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A Weekend Guide to Sedona, Arizona

devils bridge sedona

A Weekend Guide to Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is known for stunning red rock buttes as far as the eye can see, numerous hikes that lead to energy vortexes, and all-around good vibes. It’s a small city that needs to be experienced by everyone and is sometimes hard to put into words. In this “Weekend Guide to Sedona, Arizona” I’ll break down everything you need to know before visiting, where to stay in Sedona, and places to see! Buckle up, it’s going to be a magical ride…

Weather in Sedona Arizona

In Sedona, the summer months are VERY hot. Temperatures can rise up to 120 degrees midday. With that being said, the winters can get really cold and sometimes even snow. The best time to visit Sedona is late April to early July and early September to mid-November.

Things to do in Sedona

Top Hikes in Sedona

The number one reason people visit Sedona is for the endless trails that lead to the most beautiful views. There are so many trailheads to choose from. Some are easy and some are extremely treacherous but all are known to showcase beautiful landscapes and vibrant energy. The top hikes are:

Devil’s Bridge
  • 4.2 miles out and back
  • 564 ft elevation gain
  • Free to park

This is the most popular hiking spot in Sedona. It was by far our favorite hike and the views were insanely beautiful. It takes roughly two hours roundtrip and the majority of the hike is easy. Once you get to the last part of the hike you will need to climb 2-3 “rock staircases”. It’s not a skip in the park but they are fairly easy (pictured above). Make sure to start this hike early in the day so that you can beat the heat. Finally, we started at 6:30 am and it was a great time to begin the journey.

In regards to the 4×4 trail that shaves off a couple of miles, it is extremely rocky and unless you have a truck that is high off the ground – I would advise against driving on this path.

Cathedral Rock
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Climbing to the top of Cathedral Rock in Sedona was one of those moments where I wanted to give up. ⁣ ⛰ ⁣ ⁣⁣ I’d just finished 20 rounds of radiation the week before and my energy was still a bit low. The hike was straight up hill, equivalent to about 65 flights of stairs, and not for the faint of heart. 😳⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I stopped about halfway and told my friend to go up without me and that I’d wait for her. Of course she said NO 😄⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Right about then a man came by with a cute little dog & convinced me that it wasn’t as bad as it I thought it would be. He said it would be worth it at the top. Then of course they went right up the hill making it look super easy. 🐶⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ My mindset shifted in that moment and I realized I wanted to keep trying. Out of breath & breathing heavily, I forged ahead and slowly made my way to the top. He was right. It was worth it. As you can see, the views up there were absolutely amazing 😍 ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ The sun was setting & everyone there was so happy to have made it to the top. It was definitely worth all the trouble. ☀️⁣⁣ ⁣ ⁣Sometimes we just need to pause when things get hard. Take a break, take the pressure off, then continue on & finish strong. 💪🏼⁣⁣ ⁣ Things aren’t always as hard as we fear that they’ll be. 💫⁣⁣ ⁣ And you, my friend, are more resilient than you know. 💖⁣ ⁣ Happy Saturday 😘⁣ ⁣

A post shared by Instagram Business Coach (@kamelia.britton) on

Make sure to read Kamelia’s experience hiking to the top of Cathedral Rock
  • 1.2 miles out and back
  • 744 ft elevation gain
  • $5 to park

A short but extremely steep hike that requires scaling multiple rocks in order to get up to the viewing point. This was one of the hikes that we did not attempt ourselves because of how challenging it is. However, it comes highly recommended by the travel community. So if you’re up for the challenge, GO FOR IT!

Bell Rock
  • 1.1 miles out and back
  • 380 ft elevation gain
  • $5 to park

This was our first hike in Sedona and we loved it! It was fairly easy and the trail markers we’re a huge help (pictured above). During the hike to the top of Bell Rock, you are required to scale rocks but it wasn’t terrible. Please enjoy the photo of me on my hands and knees scaling the rock lol. Finally, Bell Rock is known to have one of the most powerful energy vortexes in Sedona.

