The Airport Mesa in Sedona

Breathtaking Sunset Views from the Airport Mesa

Of all of Sedona’s great attractions, its many famous rust-hued formations of red rock are the ones that leave the most lasting impressions within the minds and hearts of visitors, inspiring them to take photos, create or buy artwork, and go on hikes—all for the best views of this otherworldly landscape.

Few places are better for catching a glimpse of this gorgeous natural panorama than Airport Mesa, where the low light reflects brilliantly off of the shimmering minerals and striations of multi-colored rocks and creates an unforgettable spectacle for viewers to behold. Because of this incredible display, Airport Mesa is a popular site for observing several famous red rock formations, as well as hiking. Read on to learn more about the best spots for taking in the sights of the Sedona desert from the heights of Airport Mesa.

Where to Go for the Best Sightseeing

Airport Mesa has unbeatable views overlooking Cathedral Rock, Courthouse Butte, Bell Rock, Chimney Rock, and Coffee Pot Rock. The best places to see these well-known rock formations occur in two spots: one that has a short hike, and one that is easily accessible by car. Depending on the amount of energy you have and the type of experience you want, you can visit either spot.

First, to get to Airport Mesa, start from Sedona by taking North State Route 89A south toward Forest Road. Take the second exit at the traffic circle, onto AZ-89A. After one mile, continue straight on the traffic circle to stay on the AZ-89A. Finally, turn left onto Airport Road.

Once you’ve arrived, there will be a small parking lot about half-way up to the top. If you wish to go on a hike up the small knoll or stop along the way, this is the place to park. If you’re not feeling up to a hike, continue straight up the road, all the way to the top (but before you reach the airport). There will be a flat area to the right and parking to the left. Park here and you can walk over to the viewing spot.

This is the most popular site for people to look out at the formations at dusk, so be prepared for a crowd at sunset. However, if you choose to go at dawn, there won’t be nearly as many people. Meditating here can also be a great way to start the morning, as the site supposedly holds an inflow vortex of rejuvenating energy. Whether you believe in vortexes or not, the vantage point here is prime for pictures and long-lasting memories.

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