Finding Solitude in Sedona, Arizona
Adventure & Storyteller
4 Days in Sedona
Start / End
93 miles / 150 km
Explore the lesser known sides of Sedona during your visit, from the Chapel of the Holy Cross to Pyramid Mountain. This itinerary draws inspiration from the Sedona Secret 7, and we think it offers one of the best ways to be a conscientious traveler. You’ll lessen your impact on one of the most popular spots in the southwest, while still getting to experience its best!
In addition to taking the Sedona Cares Pledge, we have some other tips to help you explore the land of red rocks like a local. Try traveling during the week, and even better, go during the summer! On average, Sedona is 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than Phoenix. Plus, there is water in Oak Creek year-round, so even when it gets warm, it’s easy to stay comfortable, and you can always look forward to their cool summer nights. If you can only travel during spring break, take extra care to visit places found in the Secret 7, and try to avoid peak trail times like mid-morning.
GET SETTLED IN SEDONA
20 MINS – 5.6 MILES / 9 KM
On your first day, get your bearings. You’ll notice that the main street (State Route 89A) parallels Oak Creek on its downhill run from Flagstaff. This beautiful waterway supports tremendous biodiversity, including vibrant trees that grow on its banks and lend a lush contrast to Sedona’s red rocks. Enjoy walking through town to soak it all in. Gallery Row is Sedona’s creative center, and is a great place to spend a morning browsing art from every genre. Uptown Sedona is home to shops, galleries, and restaurants. During your meander through town, consider grabbing coffee with a view.
After you’ve shopped, enjoy a picnic lunch at Jordan Historical Park, located at the Sedona Heritage Museum. (There are a number of restaurants in town where you can pick up lunch to go!) Picnic tables are located near an apple orchard and other fruit trees. Afterwards, learn about Sedona’s past at the museum.
Switch to your hiking shoes for an afternoon exploring one of Sedona’s quieter trails, such as the Airport Loop Trail. (We won’t blame you for wanting to take a siesta, first.) As the sun begins to fade you’ll get to experience your first Sedona sunset—a tremendous photo opportunity, no matter which trail you’re on.
ELEVATE YOUR HEART RATE
21 MINUTES – 10.6 MILES / 17 KM
It’s time to immerse yourself in one of Sedona’s most popular activities: mountain biking miles of exceptional singletrack! Fuel up for your adventure with a big breakfast. Coffee Pot Restaurant is a local favorite and serves up classics with plenty of syrup. Or, opt for somewhere with kale. Local Juicery is the go-to spot for acai and chia-topped dishes.
Then, head to the bike shop to get fitted with your equipment for the day. If you have your own bike, swing by to pick up some trail suggestions. Even though people travel to Sedona from all over the world to mountain bike, there are still some lesser-pedaled trails. Try the Llama Trail, with big views of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte. Or, choose the Ridge Trail that summits a plateau to offer a look at Thunder Mountain. There are plenty of options, so pick the trail that’s appropriate for your skill and comfort level.
That evening, after a well-deserved dinner downtown, discover another one of the Sedona Secret 7 activities—stargazing. You can even join a guided experience with Sedona Stargazing. Professional astronomers, along with their state-of-the-art telescopes, really take wishing on shooting stars to the next level!
SEE THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF SEDONA
36 MINUTES – 16 MILES / 26 KM
On day three, embark on a spiritual journey without having to leave city limits. Sedona is recognized around the globe as being a place for otherworldly inspiration and enlightenment. Today, you’ll find out why!
Start with a sunrise at one of Sedona’s many vortexes (the locally accepted plural of vortex), such as Bell Rock. Then, travel back towards town to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This architecturally stunning church is also considered to be a vortex site. Even those who prefer to pass on the spiritual aspects will enjoy photographing this unique destination. Go early to avoid crowds!
That afternoon, refer to the experts. Get a photo of your aura taken, or have a psychic reading. You might also enjoy another picnic at Red Rock Crossing, a classic Sedona viewpoint and beautiful place to spend the afternoon. Otherwise, head to House of Apache Fire, located in Red Rock State Park. Built in the 1940s by a homesteading couple, at first glance you might wonder what makes it so special. Look closer and the Hopi-style exterior reveals its magic. This is no ordinary historic house; in fact, it is responsible for the state park designation.
Spend another evening enjoying the flavors of Sedona on your final night in town.
EXPLORE SEDONA ARTS AND CULTURE
60 MINUTES – 61 MILES / 98 KM
There’s so much more to explore on day four. You might elect to hit the trails again, but if it’s art you’re after, visit one of Sedona’s cultural hubs. Located south of Sedona, the Verde Valley Archaeology Center provides an exclusive look at artifacts from the region. Another option is the Sedona Arts Center—a great place to take a hands-on class or experience a festival, depending on the timing of your trip. Today might also be a great time to indulge in some more retail therapy at Oak Creek Overlook Vista Native American Artisan Market. The scenic drive to get there might just be one of the best parts of your entire trip!
Afterwards, continue on your Arizona adventure, or extend your stay in Sedona with even more ideas.