40 of the Absolute Best Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona (2024)

Trying to find great activities and attractions in Red Rock Country? Our guide to the best things to do in Sedona is all you need to plan the perfect trip!

Welcome to Sedona, Arizona – a desert town in the Grand Canyon State of Arizona that’s anything but dry and dull but rather full of incredible scenery. Get ready for an adventure through time and terrain as you discover the mesmerizing beauty of this southwestern gem.

With its unique blend of outdoor activities, spiritual history, and delectable wines, visiting Sedona isn’t just a destination, it’s an experience.

How about starting your day with a heart-pumping hike up the towering Cathedral Rock, followed by a chilled afternoon exploring Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, and winding up with a thrilling off-road excursion with Pink Jeep Tours?

And that’s just a scratch on the surface of what Sedona has in store for you. Trust me, by the end of your visit, you’ll be swapping stories about your epic journey to the Devil’s Bridge and your breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the famed red rocks.

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Table of Contents

The Best Things to Do in Sedona, Arizona

Whether you’re here for the spiritual energy vortex at Bell Rock, the extraordinary star gazing experiences, or the refreshing natural water slide at Slide Rock State Park, Sedona has got it all. Every turn in this vibrant town reveals a new sight, a new adventure, and a new memory to be made.

So, buckle up and get ready to explore – your unforgettable Sedona adventure awaits!

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Drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway

The Red Rock Scenic Byway, also known as State Route 179, is your perfect introduction to the awe-inspiring landscape that is Sedona, Arizona. Considered the gateway to Sedona, this 7.5-mile stretch of road takes you on a visually stunning journey amidst some of the most spectacular red rock formations you could ever imagine.

Whether you’re behind the wheel or in the passenger seat, prepare to be mesmerized by the towering cliffs and stunning vistas that surround you on all sides.

One of the main attractions of this scenic drive is the series of pull-outs along the way, each providing its unique perspective of Sedona’s red rock country. Here, you can step out of your vehicle, breathe in the fresh air, and let the sheer beauty of the landscape sink in.

Some notable formations visible from the Byway include Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Courthouse Butte, each with its distinct shape and story.

This isn’t just a road – it’s a journey into the heart of Sedona’s natural grandeur. Don’t forget your camera – every moment on this Byway deserves to be captured!

Red Rock Scenic Byway
Sedona is home to some gorgeous drives!

Stare in Awe at the Chapel of the Holy Cross

In the midst of Sedona’s resplendent red rock landscape, you’ll find the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a remarkable structure that’s as spiritually significant as it is architecturally intriguing. The chapel, which was completed in 1956, isn’t just another building; it’s a testament to faith and harmony, seamlessly merging with its surrounding landscape.

Nestled into the buttes and boasting a 90-foot cross that appears to rise out of the rocks, it’s an exceptional piece of modernist architecture that both complements and accentuates the raw beauty of its surroundings.

Inside, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is as serene as it is striking. Its simplicity of design allows the outside landscape to take center stage through floor-to-ceiling windows behind the altar.

Whether or not you are religious, the tranquil atmosphere inside the chapel provides a space for peaceful contemplation and admiration of the breathtaking view outside. In addition to its spiritual appeal, the chapel is a sought-after destination for its magnificent vistas of Sedona’s red rock formations, including the renowned Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.

Don’t forget to step into the gift shop or spend a moment on the observation deck for an unforgettable view of Sedona’s stunning landscape.

Visit the Sedona Vortex Sites

Whether you’re seeking personal healing, spiritual growth, or simply a deeper connection with the natural world, a visit to the vortex sites of Sedona is an extraordinary and transformative experience.

Embark on a spiritual journey and tap into the mystical energy of Sedona by visiting its renowned vortex sites. Believed to be centers of spiritual power and healing, these vortexes are sacred spaces where the energy of the Earth is said to be intensified.

Sedona is home to several vortex sites, including Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Airport Mesa, and Boynton Canyon. Each site offers a unique experience, and many visitors report feeling a heightened sense of peace, clarity, and rejuvenation when in the presence of these energetic hotspots. A guided tour is the best way to see everything!

Exploring the vortex sites in Sedona allows you to connect with nature, reflect on your inner self, and experience a profound sense of serenity. Whether you choose to meditate, practice yoga, or simply sit in contemplation, the vortex sites provide a tranquil setting to tune into your intuition and restore your spiritual balance.

Be sure to respect the natural environment and follow any guidelines or rituals associated with each vortex site.

Spend a Day at Slide Rock State Park

Slide Rock State Park, located in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon, offers a unique and refreshing way to enjoy Sedona’s natural beauty. The park’s namesake, the “slide rock,” is a natural water chute carved into the creek’s bed by the water’s constant flow.

The smooth, slippery chute creates an exhilarating 80-foot-long natural waterslide that has been delighting visitors of all ages for years. When you’re not enjoying a slippery ride down the chute, there are plenty of other things to do at the park, such as picnicking, bird watching, or simply basking in the beauty of the surrounding red rock canyon.

But Slide Rock State Park is more than just a natural playground. The area is steeped in history as well. The park was originally a homestead and apple orchard owned by Frank L. Pendley, who established a unique and innovative irrigation system that’s still in use today.

