Sedona Arizona Travel Guide: A Complete Weekend Itinerary
Sedona is known for stunning red rock formations 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 sometimes the sheer beauty is hard to put into words. In this “A Complete Sedona Arizona Travel Guide” I’ll break down everything you need to know before visiting, where to stay in Sedona, the best hikes 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!
Best 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 in this Sedona Travel Guide. The views once you reach the bridge 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 moderately easy. 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 unless you have a lifted vehicle.
- 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 is 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 they 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 in 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 brand of activewear that has lasted me YEARS is Lululemon. I’ve also found some great lululemon dupes on Amazon and you can shop those all HERE.
- Good quality hiking shoes or sneakers
- 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, and Summersalt.
- 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
Swimming Guide for Sedona
In the summer months, there are plenty of places in Sedona to cool off with a swimming hole. The top spots to swim in this Sedona Travel Guide 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.
Oak Creek Canyon – Oak Creek Canyon is a river gorge located between Flagstaff and Sedona. The canyon, which runs 12 miles north to south, is often considered a smaller cousin to the Grand Canyon.
Jeep Tours – 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 Jeep Tour came highly recommended and you should book before your trip because they tend to sell out!
There is a handful of resorts and hotels to choose from when t 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 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 ($$$$) – This 5-star hotel has the most gorgeous views of Sedona. It sets the tone for a relaxing getaway. They also have guided hikes and tours and a world-class spa. Book your stay on Booking.com.
Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock ($$) – 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. Book your stay on Booking.com.
The Wilde Resort & Spa ($$) – We stayed here and loved the convenience of the location coupled with the moderate price per night. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend taking a dip in the jacuzzi at night, looking at the stars, and ending the night at one of their outdoor fire pits! Book your stay on Booking.com.
Restaurants in Sedona
Mariposa ($$$) – This restaurant is known for its 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 menu mixes southwest cuisine with a relaxed California vibe. They’re open for Breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Thank you for reading my “A Complete Weekend Sedona Travel Guide”. I hope you gained insight into planning your trip to the southwest. Check out more of my detailed travel guides!
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