Best Day Trips from Sedona: Sedona, Arizona is a beautiful city surrounded by breathtaking red rocks, serene canyons, and scenic trails that make it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. However, what many visitors may not realize is that Sedona is also an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area, with a host of fantastic day trips within easy reach. Whether you’re interested in hiking, sightseeing, or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone within a short drive of Sedona. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best day trips from Sedona and what you can expect to see and do on each one.
10 Best Day Trips from Sedona
- Grand Canyon National Park
No visit to Sedona is complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon, one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world. Located just two hours from Sedona, the Grand Canyon is a must-see destination that draws millions of visitors each year. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the most popular and accessible section of the park, with a variety of viewpoints, trails, and visitor facilities. You can hike along the Rim Trail for stunning panoramic views, visit the historic Grand Canyon Village, or take a scenic drive along Desert View Drive to see some of the most breathtaking vistas in the park.
Jerome is a historic mining town that has been revitalized into a charming artsy community. The town is located just 30 minutes from Sedona and offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Stroll along the narrow streets and admire the restored Victorian-era buildings, visit the local museums and galleries, or take a scenic drive up Mingus Mountain for stunning views of the surrounding area.
- Oak Creek Canyon
Oak Creek Canyon is a stunning natural wonder that lies just north of Sedona. This beautiful canyon is known for its towering red rock walls, lush vegetation, and crystal-clear waters. You can take a scenic drive along the winding Oak Creek Canyon Road, stop at the numerous pullouts and viewpoints for stunning photo opportunities, or take a dip in the refreshing waters of Slide Rock State Park.
- Montezuma Castle National Monument
Montezuma Castle National Monument is a well-preserved cliff dwelling that dates back to the 12th century. This fascinating archaeological site is located just 30 minutes south of Sedona and offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the Sinagua people who once inhabited the area. You can take a self-guided tour of the castle, hike the nearby trails, or visit the museum to learn more about the history and culture of Sinagua.
- Tuzigoot National Monument
Tuzigoot National Monument is another well-preserved ancient dwelling that offers a unique glimpse into the area’s prehistoric past. The monument is located in Clarkdale, about 45 minutes from Sedona, and features a restored pueblo and a museum that houses artifacts and exhibits related to the Sinagua culture. You can take a self-guided tour of the ruins, walk along the nearby Verde River, or explore the nearby town of Jerome.
- Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park is a 286-acre nature preserve that features stunning red rock formations, lush vegetation, and a variety of wildlife. The park is located just a few miles southwest of Sedona and offers visitors a chance to hike, bike, or birdwatch in a tranquil natural setting. You can also take a guided nature walk, attend a ranger-led program, or simply relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of the park.
- Verde Canyon Railroad
The Verde Canyon Railroad is a historic train ride that takes visitors on a scenic journey through the Verde Valley. The train departs from Clarkdale, about 30 minutes from Sedona, and winds its way through spectacular canyons and rugged terrain, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. Along the way, you’ll learn about the area’s rich history and natural beauty from knowledgeable guides, and have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as bald eagles, deer, and coyotes. The train ride is perfect for families, couples, or anyone looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of the Southwest.
Flagstaff is a vibrant mountain town that offers a range of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and dining options. Located just an hour from Sedona, Flagstaff is a popular day trip destination for visitors looking to explore the area’s rich history and natural beauty. You can take a stroll through the historic downtown district, visit the Lowell Observatory to learn about astronomy and space science or hike the nearby trails of the San Francisco Peaks.
Prescott is a charming small town located just over an hour from Sedona. The town is known for its historic downtown district, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries housed in beautifully preserved Victorian-era buildings. You can take a walking tour of the town, visit the Sharlot Hall Museum to learn about the area’s history and culture or explore the nearby Prescott National Forest, which offers miles of hiking and biking trails.
- Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is a stunning natural wonder located about two and a half hours from Sedona. The canyon is home to ancient cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and stunning vistas that offer a glimpse into the area’s rich cultural and natural history. You can take a guided tour of the canyon, hike the various trails, or explore the nearby Navajo Nation, which offers a range of cultural experiences and outdoor activities.
Sedona is a beautiful destination in its own right, but it’s also a great base for exploring the surrounding area. From the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon to the charming small towns of Prescott and Jerome, there’s no shortage of amazing day trips within easy reach of Sedona. Whether you’re interested in hiking, sightseeing, or cultural experiences, the area has something for everyone. So the next time you’re planning a trip to Sedona, be sure to set aside some time to explore the amazing day trips that await just a short drive away.
Frequently Asked Questions About Day Trips from Sedona
Q: What is the best time of year to take a day trip from Sedona?
A: The best time of year to take a day trip from Sedona depends on the activity you plan to do. Generally, the best time to visit Sedona and the surrounding areas is during the spring and fall months, when temperatures are mild and the crowds are thinner. However, if you plan to visit the Grand Canyon or other high-elevation areas, be aware that they can be quite cold and snowy during the winter months.
Q: How do I get to these day trip destinations from Sedona?
A: Most of these day trip destinations are easily accessible by car. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can rent a car or take a guided tour. Some of the destinations, such as the Grand Canyon, also offer shuttle services from Sedona.
Q: Are these day trips suitable for families with children?
A: Many of these day trips are suitable for families with children, but it’s important to check the specific activities and age restrictions before booking. For example, the Pink Jeep Tours and Grand Canyon Skywalk may not be suitable for very young children or those with mobility issues.
Q: Can I do more than one day trip in a day?
A: It’s possible to do multiple day trips in a day, but it depends on the distance between the destinations and the activities you plan to do. For example, you could visit the Grand Canyon in the morning and then drive to Jerome for lunch and shopping in the afternoon. However, it’s important to pace yourself and not overdo it, as some of these day trips involve strenuous activities like hiking.
Q: What should I bring on a day trip from Sedona?
A: It’s important to bring appropriate clothing and gear for the activities you plan to do. For hiking, be sure to bring sturdy shoes, plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat. For sightseeing, bring a camera and binoculars to capture the stunning views. You may also want to bring snacks, as many of these day-trip destinations are located in remote areas with limited food options.