You can still see the historic Pendley Homestead and apple orchards as you explore the park. Whether you’re there for the exciting slide, the historic interest, or the stunning natural setting, Slide Rock State Park is a must-visit when in Sedona.

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Enjoy Star Gazing

The vast and clear skies of Sedona, far from the city lights, offer a spectacular stage for star gazing. Here in Sedona, stargazing isn’t just a pastime; it’s an experience that leaves you in awe of the cosmic beauty above.

Professional astronomers offer guided star gazing tours where you can explore the night sky like never before. With the help of high-powered telescopes and laser pointers, you can view distant galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and planets in vivid detail.

On a clear night, the Milky Way is often visible to the naked eye, creating a magnificent backdrop for the billions of stars twinkling above. The astronomers guiding the tour share their knowledge about the cosmos, helping you identify different celestial bodies and constellations.

This experience not only expands your understanding of our universe but also connects you with the ancient cultures that once inhabited this area and observed the same star-filled sky. It’s a beautiful reminder of our place in the cosmos, making star gazing in Sedona an experience not to be missed.

Spend Time in Uptown Sedona on Main Street

Uptown Sedona, also known as Main Street, is a bustling hub that combines Sedona’s vibrant culture, history, and stunning natural beauty. Lined with a diverse range of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and souvenir stores, Uptown Sedona pulsates with life and energy.

Whether you’re in search of a unique piece of art, craving a delicious meal, or looking for the perfect memento to take back home, Uptown Sedona has you covered.

While you can certainly find your fill of shopping and dining here, Uptown Sedona isn’t just about commercial indulgence. It also offers some of the best views of Sedona’s iconic red rock formations.

Wander around and you’ll be treated to magnificent views of landmarks like Snoopy Rock, Thumb Butte, and the Mogollon Rim. And as the day winds down, find a spot to watch one of Sedona’s famous sunsets, where the fiery hues of the sky create a breathtaking contrast with the red rocks.

Uptown Sedona, with its mix of retail therapy, culinary delights, and stunning landscapes, truly encapsulates the spirit of Sedona.

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Red Rock Balloon Adventures

For a unique perspective on Sedona’s striking landscape, look no further than Red Rock Balloon Adventures. Nothing quite compares to the tranquility and awe-inspiring beauty of soaring high above the ground, taking in the panoramic views of Sedona’s red rock formations and lush green valleys from a hot air balloon.

As the sun rises and bathes the landscape in a warm, golden glow, you’ll be able to appreciate the grandeur and intricacies of landmarks like Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and the Chapel of the Holy Cross like never before.

Not only does this bird’s-eye view provide unmatched photo opportunities, but the calm, quiet atmosphere at altitude allows for a peaceful, almost meditative experience.

The journey concludes with a traditional champagne toast, celebrating the unforgettable experience you’ve shared. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or just looking for a unique way to explore Sedona, a hot air balloon ride is an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Snap an iconic photo at Devil’s Bridge

For an iconic Sedona hiking experience, you won’t want to miss the Devil’s Bridge Trail. The largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area, Devil’s Bridge is a stunning geological formation that seems to defy gravity.

The trail to get there is a moderate 4.2-mile round trip adventure, taking you through beautiful desert scenery and culminating in a heart-stopping view of the bridge itself.

The final ascent to the top of Devil’s Bridge is steep and involves some scrambling, but the payoff is well worth the effort. As you step out onto the arch, you’ll be treated to 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding red rock formations, the verdant green of the tree-lined valley below, and the expansive Arizona sky above.

For the more daring, this is the perfect spot for that epic photo standing or sitting on the arch, with nothing but air beneath you. Remember, though, safety always comes first!

The Devil’s Bridge Trail offers not only a thrilling hike but a firsthand encounter with the rugged beauty and grandeur of Sedona’s landscape.

Devils Bridge
Devil’s Bridge is one of the coolest places to see in Sedona.

Take a Jeep Tour of the Desert

When it comes to exploring Sedona’s rugged terrain and iconic red rocks, there’s no more thrilling way than an organized Jeep Tour. These off-road adventures provide an exciting, fun-filled way to learn about the geology, wildlife, and history of the area, all while bouncing along in a distinctive Jeep Wrangler.

Led by knowledgeable guides who are as entertaining as they are informative, these tours will take you to places you would never reach with a regular vehicle.

Whether you’re journeying up the rocky trail to an ancient Sinaguan cliff dwelling, exploring the mystical energy of a vortex site, or watching the sunset over the red rocks, Jeep Tours offers a variety of routes to suit your interests.

Feel the cool breeze on your face as you traverse the rocky roads, listen to the fascinating tales spun by your guide, and absorb the stunning views all around. By the time your tour ends, you’ll not only have a camera full of incredible photos but also a deeper appreciation for the natural and cultural wonders of Sedona.

So buckle up, hold on tight, and get ready for an off-road adventure you’ll never forget!

Go Shopping at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village

Stepping into Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village feels like stepping into a charming Spanish colonial village. This renowned arts and crafts community, nestled beneath the shade of giant sycamore trees on the banks of Oak Creek, is a destination all on its own within Sedona.

The name “Tlaquepaque” comes from a Nahuatl phrase meaning “the best of everything,” and it certainly lives up to that promise with its distinctive architecture, cobblestone paths, vibrant flowers, and mesmerizing art.

