With the warm spring sun beaming in all its glory, now is the perfect time to take the opportunity to enjoy the intriguing beauty of nature. You can’t go past Sedona for a getaway whether you’re looking for adventure or a relaxing break in this unique town. You’ll find yourself surrounded by red sandstone formations which appear to alter when the sunlight hits them throughout the day.
By the way, if you’re looking for the best Sedona Swimming holes, be sure to check out that post!
Said to be “The Most Beautiful Place in America”, this desert is bursting with intense color and will lure you in with its unreal views which feel as though they were taken straight out of an old western. Situated in the state of Arizona, this hidden gem has something for a range of travel styles but is particularly appealing to fitness enthusiasts, RV nomads, and photographers.
Here is a list of the best things to do in Sedona that you just can’t miss…
1. Cathedral Rock
Debatably one of the most well-known attractions in Sedona, Cathedral Rock is an incredibly charming site and a photographers dream. Just a 10-minute drive to the base of Cathedral Rock from the heart of town, you have no excuse not to visit this beauty. Accessed from the Back’O’Beyond Road, the 1 mile in and out track is open year round.
Hiking Cathedral Rock is not meant for the weak-hearted; proper hiking shoes are recommended for the short but steep trek up. You can bring your dog for company but be sure to keep them leashed to avoid injury. The hike can be particularly challenging during hot weather and is best done at sunrise or just before sunset. The view from the top is a magical combination of the illuminated red stone towers and the soft sun reflecting in the quiet waters of Oak Creek below. At sunset, a red aura seems to envelop the place.
To park at the trailhead you’ll need to purchase a Red Rock Pass from the Red Rock Ranger District located on the way into Sedona at a self-serve machine or one of the many vendors. Passes range from $5-$20 depending on the longevity of the permit.
If you'd prefer to hike with someone, you may want to book a Sedona Red Rock Hiking Tour. Meet with your guide and chose to hike the Munds Wagon Trail, Airport Loop, Doe Mountain, Bell Rock, Thompson Trail, Baldwin Trail, Cathedral Trail, Dead Mans Pass, Jordan Trail, Teacup Trail, or Thunder Mountain. You can find the Red Rocks Tour here or you may be more interested in the Sunrise Tour to hike up 400 feet and experience spectacular views of the canyon at sunrise.
2. Airport Vortex
Sedona has multiple vortex sites around the area with the most accessible being the Airport Vortex. A vortex is a place in nature where energy is either spiraling out of or down into the earth, much like an invisible hurricane of energy. At this supernatural destination, trees frequently display a twirling or curving of their trunks due to the force of power the vortex creates.
Try and find the location of this rare treasure to feel its strength. Marked on local maps and in Google Maps, in theory, they should be easy to locate, but you may find it a little harder than first thought. If like me you didn’t find it, you’ll still be rewarded. From the top of the Airport Vortex lookout, the sight of the distant red rocks radiating the warm crimson atmosphere of the sunrise is enough to set your soul on fire.
As the vortexes are so hard to find, you may consider joining a Guided Vortext Tour who will take you to most beautiful secret areas in Red Rock Country.
3. Slide Rock Swimming Hole
Slide Rock State Park, although beautiful in its own right, is avoided by most locals these days because of overcrowding. However, on weekdays it’s the perfect and most accessible swimming hole to wear that favorite swimming suit of yours. 6 miles north of Sedona, the parking lot requires the Red Rock Pass. The Red Rock Crossing was created for relaxing in the cool, soothing waters while soaking up the warm Arizona sun and admiring the stunning views. You’ll find the best scenery from the south of the bank.
Get there early in the morning to reserve a good parking spot and more importantly, the best position on the river bank with a touch of shade for when you want to retreat from the sun. The name Slide Rock comes from a smooth slide like section of the rock which when you go down, will have you landing in the waist high pool of cool water below. For the more daring there is a ledge perfect to take the 6-foot leap into the water beneath.
Make sure to check out the other Sedona swimming holes I recommend here!
4. Devil's Bridge
One of the largest sandstone arches in Sedona, this gigantic structure stands at a whopping height of 4,600 feet. This attraction is suitable for hikers of all calibers, from easygoing explorers who do not have the stamina for a long hike to the more brave souls who love having the taste of thrill and adventure.
Enjoy a morning hike up to this extravagant sandstone arch that starts with a gradual slope which becomes increasingly steeper near to the top. You can take in the captivating views on your way up, even before you reach the main attraction. This hike gets busy and hot throughout the day so start early to enjoy the peaceful vibes of Devils Bridge and to get “that photo” without the wait.
Have you read my recommendations for The 5 Best Swimming Holes in Sedona yet?
Are you planning a trip to Sedona? If you have any questions please post in the comments below and feel free to share with me your list of best things to do in Sedona!
This page probably contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide (at no extra cost to you!). This helps to keep me on the road and continue to bring awesome content to you!
Planning a trip to Arizona?
Accommodation in Arizona
booking.com has over 2200 properties in Arizona including hotels, apartments, and hostels. You get free cancellation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.
GetYourGuide has all kinds of tours from food tours to walking tours, and of course, adventurous activities. I've found GetYourGuide has the best range of tour companies to choose from, and you can decide based on the reviews. GetYourGuide is easy to book with, and you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start.
G Adventures’ enthusiasm for travel is matched only by their commitment to those they serve. They provide travelers with the most genuine, life-changing adventure they can whilst traveling responsibly. I went on their tours in both India and Morocco and had the most incredible time on both of those journeys
Good2Go Travel Insurance is my choice for travel insurance. I know you'd rather not think about all of the things that might go wrong on your trip, but these things can and do happen. Some of the benefits of being with Good2Go Travel Insurance covers are cancellation of your trip, overseas medical and hospital expenses, 24/7 emergency assistance, rental vehicle insurance excess, and travel delay expenses.