Red rocks dominate the landscape in Sedona and offer breathtaking views as well as some of the best hiking trails. Planning a short visit over a long holiday weekend left me with a little under 72 hours to see and do it all, so every second of the trip counted.
Below is my recap to help you make the most of your visit, whether you have a few days or a few weeks.
Fly into the airport in Phoenix. It’s the easiest, cheapest option if you are traveling on a budget. If you’re lucky, it’ll be your birthday and your husband will spring for a nice set of wheels.
Drive the hour and a half from Phoenix to Sedona, and take in all the views. Then once you’re there, the fun begins!
Where to Stay
We stayed at Enchantment Resort (dreamy) simply because it was my birthday and they have one of the nation’s best spas. If it wasn’t for the special occasion, we would have been camping under the stars. We also had friends that stayed at L’Auberge de Sedona and had nothing but good things to say about it as well. If you are looking for a nice soft bed to lay down in after a day of hiking the red rocks, both of these are great options.
- Enchantment Resort
- L’Auberge de Sedona
- Oak Creek Campground
Trails to Hike
With only one full day of hiking, we had a short amount of time to hit every trail on our list. Some detailed planning beforehand was crucial to making it happen.
- Vista Trail/Kachina Woman (Difficulty: Easy; Distance: 1 mile round trip)
- Cathedral Rock (Difficulty: Hard; Distance: 1.5 miles round trip)
- Bell Rock Pathway (Difficulty: Easy; Distance: 5 miles round trip)
- Devil’s Bridge Trail (Difficulty: Moderate; Distance: 4.5 miles round trip)
- Airport Loop Trail (Difficulty: Easy; Distance: 3.5 miles round trip)
Vista Trail – This is a nice short hike up to Kachina woman. I made it to the top of the trail in about 30 minutes and had some pretty nice views. If you have some time to continue on, there are trails nearby that lead to some of the cliff dwellings.
Kachina Woman – Sedona, AZ – Hopi legend says that if she ever crumbles, humanity is lost.
Cathedral Rock – This is the perfect trail to watch the sun rise. There’s a nice plateau about 15 minutes up the trail where you can watch the sun come up before continuing your climb. You will want to wear hiking boots if your goal is to make it to the top of the hike. It had been raining, so the rocks were slippery, and given that I only had on tennis shoes, I only made it 3/4 of the way up.
Cathedral Rock – Sedona, AZ
Bell Rock Pathway – It was a tie between Bell Rock and Devil’s Bridge for my favorite hike of the trip. Bell Rock is nice because you can choose to either loop around the formation or climb. Since my husband was with me on the trip, we decided to climb. It’s not something I’d undertake alone because there are some pretty steep rock faces, and if you fall, it’s a long way down. I think we made it maybe 1/2 of the way up, and the view was worth it!
Bell Rock – Sedona, AZ
Devil’s Bridge – Devil’s Bridge is not for the faint of heart! The first half of the hike is a slow ascent and the last 1/4 of the trail is STEEP! Throughout the climb, there are amazing rock outcroppings that give way to impressive red rock views and plenty of opportunities to rest. If you make it to the top, consider stepping out onto the bridge. I’m afraid of heights, and this was my biggest challenge of the trip. I got weak in the knees, but I was able to manage, and I felt like it was so worth it to have pushed myself to do it. If you don’t think you can make it out safely, you’ll get views that are just as nice from the main rock.
Devil’s Bridge – Sedona, AZ
Airport Loop Trail – Go here to see the sunrise. Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll still get views like this. It’s kind of nice to be up in the clouds, and if you don’t have time to hike the full trail, you can climb to a small rock outcropping to the left of the parking lot and get a 360 view.
Airport Loop Trail – Sedona, AZ
We made time to visit Chapel of the Holy Cross and Montezuma’s Well, both of which did not disappoint. Both of those should be stand alone posts, so for now, I’ll just link to their websites.