Tlaquepaque is home to over 40 specialty shops and exclusive art galleries where you can find a broad range of items from fine art and sculptures to jewelry, textiles, and ceramics. You might even get to see artisans at work.

In addition, Tlaquepaque hosts special events and festivals throughout the year, including art walks and live music performances, adding to the lively and enchanting atmosphere. And when you need a break from all the shopping and exploring, there are several exceptional restaurants where you can refuel with a delicious meal.

A visit to Sedona would not be complete without a trip to Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, where you can soak in the unique blend of art, culture, and history.

Spend the morning at Boynton Canyon

One of the best ways to experience the stunning natural beauty of Sedona is to explore its extensive network of hiking trails, and among them, the Boynton Canyon Trail is a standout. This trail is not just about physical exercise—it’s an immersive journey into the vibrant ecology, breathtaking geography, and profound spiritual resonance of Sedona.

As you trek along this 6.1-mile round-trip trail, you’ll pass through a diverse range of landscapes, from dense forests to open deserts, all set against the backdrop of towering red rock cliffs.

In addition to its natural splendor, Boynton Canyon is known as one of Sedona’s four main vortex sites, believed to emit spiritual energy conducive to healing and meditation. The energy here is said to be balanced, making it an ideal place for introspection and balance.

As you approach the end of the trail, you’ll find the Boynton Canyon Vortex, a peaceful spot perfect for quiet reflection. Don’t forget to take a moment to soak in the calming energy and stunning views.

Whether you’re seeking a great workout, stunning photo opportunities, or a spiritual experience, the Boynton Canyon Trail has something for everyone.

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Visit the Wineries on the Verde Valley Wine Trail

Embarking on a journey through the enchanting Verde Valley Wine Trail in Sedona, Arizona, is an invitation to indulge in a symphony of flavors and breathtaking vistas. Set amidst the captivating beauty of red rock formations, this wine lover’s paradise unveils a collection of exceptional wineries that weave a tapestry of craftsmanship and terroir.

From the sun-kissed vineyards to the rustic tasting rooms, each winery along the trail offers a unique blend of varietals, showcasing the region’s rich viticultural heritage.

As you meander through the lush landscapes, immersing yourself in the art of winemaking, the Verde Valley Wine Trail becomes a sensorial delight, leaving an indelible mark on your palate and a lasting memory of Sedona’s exquisite wine culture. Join a private wine tour so you don’t have to worry about driving home after!

Spend a day exploring ancient ruins: Palatki Heritage Site

For an in-depth exploration of Sedona’s rich Native American history, take a visit to Palatki Heritage Site. Located in the Coconino National Forest, Palatki – Hopi for ‘red house’ – boasts some of the largest cliff dwellings in Red Rock Country.

These ancient dwellings were built by the Southern Sinagua people, who lived in the region from around 600 AD to 1400 AD.

There’s more to Palatki than the ruins themselves. The site is also home to a wealth of rock art, with pictographs and petroglyphs that date back thousands of years.

As you stroll along the trails, you’ll get to see these ancient symbols and drawings, many of which are still vibrant and clear. Guided tours provided by local rangers offer fascinating insights into the lives of the ancient people who once called this place home.

Exploring Palatki is like stepping back in time, providing a glimpse into Sedona’s past that adds a rich layer of understanding to your visit to this remarkable region.

Discover local artists at the Sedona Arts Center

As you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Sedona, make sure to take some time to explore the artistic side of this vibrant town at the Sedona Arts Center. Established in 1958, the Sedona Arts Center is a creative hub that showcases an impressive collection of works by local and regional artists.

Here, you’ll find everything from contemporary paintings and sculptures to jewelry, ceramics, and fine art photography, making it a paradise for art enthusiasts.

But the Sedona Arts Center isn’t just a gallery space—it’s also an educational institution. It offers a wide variety of classes and workshops throughout the year in different disciplines, such as painting, drawing, ceramics, and more.

Whether you’re an experienced artist looking to expand your skills or a novice interested in trying something new, the Sedona Arts Center provides a welcoming environment for creative exploration. Its bustling calendar of events, including art festivals, exhibitions, and special presentations, ensures there’s always something interesting happening.

Hike Courthouse Butte Loop Trail

The Courthouse Butte Loop Trail offers a fantastic hiking experience that showcases the majestic beauty of Sedona’s red rock formations. This 4.2-mile loop trail, located in the Coconino National Forest, encircles the iconic Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock, providing hikers with awe-inspiring views at every turn.

The trail is moderately challenging, with some rocky sections and elevation changes, but the effort is well worth the breathtaking scenery that awaits.

As you make your way along the trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the surrounding red rock cliffs, expansive desert landscapes, and the lush greenery of the Oak Creek area. The towering presence of Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock serves as a constant reminder of the raw power and beauty of nature.

Along the way, keep an eye out for unique rock formations, vibrant flora, and the occasional wildlife sighting. With its stunning scenery and diverse terrain, the Courthouse Butte Loop Trail offers an unforgettable hiking experience that showcases the best of Sedona’s natural wonders.

Explore Montezuma Castle National Monument

Surrounded by the beauty of the desert landscape, Montezuma Castle National Monument is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and anyone curious about the ancient civilizations that once thrived in this region.

