1. Hike to Devil's Bridge
Devil's Bridge Trailhead, , 86336
Devil's Bridge: the largest sandstone arch in Sedona is truly a breathtaking sight. This gorgeous hike is perhaps the most amazing of all the dozens of options available. While the majority of trails take you through Sedona's amazing red rock landscapes, nothing beats stepping out onto the bridge and enjoying panoramic views of the rock formations from every direction. You really feel as if you are on top of the world!
And what a stunning photo opportunity! Be sure to have someone stand on the other side of the bridge to snap your pic: the most memorable souvenir! Although the bridge is actually quite wide, the picture makes it appear to be much more narrow and dangerous.
While the trail is fairly easily, the last portion may be a bit challenging for the novice hiker. Even so, Sedona's top trail is easily worth the trek for the once in a lifetime views and photos!
2. Take a scenic cruise down Oak Creek Canyon
89a, just south of Flagstaff, , 86005
Oak Creek Canyon Scenic drive is a name given to the incredibly beautiful 14 mile section of Route 89a, which runs between Flagstaff and Sedona, going above and beyond simply offering a convenient route between the 2 tourist towns.
Along the way all sorts of diverse scenery comes into view including ponderosa pines, leafy deciduous trees, peaceful flowing creeks, and towering red rock formations. The 3000 foot change in elevation, from approximately 4000 feet in Sedona to 7000 in Flagstaff, accounts for the dramatic landscape changes.
Hiking Trails (The West Fork is amazing!), Native American craft markets, scenic overlooks, camping, fishing, and simply enjoying the spectacular views are a few of the activities and attractions that can be combined to form the perfect full day activity.
3. Challenge yourself on 13 fun creek crossings via the West Fork Trail
W Fork Trail, , 86336
The West Fork Trail, located along scenic Oak Creek Canyon Drive, wins the award for most entertaining hiking experience in Sedona. This trail goes far beyond simply offering great views with its' 13 diverse, and slightly challenging, creek crossings.
Anyone looking for a little bit of East coast ambiance will likely love the abundant leafy trees and creeks found along this 7 mile journey.
Along West Fork, you will be treated to a very attractive combination of deciduous trees, relaxing creeks, and towering rock formations. This picturesque setting really dazzles during the fall season, with bright red and gold leaves lining the trails and reflecting beautifully in the water.
A late fall hike is the best time to enjoy the trail without the hassle of hefty summer crowds. To really get away from it all, enjoy the sights and sounds of the trees and water, and take in the quiet beauty, skip a summer visit and opt for a quiet off season hike. A nature experience like no other, the West Fork trail is a must for any avid outdoor enthusiast visiting Sedona/Flagstaff.
4. Take in amazing red rock vistas along the Broken Arrow Trail
799 Morgan Rd, , 86336
Broken Arrow, although short and not overly challenging, is easily one of the the more picturesque trails in Sedona. Every direction you turn along the 3 mile RT journey offers a new and incredible view of Sedona's beautiful red rock landscape.
Reaching Chicken Point is an incredible experience: views are just out of this world! It's especially rewarding if you actually completed the hike yourself as opposed to letting a Pink Jeep Tour do all the work for you.
Despite the popularity, Broken Arrow does not feel at all congested with absolutely no traffic or business in sight: just pure beautiful nature.
5. Spend the day exploring Red Rock State Park
4050 Red Rock Loop Road, , 86336
Red Rock State Park offers more than enough fun for a half day adventure. A variety of hiking trails, scenic overlooks, a small museum, ranger programs, and wildlife viewing opportunities will easily give you enough entertaining options to fill up your day.
Fortunately, this park does not get nearly as crowded as the more popular trails in town, most likely because it is quite a drive from the center of town. On the bright side, this translates into better views, uninterrupted photo opportunities, and a more solitary experience in nature.
The Eagle's Nest Loop (3 miles total) is by far the best of the bunch. Get ready for a nice little workout with unending red rock views, along with the opportunity to
a take in a variety of gorgeous plants and trees. Overall, Red Rock State Park offers the best views and quietest setting in Sedona.
