Sedona: A beauty and a Beast
Updated: Oct 3, 2021
Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. That being said, it can also be one of the most crowded, miserable, awful places to go if you are a first timer to the area and do not know how to avoid the crowds/ traffic. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, Sedona has become quite a popular destination.
General increase in internet traffic over the years has increased the literal traffic of this once sleepy town.
The good news, if you time it right or have some patience Sedona can be a really fun place to visit. There are many gorgeous hotels, spas, shops, and restaurants.
Hiking in Sedona:
The best advice I can give is go early in the morning or midweek. Anytime I have tried to brave Sedona on the weekend after 8:00 AM I have ended up frustrated and stuck in traffic.
Research the trails. There are many less popular trails that have amazing views and half the crowds. The popular hikes are beautiful and totally worth seeing with the understanding that they will be busy.
One of my favorite hikes in the area is Bear Mountain. It is a 5 mile hike with roughly 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Be prepared for a workout with spectacular views at the end. We went on a Monday and saw very few people so the hike was quite enjoyable. For a shorter hike Doe Mountain is across the street.
I love this hike because it is beautiful the entire way up, it is difficult so you definitely get a workout, and at the top the views are incredible.
This hike is not far from Enchantment Resort. I highly recommend stopping there for a post hike drink and snack on your way back into town. The views of Boynton Canyon are magnificent. This hike can easily be done as a day trip from Phoenix or as part of a long weekend up in Sedona. This hike is exposed the entire way up.
Another great hike to check out is Brin Mesa Trail. This is right in town and connects with soldier pass and seven sacred pools trails (both of which are very busy). We were there in February on a Sunday at 8 am and we had the Brin Mesa trail all to ourselves. For some reason this trail is not as popular as the surrounding trails. The hike is easy and the views are incredible.
The next hike I am going to post pictures of is one of my favorite places in the Sedona area. It takes a bit more planning but can be found if you do your research. I am happy to help anyone that wants to find this place but I do not want to divulge it's location on this post as it is still fairly untouched.
Please reach out if you have questions :)
Jes and I woke up early on a Saturday morning and hit the road by 5 am to get there plenty early.This hike was one that had been on our radar for a long time but we never made the effort to go see it. I am so glad that we did. The hike itself is very short and easy but the views are stellar. We were by ourselves at this lookout for an hour. Even as we were walking back to our car we only saw two other people. After the hike we drove along the FS road a little further to explore.
We stopped in Cottonwood for a nice lunch and cocktail on our way back to Phoenix and we were home by 3:00. Perfect little day trip.
As an Arizona native and a camping enthusiast, I am embarrassed to say that this was my first time camping in the Sedona area. I have always been hesitant and honestly didn't know where to go. I highly recommend taking a close look at the maps of the Sedona / Cottonwood area. There are TONS of FS roads that have ample dispersed camping and beautiful views of the red rocks. I cannot wait to go back and see more.
After our hiking excursion the weekend before I decided I wanted to take Mickey and the intech trailer out for a field trip. We drove 9 miles down the road to find this spot. Initially, it was pretty busy but after the first few miles the crowds thinned out. We had a nice open space to ourselves with plenty of room for the dogs to run around. Mickey threw his motorcycle in the back of the trailer and was able to go for some nice rides along the road as well.
Other Things to Do in Sedona:
One of my favorite places in town to eat is oddly enough the Sedona airport. The airport is up on a Mesa and has beautiful views of the town. The food is SO GOOD and it is super fun to watch the small planes land plus take in the breathtaking views of the red rocks while you are eating. If you are in town definitely check it out.
Cottonwood is a neighboring town and has really started to grow over the last 5-6 years. They have a cute downtown with wine bars, breweries and restaurants. I have not personally spent a lot of time in downtown Cottonwood but I did go to Pizzeria Bocce which was great and had a fantastic patio. The wineries in the area are a fun day trip. I recommend Page Springs Cellars and Javelina Leap. Page Springs has a beautiful backdrop along the river. You can buy a bottle of wine and food at their to go window and meander along their property.
Javalina Leap is right down the street from Page Springs and is a great place to do a tasting.
For the more adventurous there are kayak wine tours to Alcantara Vineyards. I have not done this yet but I WANT TO.
Jerome deserves a post on it's own but is a great place to check out while you are in the area. The views are unparalleled and there are some great wine bars and funky shops to check out.
Well this has been a serious mish mash of all things Sedona-ish. It is a great place to day trip to from Phoenix and is a must if you are visiting from out of town.