A short distance outside of Sedona lies the remarkable Montezuma Castle National Monument, a testament to the rich history and ingenuity of the Sinagua people. This ancient cliff dwelling, built into a limestone cliff face, showcases the architectural brilliance and resourcefulness of its inhabitants.

Although the name suggests a connection to the Aztecs, Montezuma Castle was actually named by European settlers in the 19th century, inspired by the misconception that it was associated with the Aztec emperor.

The castle consists of a five-story structure, containing about 20 rooms, and served as a dwelling place for the Sinagua people over 800 years ago.

Visiting Montezuma Castle offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the ancient Sinagua community. As you explore the well-preserved dwelling, you can marvel at the ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into constructing this architectural marvel.

Although access to the interior is restricted to preserve the site, the walkways and interpretive signs provide valuable information about the history, culture, and daily life of the Sinagua people.

Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument is an incredible place!

Check out the stunning Airport Mesa

Whether you’re seeking a spiritual experience, a stunning vista, or simply a moment of peace, Airport Mesa is a must-visit destination that captures the essence of Sedona’s mystical allure.

Airport Mesa is not just another scenic viewpoint in Sedona; it’s a place where natural beauty and spiritual energy converge. This elevated mesa offers panoramic views of Sedona’s stunning red rock formations, lush valleys, and the expansive Arizona sky.

It’s no wonder that Airport Mesa is considered one of Sedona’s most potent vortex sites, known for its unique energy that is said to enhance meditation, spiritual connection, and self-reflection.

Visiting Airport Mesa provides an opportunity to experience the magic of Sedona’s vortex energy firsthand. As you hike or drive to the top, you’ll feel a palpable shift in the atmosphere, a sense of calm and tranquility that permeates the air.

Many visitors choose to meditate or simply sit quietly at the summit, taking in the breathtaking views while allowing the energy of the vortex to wash over them. Sunset is a particularly magical time to visit, as the vibrant colors of the sky complement the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Practice Yoga

Whether it’s a vinyasa flow, restorative yoga, or a meditation session, practicing yoga in Sedona allows you to tap into the rejuvenating energy of this sacred land, leaving you feeling refreshed, centered, and connected to the natural world around you.

Sedona, with its serene and picturesque landscapes, is the perfect setting to reconnect with your mind, body, and soul through the practice of yoga. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of this captivating town and join a yoga class amidst the red rocks.

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner looking to deepen your practice, Sedona offers a range of yoga studios and retreat centers that cater to all levels and styles.

Imagine unrolling your mat on a serene outdoor yoga deck, surrounded by towering red rock formations and the gentle whispers of the wind. The natural beauty of Sedona serves as a breathtaking backdrop to your yoga practice, creating an environment that inspires inner peace and mindfulness.

Join a guided class led by experienced instructors who will help you find balance, strength, and flexibility, both physically and mentally.

Visit the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park

Embrace your spiritual side at the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. Nestled amidst the red rocks and the juniper and pinon pines of Sedona, this tranquil spot is a powerful place of healing and peace.

The centerpiece of the park is the Amitabha Stupa, a 36-foot-tall Buddhist monument filled with hundreds of millions of prayers for peace, sacred relics, and ritual offerings.

According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, simply being in the presence of a stupa can help to purify negative karma and generate positive merit.

The park itself is a serene 14-acre retreat, perfect for meditation, prayer, or quiet reflection. As you walk the paths around the stupa, spin the prayer wheels, or simply sit and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, you’ll likely feel a sense of calm and tranquility wash over you.

The panoramic views of the red rocks only add to the park’s spiritual ambiance. Whether or not you follow the Buddhist path, the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park offer a unique experience of peace and tranquility that everyone can appreciate.

Remember to respect the serenity of the site and observe the posted guidelines to maintain its sanctity.

Shop the Sedona Farmer’s Market

Indulge in the vibrant local culture and flavors of Sedona by paying a visit to the Sedona Farmers Market. Held weekly, this community gathering celebrates the region’s bountiful produce, homemade goods, and artisan crafts.

As you wander through the market, you’ll be greeted by a colorful array of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and locally sourced products that showcase the diverse agricultural offerings of Sedona and the surrounding area.

Beyond the abundance of farm-fresh produce, the Sedona Farmers Market offers a delightful selection of handmade goods and artisanal crafts. From locally crafted jewelry and pottery to hand-sewn clothing and unique artwork, you’ll find a variety of treasures to peruse and purchase.

Interact with the friendly vendors, sample delectable homemade treats, and soak in the lively atmosphere as live music performances fill the air. The Sedona Farmers Market is not only a great place to support local farmers and artisans but also an opportunity to experience the vibrant community spirit and flavors that define Sedona.

Go Mountain Biking

Calling all adventure enthusiasts! Sedona, Arizona, offers a thrilling playground for mountain bikers eager to explore its rugged beauty. With miles of diverse and challenging trails, Sedona is a paradise for mountain biking enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Strap on your helmet, hop on your bike, and get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure through breathtaking red rock landscapes, technical descents, and exhilarating climbs.

Sedona’s mountain biking trails cater to a variety of preferences, from beginner-friendly routes to more advanced and technical trails that will test your skills. For a thrilling ride, try the iconic Highline Trail with its challenging terrain and panoramic views, or venture onto the Hangover Trail, which lives up to its name with its thrilling exposure and technical features.

