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Phoenix to Sedona Drive: What to See and Do on Your Day Trip

Phoenix to Sedona Drive: What to See and Do on Your Day Trip


A Phoenix to Sedona drive is likely one of the impossible, lesser-discussed highway journeys within the US. Unlike lots of the US’ mammoth highway journeys, this Sedona highway journey can simply be tackled in a day. And the route splits Arizona in two – heading north up to central Arizona and passing among the greatest locations to go to in Arizona as you go. Only simply over two hours in size, the Phoenix to Sedona drive covers 117 miles. It whisks you from certainly one of Arizona’s most iconic large cities into the guts of pink rock nation. The drive incorporates pink rocks galore and tons of mountaineering trails. There are cultural sights, too, like Montezuma Castle National Monument.

In this information, we’ll cowl every part value realizing concerning the Phoenix to Sedona drive – which is definitely loads. There’s an final itinerary arising, plus solutions to some widespread FAQs, and even some issues to do in Sedona and Phoenix. You can simply squeeze these items in earlier than and after your day journey of a lifetime. Let’s get began.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Itinerary

So, you’re prepared to deal with the Phoenix to Sedona drive. This is definitely certainly one of Arizona’s prime highway journeys – and day journeys – and we’ve ready the final word itinerary so that you don’t miss out on a factor. You’ll be chopping by central Arizona and the dramatic desert panorama. Surrounded by pure magnificence, that is the proper day journey for wildlife, mountaineering, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl essentially the most direct route, then present an alternate route when you fancy a detour.

Best Sedona Tours From Phoenix

Below are among the prime excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice when you don’t have a automobile.

Top Activities and Tours:

The simplest way to full the Phoenix to Sedona drive is to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. From Phoenix Airport, lease a automobile, drive to Sedona utilizing this itinerary, and then fly from Sedona Airport. Or, when you actually need, you’ll be able to drive again to Phoenix after spending a number of nights in Sedona. If you intend a return journey, that is the proper time to make the most of our various route – you get the most effective of each worlds.

Got your paper and pen prepared? Then let’s begin. This is the final word itinerary to expertise the Phoenix to Sedona highway journey.

1. Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Lake Pleasant Regional Park
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Distance from Phoenix: 55 minutes Time required: 1 hour

Lake Pleasant Regional Park is an unlimited leisure space and one of many first notable sights you cross as you start your Phoenix to Sedona drive. Lake Pleasant has over 100 campsites and RV spots – it’s a vastly in style pure getaway for these dwelling in Phoenix. When driving from Phoenix to Sedona, it’s best for an early morning refresher, thanks to its wealth of water actions. You might go for a dawn kayak. Or, when you go away it till 10 am, take a experience on the world’s largest floating waterslide at H2. Whoa!

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Lake Pleasant Regional Park
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Pack swimwear and a towel; use Lake Pleasant as the proper wake-up spot. It is sweet to begin your day with some exercise, and in summer season particularly, Lake Pleasant has a beautiful environment.

2. Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Rock Springs Cafe In Black Canyon City
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Distance from Phoenix: 49 minutes Time required: half-hour

Black Canyon City is slightly desert city as soon as used for mining. The previous mining city is now a short stop-off level on the drive from Phoenix to Sedona. However, the unassuming city has one main draw – Rock Springs Cafe. The cafe has an aesthetic trucker vibe, with a faint signal etched in true Southern hospitality model on its partitions.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Lake Pleasant Picnic
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The cafe is stuffed with character with hyperlinks to the previous bootlegging days and over 100 years of native historical past. Its particular pies are simply an added bonus. Rock Springs ships pie everywhere in the US and serve them to guests on arrival. We counsel stopping by for a fast brunch after your water actions on Lake Pleasant.

3. Badger Springs Trail

Phoenix to Sedona Itinerary Badger Springs Trail
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Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour

Badger Springs Trail is a 1.5 miles hike with a trailhead inside the Agua Fria National Monument. Short however candy, this path is straightforward to full and appropriate for hikers of all capabilities as long as they’ve primary mobility. The path drops you down alongside the banks of the Agua Fria River, immersing you in Arizonian wildlife and taking you to some spectacular Perry Mesa petroglyphs hidden inside a canyon.

