A Phoenix to Sedona drive is among the impossible, 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 few 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 in every of Arizona’s most iconic large cities into the center of purple rock nation. The drive incorporates purple 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 in regards to the Phoenix to Sedona drive – which is definitely so much. There’s an final itinerary arising, 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 deal with the Phoenix to Sedona drive. This is well one in every of Arizona’s high highway 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 proper day journey for wildlife, mountaineering, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl essentially the most direct route, then present an alternate route in the event you fancy a detour.
Best Sedona Tours From Phoenix
Below are a few of the high excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice in the event you don’t have a automobile.
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 automobile, drive to Sedona utilizing this itinerary, and then fly from Sedona Airport. Or, in the event you actually need, you may drive again to Phoenix after spending just a few nights in Sedona. If you intend a return journey, that is the proper 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 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 go as you start your Phoenix to Sedona drive. Lake Pleasant has over 100 campsites and RV spots – it’s a massively common 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 the event you depart 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 proper wake-up spot. It is sweet to begin your day with some exercise, and in summer season 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 fashion on its partitions.
The cafe is stuffed 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 all around 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 just’ve formally entered the central area of Agua Fria National Monument, you may genuinely admire the 71,000 acres of protected pure area. 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 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 if you need as nicely. Visiting Pueblo La Plata entails 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 lower 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 observe – taking below 10 minutes to full. While you may’t enter Montezuma Castle, you may get fabulous views from simply exterior.
Montezuma Castle National Monument is located simply exterior of Camp Verde. It is well among the best historic sights you may add as a stop-off on your journey from Phoenix to Sedona, and you must 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 by way of some spectacular purple rock formations. Since Sedona is famed for its purple rocks, it’s no surprise this coming into highway 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 highway journey – you gained’t have to exit of your approach. And in actual fact, the one approach this can take further time is if you need 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 purple rock butte you go simply earlier than coming into Sedona. As a last stop-off earlier than coming 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 ft – so be ready to get barely out of puff.
This path is ranked as reasonable, and you’ll want to deliver 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 favor to skip over the scenic byway and Bell Rock in favor of 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, it’s also possible to go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot National Monument – gorgeous and partaking sights. If you’ve children you might have considered trying to cease on the Africa Wildlife Park, although we don’t suggest visiting establishments like this, this appears to be nicely run. Use your personal judgment. The railroad, specifically, 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 advise stopping in a single day in Old Town Cottonwood in the event you select this feature. Unless you’ve a delegated 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, depart your self a day or two to settle earlier than heading on your Phoenix to Sedona drive. So how will you maintain your self entertained? What are a few of 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 beneath.
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 creative, cultured character is unattainable 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 along with your go to dates, and cease by the reward 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 the town. It isn’t only a Western pop-up attraction, although; it acts as a totally useful procuring middle.
Think snapping photos in entrance of aesthetic, outdated west-style surroundings whereas rummaging by way of 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 lure? 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 get pleasure from a brief stroll and some inexperienced area. The backyard has tiny pagodas, infinite water options, quaint purple bridges, and ceramic wind bells. And when you’ve had a calming stroll, there’s a tea backyard and tea home the place you may 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 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 may 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 choice of all of the issues to do in Sedona throughout your keep. Who is aware of, perhaps 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 shocking purple rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by if you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that purple rock surroundings and encompasses a swimming gap and a pure waterslide. Oak Creek Canyon is lower than 10 minutes away from Sedona by automobile.
You can simply use it as a half-day exercise – simply pack some swimwear, a towel, and snacks. Photographers ought to deliver 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 purple rock formations. The 1.5-mile spherical hike is just not 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 one in every 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
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 purple rocks scattered exterior. The towering concrete landmark appears to be like 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 find it irresistible for its novel modern attract. It even has its personal on-line reward store.
The Grand Canyon is just not 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 essentially the most well-known canyon. The canyon is among the US’ hottest sights. People flock to the canyon to admire its dramatic surroundings, take pleasure 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 way more possible as a day journey from Sedona than Phoenix. So benefit 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 lovely locations to admire the views close to Sedona. It is a wonderful sundown level when the purple rocks are illuminated in gorgeous shades of purple. The viewpoint overlooks western Sedona and sits on the finish of the airport highway – therefore the identify.
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 among 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 – preferrred 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 well worth the drive from Phoenix?
Definitely, Sedona affords a completely totally 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 mountaineering trails and tradition. It can also be an ideal base to get pleasure from 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 by way of the Red Rock Scenic Byway. On this route, you might be surrounded by purple rocks, and it’s attractive 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 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 purple rocks of Sedona and the desert panorama you go 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 mountaineering trails listed on this information. The better part is that the Phoenix to Sedona drive is simply two hours lengthy – which means you’ve 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 admire the gorgeous views and heat environment.