With a mix of slick rock, flowy singletracks, and rocky descents, every pedal stroke in Sedona promises a memorable and invigorating experience. So, grab your mountain bike, embrace the natural beauty of Sedona, and let the trail be your guide as you embark on an unforgettable mountain biking adventure.

Visit Crescent Moon Picnic Site

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape or a romantic outing, Crescent Moon Picnic Site is an enchanting destination that encapsulates the natural splendor of Sedona.

For a serene and picturesque experience in Sedona, make sure to visit the Crescent Moon Picnic Site. Located along the banks of Oak Creek, this idyllic spot offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and relaxation.

The site provides a peaceful setting for picnicking, unwinding, and immersing yourself in the stunning surroundings.

Crescent Moon Picnic Site is famous for its unobstructed view of the majestic Cathedral Rock, which towers above the tranquil waters of Oak Creek. The combination of the towering red rock formation, the shimmering reflections in the creek, and the lush greenery create a postcard-perfect scene that is a favorite among photographers and nature lovers.

Enjoy a leisurely picnic on the grassy banks, dip your toes in the cool waters of Oak Creek, or simply find a cozy spot to relax and take in the awe-inspiring beauty around you.

Enjoy Bird Watching

With its diverse range of habitats, including forests, canyons, and grasslands, Sedona attracts a wide variety of birds throughout the year. Grab your binoculars, a birding guidebook, and embark on a rewarding bird-watching adventure in the stunning landscapes of Sedona.

Calling all bird enthusiasts! Sedona is a haven for bird watchers, with its diverse ecosystem and abundance of avian species. With over 400 documented bird species, ranging from common sightings to rare and elusive birds, Sedona offers a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate the beauty of our feathered friends in their natural habitat.

From the majestic bald eagles soaring overhead to the colorful plumage of the vermilion flycatcher, bird watching in Sedona provides a captivating experience for both seasoned birders and beginners. Explore the lush riparian areas along Oak Creek, where you may spot herons, kingfishers, and various species of waterfowl.

Venture into the desert trails and keep an eye out for iconic species such as the Gambel’s quail, roadrunners, and the charismatic cactus wren.

Explore Cathedral Rock Trail

Cathedral Rock, a revered landmark in Sedona, is more than just a stunning rock formation. It’s a grand spectacle that invites its visitors to experience the magnificent energy and unrivaled vistas it offers. This colossal structure has a unique symmetrical design that resembles a grand cathedral’s spires, hence its name.

Known as one of the four major vortex sites in Sedona, Cathedral Rock radiates magnetic energy that visitors can’t help but feel during their climb and upon reaching the top.

The trail to Cathedral Rock, although relatively short at about 1.5 miles round trip, can be quite strenuous, with steep inclines and areas where some scrambling is necessary. But fear not, the challenge is well worth the reward.

As you make your way to the saddle points or ‘nooks’ of the cathedral, you will be welcomed by breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding red rock formations and the lush greenery of Oak Creek below. It’s the perfect place for those awe-inspiring pictures, quiet reflection, or simply soaking in the energy of this unique spot.

Remember, the best times to hike are early morning and late afternoon when the sunlight perfectly illuminates the red rocks and the temperatures are cooler.

Cathedral Rock Trail
Get ready for some incredible views on the Cathedral Rock Trail.

Hike Thunder Mountain Trail

For adventure seekers and hiking enthusiasts, the Thunder Mountain Trail in Sedona is a must-do experience. This trail, known for its challenging terrain and breathtaking views, offers a thrilling journey through Sedona’s majestic red rock landscapes.

As you navigate the winding paths and steep inclines, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of towering rock formations, sprawling valleys, and the vibrant hues of the Arizona sky.

The Thunder Mountain Trail is renowned for its unique geological features, including the distinctive Thunder Mountain itself, which dominates the horizon with its rugged grandeur. The trail takes you through a variety of terrains, from sandy washes to rocky ridges, providing an exhilarating and diverse hiking experience.

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, such as mule deer and a variety of bird species, adding to the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Enjoy a Round of Golf at Sedona Golf Resort

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a novice looking to tee off amidst breathtaking scenery, the Sedona Golf Resort promises an unforgettable golfing adventure that perfectly combines sport and natural beauty.

For avid golfers and enthusiasts, the Sedona Golf Resort offers a memorable golfing experience amidst the stunning backdrop of Sedona’s iconic red rocks. This championship course, designed by renowned golf course architect Gary Panks, seamlessly blends the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape with an exceptional golfing experience.

As you navigate the meticulously manicured fairways and greens, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the towering red rock formations that define the Sedona skyline.

The Sedona Golf Resort presents a challenging yet rewarding layout, with its strategic bunkering, water features, and undulating terrain. Each hole offers a unique perspective of the surrounding natural wonders, making every swing an opportunity to appreciate the awe-inspiring landscapes.

As you make your way through the course, keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, such as deer and various bird species, adding to the serene ambiance of the golfing experience.

Take a Guided Fishing Tour

Embark on a guided fishing tour in Sedona’s picturesque Oak Creek Canyon for a memorable and rewarding angling experience. With its pristine waters, abundant fish species, and stunning natural beauty, Oak Creek provides an idyllic setting for both novice and seasoned anglers.