Badger Springs Trail is ideal for spending an hour or so stretching your legs. The path is comparatively busy however not packed, so it’s a good alternative to see some petroglyphs with out straining your neck to peer over crowds.

4. Agua Fria National Monument

Agua Fria National Monument Phoenix to Sedona Drive Itinerary
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Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour

Now that you simply’ve formally entered the central area of Agua Fria National Monument, you’ll be able to genuinely respect the 71,000 acres of protected pure area. Badger Springs Trail is an effective way to begin your time within the nationwide monument – particularly with its historical past, wildlife, and Agua Fria River entry.

However, after this, we’d counsel spending slightly further time within the space with binoculars, simply taking a break from driving and having fun with the views. You can spot coyotes, mountain lions, mule deer, and even antelope in case you are fortunate.

You can detour to the Pueblo La Plata website at this level if you need as nicely. Visiting Pueblo La Plata includes a 40-minute drive by a distant desert panorama to see an historical Native American Settlement.

5. Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma castle national momument on drive from Phoenix to Sedona
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Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 45 minutes Time required: half-hour

Speaking of Native American historical past, Montezuma Castle is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Arizona. The 20-story cliff dwelling is a exceptional early settlement lower into limestone rock. This historical stone pueblo is likely one of the US’ most revered historic sights. You can take a ranger-led tour of Montezuma Castle or go to independently. It is only a quick stroll from the parking space alongside a paved monitor – taking underneath 10 minutes to full. While you’ll be able to’t enter Montezuma Castle, you may get fabulous views from simply exterior.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Montezuma Castle 2
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Montezuma Castle National Monument is located simply exterior of Camp Verde. It is definitely the most effective historic sights you’ll be able to add as a stop-off on your journey from Phoenix to Sedona, and it’s best to positively tick it off.

6. Red Rock Scenic Byway

Phoenix to Sedona Drive stops Red Rock Scenic Byway
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Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 50 minutes Time required: 20 minutes

Many folks say that the Red Rock Scenic Byway is a gateway to Sedona. The scenic drive is roughly 7.5 miles lengthy and cuts by some spectacular pink rock formations. Since Sedona is famed for its pink rocks, it’s no marvel this getting into highway is stuffed with shiny, cherry-red rock options.

Driving, it solely takes 20 minutes; this byway is on the direct route from Phoenix to Arizona. It is the best attraction to mix with this highway journey – you received’t have to exit of your approach. And in truth, the one approach it will take further time is if you need to cease and take some fast photographs.

7. Bell Rock

Sedona to Phoenix Drive Bell Rock
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Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours Time required: 1-2 hours

Bell Rock is a dramatic pink rock butte you cross simply earlier than getting into Sedona. As a ultimate stop-off earlier than getting into the town, we advocate stopping and mountaineering (or mountain biking) up Bell Rock. The path is just 0.8 miles out and again, however you’ll attain an elevation achieve of 203 toes – so be ready to get barely out of puff.

This path is ranked as reasonable, and you’ll want to deliver some water and sound, sturdy sneakers. However, it’s certainly one of Sedona’s most iconic hikes, so it’s improbable to full. The panoramic view you get on this hike makes all of it worthwhile.

Alternate Route: Via Verde Valley Wine Trail

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Via Verde Wine Trail
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Fancy a special drive again to Phoenix? Or would you like to skip over the scenic byway and Bell Rock in favor of an excellent wine tour? Looping up to Old Town Cottonwood is a superb alternate route on the Phoenix to Sedona drive. You can incorporate one of many fabulous wine excursions on the Verde Valley Wine Trail.

If you detour this fashion, you may also go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot National Monument – gorgeous and participating sights. If you could have children it’s your decision to cease on the Africa Wildlife Park, although we don’t advocate visiting establishments like this, this appears to be nicely run. Use your personal judgment. The railroad, specifically, is greatest for many who don’t need to hike Bell Rock or have compromised mobility.

Since wine excursions are slightly incompatible with single-day highway journeys, we recommend stopping in a single day in Old Town Cottonwood when you select this selection. Unless you could have a chosen driver, getting two days out of this various Phoenix to Sedona route is greatest.

What To See and Do in Phoenix

Things to see in Phoenix on your Phoenix to Sedona Drive
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After touchdown at Phoenix Airport, go away your self a day or two to settle earlier than heading on your Phoenix to Sedona drive. So how will you hold your self entertained? What are among the greatest issues to do in Phoenix? Forget a day journey for at the very least the primary couple of days, as there’s simply a lot to see on this Arizona metropolis. You can go to a procuring village, try Arizona’s artwork galleries, or decide any of the sights under.

Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is likely one of the most original museums within the US, not to mention Arizona or Phoenix. There are over 15,000 artifacts – which is truthfully virtually unfathomable. Phoenix’s creative, cultured character is unattainable not to love. And having the Musical Instrument Museum to respect improves Phoenix tenfold. Don’t simply go to the exhibitions; Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum has a 300-seat theater and hosts common performances. See if one aligns along with your go to dates, and cease by the reward store after.

Frontier Town

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Frontier Town
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Frontier Town is tremendous cool. The recreated previous west settlement is sort of a little time capsule and a improbable place to uncover an immersive Western expertise in the course of the town. It isn’t only a Western pop-up attraction, although; it acts as a completely useful procuring heart.

Think snapping photos in entrance of aesthetic, previous west-style surroundings whereas rummaging by store after store of discount buys. If you need to cease by a present store or two, simply add Frontier Town to your itinerary. Is it a vacationer entice? A bit of bit. But it might nonetheless get a smile out of even the grouchiest adults.

The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Phoenix to Sedona Drive The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
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The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix is slightly solace amid Downtown Phoenix. It is run primarily by volunteers and has a peaceable environment, making it the perfect place to slink away to take pleasure in a brief stroll and some inexperienced area. The backyard has tiny pagodas, countless water options, quaint pink bridges, and ceramic wind bells. And when you’ve had a calming stroll, there’s a tea backyard and tea home the place you’ll be able to seize a conventional beverage to finish the expertise.

Frank Lloyd Wright Spire

Phoenix to Sedona Drive Frank Lloyd Wright Spire
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Frank Lloyd Wright Spire doesn’t make many prime suggestions concerning issues to do in Phoenix. Located within the suburbs in close by Scottsdale, Frank Lloyd Wright Spire is a exceptional feat of structure – a 125-foot tall jagged spike of blue that juts out above the boulevard. The spire is an ode to the late architect based mostly on his proposed design as Arizona’s new state capitol in 1957. You can discover from the bottom of the spire and stroll across the park it’s situated in.

What To See and Do in Sedona

Phoenix to Sedona Drive What To do In Sedona
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The Phoenix to Sedona drive is perhaps a day journey, however you’ll be able to nonetheless spend a number of days visiting Sedona when you arrive. Our recommendation: deal with your likelihood to go to Sedona as a brief getaway. Spend at the very least a number of days there after driving from Phoenix to Sedona. These are the highest choice of all of the issues to do in Sedona throughout your keep. Who is aware of, possibly you’ll plan a Sedona highway journey to someplace particular close by, just like the Grand Canyon?

Oak Creek Canyon

Oak Creek Canyon on Phoenix to Sedona Road Trip
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Oak Creek Canyon is a surprising pink rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by once you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that pink rock surroundings and encompasses a swimming gap and a pure waterslide. Oak Creek Canyon is lower than 10 minutes away from Sedona by automobile.

You can simply use it as a half-day exercise – simply pack some swimwear, a towel, and snacks. Photographers ought to deliver a digital camera too. Alternatively, when you fancy a extra lively approach of reaching the canyon, lease a motorbike and cycle to Oak Creek Canyon. The canyon is simply half-hour away by bike, so biking is a possible addition to this attraction.

Cathedral Rock Trail

Cathedral Rock Trail Phoenix to Sedona Drive
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When visiting Sedona, scary hikes are a should. Cathedral Rock path is as scary because it will get, and this steep hike ascends abruptly to a saddle that lies between two pink rock formations. The 1.5-mile spherical hike is just not for the faint-hearted, however positively, an achievement to get your blood pumping. Technically talking, Cathedral Rock Trail isn’t demanding of hikers’ abilities – it requires psychological power to persevere by the ascent.

