I’ll be honest: it’s hard to narrow down the best things to do in Sedona, considering it’s amazing! I mean, with these 16, I feel like I might have left off a few things, but I wouldn’t want to keep you here forever!
Inside, we highlight some of the top things to do in Sedona, both inside and outside, and provide some fantastic tours to take if you’re feeling it!
Thanks for reading, and I hope your trip to Sedona is magnificent!
My Guide to Visiting Red Rock Country in Sedona, Arizona
Let’s dive into the best things to do in Sedona, shall we?
Five things to know before you visit Sedona, Arizona
Be respectful of Native Ruins
Many locations are on or near Native American ruins. Please be respectful and careful when recreating around them. They should not be touched – only looked at.
Take the Sedona Hiking Shuttle
The Sedona Hiking Shuttle is a free, easy, and eco-friendly way to explore some of Sedona’s most popular trails. The shuttle runs Thursdays through Sundays from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. and picks up from two park-and-ride lots: North SR 179 Park and Ride and Posse Grounds Park and Ride.
The shuttle serves five popular trailheads:
- Cathedral Rock Trailhead
- Little Horse Trailhead
- Soldier Pass Trailhead
- Dry Creek Vista Trailhead
- Mescal Trailhead
The Sedona Hiking Shuttle is a great way to avoid the hassle of finding parking at busy trailheads and to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s also a great way to meet other hikers and learn more about Sedona’s unique red rock formations.
Here are some of the benefits of using the Sedona Hiking Shuttle and why it’s one of the best things to do in Sedona:
- It’s free!
- It’s easy to use. Just hop on the shuttle at one of the park and ride lots, and it will take you to your desired trailhead.
- It’s eco-friendly. The shuttle helps to reduce traffic and emissions in Sedona.
- It’s a great way to avoid the hassle of finding parking at busy trailheads.
- It’s a great way to meet other hikers and learn more about Sedona’s unique red rock formations.
So, next time you plan a hike in Sedona, take advantage of the Sedona Hiking Shuttle. It’s the best way to get to the trailhead and enjoy your hike!
Crowded on Weekends
Sedona is hardly a hidden gem (if it was ever), and the place doesn’t have the infrastructure to handle the amount of crowds and cars who visit it. I strongly recommend visiting during the week, and if you are there on the weekend, plan to get there early and avoid the downtown area during the middle of the day and dinner hours.
The lines of cars I have seen waiting to head home from Phoenix can stretch miles. Save yourself the stress by coming home late and enjoying a sunset hike from one of the many beautiful places in the area.
Best time to visit for the best things to do in Sedona
Sedona is almost perfect year-round. The summer temperatures can reach the upper 90s or low 100s for a short portion of the day, so it’s not terrible, but also not amazing.
The best time to visit Sedona is March through June, and then October through December as the second best time. Springtime in Sedona is fantastic, and you’ll have incredible weather with much to do. Honestly, you might be able to knock out most of the best things to do in Sedona in a week!
If you plan to do more water-based activities, coming in May or June will fully quench your thirst.
These are my favorite Sedona hikes.
Sedona has more amazing hikes than most people can do in a month, let alone a shorter trip. Even with that said, you should try to hit the trails as much as possible to soak in the beauty of this region. As a hiker, these are the best things to do in Sedona.
Here are some of my favorite hikes in Red Rock Country.
- Bear Mountain
- Boyton Canyon
- Devils Bridge
- Soldier’s Pass (which includes seven sacred pools)
- Fay Canyon
- Wilson Mountain
- Hangover Loop Trail
- Doe Mountain
- Cathedral Rock and the Vortex
The 16 Best Things to do in Sedona
1. Hike in West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon
Head into Oak Creek Canyon and away from the city to enjoy some magnificent views of red rock country and Oak Creek Canyon. The West Fork Trail, immensely popular, is a mostly flat and easy trail that takes you inside the canyon and offers the ability to get your feet wet with multiple creek crossings. (Or keep them dry by rock hopping.)
This is one of the area’s top hikes and a perfect spot for fall colors! While the hiking isn’t hard or long, plan for a full day to immerse yourself in the area and also miss rush hour getting back into Sedona.
2. Slide Rock State Park
amidst the stunning red rock landscapes of Sedona, Arizona, Slide Rock State Park is a natural wonder that beckons nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. It’s a place where crystal-clear waters flow through a series of slippery, natural chutes, creating a waterslide experience unlike any other.