The creek is home to a variety of fish, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass, making it a prime location for casting a line and reeling in your catch of the day.

Guided fishing tours in Oak Creek Canyon offer the perfect opportunity to learn from knowledgeable and experienced local guides who know the best spots and techniques for a successful fishing excursion. Whether you prefer fly fishing or spin casting, the guides will provide expert instruction and tips to enhance your skills and increase your chances of landing a trophy fish.

As you cast your line into the crystal-clear waters and take in the serene beauty of the surrounding canyon, you’ll find yourself immersed in a tranquil and immersive fishing experience that showcases the natural wonders of Sedona.

Wander Through the Sedona Heritage Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Sedona by visiting the Sedona Heritage Museum. Located in Jordan Historical Park, this charming museum offers a glimpse into Sedona’s past and showcases the stories of the pioneers and settlers who shaped the region.

Housed in the historic Jordan family farmhouse, the museum features exhibits that highlight Sedona’s early history, including artifacts, photographs, and personal narratives that provide a fascinating insight into the area’s development.

As you explore the Sedona Heritage Museum, you’ll discover the challenges faced by the early settlers, the development of agriculture and ranching in the region, and the growth of the community over time.

Step into the restored historic rooms of the farmhouse to see how the Jordan family lived and gain a sense of the daily life of Sedona’s early residents. The museum also hosts special events, presentations, and workshops that delve deeper into Sedona’s cultural heritage, making it a hub for education and community engagement.

Visit the Hummingbird House

Nestled in the heart of Sedona, Arizona, the Hummingbird House beckons visitors with its tranquil beauty and captivating charm. A sanctuary for nature enthusiasts and bird lovers alike, this idyllic retreat embraces the essence of the Southwest’s natural splendor.

As you step into its lush gardens, you are greeted by the melodious hum of delicate wings and vibrant bursts of color. The Hummingbird House offers an immersive experience, where you can observe these tiny marvels up close, their iridescent feathers glistening in the sunlight.

Surrounded by the picturesque red rock landscapes, the ethereal beauty of the hummingbirds and the serenity of the surroundings intertwine to create a mesmerizing sanctuary, leaving you with a deep sense of wonder and an appreciation for the magic of Sedona’s natural world.

Get out on an ATV Tour

Heading off on an exhilarating ATV tour in Sedona, Arizona, is an invitation to embrace adventure amidst the breathtaking desert landscapes. As you rev the engine and navigate the rugged terrain, the thrill of the open air and the adrenaline rush intertwine to create an unforgettable experience.

Guided by knowledgeable experts, you traverse through red rock canyons, winding trails, and ancient formations, immersing yourself in the region’s captivating beauty. Each twist and turn unveils panoramic vistas, where vibrant hues and towering cliffs paint a majestic backdrop.

The ATV tour becomes a gateway to explore Sedona’s hidden gems, unearthing the raw essence of the desert and igniting a sense of wonder and discovery within. From the moment you embark on this exhilarating journey, you are bound to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Take a Hike in Red Rock State Park

Embark on an unforgettable hiking adventure in Red Rock State Park, a true gem nestled amidst Sedona’s stunning red rock formations. This 286-acre nature preserve offers a variety of scenic trails that wind through picturesque landscapes, showcasing the region’s breathtaking beauty.

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the diverse terrain, from meandering creekside paths to panoramic overlooks, as you immerse yourself in the tranquility of this natural sanctuary. Or book a self-guided audio tour so you know where to go!

Red Rock State Park boasts an extensive network of trails that cater to hikers of all levels. The Eagle’s Nest Trail provides a moderate hike with rewarding views of the surrounding red rock cliffs, while the Coyote Ridge Trail offers a leisurely stroll along the banks of Oak Creek.

As you traverse the trails, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this park home, including mule deer, javelina, and a variety of bird species. With its awe-inspiring vistas, abundant flora and fauna, and peaceful atmosphere, Red Rock State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

So, get ready to take a hike in this natural playground and create lasting memories amidst the breathtaking scenery of Sedona’s red rocks.

Red Rock State Park
The views in Red Rock State Park are out of this world!

March along the Soldier Pass Trail

The Soldier Pass Trail is not just a hike; it’s a captivating journey that combines history, geology, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an enriching and scenic hiking experience in Sedona.

March along the Soldier Pass Trail and immerse yourself in the fascinating history and natural splendor of Sedona. This moderate hiking trail takes you on a captivating journey through Sedona’s rugged landscapes, offering a unique blend of archaeological sites, red rock formations, and breathtaking vistas.

As you trek along the trail, you’ll encounter the iconic Seven Sacred Pools, a series of natural pools formed by the cascading waters of Soldier Pass. These tranquil pools, surrounded by towering cliffs, create a picturesque oasis that invites hikers to pause and take in the serene beauty of the area.

One of the highlights of the Soldier Pass Trail is the chance to visit the Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole, an intriguing geological feature that provides a glimpse into the region’s volcanic history.

This massive sinkhole, formed by the collapse of an underground cave, serves as a reminder of the powerful forces that shaped the landscape. As you follow along the trail, you’ll also come across the remnants of ancient cliff dwellings, providing a connection to the rich Native American history of the area.

