Sedona is one of the most visually stunning destinations in the United States. The area is known as a spiritual center with a number of energy vortexes in the surrounding hills and valleys. Attractions in the area range from hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and scenic drives to architecture and spiritual retreats. This is a designated Dark Sky Community and the number of stars that are visible at night is truly spectacular. Use the city of Sedona as a base and explore all that this unique area has to offer.
Cathedral Rock is the most photographed site in the Sedona area. You can reach the mountain on Highway 179, or you can drive to Red Rock Crossing Site to take in the classic view of Cathedral Rock. Those wanting to climb Cathedral Rock will find a hiking trail that leads up to the saddle section and provides incredible views of the area. You will need rock climbing equipment to reach the peak of Cathedral rock. This mountain is considered to be one of the most important energy vortexes in the area.
The Uptown Sedona section of the city is the old part of town where you will find restaurants, tourist shops, galleries, and boutiques. This is a convenient place to base yourself if you are staying in Sedona as you can easily walk to places to eat and shop. Parking is fairly full here on weekends and staying in a hotel will guarantee you a parking spot.
Take a scenic drive through the dramatic rock formations, towering cliffs, and deep forests along Highway 89A. The road follows Oak Creek before dramatically climbing out of the canyon on a twisting path with switchbacks. Narrow sections of road and steep drops mean that you will probably want to drive this road during the daytime. There are a number of spectacular hikes including the West Fork Trail.
This is one of the most iconic sites in Sedona and is a popular place to get married. The chapel sits perched on a small plateau of red rock half-way up a dramatic cliff. The building was constructed in 1956 by a pupil of the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. A 90-foot cross dominates the glass front of the chapel.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the Sedona region, and people travel from all over the United States to hike through the stunning scenery of the region. Canyon hikes offer relatively flat trails with the cliffs towering high above you. The majority of the hikes are less than three miles long making it possible for most people to enjoy a hike in the area. There are a few challenging multi-day hikes for those wanting to push themselves and to escape from the crowds.
A number of Jeep Tour operators can be found in Uptown Sedona, and you should be able to find the perfect tour to suit your needs. The open-air Jeeps can take visitors to areas that can't be explored with a normal vehicle. Be prepared for a bumpy but fun ride into the wilderness. The drivers are very knowledgeable about the area and will share stories along the way about the Geology and History of the region.
Bell Rock is just South of Sedona, near the village of Oak Creek. This Bell shaped rock formation is a popular stop for tourists to take photographs and explore the area around the rock. You can walk around the base of the rock or scramble up the sides for a short distance. A fun mountain bike trail starts at the base of the rock.
The number one reason to visit Boynton Canyon is to hike the 6.1-mile in-an-out Boynton Canyon Trail. Hike through the canyon to enjoy a mix of vegetation such as large pine trees and shrubland. There is an energy vortex near the start of the trail, and it is the easiest energy vortex to reach as it doesn't require hiking or climbing. Those that don't want to hike or go to the energy vortex can head to the Enchantment Resort. This luxury resort is a great place to stay, but you can just go there to enjoy a meal at one of their excellent restaurants that offer views over the canyon.
The Grand Canyon is a 2.5-hour drive from Sedona. Take a day-trip to experience one of the most famous sites in the United States. You can drive by yourself or take a guided tour to the Grand Canyon. A guided tour allows you to sit back and relax while the guide takes you to the best viewpoints of the Grand Canyon. You can upgrade your tour to include a helicopter flight over the canyon.
People flock to Slide Rock State Park in the summer months to cool off in the series of small rock pools. Oak Creek flows over small waterfalls which create a natural water slide. Take care as the rock is hard and you can easily get a few bumps and bruises along the way.