Sedona is considered one of the most beautiful places in America to visit. Geographically, Sedona rests in a transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and Upper Sonoran Desert. This sacred and powerful place is home to several spiritual energy vortexes, as well as an extensive trail system with unparalleled options for hiking and biking. Sedona offers astounding red rock vistas and is a perfect destination for the off-season months when the rest of the country’s trails are covered in snow. Read on for the best places to explore Sedona’s incredible outdoors, its spiritual vortexes, and camp under the stars.
- Best Time of Year to Visit: Spring/fall when temps are moderate, but if you visit during off-season there will be less people
- Camping Options: budget, moderate, and luxury. Basically, there is something for everyone. No matter you are a student, professional, or jobless, your adventure carvings will be satisfied here. Some of the best camping options closest to town are as follows
Where to Stay
Rancho Sedona RV Park is in the heart of town, next to beautiful Oak Creek and fully shaded by grand Sycamore and Cottonwood trees. The RV park is highly rated by guests, with a 5-star rating on Campendium.com. Sites are gravel with a concrete patio and picnic table. Tent camping is not allowed (per city of Sedona rules), but RVs and dogs are allowed. Water, electric and sewer options, prices from $42-$84 per night. It is within walking distance to galleries, shops and bars.
Forest Road 525 (or Loy Butte Road) is located within Coronado National Forest just 15 minutes outside of Sedona. This road offers free tent and RV camping sites for up to 14 days along its 6.2-mile length, with most sites closest to the highway 89 turnoff. The road is dirt and can be some washboard in some areas but is overall in good shape. The views are incredible, cell service is good, and it’s only 15 minutes from downtown Sedona!
Rent an RV
Thinking about renting an RV for your trip to Sedona? Outdoorsy is a great site for finding local RV rentals. This marketplace allows you to rent local RVs for less, offers insurance protection and 24/7 roadside assistance. Start planning your Arizona road trip adventure!
Sedona is ranked #14 globally in the listing of best Sedona bike trail systems according to Trailforks.com. Ditch your car and experience this red rock heaven on bike. For the best bike rental shops in Sedona, compare prices and rent a mountain bike online starting at $45/day. Sedona Bike rental & Bean offers top quality Sedona bike rentals perfect for the Sedona red rock, and their in-house coffee shop means you can enjoy a cappuccino while you learn about the awesome trail options from their knowledgeable staff!
Beginner/Intermediate: Chuckwagon – Mescal – Long Canyon
Chuckwagon – Mescal – Long Canyon is a spectacular 9.1-mile singletrack loop with not too much elevation or climbing. Riders who are in Sedona for their first time will find this trail a good introduction to Sedona without the strenuous climbs of other trails in the area. This figure eight loop has smooth singletrack and is moderately challenging, with gorgeous red rock scenery.
Intermediate: West Sedona Tour
West Sedona Tour is a 13.1-mile singletrack loop with lots of turns, some climbing and descending, and the opportunity to link together 8 classic West Sedona trails. It can also be added to other trails like the Chuckwagon-Mescal-Long Canyon Loop (see #2) for a longer ride. These trails are some of the best riding in West Sedona, featuring the red rock terrain that Sedona is famous for.
Intermediate/Advanced: Cathedral Big Rock Loop
Cathedral Big Rock Loop is a 12.4-mile out and back ride with some climbing and descents, and several technical rock sections. The trail crosses the popular Cathedral Rock hiking trail (hikers only) so be courteous to hikers. This ride features all the best of this popular area, and intermediate/advanced riders will love the trail’s flow and incredible scenery.
There are over 120 hiking trails created to experience the beauty of the Sedona Red Rocks. Hiking is the best way to experience the serenity of this red rock land. Sedona’s terrain is a mixture of the finest elements of Arches, Capitol Reef, Zion, and Bryce National Parks.
Best Trails: Sedona hiking trails vary drastically in terms of difficulty, terrain, distance, and elevation. The following are some of the top trails in Sedona:
Mescal Mountain Loop is a 4.7 mile loop that combines three trails to circle the stunning Mescal Mesa. Good for beginner/intermediate hikers, the trail’s main draw is the incredible red rock scenery. Portions of the trail traverse along the slickrock.
Brins Mesa Soldier Pass Loop is an 8-mile loop trail features awe-inspiring scenery and vistas, including Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole and Soldier Pass Arch. There is some elevation, and you will climb to Brins Mesa for a gorgeous vista as well as Soldier Pass to view the arch.
Sterling Pass Trail to Vultee Arch is a 5-mile roundtrip hike in Oak Creek Canyon climbs to the top of Sterling Pass and overlooked Vultee Arch, one of several natural red rock arches in the Sedona area. This arch is on the larger side, at 40 feet high and 50 feet wide. There are some climbs but the vistas are worth it – start early and take your time!
Before you leave, don’t forget to recharge by experiencing Sedona’s famous vortexes. Underneath Sedona’s spectacular beauty beats a healing heart, a place that has long been revered as sacred and powerful. Visitors come from across the globe to experience the Sedona vortexes. These energy centers are believed to be conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration. These vortexes are special places where the earth seems to be especially alive with energy and mysterious cosmic forces that are said to emanate from the red rocks. Many people leave Sedona feeling inspired, recharged or uplifted.
In all, whether you enjoy biking, hiking, camping, yoga retreats, or exploring energy centres, Sedona has something to offer everyone.