A Phoenix to Sedona drive is likely one of the impossible, lesser-discussed highway journeys within the US. Not like 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 as much as central Arizona and passing a few of the finest locations to go to in Arizona as you go. Solely simply over two hours in size, the Phoenix to Sedona drive covers 117 miles. It whisks you from considered one of Arizona’s most iconic large cities into the center of pink rock nation. The drive incorporates pink rocks galore and tons of climbing trails. There are cultural points of interest, too, like Montezuma Fortress Nationwide Monument.
On this information, we’ll cowl every thing price understanding concerning the Phoenix to Sedona drive – which is definitely lots. There’s an final itinerary arising, plus solutions to some frequent FAQs, and even some issues to do in Sedona and Phoenix. You possibly can simply squeeze this stuff in earlier than and after your day journey of a lifetime. Let’s get began.
Phoenix to Sedona Drive Itinerary
So, you might be able to sort out the Phoenix to Sedona drive. That is simply considered one of Arizona’s high 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 reducing by means of central Arizona and the dramatic desert panorama. Surrounded by pure magnificence, that is the proper day journey for wildlife, climbing, or animal lovers. We’ll first cowl probably the most direct route, then present an alternate route when you fancy a detour.
Greatest Sedona Excursions From Phoenix
Under are a few of the high excursions from Phoenix to Sedona. These are nice when you don’t have a automotive.
Prime Actions and Excursions:
The best solution to full the Phoenix to Sedona drive is to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Worldwide Airport. From Phoenix Airport, lease a automotive, drive to Sedona utilizing this itinerary, after which fly from Sedona Airport. Or, when you really need, you possibly can drive again to Phoenix after spending just a few nights in Sedona. If you happen to plan a return journey, that is the proper time to make the most of our different route – you get one of the best of each worlds.
Received your paper and pen prepared? Then let’s begin. That is the final word itinerary to expertise the Phoenix to Sedona highway journey.
1. Lake Nice Regional Park
Distance from Phoenix: 55 minutes Time required: 1 hour
Lake Nice Regional Park is an enormous leisure space and one of many first notable points of interest you move as you start your Phoenix to Sedona drive. Lake Nice has over 100 campsites and RV spots – it’s a massively in style pure getaway for these residing in Phoenix. When driving from Phoenix to Sedona, it’s best for an early morning refresher, due 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!
Pack swimwear and a towel; use Lake Nice as the proper wake-up spot. It’s good to start out your day with some exercise, and in summer season particularly, Lake Nice has an exquisite environment.
2. Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon Metropolis
Distance from Phoenix: 49 minutes Time required: half-hour
Black Canyon Metropolis is a bit of desert city as soon as used for mining. The outdated mining city is now a short stop-off level on the drive from Phoenix to Sedona. Nevertheless, 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.
The cafe is filled with character with hyperlinks to the outdated bootlegging days and over 100 years of native historical past. Its particular pies are simply an added bonus. Rock Springs ships pie all around the US and serve them to guests on arrival. We recommend stopping by for a fast brunch after your water actions on Lake Nice.
3. Badger Springs Path
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour
Badger Springs Path is a 1.5 miles hike with a trailhead throughout the Agua Fria Nationwide Monument. Brief however candy, this path is straightforward to finish 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 Path 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 look over crowds.
4. Agua Fria Nationwide Monument
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 10 minutes Time required: 1 hour
Now that you simply’ve formally entered the central area of Agua Fria Nationwide Monument, you possibly can genuinely recognize the 71,000 acres of protected pure area. Badger Springs Path is a good way to start out your time within the nationwide monument – particularly with its historical past, wildlife, and Agua Fria River entry.
Nevertheless, after this, we’d counsel spending a bit of further time within the space with binoculars, simply taking a break from driving and having fun with the views. You possibly can spot coyotes, mountain lions, mule deer, and even antelope if you’re fortunate.
You possibly can detour to the Pueblo La Plata web site at this level if you would like as properly. Visiting Pueblo La Plata entails a 40-minute drive by means of a distant desert panorama to see an historical Native American Settlement.
5. Montezuma Fortress Nationwide Monument
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 45 minutes Time required: half-hour
Talking of Native American historical past, Montezuma Fortress is likely one of the finest issues to do in Arizona. The 20-story cliff dwelling is a outstanding early settlement lower into limestone rock. This historical stone pueblo is likely one of the US’ most revered historic points of interest. You possibly can take a ranger-led tour of Montezuma Fortress or go to independently. It’s only a quick stroll from the parking space alongside a paved observe – taking below 10 minutes to finish. Whilst you can’t enter Montezuma Fortress, you will get fabulous views from simply outdoors.
