Sedona is a picturesque desert town located just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. Known for it’s gorgeous red-rock buttes and steep canyons, it’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway filled with eating, shopping, and of course hiking! Please use this Travel Guide to Sedona to plan the perfect trip.
Best Time to Visit
Summer in Sedona is HOT. With temperatures reaching 120° it can be dangerous out on the trails. With that being said, Winter can get extremely cold and even snow. Therefore the best time to visit Sedona is September to November and March to June.
Where to Stay
Orchards Inn Sedona
Centrally located in uptown Sedona, Orchards Inn is within walking distance to all the restaurants and shops and a quick drive to the hiking trails. Every room boasts panoramic red rock views from a private balcony or patio. Premium rooms also feature a cozy fireplace.
Where to Eat & Drink
A Sedona favorite, 89Agave Cantina is an outstanding Sonoran-style Mexican restaurant with a fun, casual vibe, located in the heart of Uptown. I highly recommend the Tamales and the Mercado Margarita.
The Cowboy Club is a family-owned steakhouse and bar located in Uptown Sedona. The Southwestern menu features items like the Elk Chops, Cowboy Up Burger, and the Appetizer Sampler which includes Cactus Fries, Rattlesnake Sausage, Bison Brochettes & Cilantro Flatbread.
The Hideaway House is a very popular spot in Sedona and for good reason. With it’s three open-air patios, nestled amongst the trees, it feels like you’re dining in a tree-house. The menu features yummy pizzas, pasta & sandwiches. My favorite is the Date Night Salad Pizza.
Sedona Beer Co
Sedona Beer Co is a small-batch and sustainable brewpub located in the heart of Sedona. You can take in the views of the red rocks from the front patio while sampling craft beer and enjoying yummy food like the Burger of the Month.
The Hudson is an American eatery featuring chef-driven food and craft cocktails in an industrial chic setting. Located at the top of the Hillside Shopping Plaza, the restaurant features panoramic views of the red rocks from both the dining room and outdoor patio.
Best Hiking Trails
One of the biggest draws to Sedona is the stunning Red Rock State Park. With over 200 trails, it’s hard to decide which path to take. If you only have a couple days to explore, these are a few I recommend.
Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area and it’s truly breathtaking. For this reason, it is an extremely popular spot. To avoid large crowds and a long line to snap that famous photo on the bridge, try visiting early in the morning mid-week. The hike to Devil’s Bridge is mostly easy with a steep climb towards the end.
The Devil’s Bridge Trailhead is located down Dry Creek Road. Dry Creek Road is a high-clearance road, meaning you will need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle to park right at the trailhead. You can still get to Devil’s Bridge without a 4×4, you will just need to hike a bit farther. If you do not have 4WD, there are two different ways to get to Devil’s Bridge – the Mescal Trailhead and Dry Creek Road. The Devil’s Bridge Trail is approximately 2 miles roundtrip. From Mescal Trailhead, the hike is 4.2 miles roundtrip and from Dry Creek Road it is 4.6 miles roundtrip. You will need a Red Rock Pass for parking. The cost is $5 for the day or $15 for the week.
Soldier Pass Trail is a favorite amongst hikers in Sedona. For one thing, it is relatively short and easy to hike. But the main draw is the Seven Sacred Pools and Soldier Pass cave. Soldier Pass is a 4.5 mile loop trail. If you are looking to just visit the Seven Sacred Pools, you can take a quick 1.1 mile hike in and out. Parking at Soldier Pass Trailhead is extremely limited. The city of Sedona offers a free shuttle service Thursday through Sunday from designated park & ride areas within central Sedona.
Boynton Canyon is another one of Sedona’s most popular trails. This mostly flat 6.1 mile in-and-out trail features luscious green scenery and stunning canyon walls. The highlight of the trail is the Subway Cave. Although I wouldn’t consider it “hidden”, it can be tricky to find. There is no sign marking the trail to the cave. You will need to be on the lookout for the turnoff, which will be about 2 miles from the beginning of the trailhead. There will be an Alligator Juniper Tree on the left side of the trail, and up ahead on the right side of the trail will be a pile of sticks shaped like an arrow pointing to the spur trail. The spur trail heads through the forest and gradually climbs up to the red cliffs. This trail is 0.4 miles, one-way, to get to the Subway Cave. To get up into the cave, you will have to scramble up the sandstone incline, which is the trickiest part of the hike. You will need a Red Rock Pass for parking. The cost is $5 for the day or $15 for the week.
Sedona is a truly magical place and must be experienced in person to really appreciate the sheer beauty. I hope my “Travel Guide to Sedona” will be helpful in planning your next trip! And be sure to check out my other detailed Travel Guides!