Crescent Moon Ranch – Red Rock Crossing

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful picnic spot, a place to dip your toes in the cool creek waters, or a stunning backdrop for photography, Crescent Moon Ranch has it all.

Nestled along the banks of Oak Creek and framed by the majestic Cathedral Rock, Crescent Moon Ranch at Red Rock Crossing is a serene and picturesque destination in Sedona. This enchanting area offers a tranquil respite where visitors can connect with nature, enjoy scenic views, and engage in various recreational activities.

The sprawling meadows, towering cottonwood trees, and iconic red rocks create a captivating ambiance that draws visitors from far and wide. The ranch provides access to several hiking trails, including paths that lead to the famous Cathedral Rock.

As you explore the area, keep an eye out for wildlife sightings, such as deer, squirrels, and a variety of bird species. Crescent Moon Ranch is not only a feast for the eyes but also a place of tranquility and natural beauty, offering a harmonious blend of red rock scenery, lush vegetation, and the soothing sounds of Oak Creek.

Taste the Best of Sedona’s Southwestern Cuisine

With its diverse and exciting food scene, Sedona offers a culinary journey that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary adventure as you savor the best of Sedona’s Southwestern cuisine. With its rich blend of flavors, vibrant spices, and fresh ingredients, the culinary scene in Sedona offers a delectable fusion of Southwestern and international influences.

From upscale dining establishments to charming local eateries, you’ll find a range of dining options that showcase the unique flavors and culinary traditions of the region.

Indulge in mouthwatering dishes such as traditional Navajo tacos, made with fry bread topped with savory ingredients like seasoned ground beef, beans, cheese, and fresh salsa.

Sample flavorful green and red chile sauces, which add a spicy kick to dishes like enchiladas, burritos, and tamales. Don’t miss the opportunity to try local specialties like mesquite-grilled meats, smoked and roasted peppers, and dishes infused with Native American flavors and ingredients.

Pair your meal with a refreshing prickly pear margarita or a locally brewed craft beer to complete your Southwestern culinary experience.

See animals from North America at the Bearizona Wildlife Park

Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or simply seeking an entertaining and educational experience, Bearizona Wildlife Park offers an unforgettable opportunity to connect with and learn about the remarkable animals of the region.

Embark on a captivating wildlife adventure at the Bearizona Wildlife Park, where you can get up close and personal with a diverse array of animals from North America. This unique park, located in Williams, Arizona, offers an immersive experience that combines a drive-through wildlife exhibit and a walk-through area.

As you drive through the park, you’ll have the opportunity to observe animals like black bears, bison, wolves, and mountain goats in their natural habitats. Marvel at the power and beauty of these majestic creatures as they roam freely in spacious enclosures.

In addition to the drive-through portion, the walk-through area of Bearizona allows you to explore the park on foot and encounter even more fascinating animals. Stroll along the winding paths and encounter smaller animals like foxes, bobcats, porcupines, and adorable otters.

Don’t forget to catch the Birds of Prey show, where you can witness the impressive aerial skills of magnificent raptors. Educational programs and presentations provide insights into the behaviors and conservation efforts surrounding these incredible North American species.

Visit an Authentic Cowboy Town at Jerome

With its breathtaking views of the Verde Valley, intriguing history, and creative energy, a visit to Jerome offers an unforgettable journey into the spirit of the cowboy era.

Step back in time and experience the Old West charm at Jerome, an authentic cowboy town perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill in Arizona. Once a thriving mining community, Jerome has transformed into a vibrant destination that combines rich history, artistic flair, and captivating scenery.

Stroll through the narrow, winding streets lined with historic buildings that house art galleries, boutique shops, and charming eateries. As you explore, you’ll find remnants of the town’s mining past, including the Jerome State Historic Park and the Mine Museum, where you can learn about the town’s fascinating heritage.

Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of Jerome as you interact with friendly locals and encounter the town’s bohemian spirit. Explore the art galleries that showcase the work of local artists, from paintings and sculptures to jewelry and ceramics.

Enjoy a meal at one of the town’s eclectic restaurants, or savor a drink at a historic saloon, soaking in the ambiance of the Old West.

Plan a getaway to Bell Rock

Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s most popular landmarks, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and spiritual energy. Recognized by its distinct bell shape, this red rock formation is one of Sedona’s famed vortex sites, known for their swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation, and self-exploration.

Many visitors claim to experience a sense of peace and rejuvenation after visiting these sites, and Bell Rock is no exception.

The trails around Bell Rock provide varying levels of hiking or biking challenges, making it accessible for beginners and thrilling for experienced adventurers. As you navigate the trails, you’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the surrounding desert landscape.

Climbing the rock itself is also an option, though it can be steep and strenuous. The climb is worth the effort, however, as the summit provides a panoramic view of Sedona’s red rock country that is truly unmatched.

Whether you’re there for the hike, the views, or the energy vortex, Bell Rock offers an experience that is as unforgettable as its striking bell shape.

Bell Rock
Bell Rock is one of Sedona’s most photographed sites!

Check out Chicken Point

Check out Chicken Point for an awe-inspiring viewpoint that offers a unique perspective of Sedona’s striking red rock formations. Located in the Coconino National Forest, Chicken Point is accessible via a scenic off-road adventure on the Broken Arrow Trail.

