A guide to Sedona: 5 Breathtaking hikes you should take





When I first moved Arizona, my fiance immediately took me to visit Sedona. "I have a feeling you'll love that place," he said.  I had heard great things about it from my yogi/spiritually-attuned friends, so I was excited. Fast-track to a year and a half later, and I've gone back six times. Since it's only a two-hour drive from Phoenix, our visits have always been day trips - partially because it is a very overpriced little town (some call it a tourist trap), and partially because it's easier to just go back home with a baby in tow. I put together a two-part post listing my top 10 things to do and see around Sedona, and they all make for great day-trip ideas. These are all budget, baby, pet, and vegetarian-friendy activities, because that's how I roll.

First up are my five favorite hikes. They only range from easy to moderate, since I was either pregnant (with my midwife's approval) or toting a small baby (with the pediatrician's approval) every time I visited. Make sure to read my tips for road-tripping while pregnant and with an infant if those apply to you!

FIVE SEDONA HIKES MOST OF US CAN DO

The idea of Sedona being a sacred site and an energy vortex hotspot intrigues me, so every trail below leads to an alleged vortex location. Whether you believe it or not, they all make for great hikes!

1. Bell Rock 

Bell Rock trail was my very first Sedona hike, and it stole my heart (more about it here). Along this pathway you can see Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and other landmarks. Most of the pathway is flat and wide enough, but there are some steep, rocky and rough hills. We didn't go all the way to the top of Bell, since I was about one month pregnant, but it was enough to get some breathtaking views of the area.

When in Sedona...


2. Cathedral Rock

Cathedral was my favorite hike, with the most incredible views. It also was the most strenuous one. We took our time, took lots of breaks, brought tons of snacks and water, but made it pretty high up! My rock-climber girlfriend had a blast scaling some steep rocks, while I photographed her and prayed hard she wouldn't fall.

Can you see her in that nook on the top left corner?



3. Airport Mesa

The quickest of the hikes I've done. At six-month pregnant, we only went up to a mini-mesa to catch the sunset - a 15 minute hike - and it was just as magical as a longer trek.

View from Airport Mesa


4. Boynton Vista 

Boynton was my first post-baby hike, and I felt so empowered doing it! When baby was 2 months-old, grandpa came to visit and off to Sedona we went. It was both baby's and grandpa's very first hike, and a beautiful one at that.  We only went up to the Kachina Woman rock formation, and that was more than enough. 

Count on seeing folks meditating, chanting, calibrating crystals, and more.



5. Oak Creek Canyon

The road that leads from Sedona to Flagstaff, 89A, is one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., and takes you right over Oak Creek Canyon. It's easy to see why people refer to it as a smaller cousin of the Grand Canyon. The vista point trail is right off the highway, as soon as you pass the bridge in the first photo. It was a gorgeous 0.5 mile hike and we could see people enjoying themselves in the creek all the way at the bottom of the canyon. Camping and swimming there are my goals for next time we are in town.

Everybody enjoyed hiking the Canyon!


Have you ever been to Sedona? What was your favorite part or what would you like to see?














you might also like

Travel Tips

33 comments:

  1. Sedona is one of my absolute favorite places in the US! I can't believe anyone would ever refer to it as a tourist trap! Ah! We visited in March and hiked the Broken Arrow trail. It was a fairly easy hike (which was good for out-of-shape me!) and the views at the end, from Chicken Point, were incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  2. this rocks! I LOVE sedona!! and I didn't even know about half these hikes. Obviously a bucket list needs to be made this instant :) Oak Creek Canyon sounds AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sedona is so pretty. It surprises me that we haven't been there more often considering its proximity. We've never hiked but we have swam! The hiking is definitely on my to do list. I think we'll run the Sedona race in September, and it goes through the pines! Good way to sight see. haha

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. If the views are indeed as beautiful as your photos promise, I would love to do any and all of these. Great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My photos do no justice to any of those haha. Sedona is even more beautiful in person, I think! Definitely recommend it!

