The drive to Sedona from Page was pretty scenic. Coming down on US Route 89S (rather than from the Coppermine Road that I took the way up) was gorgeous. And then the windy road from Flagstaff to Sedona was a fun and interesting drive as well (you don't pass Sedona on the way from Phoenix to Page--you could but you would driving extra distances). I'm glad I stayed here during the week (Thursday and Friday night) as it's a small town and I can see how traffic/crowded it can get on the weekends and in prime tourist time.
Sedona is a pricey place to stay though. I stayed at Poco Diablo Resort, which was nice but kind of pricey for what it was. But it was the cheapest of the nice hotels that I could find (got it for just under $200/night). I could've stayed somewhere cheaper but I didn't want to be too far from the center of town and I did want a nice room to come back to after hiking all day. Poco Diablo is very clean and comfortable with a pool, tennis court, and golf course, none of which I used! Sedona is at a high elevation so it was kind of colder especially at night. In April the temp. ranged from 40 degrees in the morning to 60-70s midday. Poco Diablo is also about a 5-8 min. drive from the center of town which was nice as it was quiet and not as much traffic near the hotel.
What to Do
There is tons to see in Sedona! I saw all the major highlights. I've ranked them in terms of my favorites:
- Devil's Bridge Trail Hike
- Cathedral Rock
- Bell Rock
- Chapel in the Rock
Devil's Bridge Trail Hike
I'm really glad I did this hike. I was nervous to go solo as I'm not an experienced hiker but it felt safe and was fine. The hike is about 3.4 miles roundtrip from the main parking lot. It's best to do this hike as early as you can because there is no shade and could get really hot later in the day. Also, you don't have to worry about parking or people since it's less crowded earlier in the day. By the time I returned to the lot at 9:30 am (I got there at 7:30 am) the lot was full.
Anyway, there is a parking area you can drive to but the road is quite rocky and jagged. I would not want to risk damage to my rental car! The mile walk up the road to the actual trail isn't hard, it's just a bit sandy and rocky. Once you get to the 2nd parking area (which is strictly for 4x4 SUVs), it's less than a mile to the actual bridge but there is some rock scrambling involved, meaning you have to pull yourself up some rocks to get up. It's not too difficult though (normally I hate stuff like that but it was enjoyable and I also had gloves on). The views on the way to the bridge are also amazing and the best from my time in Sedona. Really loved it and this was my favorite hike.
I was pretty tired after Devil's Bridge but went on to Cathedral Rock after. This hike is definitely more of a scramble to the top, but it was super windy and kind of steeper than I liked so I only made it up 80% of the way. I enjoyed the views and visiting, but definitely not for me to get to the top!
Bell Rock is similar to Cathedral but higher up and even more steep. I was quite tired from the first two hikes so I didn't really do much of this one. You can also walk around the base of Bell Rock but it didn't seem that interesting to me after an awesome hike like Devil's Bridge.
Chapel in the Rock
Chapel in the Rock is an actual church built into a rock. I'm not particularly religious but I thought it was cool to see and experience. In general, there's some sort of 'energy' in Sedona driven by the 'vortex' and each major sight seeing visit has the 'vortex' pulsing thru. Chapel in the Rock is one of the way (and I believe all the other sites I visited have it too).
On my last morning, I wanted to do a short hike into Boynton Canyon. I parked, got out, started walking into the trail, and then saw a sign warning about bears! So since I was solo I decided not to go, especially because the trail didn't look as 'obvious' to me. The parking lot was full but I didn't want to tag along someone else's hike so I decided to leave and head down to Scottsdale for my work conference.
However, as I walking out of the trail, a random older man walked up to me, handed me a heart-shaped stone, said it was full of the energy of the "vortex" and wished me a great day. It was a lovely way to end my time in Red Rock country!
Food in Sedona
Sad to say, I didn't have an AMAZING meals in Sedona. The food wasn't bad, but I found most restaurants to be a bit pricey for the food you're getting (ie like tacos). Granted Sedona caters to a more upper middle class crowd, and I'm sure there are cheaper places too, but I just didn't find any place really that worth recommending (though I did not have a bad meal).
I did love this Acai bowl place called Berry Divine though that was near Devil's Bridge. I've never really eaten these before and I loved it so much I found another one in Scottsdale and went back to get it!
Sedona is beautiful and relaxing and has something for everyone. Hope to return again someday!