Montezuma Fortress Nationwide Monument is located simply outdoors of Camp Verde. It’s simply among the best historic points of interest you possibly can add as a stop-off in your journey from Phoenix to Sedona, and it is best to positively tick it off.
6. Purple Rock Scenic Byway
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour 50 minutes Time required: 20 minutes
Many individuals say that the Purple Rock Scenic Byway is a gateway to Sedona. The scenic drive is roughly 7.5 miles lengthy and cuts by means of some spectacular pink rock formations. Since Sedona is famed for its pink rocks, it’s no marvel this getting into highway is filled with brilliant, cherry-red rock options.
Driving, it solely takes 20 minutes; this byway is on the direct route from Phoenix to Arizona. It’s the best attraction to mix with this highway journey – you received’t need to exit of your method. And actually, the one method this can take further time is if you wish to cease and take some fast pictures.
7. Bell Rock
Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours Time required: 1-2 hours
Bell Rock is a dramatic pink rock butte you move simply earlier than getting into Sedona. As a ultimate stop-off earlier than getting into town, we advocate stopping and climbing (or mountain biking) up Bell Rock. The path is barely 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 average, and also you’ll must deliver some water and sound, sturdy footwear. Nevertheless, it’s considered one of Sedona’s most iconic hikes, so it’s unbelievable to finish. The panoramic view you get on this hike makes all of it worthwhile.
Alternate Route: By way of Verde Valley Wine Path
Fancy a distinct drive again to Phoenix? Or would you favor to skip over the scenic byway and Bell Rock in favor of a superb wine tour? Looping as much as Previous City Cottonwood is a superb alternate route on the Phoenix to Sedona drive. You possibly can incorporate one of many fabulous wine excursions on the Verde Valley Wine Path.
If you happen to detour this fashion, it’s also possible to go to the Verde Canyon Railroad and Tuzigoot Nationwide Monument – gorgeous and fascinating points of interest. If in case you have children it’s possible you’ll wish to cease on the Africa Wildlife Park, although we don’t advocate visiting establishments like this, this appears to be properly run. Use your personal judgment. The railroad, particularly, is finest for many who don’t wish to hike Bell Rock or have compromised mobility.
Since wine excursions are a bit of incompatible with single-day highway journeys, we propose stopping in a single day in Previous City Cottonwood when you select this selection. Except you have got a chosen driver, getting two days out of this different Phoenix to Sedona route is finest.
What To See and Do in Phoenix
After touchdown at Phoenix Airport, go away your self a day or two to settle earlier than heading in your Phoenix to Sedona drive. So how will you hold your self entertained? What are a few of the finest issues to do in Phoenix? Neglect a day journey for not less than the primary couple of days, as there’s simply a lot to see on this Arizona metropolis. You possibly can go to a purchasing village, take a look at Arizona’s artwork galleries, or choose any of the points of interest beneath.
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 nearly unfathomable. Phoenix’s inventive, cultured persona is not possible to not love. And having the Musical Instrument Museum to understand 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 present store after.
Frontier City is tremendous cool. The recreated outdated west settlement is sort of a little time capsule and a unbelievable place to find an immersive Western expertise in the course of town. It isn’t only a Western pop-up attraction, although; it acts as a completely practical purchasing heart.
Assume snapping footage in entrance of aesthetic, outdated west-style surroundings whereas rummaging by means of store after store of cut price buys. If you wish to cease by a present store or two, simply add Frontier City to your itinerary. Is it a vacationer lure? A bit of bit. Nevertheless it may nonetheless get a smile out of even the grouchiest adults.
The Japanese Friendship Backyard of Phoenix
The Japanese Friendship Backyard of Phoenix is a bit of solace amid Downtown Phoenix. It’s run primarily by volunteers and has a peaceable environment, making it the perfect place to slink away to get pleasure from a brief stroll and a few inexperienced area. The backyard has tiny pagodas, limitless 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 possibly can seize a conventional beverage to finish the expertise.
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire
Frank Lloyd Wright Spire doesn’t make many high suggestions concerning issues to do in Phoenix. Positioned within the suburbs in close by Scottsdale, Frank Lloyd Wright Spire is a outstanding 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 primarily based on his proposed design as Arizona’s new state capitol in 1957. You possibly can discover from the bottom of the spire and stroll across the park it’s situated in.