The main attraction of Slide Rock State Park is the namesake “Slide Rock.” This geological marvel is a natural water slide formed by the slippery creek bed that winds its way through the park. Visitors of all ages can don swimsuits and join in the excitement. Many will say this is one of the best things to do in Sedona.
The experience begins with a gentle descent into the calm, rushing waters as participants navigate the chutes and cascades formed by the red rock formations. The feeling of the smooth rocks beneath your body as you slide down the creek is an exhilarating experience and a refreshing departure from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Tourists should remember that Slide Rock State Park can be crowded, especially during summer. To avoid the crowds and have a more tranquil experience, visiting on weekdays or during the off-season is a good idea.
3. Hop on a Jeep Tour
Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with a Jeep Tour in Sedona, Arizona. These iconic, open-air pink jeeps are more than just vehicles; they’re your ticket to exploring this spectacular desert landscape’s rugged beauty and hidden gems.
Aboard your Jeep, you’ll be guided by experienced, knowledgeable tour teaches passionate about sharing the secrets of Sedona’s red rock country. They’ll take you on thrilling off-road journeys, navigating the challenging terrain to reveal stunning vistas and natural wonders that you’d be hard-pressed to discover independently.
One of the highlights of a Jeep Tour is the up-close encounter with iconic formations like the red rock cathedrals, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and the famous vortex sites. These tours offer an intimate connection with the land, providing ample opportunities for photo ops and stories that will stay with you long after your adventure ends.
4. Helicopter Tour Over Sedona
Soar above Sedona’s enchanting red rock landscapes on a thrilling helicopter ride. As you take to the skies, you’ll witness the breathtaking beauty of Sedona’s iconic formations, canyons, and mesas from a perspective that few ever experience.
Feel the exhilaration of flight as you hover over the majestic landscape, capturing the awe-inspiring views of this desert oasis. A Sedona helicopter ride is not just a tour; it’s a journey into the heart of nature’s grandeur, promising memories that will stay with you forever.
I haven’t done this, but I’m sure this is one of the best things to do in Sedona.
5. Spend the day hiking in Red Rock Country.
Hiking in Sedona is an unforgettable adventure that immerses you in the natural beauty of Arizona’s Red Rock Country. With its stunning crimson-hued rock formations, picturesque canyons, and lush vegetation, Sedona offers a diverse range of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels.
Whether you’re seeking a stroll along easy paths like the Bell Rock or Cathedral Rock trails or a more challenging ascent up the rugged terrain of the Devil’s Bridge or Bear Mountain, Sedona has something to offer every nature enthusiast. The vibrant hues of the rocks change with the shifting sunlight, creating a breathtaking panorama that evolves throughout the day.
As you hike through this red-rock wonderland, you’ll be treated to breathtaking vistas, serenity, and a profound connection with nature, making it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.
6. Watch Sunrise from a Hot Air Ballon
Sail into the skies and experience the enchanting beauty of Sedona like never before with a hot air balloon ride. As you ascend, the world below transforms, and the iconic red rock formations take on a mesmerizing quality.
The gentle sway of the balloon basket is your passport to serenity, offering a unique perspective of the surreal desert landscape.
A hot air balloon ride over Sedona is an adventure for the soul, an experience that fosters tranquility and awe in equal measure. You’ll cherish the breathtaking panoramas and the sense of freedom that only a balloon flight can provide.
It’s a journey that allows you to touch the sky, where the Earth’s beauty unfolds beneath you in a majestic, slow dance that will leave you speechless and inspired.
7. See some of the Sedona Caves
Exploring the caves in Sedona is a thrilling and unique adventure that allows you to delve into the geological wonders of this desert oasis. Carved into the red sandstone by eons of natural forces, the Sedona caves offer mystery and beauty.
These beautiful formations, like the Birthing Cave, are often hidden gems, accessible through moderately challenging hikes, and they reveal a fascinating world of narrow passageways, intricate rock formations, and a relaxed, serene atmosphere that provides a welcome respite from the desert heat.
Sedona’s caves are an exciting geological curiosity and a spiritual and historical treasure, often associated with Native American legends and ancient cultural significance. Exploring them offers an unforgettable perspective on the area’s natural wonders.
