Being in the Sedona Vortex, seeing the sunrise at Devil's Bridge, hiking up Cathedral Rock, were just a few of the extraordinary moments that made our Sedona trip beyond special. I would recommend spending at least three full days in Sedona so you have time to do all the hiking, activities, and relaxing that you want, but you could definitely spend a week there, especially if you are really into hiking. This Sedona itinerary is for two full days, which includes Sedona guide on where to stay in Sedona, what to pack, and the best hikes in Sedona!
Related: 6-Day Itinerary: Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Zion
If you need ankle support and like super-lightweight boots, these On Cloudrock Hiking Boots are amazing! The sole has a ton of grip & I get a ton of compliments wearing them on the trail. I’d recommend going up at least 1/2 a size as they run small. Don't forget good hiking socks - they make a huge difference when!
Personally 98% of the time, I wear regular sneakers with good socks! These OnCloud sneakers are the ones I wore.
I've said a million times and I will say it again... these are the BEST high-waisted workout shorts ever and for $30! They are high-waisted with the perfect amount of compression. The waistband fits a little snug so if you don't like that, then size up. They pair perfectly with the Happiness workout tops (also come in a longer version). I am size 8 and I got large in the shorts and M/L in the crop tops.
The hikes are not too difficult so you need a lightweight backpack. Don't forget to bring a filter water bottle, packable outerwear, Sunscreen SPF 30, portable charger, Survival Kit, baseball hat, and snacks!
Are you wondering where to stay in Sedona? Resorts in Sedona can be very pricey like the Enchantment Resort, Amara Resort, and L’Auberge. You can find a ton of less expensive hotels in Sedona. I would stay in UpTown Sedona to be close to most of the popular hikes.
We stayed at Arabella Hotel in Sedona. 6 out of 10 stars. I booked the “Deluxe Room Trailhead” but the price does not warrant the room. Although spacious it was nothing special. Not for $350-$400/night. For “fresh breakfast” they served cold yogurt and boxed cereals. We obviously didn’t eat breakfast there. The walls/floors are paper thin.. you can hear all the footsteps/doors closing. People above us were loud at 4am. Our room was at the corner but also next to the maid's closet and they were extremely loud as well. On the upside — the location is good though. Right next to a trailhead, convenience store, and some of the most popular restaurants like The Hudson. I’ve stayed in much nicer places for less. I don’t plan to stay again.
I book all my hotels with Hotels.com! Hotels.com offers a very simple value proposition. It doesn't matter which hotel you stay at, nor does it matter which loyalty program they belong to. You'll get 1 free hotel night after 10 stays. The value of the free stay will be an average of your previous 10 nights. This is not sponsored, I just love sharing brands that can save you time and money!
Here are a few 8.2+ rated hotels in Sedona, located in Uptown Sedona
Start your Sedona adventure with one of the best hikes Sedona! Do a sunrise hike to Devil’s Bridge (4.2 miles, 564 ft elevation gain). This hike is crazy popular, by the time we got back down to the lot at 7:30 am it was already full. So I recommend going at sunrise to beat the crowds! I heard that when it is busy, there can be up to 2 hours to wait in line to stand on the bridge, so it was more than worth it to wake up early to avoid that!
Devil’s Bridge Trailhead Parking Lot: 34.90275, -111.81378
For the sunrise hike to the Devil's Bridge, we didn’t have a headlamp and just used our iPhones. If you’re doing that I definitely recommend having a good portable charger. Best if you do have a headlamp so your hands are free – they are super affordable on Amazon.
If you have a high clearance 4x4 vehicle, you can park .7 miles from the bridge. If not, a 2 mile hike each way. It is mostly flat until the last .5 miles. You have to climb up rocks to get to the bridge... Beginner hikers can hike it, just take your time.
Once you get to the bridge, there’s a line so only one couple/ group on the bridge for the perfect photo. The person behind you is usually the ones that take the photo for you. I highly recommend taking photos on LIVE that way you can save them as videos as well!
The Devil's Bridge Trail is fairly short (about 1.8 miles roundtrip), but you will probably end up walking a longer distance because of the rough roads and the available parking options. Expect to walk anywhere from 4 to 5.8 miles round-trip and take about 2 to 3 hours to complete the hike.
After the hike, we went to the cutest little café for breakfast and coffee at Indian Gardens Cafe & Market. We LOVED this place and it was one of our favorite meals of the whole trip! The breakfast burrito was so good and I also got the avocado toast with a purple egg! They have a great outdoor seating area with blankets and a super delicious, fresh menu. I recommend grabbing a picnic lunch from here to take with you on next hike!
We were pretty sleepy from waking up 4am so we went back to our hotel to relax by the pool.
If you have the energy: go hike Soldier Pass Trail (4.1 miles, 620 ft elevation gain). I heard parking is a nightmare so do your research! I read that you'll come across Devil’s Kitchen, which is a sinkhole, and then shortly after that, the Seven Sacred Pools. And then about 0.9 miles from the pools, that takes you to a secret cave.
Watching the sunset at Cathedral Rock is one of the best hikes in Sedona and the most romantic thing we did! Parking is VERY limited especially right before sunset.
PARKING TIP: We parked at Little Horse Trail and then just walked to the head of the Cathedral Rock trail. It adds about 1 mile each way. The hike itself is very short only about .7 miles -- but the elevation is HIGH! There is a part of the hike where you will have to do a bit of rock climbing having to use your hands and feet. I do recommend wearing leggings for this. The Arlo Airlift leggings are my favorite because they have a bit of compression but they are also VERY comfortable. A headlamp is a must if you plan on hiking down after sunset!
WHAT I WORE:
Once you get to the top of Cathedral Rock, there is a semi-hidden trail with the singular towering pillar (picture below). Just keep going to the left of the viewing platform and follow the small trail. You will see it on your left, again you will have to do a bit of rock climbing here. Worth it!! We got to spend about 20 minutes here before heading back to watch the sunset and incredible views of the valley.
Cathedral Rock Trailhead No. 170 Coordinates: 34°49’30.7″N 111°47’18.3″W
For dinner, head to Mariposa for an incredible meal with a view! Make sure to book a reservation ASAP. I got lucky and found a reservation on OpenTable two days before by refreshing the app. The waiter told me that it is booked out for 2 months in advance. The perfect time would be 30 minutes before the sunset.
I love the ambiance… one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve been to. The tapas were amazing... five stars! Our main course was good. I had the lamb and it was amazing. The steak was however a miss for us. It came out smoky which was not expected and we did not love it. The dessert was really good as well. Definitely more on the pricey side but worth the splurge on vacay.
Hope you find this helpful! Tag me on Instagram when you go to Sedona if you use this guide! Have a ton of fun and be safe!! xx Sabrina