What To See and Do in Sedona
The Phoenix to Sedona drive is perhaps a day journey, however you possibly can nonetheless spend just a few days visiting Sedona when you arrive. Our recommendation: deal with your probability to go to Sedona as a brief getaway. Spend not less than just a few 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 is a shocking pink rock gorge and an absolute dream to cease by if you go to Sedona. The canyon is ideal for getting that pink rock surroundings and contains a swimming gap and a pure waterslide. Oak Creek Canyon is lower than 10 minutes away from Sedona by automotive.
You possibly 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 energetic method 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 Path
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 just isn’t for the faint-hearted, however positively, an achievement to get your blood pumping. Technically talking, Cathedral Rock Path isn’t demanding of hikers’ abilities – it requires psychological energy to persevere by means of the ascent.
You’ve most likely seen Cathedral Rock earlier than, but when not, take a look at an image now. The sandstone butte is well considered one of Arizona’s most well-known sights. The jagged sequence of mounds make up the large butte, and it’s a transfixing sight whether or not you climb it or not. Furthermore, Cathedral Rock is a 12-minute drive from Sedona and delightful at sundown.
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Chapel of the Holy Cross is an summary Catholic church courting again to the Nineteen Fifties. The bizarre-designed church juts up with floor-to-ceiling home windows and overlooks the pink rocks scattered outdoors. The towering concrete landmark appears extra like a spaceship than something spiritual – an actual piece of contemporary structure. Completely free to enter; it is likely one of the hottest points of interest in Sedona. Vacationers adore it for its novel modern attract. It even has its personal on-line present store.
The Grand Canyon just isn’t in Sedona itself. Nevertheless, it’s only a 2-hour drive from Sedona, so the city is a unbelievable base for a day journey to probably the most well-known canyon. The canyon is likely one of the US’ hottest points of interest. Individuals flock to the canyon to admire its dramatic surroundings, take pleasure in helicopter rides, and head out on climbing trails.
However, it’s removed from only a fairly face. Stretching 278 miles, it encompasses 11 related tribes’ ancestral homelands and boasts the Nice Unconformity. The Nice Unconformity is a lacking layer within the rock sample. It stays a complete thriller to geologists all around the world.
The Grand Canyon is far more possible as a day journey from Sedona than Phoenix. So benefit from venturing on this Phoenix to Sedona drive and keep in Sedona for just a few days, including on a day journey additional north to the Grand Canyon. It’s a moderately direct route, heading up by means of Flagstaff or Grand Canyon Junction.
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout
Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout is likely one of the most lovely locations to admire the views close to Sedona. It’s a fabulous sundown level when the pink rocks are illuminated in gorgeous shades of pink. The perspective overlooks western Sedona and sits on the finish of the airport highway – therefore the identify.
The huge car parking zone is free to get pleasure from. 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
The Phoenix to Sedona drive is a bucket checklist highway journey. And this route is a breeze to finish in a day journey – preferrred 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?
Positively, Sedona provides a wholly totally different perception into Arizona than what Phoenix provides. You’ll expertise actual ‘pink rock nation’ and highway journey a ridiculously scenic path to get there. Sedona itself is filled with climbing trails and tradition. Additionally it is an ideal base to get pleasure from snowboarding or head to the Grand Canyon.
What’s the finest scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona?
One of the best scenic route from Phoenix to Sedona is through the Purple Rock Scenic Byway. On this route, you might be surrounded by pink rocks, and it’s attractive at sundown. If you would like an iconic solution 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 Freeway for many of the journey, solely altering to Freeway 179 (the scenic byway) for the final half-hour of the drive. It’s tremendous easy to navigate.
What’s the highway like from Phoenix to Sedona?
The highway from Phoenix to Sedona is primary and straightforward to drive. You might be purely touring on highways – beginning on the Arizona Veterans Freeway and switching to Freeway 179. The highways run by means of desert terrain and are comparatively quiet when you’ve exited Phoenix.
The Phoenix to Sedona drive is fairly iconic, that’s for certain. The pink rocks of Sedona and the desert panorama you move on this highway journey are irresistible. You’ll have a superb time whether or not you cease by the traditional stone pueblos at Montezuma Fortress Nationwide Monument or take one of many three climbing trails listed on this information. One of the best half is that the Phoenix to Sedona drive is simply two hours lengthy – that means you have got all day to fill with thrilling points of interest and stop-off factors.
In search of extra Arizona inspiration? Why not plan to remain in an aesthetic, conventional cabin? These are the finest cabins in Arizona when you can tempt your self to cease driving and keep put for an evening. Belief us, you’ll recognize the gorgeous views and heat environment.