Please respect the area and Leave No Trace as you explore some of the best things to do in Sedona.
8. Enjoy Arts and Crafts in Sedona
Indulging in arts and crafts in Sedona is a creative journey that perfectly complements the city’s natural beauty. Sedona is known for its thriving arts scene and has many galleries, studios, and craft shops celebrating traditional and contemporary art forms.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant world of local artists who draw inspiration from the surrounding red rock landscapes, resulting in a wide array of exquisite paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and pottery. Many establishments offer hands-on workshops, allowing you to try creating your artistic masterpiece, often with the guidance of skilled instructors.
Whether you’re strolling through the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, admiring Native American art, or participating in a pottery class, Sedona’s arts and crafts scene offers a unique opportunity to connect with the creative spirit of the region and take home a tangible piece of its artistic essence.
It’s a delightful way to complement your Sedona experience and bring a touch of its beauty into your own life.
9. Experience a Sedona Vortex
Experiencing a vortex in Sedona is like tapping into a profound natural energy source and spiritual renewal. These mystical sites, believed by many to be concentrated points of energy, create a unique connection between the Earth and the human spirit.
Drawn to the serene Cathedral Rock vortex, the magnetic Bell Rock vortex, or any others scattered throughout the area, a visit promises a transformative encounter. Many visitors describe a sense of heightened awareness, inner peace, and spiritual awakening as they meditate, reflect, or absorb the serene surroundings.
The stunning red rock formations and the captivating energy at these vortexes create a serene and spiritually charged atmosphere, making Sedona a destination where the earthly and the ethereal intertwine unforgettably.
You don’t have to book a tour; if you do, see them below!
10. Go Wine Tasting In and Around Sedona
Wine tasting in and around Sedona is a delightful journey through the high desert’s vineyards and wineries, offering a unique blend of stunning landscapes and exquisite flavors. Located amidst the awe-inspiring red rock formations, the wineries of Northern Arizona have gained recognition for their high-quality, locally-produced wines.
From the lush vineyards of Page Springs Cellars to the charming tasting rooms in Jerome, the Sedona area provides a diverse selection of wines, often crafted from locally grown grapes and accompanied by picturesque views. Visitors can savor the taste of Arizona’s unique terroir, with wines that reflect the high desert’s distinctive characteristics.
Whether you’re an experienced wine connoisseur or a novice, the wineries in and around Sedona offer a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a blend of nature’s beauty and exquisite wine-tasting experiences.
11. Watch the Sunset from Airport Mesa or Cathedral Rock
Looking for a short hike for some epic views? Airport Mesa and Cathedral Rock are two fantastic spots to enjoy sunset (or sunrise). As with most places in Sedona, you will have many crowds, so get there a little beforehand and find a stellar spot to soak in the views.
You can drive to the top of Airport Mesa, so the walk is hardly anything. For Cathedral, though, you’ll have anywhere between a half mile to a mile walk uphill, depending on where you want to sit and watch the sunset.
12. Take a Tour of Antelope Canyon
While I include this on the best things to do in Sedona list, it’s not in Sedona. You’d have to drive about 2.5 hours north toward Page, AZ, to do this.
I would highly recommend it, though, and using a tour service to transport you may make it more enjoyable as you won’t have to figure out driving and tour logistics.
13. Hop on ATVs to explore the landscape
Several ATV tour companies in Sedona offer a variety of tours from beginner to experienced riders. Tours typically last 2-3 hours and take you through some of Sedona’s most scenic areas, including red rock canyons, desert mesas, and ancient Native American ruins.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, you can even try off-road racing or rock crawling. But even if you’re looking for a leisurely ride, you will have a blast exploring Sedona’s backcountry on an ATV.
Here are just a few of the benefits of doing an ATV activity in Sedona:
–See the sights from a different perspective. An ATV tour is a great way to see Sedona’s red rock formations up close and personal. You’ll also see parts of Sedona that are inaccessible by car or on foot.
–Get your adrenaline pumping. ATV riding is a fun and challenging activity that’s sure to get your heart racing. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, you can even try off-road racing or rock crawling.
–Learn about Sedona’s history and culture. Many ATV tour guides are knowledgeable about Sedona’s history and culture. They can tell you about the area’s geology, Native American inhabitants, and early settlers.
