua Fria National Monument, you’ll be able to 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 a bit of further 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 website at this level in order for you as effectively. Visiting Pueblo La Plata includes a 40-minute drive by 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 likely one of 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 likely 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 brief stroll from the parking space alongside a paved monitor – taking below 10 minutes to full. While you’ll be able to’t enter Montezuma Castle, you will get fabulous views from simply exterior.
Montezuma Castle National Monument is located simply exterior of Camp Verde. It is definitely probably the greatest historic sights you’ll be able to 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 some spectacular crimson rock formations. Since Sedona is famed for its crimson rocks, it’s no surprise this getting into highway is filled with vibrant, cherry-red rock options.
Driving, it solely takes 20 minutes; this byway is on the direct route from Phoenix to Arizona. It is the best attraction to mix with this highway journey – you received’t have to exit of your approach. And in reality, the one approach this can take further time is in order for you to cease and take some fast images.
7. Bell Rock
Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours Time required: 1-2 hours
Bell Rock is a dramatic crimson rock butte you move simply earlier than getting into Sedona. As a last stop-off earlier than getting into town, we advocate stopping and mountain climbing (or mountain biking) up Bell Rock. The path is simply 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 reasonable, and you’ll want to convey some water and sound, sturdy footwear. However, it’s one in every of Sedona’s most iconic hikes, so it’s implausible to full. The panoramic view you get on this hike makes all of it worthwhile.
Alternate Route: Via Verde Valley Wine Trail
Fancy a special drive again to Phoenix? Or would you like 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 fashion, you can even go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot National Monument – gorgeous and partaking sights. If you’ve 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 effectively 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 bit of incompatible with single-day highway journeys, we recommend stopping in a single day in Old Town Cottonwood in the event you select this feature. Unless you’ve got a delegated 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, 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 hold your self entertained? What are among the greatest issues to do in Phoenix? Forget a day journey for no less than 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 decide any of the sights under.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is likely one of the most original museums within the US, not to mention Arizona or Phoenix. There are over 15,000 artifacts – which is truthfully nearly unfathomable. Phoenix’s inventive, cultured persona is inconceivable 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 present store after.
Frontier Town is tremendous cool. The recreated outdated west settlement is sort of a little time capsule and a implausible place to uncover an immersive Western expertise in the course of town. It isn’t only a Western pop-up attraction, although; it acts as a totally useful procuring middle.
Think snapping footage in entrance of aesthetic, outdated west-style surroundings whereas rummaging by store after store of discount buys. If you need to cease by a present store or two, simply add Frontier Town to your itinerary. Is it a vacationer entice? A bit of 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 a bit of 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, countless water options, quaint crimson bridges, and ceramic wind bells. And when you’ve had a calming stroll, there’s a tea backyard and tea home the place you’ll be able to seize a conventional beverage to finish the expertise.
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 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 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 situated in.
What To See and Do in Sedona
The Phoenix to Sedona drive may be a day journey, however you’ll be able to nonetheless spend just a few days visiting Sedona when you arrive. Our recommendation: deal with your probability to go to Sedona as a brief getaway. Spend no less than just a few days there after driving from Phoenix to Sedona. These are the highest number 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 is a surprising crimson rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by whenever you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that crimson rock surroundings and contains 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, in the event you fancy a extra energetic approach of reaching the canyon, hire 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
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 will not be for the faint-hearted, however positively, an achievement to get your blood pumping. Technically talking, Cathedral Rock Trail isn’t demanding of hikers’ expertise – it requires psychological energy to persevere by 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 definitely one in every of 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 exterior. The towering concrete landmark seems extra like a spaceship than something spiritual – an actual piece of contemporary structure. Totally free to enter; it is likely one of the hottest sights in Sedona. Tourists like it for its novel modern attract. It even has its personal on-line present store.
The Grand Canyon will not be in Sedona itself. However, it’s only a 2-hour drive from Sedona, so the city is a implausible base for a day journey to probably the most well-known canyon. The canyon is likely one of the US’ hottest sights. 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 far 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 just a few days, including on a day journey additional north to the Grand Canyon. It is a fairly direct route, heading up by 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 crimson rocks are illuminated in gorgeous 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 take pleasure in. So pack a picnic, convey 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 the event you fancy some star gazing.
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 – supreme 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 presents a wholly completely different perception into Arizona than what Phoenix presents. You’ll expertise actual ‘red rock country’ and highway journey a ridiculously scenic route to get there. Sedona itself is filled with mountain climbing 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’re surrounded by crimson rocks, and it’s beautiful at sundown. If you need an iconic approach 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 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 highway like from Phoenix to Sedona?
The highway 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 by 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 move 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 mountain climbing trails listed on this information. The better part is that the Phoenix to Sedona drive is simply two hours lengthy – that means you’ve 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 in the event 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.