Renowned for its remarkable rock formations, Sedona is situated at a stunning spot with many considering it a sacred and spiritual place. As such, the small city attracts all kinds of visitors, from nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to artists, spiritual seekers, and New Age practitioners.
While it’s mesas, sandstone spires and trails beg to be explored, there are many things to do in Sedona itself. the city itself. There are over 100 art galleries alongside excellent restaurants and wellness centers. Also, it has five New Age energy vortexes which lie near standout tourist attractions, such as the beautiful Bell Rock and colossal Cathedral Rock.
With epic hiking and mountain biking on offer, scenic drives to enjoy, and a thriving arts and crafts scene, it’s no wonder Sedona is one of the most popular places to visit in Arizona.
In this post, we'll cover:
12. Tlaquepaque Village
Set south of the center of Sedona is the sizable outdoor shopping center of Tlaquepaque Village. Modeled on a traditional Mexican village, its pretty plazas are lined with attractive architecture, and there are an astounding array of art galleries and New Age shops. It also has some excellent restaurants and eateries.
Dotted with towering sycamores which provide much-needed shade, the charming complex is a treat to explore. Cobbled streets lead onto courtyards full of fountains and flowers. The village is a great place to enjoy a spot of shopping, with everything from ceramics and jewellery to photos, paintings and textiles on sale.
11. Palatki Heritage Site
Around 45 minutes’ drive to the northwest of the city is the Palatki Heritage Site, one of the most astonishing archaeological sites in the area. Besides boasting prehistoric pictographs and petroglyphs, it is also home to some incredible ancient dwellings set in the side of a sandstone cliff.
Very well-preserved, these captivating cliff dwellings were inhabited between 1150 and 1350 AD by the Sinagua; an Ancestral Puebloan people. Visitors to the heritage site can hike three trails to see the picturesque pueblos up close, with some rock art also to be spied here and there.
Just as impressive as the site itself is its striking setting with the red rock formations making for fantastic photos.
10. Boynton Canyon Trail
Winding its way through the landscape, the beautiful Boynton Canyon Trail is one of the most popular paths to hike near Sedona. Stretching almost 10 kilometers, the colorful canyon and its scenic confines lie just 20 minutes’ drive to the northwest of town.
Starting at the exclusive Enchantment Resort, the trail takes you through desolate desert and patches of pine trees before you arrive at an epic viewpoint overlooking the box canyon. While its rugged reaches certainly warrant exploring, many people are drawn to Boynton Canyon for its powerful vortex. Set in between two sandstone spires, it radiates a balance of masculine and feminine energies which believers find to be refreshing and restorative.
9. Red Rock State Park
Home to outstanding outdoor activities, Red Rock State Park lies to the southwest of Sedona. In total it has 10 trails to hike, mountain bike or horseback ride which offer breathtaking views over the area’s famous formations.
Protected since 1986, highlights include native fauna and flora, the scenic stretch of Oak Creek and the aptly named Eagle’s Nest. From this prominent point you can gaze out over Sedona and its surroundings, with Cathedral Rock spied far off in the distance. You can also learn about the history and wildlife of the park at its excellent visitors center.
8. Airport Mesa
Looking out over Sedona and its scenic surroundings, the massive Airport Mesa is a very popular place to visit, especially at sunset. Besides offering panoramas of the city, the tabletop mountain has a looping trail for you to explore and an energizing vortex.
So named for the city’s airport which is perched atop of it, the majestic mesa towers over 1,300 meters in height with rugged red rocks everywhere you look. While hiking its looping trail you can watch planes land and take off and enjoy fabulous views over the city. There is also its masculine energy vortex to visit which is said to strengthen your self-confidence and help your spirit soar.
7. Broken Arrow Trail
Another of Sedona’s most popular paths to hike is the Broken Arrow Trail, just a short drive to the south of the city center. Located within Coconino National Forest, it stretches 4.5 kilometers in length and passes through red rock country. Epic views can be enjoyed from its rugged ridges and rims.