Hop on a rugged 4×4 vehicle or join a guided jeep tour to navigate the rocky terrain and experience the thrill of an off-road excursion. As you make your way to Chicken Point, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking vistas of towering red rock cliffs, deep canyons, and the expansive Arizona desert.

Once you reach Chicken Point, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see. The elevated vantage point allows you to marvel at the natural beauty of Sedona’s unique rock formations, including the iconic Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock.

Take a moment to soak in the grandeur of the landscape, capture incredible photos, and appreciate the vastness and tranquility of the surroundings.

Go hiking on Bear Mountain

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or an adventurous soul seeking a thrilling outdoor experience, hiking Bear Mountain provides a memorable journey that combines physical exertion, natural beauty, and a true sense of accomplishment in the heart of Sedona’s remarkable landscape.

Embark on a challenging and rewarding hiking adventure by conquering Bear Mountain, one of Sedona’s iconic peaks. Rising to an elevation of approximately 6,620 feet, Bear Mountain offers a thrilling and strenuous trail that attracts experienced hikers seeking a memorable outdoor experience.

As you ascend the rugged terrain, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of Sedona’s dramatic red rock landscapes and the sprawling vistas of the surrounding Coconino National Forest.

The trail to Bear Mountain is known for its steep sections, rocky terrain, and elevation gain, making it a perfect choice for those looking for a challenging hike. As you make your way to the summit, keep an eye out for the unique rock formations, desert vegetation, and the diverse wildlife that call this area home.

Once you reach the top, take a moment to catch your breath and soak in the sweeping vistas that reward your efforts.

Conquer the trails to Brins Mesa

Whether you’re seeking a physical challenge, stunning views, or a deeper connection with nature, conquering the trails to Brins Mesa is an adventure that will leave you with lasting memories and a sense of accomplishment.

Conquering the trails to Brins Mesa promises an exhilarating hiking experience that showcases the natural beauty of Sedona’s wilderness. This moderate-to-strenuous hike takes you through a diverse landscape of desert vistas, red rock formations, and lush vegetation.

As you climb up, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of Sedona’s iconic landmarks, including Cathedral Rock and the picturesque Oak Creek Canyon.

The journey to Brins Mesa begins at the Jordan Road Trailhead, where you’ll embark on a challenging climb that rewards you with breathtaking vistas along the way. Traverse through juniper and piñon pine forests, cross creeks, and navigate rocky sections as you make your way up the trail.

Once you reach the mesa’s summit, you’ll be greeted by unobstructed views of the surrounding red rocks, rolling hills, and the expansive sky. Take a moment to soak in the tranquility and grandeur of the landscape before descending back down, knowing that you’ve conquered one of Sedona’s most rewarding trails.

Where to Stay in Sedona, Arizona

Sedona offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. From luxury resorts and boutique hotels with stunning views of the red rocks to cozy bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds, there is something for everyone in this scenic desert town.

High-End Luxury Hotel: Enchantment Resort

Experience unparalleled luxury and breathtaking natural beauty at Enchantment Resort. Nestled amidst the red rocks of Boynton Canyon, this renowned resort offers upscale accommodations, world-class amenities, and impeccable service.

From elegant guest rooms and suites with stunning views to a spa, multiple swimming pools, and exquisite dining options, Enchantment Resort creates an oasis of relaxation and indulgence.

Enjoy access to outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and golfing, or simply unwind in the tranquil surroundings of this luxurious retreat.

Mid-Range Family Accommodation: Matterhorn Inn

Matterhorn Inn is the ideal choice for families seeking a comfortable and convenient stay. This stylish and family-friendly hotel features spacious rooms and suites with modern amenities, ensuring a pleasant and relaxing experience for all.

The Matterhorn Inn in Sedona, Arizona, is a charming retreat nestled amidst the natural splendor of the red rock formations.

With its cozy ambiance, comfortable accommodations, and picturesque views, it offers a tranquil haven for visitors seeking a peaceful escape in the heart of Sedona.

Budget Hostel/Hotel: Sedona Mago Retreat

The Harmony House Homestay in Sedona, Arizona, is a hidden gem at a budget price that offers a serene and welcoming retreat. With its peaceful ambiance and thoughtful design, it provides guests with a comfortable and rejuvenating stay.

Nestled amidst the majestic red rock landscapes, this homestay is an ideal choice for those seeking a tranquil escape while still being close to the area’s hiking trails, vortex sites, and cultural attractions.

Wrapping Up

Sedona, Arizona, offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that make it a must-visit destination. From hiking along scenic trails to exploring vortex sites, there is no shortage of things to do in Sedona. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on adventures along the Red Rock Scenic Byway, where they can witness the breathtaking beauty of Sedona’s iconic red rock formations.

The byway offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and scenic drives, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes that make Sedona so renowned.

For those with a penchant for fine wines, the Verde Valley Wine Trail beckons. This wine trail takes you on a delightful journey through vineyards and wineries in the picturesque Verde Valley. You can savor a variety of award-winning wines while enjoying the scenic beauty of the region.

Indulge in wine tastings, vineyard tours, and culinary experiences as you discover the flavors and charm of the local wine scene. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast seeking adventure or a wine connoisseur in search of a delightful tasting experience, Sedona offers a diverse array of activities that cater to every interest and ensure an unforgettable visit to this captivating Arizona town.

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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