24 Hours: Sedona, AZ

Sedona Arizona is a must getaway on any trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale. Located less than 2 hours North, Sedona is part of the Coconino National Forest and boasts some of the best landscape in the world. With over 55 trails to choose from, you are able to tackle a trail at any difficulty level. Here are some suggestions to help you start planning your adventure.

Quick History Lesson

Whenever visiting a new location, it’s always good to know a little something before you go. The area of current Sedona was at the sea bottom nearly 330 million years ago. Rocks are rich in iron oxide (called Redwall limestone) and this is what gives the range its rich maroon color. It is also a hot spot for natural energy. In fact, the whole city of Sedona is a natural vortex, where energy swirls causing trees to grow twisted and even clouds to spin. There are 4 spots that were deemed as having the “most” energy: Bell Rock, Boyton Canyon, Airport Mesa and Cathedral Rock. The name of Sedona has nothing to do with the history of the Yavapai people that lived there, its actually the first name of the wife of T.C. Schnebly who settled there and applied for a federal post office, declaring it a city in 1902.

It is a little hard to give a good game plan since the day we drove in it was raining pretty bad and we weren’t able to so anything the first night. However, here are some suggestions to start your Sedona adventure: 

Must do Hikes:

Devil’s Bridge – When asking around this is currently the most popular trail and with good reason but if I can give any advice…. Go early! We woke up and grabbed a coffee before sunrise to beat the crowds and could not be happier that we did. The hike is gorgeous along the way (it’s about 1.5 miles to the bridge from the parking lot) and gets tough near the end. When we arrived there were only 2 cars in the parking lot and 3 people total there. Walking back we started seeing the crowds come in. Actually, I drove past later in the day and I predict there were over 200 people on the trail/lookout point. So yea, go early!

Warrior on Devil’s Bridge

Cathedral Rock – the most recommended hike to do in Sedona. Parking is pretty tight with only 2 small lots so you’ll have to get lucky. The hike is really cool as you are walking up the side of the mountain and since it is the most southern you get some amazing views of Sedona as you hike. There are some really good flat spaces too at the bottom of the trail, perfect for a picnic.

Cathedral Rock as seen from Holy Cross Church

Twin Buttes trail – beautiful hike through the landscape of Sedona. You will get amazing views of the Valley looking towards Cathedral Rock. This trail is also located near another point of interest Holy Cross Cathedral.

Side view of the trail

Sights to see:

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park – A Buddhist Stupa where you can and mediate. There is a prayer wheel and ceremonies take place from time to time. Walk just past the Stupa and there is a medicine wheel. We took a vortex adventure with Arizona Safari Jeep Tours and our guide performed a ceremony with us. I’m into that kind of stuff so it was really cool. A great place of peace to reconnect with the universe and yourself.

Montezuma Castle – A national monument in Arizona, this is a very cool little stop on your way back to Phoenix. The Sinagua people carved their homes into the cliffs here and we are able to see a small portion of what is left over. Very cool cultural experience! (Cost is 10.00 per adult and good for 7 days and will get you into Tuzigoot National Monuments) Very unique…It is worth the 10 bucks.

Jerome, Arizona – I didn’t make it here but heard its really cool. It was a vacant city (ghost town) that was brought back to life by a couple of hippies. Located 40 mins from Sedona it could be fun if you have time.

Places to stay in Sedona:

There are many spa retreats that you can find specializing in massages and meditation. To me there I found two really good options on the opposite ends of a budget:

  1. The Sedona Motel – The more budget-friendly approach. Since we went for one night it was perfect. Helpful staff, clean large room and located in walking distance to multiple restaurants for dinner.
  2. Amara Resort – A Kimpton hotel… this place will not disappoint. A mix between boutique and luxury, I have always loved staying at a Kimpton resort.

Places to eat:

Indian Gardens – Recommended multiple times, it is next to the river and just outside the city. With indoor/outdoor seating there are options for everyone (including us Vegans!)

Hideaway house – Local favorite Italian pizzeria.

Cress on Oak Creek – Elegant restaurant right on the river. You’ll get the sound of running water in the background. Very peaceful!

Sedona is beautiful! If you have any tips or suggestions for future travelers…. Please comment below.

Up and out before the sun, don’t forget your coffee!

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