      Delete
  5. Fab photos. We went on a day trip from Scottsdale for a hike. It is so amazing. We also tried cactus as an appetizer during our lunch in Sedona. Thanks for sharing. -- JR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, JR! Day tripping from Scottsdale/Phoenix to Sedona is so doable, isn't it? I'm happy you enjoyed it. And yes, Nogales is a very popular dish around here!

      Delete
  6. I have always wanted to go to Arizona! These places look absolutely stunning! Definitely have been added to my bucket list.

    Cheers,
    Lexie
    http://stepstofollow.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Lexie! Arizona is just an incredible place, without a doubt. So much natural diversity, there's something for everyone. Glad to hear it's been added to your bucket list :-)

      Delete
  7. Cool! We were in Sedona a few years ago. We always said we'd go back and do the hikes. We stayed at the Enchantment Resort and just never quite made it to the 'active' part of the holiday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard of that resort, but it sounds awesome too! I would definitely not complain about a laid back resort-style Sedona vacation. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. I love Sedona and I took one or two of these hikes, but I can't remember which was what. I see you traveled with your small baby. Wasn't that too hard? It's hot in Sedona in summer. Thank you for joining us for #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Agala, thank you for stopping by! I love traveling with my little guy, and it's not too hard! We always take the necessary precautions and use common sense, of course. The temperatures when we last went were between 65-85 F, a good 30+ degrees cooler than Phoenix the same day. It was a breeze!

      Delete
  9. I am keeping this for our Arizona itinerary within next couple of years. Still gathering all the info to figure out where we will go exactly- so many interesting towns and parks. I am not a big hiker, but big on views like the ones on your pictures so need to figure out a way to get to those views without a lot of exhaustion:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Victoria, there is so much to see and do in Arizona, so I can definitely understand where I lot of planning would come in handy! All the hikes I featured were on the easy side, since I had either a pregnant belly or baby in tow. And SO worth the views!

      Delete
  10. Love Sedona! It is so beautiful there. When I visit, I did the first three hike described here. Didn't have time to go the last two but would like to go back to hike more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool Ruth! I hope you get the chance to go back there again!

      Delete
  11. I was in sedona mire than 10 years ago now but I absolutely loved it! Did a few hikes such a unique natural environment! Need to be back with the family. Thanks for linking up with #theweeklypostcard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Selims, I bet your family would love it just as much as you did! Thank you for hosting the link up!

      Delete
  12. I've been through Sedona a few times and stopped at Oak Creek Canyon twice but never really hiked. Next time. But never will I sit on that rock like you did at Cathedral Rock. I'm too scared of heights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha it wasn't as bad as it seems! But I can definitely see how it would be scary. I'm glad you go to visit Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon though!

      Delete
  13. I love Sedona! I just went for one day, so we just went on the jeep tour, but I'd love to go back and do hiking. Gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  14. absolutely gorgeous pictures! i have never been to Sedona.. or even on a hike!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sedona looks so beautiful! We need to make it out to these hikes. Maybe after summer though.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sedona really is amazing, and you're right, spring and fall are just phenomenal times to hike there!

      Delete
  16. To take in that wide view from Bell Rock, that is what I'd most like to do ~ this first photo is my favorite of all of your beautiful shots!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Melodie, but my pictures barely even do it justice! I hope you get to go one day!

      Delete
  17. I love this!! We have family in Sedona and visit all the time but have never taken any of these hikes, even though we've wanted to, we always seemed to run out of time. After reading this we might have to make it a priority next time though!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cassidi! What do you guys usually do when in town? There's so much to explore!

      Delete
  18. Devil's bridge! It was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I've heard wonderful things! Since I was either pregnant or carrying a baby, I skipped it...hah! I would love to see it one day!

      Delete
  19. Love your post! I'm about to vacation to Sedona for the first time so thanks for the tips! And Go Gators! (currently living in gainesville)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! You will have a wonderful time in Sedona (it's basically impossible not to!) and I'm so jealous you get to live in Gainesville!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means a lot to me! Please note I respond privately via email, so If yo are a no-reply blogger, check back!

About the Writer

I'm Louise, a Tampa Bay based Brazilian-American travel blogger. Join us as we learn and share the ins-and-outs of traveling with a toddler and our sweet rescue pup Oreo, while promoting local nonprofits and wellness along the way.