Sedona, Arizona, is the perfect vacation destination for those wanting to partake in a short, yet highly rewarding, road trip or two. Sedona itself is surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest, which only contributes further to the feelings of peace and tranquility that you will experience if you choose to visit this beautiful city.
In fact, you may be interested to know that Sedona was voted as one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places in the U.S. by the viewers of Good Morning America. This is somewhat unsurprising when you take into consideration the natural surroundings of this city in Arizona, which is conveniently located between Phoenix and the must-see attraction, The Grand Canyon. Sedona is located in “Red Rock Country,” and when you visit the city yourself, it is not hard to see why. Everywhere you look, you will see red rock formations, and you cannot miss Oak Creek Canyon, a local river gorge that climbs 4,500 ft from Sedona to the top of the Mogollon Rim.
So, if you are looking to vacation in Sedona, or even if you just want to find the best road trips in Arizona, then keep reading to find out the top five Sedona road trips that will leave you hungry for more exploration in this naturally breath-taking city.
But, first, let’s take a look at the best means of transportation for road tripping in Sedona, Arizona.
How should I travel around Sedona, Arizona?
Depending on where you are traveling from, you may want to drive to Sedona in your own car. That being said, you will then have to book separate accommodation, which can be both expensive and time-consuming. Plus, you may struggle to fit all your family or friends and their belongings in one vehicle.
Thankfully, there is a simple solution to your problem. You can book an RV in Sedona for the duration of your trip. Not only will this allow you to travel in comfort during your chosen road trip or multiple trips if you are feeling adventurous, but it will also save you money on accommodation. Furthermore, you can find local RV rentals that will deliver your chosen recreational vehicle directly to your home, eliminating the need for you to book a flight or arrange another means of transportation to get to Sedona.
Some of the best RV campgrounds in and around Sedona include:
- Rancho Sedona – open all year round, dog-friendly and has waterfront access
- Verde Valley RV & Camping Resort – facilities include hot tubs, mini-golf, dog park, and BBQ pits.
- The Pine Flat Campground West – entirely within a wooded area, facilities include picnic tables, campfire rings, and cooking grills
What are the best Sedona, Arizona, road trips?
1. Sycamore Canyon – best for wilderness explorers
If you not afraid of diving deep into the wilderness in Sedona, then this is the road trip for you. Sycamore Canyon is the second-largest canyon in Arizona, yet it is not that popular, meaning you shouldn’t be overrun with crowds. The canyon provides many great trails that are ideal for hiking and horseback riding, plus the opportunity to take hundreds of amazing photos.
Drivetime: Under an hour
2. Meteor Crater – best for daredevils
One of the most unusual and unique craters or canyons in Arizona, Meteor Crater has to be seen to be believed. This crater was created 50,000 years ago when an asteroid plunged through the Earth’s atmosphere and crashed into what would have become central Arizona. When seen from a distance, this crater appears to be only a low ridge, but once you get closer, you will see the great chasm that is perfect for a selfie.
Drivetime: 1hr 20 mins
3. Red Rock Scenic Byway – best for sightseeing
Rather than choose a road trip destination, this option is all about the drive itself. The Red Rock Scenic Byway offers some truly stunning views, and there are plenty of interesting stops that you can make along the way, including:
- The Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Many hiking trails including the Little Horse Trail
- Bell Rock Vista
Drivetime: The byway is just under 13 miles long
4. Petrified Forest National Park – best for a quirky trip
If you are after a road trip destination in Sedona that is unlike anything else you have experienced, then the Petrified Forest National Park should go straight to the top of your list. As the name suggests, this is no ordinary national park. Petrified Forest National Park, which is suitable for kids as well as adults, is full of tree trunks that have become a type of fossil to help visualize what the forest used to look like.
Expect to see fossils, badlands, buttes, mesas, ancient petroglyphs, as well as an abundance of local wildlife and flowers.
Activities you can do in the Petrified Forest National Park include:
- Horseback riding
- Guided tours
- Ranger talks
Drivetime: 2 hrs. 15 mins
5. Montezuma Well National Monument – best for culture
If you are fascinated by ancient civilizations, then this is the Sedona road trip for you. The Montezuma Well National Monument is steeped in the legacy of the Sinagua culture, and, if you visit this landmark, you have the opportunity to explore a site that was sacred to these tribes. As well as the Montezuma Well itself, which has over 1.5 million gallons of water (reaching up to 74 degrees) flowing through it daily, you can also explore the vast Pueblo ruins and an ancient pit house during your visit.
Of course, there are also a number of trails that you can hike around, and as you are in the forest, you do not have to contend with the hot Arizona sun.
Plus, if you are in Sedona long enough – and the above amazing road trips only work to incite your desire for exploration and adventure – The Grand Canyon National Park is less than two hours away. This is a must-see for any traveler who prides themselves on checking out the best sites that a destination has to offer.