A Complete 3 Day Sedona Itinerary

With its stunning red rock formations, vortexes, and healing energy Sedona offers something for everyone. This 3 Day Sedona itinerary covers everything you need to do, see, and eat for your next trip to Red Rock Country.

Sedona is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Arizona. Once you drive in, you’ll be surrounded by huge red rocks. Three days is just enough time to scratch the surface of everything this desert oasis has to offer. See the More To Do section if you have extra time or want more ideas. 

The best way to explore Sedona’s breathtaking scenery is hiking. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s a trail for you. All the hikes I picked out in this guide range from easy to moderate, but feel free to swap them for something more strenuous.

Overview

How To Get There

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is the closest international airport. From there, Sedona is about a two-hour drive.

How To Get Around

I’d recommend having a car to get around town and to the trailheads, especially as Ubers and Lyfts can be limited. Many trails have very few parking spots, so get there early. Keep in mind that some lots are closed when the Sedona Shuttle is running (more about the shuttle below).

Fees

Some locations require a Red Rocks Pass to park. Those lots will have a kiosk where you can purchase a pass for $5 for a single day or $15 for a week. You can also use the America the Beautiful National Park Pass if you already have one. 

Download Offline Maps

While I could get cellphone service in most areas of Sedona, it can be limited in the desert. Download Google Maps and trail maps before you head out.

What To Pack

Water and snacks are always a necessity on a hike. I recommend a hat, lots of sunscreen, and bug spray.

Sedona Shuttle

The Sedona Shuttle is a free service running Thursday through Sunday year-round. It stops at many popular trails, including Cathedral Rock and Soldier Pass. Parking lots are closed when the shuttle is running, so you’ll have to leave your car at a Park & Ride location. 

The trailhead parking will be open outside shuttle hours (early in the morning and late at night). If you’re looking to go around sunset, parking opens at 5:30 PM. Head to SedonaShuttle.com for more information on routes and times. 

3 Day Sedona Itinerary

Day 1

Boynton Canyon & Subway Cave

Distance: ~6.0 miles RT // Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Early morning hikes are a must in Sedona for the beautiful sunrise views and to beat the heat. The Boynton Canyon Trail itself is a fairly easy hike. The only real difficulty we had was finding the Subway Cave and climbing in.  

There’s no official sign that points to the cave so the internet will be your best friend in helping you find the right path. About two miles into the Boynton Canyon Trail, there will be a spur trail to the Subway Cave (check out this post for more details).

At the mouth of the cave is a slippery incline that takes you directly to the back of the cave. However, if you walk just past this incline, there’s a big pile of rocks to get to the Sinagua ruins. You can also use this route to get into the Subway Cave. You’ll have to walk around a narrow ledge, but I found this easier.

The hike took about 1 ½ hours from the Boyton Canyon parking lot to reach the cave. While the cave is spacious, it can get a little crowded as everyone has to stand in a small area at the back while people take photos. This is another good reason to get there early.

Lunch at Wildflower

Wildflower is a local cafe chain with sandwiches, salads, and soups (similar to Panera Bread).  

Uptown Sedona

Uptown Sedona is a great area to walk around and shop for gifts and souvenirs (I loved Cheers). Towards the south, you can see Snoopy Rock

Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village

Inspired by a traditional Mexican village, the center’s vine-covered walls and cobblestone walkways will make you forget you’re in the middle of the desert. There are art galleries, shopping, and dining. 

Sunset at Airport Mesa 

Airport Mesa is very popular for sunset. There’s a few spots to park at the trail so try to get there early. However, if you can’t find parking, there’s a large lot about a half mile up the hill at the Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout. You can stay there for sunset or hike down using the Sedona View Trail. 

Cathedral Rock is another place many go for sunset. During the day, while the Sedona Shuttle is running, the road is blocked off, so you’ll have to wait until 5:30 PM to park in the lot. The trail is only about a one-mile-round trip but is difficult due to the slippery rocks you must scramble up.  

Dinner at Elote Cafe

Elote Cafe is one of the top restaurants in Sedona, serving Southwestern and Mexican dishes. They currently require reservations to dine in. If you aren’t able to make a reservation (they seem to go pretty quickly), you can also order food to-go.

