A Complete 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 “A Complete 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. We visited in mid-September and highly recommend it!
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 were 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.
- 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!
- 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.
While all opinions and recommendations are always my own, my content on this blog post may contain affiliate links for hotels I’ve traveled to, tours I’ve completed, and products I recommend. This means I get a small commission if you book a stay or purchase a product after clicking one of these links. As always, I am so thankful for your support and will continue to share the best properties, things to do, and items I love!
What to Pack for Sedona
Sedona has very warm temperatures during the summer months but from December-April can have lows as low as 30 degrees. Since most people travel to Sedona during the warmer months here is what to pack if you’re traveling from April-December
- All the activewear. Most of the things to do in Sedona are outdoor hiking and swimming holes. My favorite brands of activewear that have lasted me YEARS are Lululemon. I’ve also found some great lululemon dupes on Amazon and you can shop those all HERE.
- Good quality hiking shoes or sneakers: I wore my Asics (click here for my fav pair) the entire time in Sedona and did not have any issues when hiking however, it’s best to wear actual hiking shoes since the hikes can get pretty intense (especially Cathedral Rock) for the nicest looking hiking boots I could find CLICK HERE.
- Water Shoes for all the swimming holes in the summer. I love these from COLUMBIA because they’re somewhat stylish and have lasted me years!
- A sturdy pair of flip-flops that you can also wear on a quick hike. These Olukai Sandals are my go-to and have lasted me years and are the most comfortable.
- Bathing Suits: Being that Sedona gets very warm in the summer months you’ll want to always be prepared by bringing bathing suits. I always find quality suits that last for a few seasons at aerie, revolve, amazon, and cupshe.
- Sunscreen: Being that you’ll mostly be outdoors, you’ll want to be prepared to protect that skin of yours. This sunscreen brush is a life-saver since you can re-apply it so easily.
- a good quality backpack for hikes
- Shorts: Abercrombie has the best shorts for all sizes and shapes. Check out my favorite curve love shorts here. I also love these classic Levi Shorts. For a cooler pair check out these linen shorts.
- Basics: I always find the best basics at either Free People, Abercrombie, and HM. It’s nice to have some neutral tees and tanks handy during your stay. You can also shop my favorite Amazon Basics HERE.
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 Crossing – Located near Cathedral Rock. This public state park is $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 Park – The 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 Point – Located along a bend in Oak Creek, this spot is popular for swimming, cliff jumping, and sunbathing.
Midgely Bridge – A 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 Point – This 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! This Pink Jeep Tour came highly recommend and you should book before your trip because they tend to sell out!
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 ($$) – We stayed here and loved the convenience of the location coupled with the moderate price per night. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend taking a dip in the jacuzzi at night, looking at the stars, and ending the night at one of their outdoor fire pits!
Restaurants in Sedona
Elote Cafe ($$) – 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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