Despite all the splendor on show, it is very simple to hike or cycle and has interesting rock formations and wildflowers lining the route. From Chicken Point you can bask in the breathtaking views over the sandstone sculptures and spires that surround Sedona. While it is undoubtedly a very scenic path, if you want peace and quiet, it is best to hike early in the morning as Pink Jeep Tours run off-road excursions on adjacent trails later in the day.
6. Red Rock Scenic Byway
As it passes through scenery with fantastic formations, Red Rock Scenic Byway is often called a ‘museum without walls’. Running from Sedona to the Village of Oak Creek, the route reaches 12 kilometers in length and has great trails and viewpoints to stop off at along the way.
Winding its way through the dramatic landscapes of Coconino National Forest, it passes such sights as Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, with the Chapel of the Holy Cross also found nearby. Due to its numerous natural attractions, many people hike and mountain bike the beautiful byway.
5. Slide Rock State Park
In the north of the city is Slide Rock State Park which is a popular place to head in the sun-scorched summer months. You can go swimming in the cool waters of Oak Creek, lounge in its natural pools and slip and slide along the wet rock bed that gives the park its name.
Before being protected in 1985, the attractive area was an apple farm with its historic homestead still on show for visitors to explore. Most people, however, head straight to the shimmering stream which is surrounded by the red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon. While it can get crowded, Slide Rock State Park is worth visiting for its laid back ambience and, of course, it’s sensational swimming.
4. Devil’s Bridge Trail
So named due to its spectacular sandstone arch, the delightful Devil’s Bridge Trail lies just 20 minutes’ drive to the northwest of the city. While the arresting arch alone makes for a superb sight, the kilometer-long trail also takes you through magnificent scenery, with a gorgeous view to be enjoyed at the end of it.
As it is quite short and not too steep, the trail is relatively easy to hike with the scorching sun overhead being the main challenge. Once you arrive at the 15 meter-high Devil’s Bridge, the largest natural arch in the area, you can snap some fantastic photos and even cross its slender sliver of sandstone to get to a phenomenal viewpoint.
3. Chapel of the Holy Cross
Lying just off the Red Rock Scenic Byway is the incredible Chapel of the Holy Cross, built into the side of a red rock formation. Besides exhibiting some astounding architecture, it also offers divine views over Sedona due to its prominent position atop a plateau.
Inspired by the Empire State Building, the captivating church was erected in 1957 with its simple yet strong angular shapes lending it both grace and grandeur. Its standout sight though is the 27-metre high iron cross that makes up its southwestern wall.
Lined by sparkling stained-glass windows, it affords churchgoers and tourists alike dazzling views over Sedona and its surroundings. The huge cross looks just as impressive from below as it stands out delightfully against the red rocks that surround it.
2. Bell Rock
Another of the awe-inspiring natural attractions that lie along the Red Rock Scenic Byway is the beautiful Bell Rock. Rising almost 150 meters into the sky, the bell-shaped butte is very popular with both locals and tourists alike and has some lovely hiking and mountain biking trails to explore around the bottom of it.
Located just outside of the Village of Oak Creek, its striking silhouette makes for some fabulous photos against the brilliant blue sky. Many people hike and bike in the rugged and remote reaches that lie around it. In addition to this, it also boasts another vortex offering a calming combination of masculine, feminine and balanced energies.
1. Cathedral Rock
One of the most famed and photographed formations in Arizona, Cathedral Rock dominates the Sedona skyline with its colossal outcrops. Set just a short drive to the southwest of the city, it has sensational scenery and views, and its phenomenal features make it a very popular place to visit.
Towering 1,514 meters in height, its sandstone summit looms above with the big butte broken up by a series of small saddle points. To reach these gaping gaps, visitors can hike up steep and strenuous trails with their reward being epic views over the city’s red rock landscape. The colorful and craggy Cathedral Rock has a feminine energy vortex for you to visit and photograph.