You’ve most likely seen Cathedral Rock earlier than, but when not, try an image now. The sandstone butte is definitely certainly one of Arizona’s most well-known sights. The jagged collection of mounds make up the large butte, and it’s a transfixing sight whether or not you climb it or not. Moreover, Cathedral Rock is a 12-minute drive from Sedona and stunning at sundown.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Things to see on drive from Phoenix to Sedona Chapel of the Holy Cross
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Chapel of the Holy Cross is an summary Catholic church courting again to the Fifties. The bizarre-designed church juts up with floor-to-ceiling home windows and overlooks the pink rocks scattered exterior. The towering concrete landmark seems to be extra like a spaceship than something spiritual – an actual piece of recent structure. Totally free to enter; it is likely one of the hottest sights in Sedona. Tourists adore it for its novel up to date attract. It even has its personal on-line reward store.

Grand Canyon

Phoenix to Sedona drive detour Grand Canyon
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The Grand Canyon is just not in Sedona itself. However, it’s only a 2-hour drive from Sedona, so the city is a improbable base for a day journey to essentially the most well-known canyon. The canyon is likely one of the US’ hottest sights. People flock to the canyon to admire its dramatic surroundings, take pleasure in helicopter rides, and head out on mountaineering trails.

But, it’s removed from only a fairly face. Stretching 278 miles, it encompasses 11 related tribes’ ancestral homelands and boasts the Great Unconformity. The Great Unconformity is a lacking layer within the rock sample. It stays a complete thriller to geologists everywhere in the world.

The Grand Canyon is way more possible as a day journey from Sedona than Phoenix. So profit from venturing on this Phoenix to Sedona drive and keep in Sedona for a number of days, including on a day journey additional north to the Grand Canyon. It is a fairly direct route, heading up by Flagstaff or Grand Canyon Junction.

Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout

Phoenix to Sedona Road Trip stop Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout
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Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is likely one of the most stunning locations to admire the views close to Sedona. It is a wonderful sundown level when the pink rocks are illuminated in gorgeous shades of pink. The viewpoint overlooks western Sedona and sits on the finish of the airport highway – therefore the identify.

The huge car parking zone is free to take pleasure in. So pack a picnic, deliver some blankets, and settle in for a romantic night overlooking Sedona. Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is likely one of the most romantic issues to do in Sedona for sundown and even after darkish when you fancy some star gazing.

Phoenix to Sedona Drive: FAQs

Phoenix to Sedona Drive FAQS
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The Phoenix to Sedona drive is a bucket record highway journey. And this route is a breeze to full in a day journey – best for many who have little time in Arizona. So, what else is there to know? As promised, listed here are the solutions to your mostly requested questions.

Is Sedona definitely worth the drive from Phoenix?

Definitely, Sedona gives a wholly totally different perception into Arizona than what Phoenix gives. You’ll expertise actual ‘red rock country’ and highway journey a ridiculously scenic route to get there. Sedona itself is stuffed with mountaineering trails and tradition. It can also be an ideal base to take pleasure in snowboarding or head to the Grand Canyon.

What is the most effective scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona?

The greatest scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona is through the Red Rock Scenic Byway. On this route, you’re surrounded by pink rocks, and it’s attractive at sundown. If you need an iconic approach to enter Sedona, select this route.

Is the drive from Phoenix to Sedona simple?

The drive from Phoenix to Sedona is very easy. You keep on the Arizona Veterans Highway for a lot of the journey, solely altering to Highway 179 (the scenic byway) for the final half-hour of the drive. It is tremendous easy to navigate.

What is the highway like from Phoenix to Sedona?

The highway from Phoenix to Sedona is primary and simple to drive. You are purely touring on highways – beginning on the Arizona Veterans Highway and switching to Highway 179. The highways run by desert terrain and are comparatively quiet when you’ve exited Phoenix.

To Conclude

Phoenix to Sedona Drive To Conclude
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The Phoenix to Sedona drive is fairly iconic, that’s for certain. The pink rocks of Sedona and the desert panorama you cross on this highway journey are irresistible. You’ll have a wonderful time whether or not you cease by the traditional stone pueblos at Montezuma Castle National Monument or take one of many three mountaineering trails listed on this information. The better part is that the Phoenix to Sedona drive is simply two hours lengthy – which means you could have all day to fill with thrilling sights and stop-off factors.

Looking for extra Arizona inspiration? Why not plan to keep in an aesthetic, conventional cabin? These are the greatest cabins in Arizona when you can tempt your self to cease driving and keep put for an evening. Trust us, you’ll respect the gorgeous views and heat environment.

Plan Your Next Trip to Arizona With These Resources



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