6. Enjoy a great breakfast and delicous espresso in the heart of Oak Creek Canyon
3951 AZ-89A, , 86336
Indian Gardens, a quaint breakfast/lunch cafe, is conveniently located near the end of Oak Creek Canyon Drive. It's the best spot in town for a relaxing breakfast before hitting the trails. Less commercialized and more cozy than many of the tourist traps in town, this little gem features a delicious breakfast menu, the best espresso drinks in the region, and the cutest outdoor patio.
The Grains and Greens Bowl is a must try! And the espresso drinks are simply the best prepared in the area. Each day they feature a new delicious espresso blend, sourcing their beans from small producers in Indonesia, Africa, and Latin America.
Relax and enjoy a healthy breakfast and perfectly brewed espresso drink on the shady courtyard, featuring relaxing fountains, plenty of trees, and even a hint of the red rocks.
7. Treat yourself to a quiet easy nature stroll through Fay Canyon
Fay Canyon Trail, , 86336
The Fay Canyon Trail is one of the easiest hikes in the entire Sedona area: the perfect option for those who are not in the best of shape, or anyone else seeking more of a nature experience rather than a rough and tough hike.
Sometimes, the simplest hikes provide the biggest payoff. Fay Canyon is as gorgeous as any other hike, only with the added bonus of offering a more relaxed setting and a quality workout without the need to completely push yourself.
A side trail takes you to the 15 foot high, 94 foot long arch (about a 1/2 mile in from the start). This extra route has a bit more of an incline, so if you want to keep it easier just skip the side trail (the views are fantastic either way).
At just over 2 miles round-trip, you can plan about an hour and a half for this hike: the perfect distance for a refreshing morning walk.
Fay Canyon is pretty quiet most of the time, with great views of the red rocks, lots of shady trees (making it a great summer escape), and even the rare possibility of a Black Bear sighting!
8. Expore diverse natural attractions along the Soldier's Pass Trail
Rim Shadow Drive, , 86336
Soldier's Pass is one of Sedona's more interesting trails. Along the lengthy 5 mile, 2-3 hour journey, you will come across 3 unique attractions: Sedona's largest active sinkhole, 7 sacred pools, and 3 natural sandstone arches.
This trail is particularly exciting as there are many diverse scenery changes; your journey starts near a residential area and eventually transforms into the beautiful Red Rock Secret Wilderness. Although the first few miles are quite busy, traffic really begins to die down once you move further along. This is when you really begin to feel like you are totally immersed in nature.
The unique attractions and diverse scenery really set this hike apart from the rest, giving you that extra motivation to get out there and enjoy some healthy exercise.
9. Stroll around Uptown Sedona
The intersection of Arizona 89A and 179, , 86336
Sedona is home to a cute little dining and shopping area known as Uptown Sedona. There really is no way to miss it as it jumps right out at you the second you enter/leave beautiful Oak Creek Canyon. The overall Cowboy/Southwestern theme is really charming. Any fans of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine should have fun exploring all the unique restaurant options. And of course, there are plenty of fabulous red rocks views to take in.
Need a fun cactus/Southwestern themed decoration as a souvenir or gift? You will have a blast exploring all the cute little gift shops. Lots of Native American crafts like dream catchers and beautiful pottery pieces too.
Other activities to round out your day include wine tastings, olive oil tastings, art galleries, spas, and much more.
10. Take a long scenic morning stroll along the Little Horse Trail
Milepost 309.8 on 179, , 86336
Take the gorgeous 4.5 mile journey to Chicken Point: you will not regret it. Little Horse is definitely one of the most popular tourist trails in town, however, due to the many unique red rock formations spotted along the way, it is still a must for any new visitors. All the formations in Sedona have unique names: be on the look out for Madonna and the 2 Nuns. Fabulous views of Courthouse Butte here too.
Stepping out onto the scenic overlook at Chicken Point really feels like you are on top of the world. Once you get up here you can take some quiet time to reflect, enjoy the scenery, and take in the cool breeze before embarking on the 2 mile return journey.
The trail is nicely maintained, easy to follow, and pretty easy despite a few small elevation changes. A great option for both new visitors and any local who has not made the time to check it out yet (what are you waiting for?!).