14. Drive up to Flagstaff
After living in Phoenix for 28 years, going to Flagstaff to beat the heat was a yearly tradition. There are many great hikes in the area, like trying to summit the tallest point in the state – Humphrey’s Peak – or go hangout around downtown and see why everyone loves the town so much.
From Sedona, it’s about a 75-minute drive.
15. Try your hand at Glassblowing
Glassblowing in Sedona offers a mesmerizing and hands-on artistic experience, allowing you to witness the transformation of molten glass into beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations. Sedona is home to several renowned glassblowing studios where skilled artisans harness the heat and precision of their craft to produce stunning glass art.
Regardless of your expertise, these studios offer workshops and demonstrations that provide a deep dive into the ancient art of Glassblowing. Watching the glassblowers work with molten glass is like observing a magical dance of fire and creativity. It’s a captivating process that invites you to explore your artistic side as you shape and design your glass pieces under the guidance of expert instructors.
Beyond the tangible beauty of the glass art you create, the experience is a fusion of artistry, skill, and a touch of magic, making Glassblowing in Sedona a genuinely memorable and captivating adventure.
16. Explore the old mining town of Jerome.
A visit to Jerome, Arizona, from Sedona is a journey through time and a delightful escape into the past. This historic mining town, perched on the side of Mingus Mountain, offers a unique blend of Old West charm and artistic vibrancy.
As you wind through the picturesque mountain roads, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views and a glimpse of Arizona’s mining heritage. Once in Jerome, explore the town’s well-preserved historic district, wander along its narrow, hilly streets, and step into art galleries, shops, and quaint cafes.
If you’re intrigued by its mining legacy or captivated by its artistic spirit, a day trip to Jerome promises an unforgettable adventure just a short drive from the natural beauty of Sedona.
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How Many Days Should I Spend in Sedona?
As you’re planning your trip to Sedona, I firmly believe four days, minimum, is perfect. Maybe even five. This will allow you to check off many of the best things to do in Sedona, not feel rushed, and see the area without weekend crowds.
I mean, you can surely do a whole week here and visit the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Antelope Canyon, and others. But with my experience visiting Sedona, four days is an excellent timeframe to see the sights and also soak in the magic.
Where should you stay in Sedona?
Best things to do in Sedona – Hotels and Lodging
Unfortunately, there are only decent camping availabilities around Sedona. To the south, about 25 minutes, is a lot of dispersed camping—however, the crowds there can be hit or miss.
We camped there one night in March of 2021 and found the people next to us… not people we’d like to be around again.
North of Sedona, in Oak Creek Canyon, has a good amount of established camping. But those get scooped up early, so you must plan your trip months in advance.
Finally, if you go above Oak Creek Canyon, there’s more dispersed camping there, and less crowded than other areas. If you’re looking for a cheaper way to enjoy the best things to do in Sedona, camping is the way to go!
FAQ: Best things to do in Sedona
What is Sedona best known for?
Sedona is known for its incredible hiking, red rocks, and holistic vibes. It is one of the most magical places in the country, and there are so many amazing things to do in Sedona. You will love every second here and be thinking about how to get back!
Is four days in Sedona enough?
Yes, four days is enough to see Sedona and learn why it is an amazing destination. In four days, you’ll get to hike, go wine tasting, check out historical locations, and maybe even take a soak in Oak Creek Canyon.
While you’ll have plenty to do on your next trip, four days will get you enough to know you love it!
Does Sedona get snow?
Yes, Sedona does get snow. It happens once or twice a year when Sedona gets a sizeable snowstorm that blankets the area. Sitting on the red rock, the white snow is unbelievably beautiful. It’s truly a sight to see and one of the best things to do in Sedona if you time it right!
Wrapping up Things to do in Sedona
Sedona offers a plethora of incredible experiences that are sure to captivate any visitor. From the stunning red rock formations to the spiritual vortexes and the abundance of outdoor activities, the best things to do in Sedona genuinely have something for everyone.
If you seek adventure, relaxation, or spiritual enlightenment, this enchanting desert town will not disappoint. Soak in the breathtaking views, embark on thrilling adventures, indulge in world-class cuisine, and immerse yourself in Sedona’s unique culture and spirituality.
It is no wonder that this magical destination continues to be a favorite among travelers from all around the globe.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.