With jaw-dropping views and otherworldly landscapes every which way you turn, there is no better way to visit and explore Sedona than by car. There is a very good reason it is one of the top drive-to destinations in the country! With Pheonix a mere 2-hour drive away, Sedona is a popular destination for Arizona natives; however as more people realize that Sedona is the PERFECT home base to explore so much of what the state has to offer, the distance travelers journey from is growing by leaps and bounds. Read on to discover the perfect roadmap into and around Sedona then pack up the car and hit the road!
Day Trips from Sedona
The Grand Canyon – You cannot possibly pass through northern Arizona without setting aside a day (or more) to spend at one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. The drive from Sedona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is about two hours, though the drive itself is so stunning you may be tempted to make multiple stops along the way! You will pass through Flagstaff – a perfect spot to stop for breakfast or pick up lunch to pack and enjoy later, so set aside some time to spend there, then continue north for approximately 80 miles and get ready to pick your jaw up off the floor as you come face to face with the most awe-inspiring views imaginable. Make sure your camera is at the ready – it’s going to get a workout! The south rim offers three sections: Desert View Road, Hermit Road, and Grand Canyon Village. Each one is unique and each is worth a visit. With numerous ways to enjoy the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, make sure you plan ahead and decide what is best for your group. Here are some of the most popular adventures to be had at the south rim:
- Grab a bike and hit Hermit Road – At an easy 7 miles long, this is an adventure the whole family can enjoy and offers numerous viewpoints along the way, ending at Hermit Rest. While this trip can also be enjoyed by shuttle, we prefer the bike option as it gives you the opportunity to enjoy the viewpoints along the road at your own pace, and can cut down the crowd. Didn’t bring a bike? No problem. Simply swing by Bright Angel bikes and rent one for the day.
- Take a walk along the rim – The South Rim Trail stretches 13 miles long between the Hermit’s Rest and the South Kaibab trailhead. This flat, mostly paved trail is the perfect way for travelers of all abilities to stretch their legs and take in all the splendor. You can do as much or as little of the trails as you desire, and you also have the option to hop on the Grand Canyon shuttle along the way.
- Hike on Down! – Arguably one of the best ways (it’s our favorite at least) to experience the South Rim is to bust out the hiking boots and take a hike below the rim. There are numerous trails to choose from that vary in skill level – we are partial to the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab options. South Kaibab tends to be a tad less crowded and offers some of the best views, while Bright Angel spends the majority of its miles down in the canyon.
Verde Valley and Montezuma Castle – Take a short drive down from Sedona and find yourself in Verde Valley Wine country. I know, I know – wine country is not exactly what you expect to find in the middle of Arizona. But the climate in this region is surprisingly ideal for grape growing and it boasts a few world-class wineries. Also located in the Verde Valley is one of the most well-preserved ancient cliff dwellings around. There is an easy (and dog-friendly!) self-guided loop that leads you past the imposing 5-story dwelling and along the spring-fed Beaver Creek.