Day 2

Devils Bridge | Sedona itinerary

Devil’s Bridge

Distance: 2-4 miles RT // Difficulty: Moderate 

If you’re using the Sedona Shuttle, you’ll get off at the Dry Creek Vista trailhead. From the stop, it’s 1.1 miles to the start of the Devil’s Bridge Trail and then one mile to Devil’s Bridge. 

On the other hand, if you have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle, you can usually drive the first mile to the trailhead, and then it’s just a one-mile trek to the bridge. 

Note: When we visited in September 2022, the road for 4WD vehicles was closed.

The first half of the hike is relatively flat, as this is the part where Jeeps usually drive. However, towards the end, there’s a little bit of scrambling on rocks as you gain elevation. There’s not much shade on the trail, so I’d recommend lots of water and sunscreen. Like the Subway Cave, this is another common spot for photos, so expect a line if you plan on getting on the bridge.  

Lunch at Hideaway House

After your hike, head to Hideaway House to grab a bite. I’d recommend a seat on the outdoor patio as you’ll get some great views of Sedona’s red rocks. 

Bell Rock

Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte in Sedona

Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon are the most well-known vortexes in Sedona. They’re said to have energy that can help with healing and self-exploration. 

Bell Rock & Courthouse Butte Loop

Distance: 3.9 miles // Difficulty: Easy

This easy, flat loop takes you around Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.  

Bell Rock

Distance: ~1.0 miles // Difficulty: Moderate

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can climb Bell Rock. It can get steep, so make sure you have shoes with good traction. You can continue further up after the trail ends to get some spectacular views of Sedona from above.

Dinner at Dellepiane

Dellepiane serves dishes with an Argentinean flair. While they also have empanadas and grilled meats, they’re famous for their burgers.    

Day 3

Soldier Pass

Distance: 4.8 miles RT // Difficulty: Moderate 

One of the best sunrise hikes in Sedona is Soldier Pass Trail. About ¼ mile into the trek, you’ll see Devils Kitchen, a giant sinkhole created when the underground caverns collapsed. Afterward, you’ll hit Seven Sacred Pools, which may or may not have water in them depending on how much rain there’s been. You’ll reach a fork about 1 ½ miles into the trail. Take the path on the right to get to Soldier Pass Cave.   

Brunch at The Coffee Pot

The Coffe Pot has a huge selection of breakfast options, including 101 omelet choices, and authentic Mexican dishes for lunch. 

Verde Valley Wineries

Arizona may not be where you think to go for wineries, but there are more than 60 vineyards in the state, with 25 near Sedona. We loved D.A. Ranch, a family-owned vineyard about 20 minutes from Sedona. There’s a pond, fire pit, and a ton of space to wander while you enjoy your wine.

There are three other vineyards nearby, making it great for winery-hopping. If you don’t want to drive, you can book a tour, like Wine Tours of Sedona.

Dinner at Mariposa

For your final dinner, make it a nice one at Mariposa. They are known for their South American-inspired cuisine and panoramic views of Sedona. 

If you’re looking for something more casual, try The Hudson for American eats or Picazzo’s for healthy Italian. 

More To Do

McDonald’s 

While McDonald’s is famous for its Golden Arches, the one in Sedona has turquoise arches. When the restaurant was built, city officials were worried the bright yellow logo would clash with the surrounding red rocks.

Pink Jeep Tours

For an off-road adventure, check out Pink Adventure Tours. You’ll see the pink Jeeps all around town. 

Slide Rock State Park

After a long hike, cool off at Slide Rock State Park. The park is named for the natural water slide that’s formed by Oak Creek. 

Birthing Cave

The Birthing Cave is another popular Sedona cave. It’s an easy two-mile roundtrip on the Long Canyon Trail.

Stargazing

Sedona is the perfect place to see the Milky Way. The city is part of the International Dark Sky Community, which is dedicated to preserving the night sky by reducing light pollution. While you can see stars all over Sedona, some of the best spots are Baldwin Trailhead and Fay Canyon Trail.

Spa Day 

Along with the red rocks, Sedona is famous for its healing massage treatments and spas. Amara Resort and Spa offers the usual massages and facials, but they also have some unique treatments, like the Sedona Serenity Gemstone facial, which includes a massage with lapis, opalite, and jade wands. 

Grand Canyon Day Trip

The American Southwest has some of the best scenery in the world, you could do a whole road trip (check out this post for a Southwest Road Trip). The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is only about a two-hour drive from Sedona.

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