Soldier’s Pass
  • 4.1 miles out and back
  • 620 ft elevation gain
  • Parking open from 8 am-6 pm only

This hike has it all! From the seven sacred pools to a sinkhole, and the main attraction – THE CAVE (pictured above). Fellow travel photographer, Kay Bacon has an extremely helpful post about everything you need to know before hiking Soldier’s Pass – check it out above!

Birthing Cave
  • 2 miles out and back
  • 291 ft elevation gain

The Birthing Cave hike is a fairly easy hike. About 15 minutes in you will see a wooden and wired fence and the trail is to the left of said fence. Once you get to the cave, make sure you have sturdy hiking shoes with traction as it can be hard to access without.

Swimming in Sedona

In the summer months, there are plenty of places that you can post up with a picnic and swim to cool off during that summer heat. The top spots to do so are as follows:

Red Rock CrossingLocated near Cathedral Rock. This public state park cost’s $11 to park for the day and you can enjoy creek swimming, stunning views of Cathedral Rock, and even an energy vortex.

Slide Rock State ParkThe most popular of all the swimming holes in Sedona is Slide Rock. Known for their mini cascades, water chutes, and cliff jumping. It costs $10 for the day.

Grasshopper PointLocated along a bend in Oak Creek, this spot is popular for swimming, cliff jumping, and sunbathing.

Midgely BridgeA popular spot for college kids in the school year however, this spot is great in the week for sunbathing on the large rocks.

“The Crack” at Bell PointThis one requires a 3.3-mile hike to get to. It can become extremely hot during the height of summer. Known for its deep water for swimming and cliff jumping this is a great local’s only spot to check out!

Sightseeing in Sedona

Chapel of The Holy Cross A Roman Catholic Church that is built into the buttes of the red rocks. It is free to enter (lighting a candle costs $2). Finally, it is open from 9 am-5 pm every day and has a parking lot up top for easy access.

Pink Jeep Tours – The Pink Jeep Tours are great for those that prefer not to hike but still want to see the beauty of Sedona up close and personal! They cost a pretty penny but it is well worth it for the experience! Book your tour here!

Sedona Hotels

Enchantment Resort | Sedona, AZ Resort
img via enchantmentresort.com

There is a handful of resorts to stay in Sedona, Arizona. They range from mid-price hotels to 5-star resorts (I’m looking at you L’auberge). Most people want to stay in a resort with views of the red rocks however, everywhere you drive to in Sedona has views of the red rocks and I’m talking everywhere. Here are my top picks on where to stay in Sedona:

Enchantment Resort ($$$$) – This 5-star hotel has the most gorgeous views of Sedona. It sets the tone for a relaxing getaway. They also have guided hikes and tours and a world-class spa.

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock ($$) – Surrounded by stunning landscape and views of Bell Rock, this resort is a great pick! It offers a spa, multiple pools, and a poolside grill. The prices are reasonable and the location is great for multiple hikes in Sedona.

Sedona Rouge Hotel by Wyndham ($$) – We stayed here and loved the convenience of location coupled with the moderate price per night. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend taking a dip in the jacuzzi at night, looking at the stars, and ending the night at one of their outdoor fire pits!

Restaurants in Sedona

Where to Eat in Sedona, AZ - Our Top Picks | Globalphile
Mariposa Restaurant (img via pinterest)

Mariposa ($$$) – This restaurant is known for it’s delicious Latin cuisine and stunning views of the red rocks. It is an extremely popular destination in Sedona. When visiting, make a reservation a week in advance!

Elote Cafe ($$) – Another great Mexican + Southwest cuisine option. Elote Cafe overlooks the Red Rocks and proudly serves seasonal and locally grown ingredients.

SaltRock Southwest Kitchen ($$) – Located at the Amara Resort, this restaurant menus mixes southwest cuisine with a relaxed California vibe. They’re open for Breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Thank you for reading my “Weekend Guide to Sedona, Arizona”. I hope you gained insight into planning your trip to the southwest. For more of my detailed travel guides head here!

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XO,

Courtney

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1 Comment

  • Reply elenaf18

    Beautiful pictures! I definitely want to go hike around Sedona, thanks for the future inspo!

    October 3, 2020 at 8:10 am
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