Sedona is the perfect hiking destination. Sandwiched between the Coconino National Forest, Red Rock State Park, and other protected lands, the city of Sedona is uniquely positioned among hundreds of beautiful hiking trails. At only two hours from the Grand Canyon Sedona is a great addition to a Grand Canyon hiking itinerary.
If you have three days in Sedona, you have enough time to experience some unforgettable landscapes. There is also no shortage of beautiful and unique places to stay in Sedona.
While primarily a Sedona hiking itinerary, in this guide, you’ll also find loads of other interesting attractions, restaurants and Sedona travel tips for an unforgettable trip.
3 Day Sedona Itinerary
Sedona is a magical city surrounded by stunning red rocks and dramatic landscapes. A landscape so beautiful it has gained a reputation for enlightenment and rejuvenation attracting a flourishing New Age Movement. You’ll find no shortage of psychics, reiki healers, aura readers, and other mystics in and around Sedona.
Hiking in Sedona
With such striking landscapes, it is not surprising hiking is one of the best things to do in Sedona. The most highly acclaimed hikes in Sedona include Devil’s Bridge, Cathedral Rock, and Soldier’s Pass.
In this guide, we also cover some low-key trails with interesting viewpoints like the Chapel Trail, Bear Mountain, and the Sugarloaf Trail.
Wine and Dine in Sedona
Exploring the local food scene is also one of the top things to do in Sedona. Sedona is home to many upscale resorts and award-winning restaurants.
Expect everything from fine dining to earthy organic to quick and easy tourist joints. A common theme, no matter your style, is a focus on quality fresh and healthy local ingredients. Vegetarians and vegans are also well catered to in Sedona.
Day 1 Sedona Itinerary
Morning. Airport Mesa & Tlaquepaque Village
On your first day in Sedona, an early start is recommended to experience an unforgettable Sedona sunrise. Airport Mesa is one of the best sunrise spots because you don’t have to hike to get to the lookout. Just arrive early enough to park your car and set up your camera.
From the Airport Mesa Scenic lookout, you have fantastic panoramic views. From the lookout, see if you can identify Coffee Pot Rock or Thunder Mountain.
Hike the Airport Loop Trail
Once the sun has risen, enjoy hiking the Airport Loop Trail. A moderate trail of 3.2 miles. Expect 2.5 -3 hours to complete.
Brunch at Tlaquepaque Village
After your morning hike, head to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village for well-earned brunch at the Secret Garden Cafe. The Secret Garden Cafe is a popular European-style bistro that serves healthy breakfast favourites and delicious homemade delicacies.
After brunch, explore Tlaquepaque Village, an iconic Sedona landmark for nearly 50 years. Originally conceived as an artist community, the unique shopping area is styled after a traditional Mexican village.
Tlaquepaque oozes charm and character with art galleries, Southwestern-inspired crafts, and handmade jewellery. It’s the perfect place to purchase a memorable gift or trinket.
While you are at Tlaquepaque, make sure to check out The Awakening in Sedona. Much more than an average crystal shop, The Awakening is not the best place to shop for crystals thanks to their strict “look, don’t touch” policy.
However, for something different, the Awakenings offers an in-house psychic. Pop in and request mystic services, or get in touch with local mystics.
Afternoon. Chapel of the Holy Cross & Chapel Trail Hike
Chapel of the Holy Cross
In the afternoon, visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross designed with the help of Lloyd Wright (son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright).
Whether it is the unique design that piques your interest or it is a religious pilgrimage that brings you there, the massive Christian monument tucked between two immense boulders will not disappoint.
Chapel Hill Trail Hike (With the option of Little Horse Trail and Chicken Point Overlook).
Close to the Chapel, there’s a small trail called the Chapel Trail.
The Chapel Trail offers an easy 1.3 mile (round trip) hike. You can use this trail to connect to a portion of the Little Horse Trail and take the Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point Overlook.
Chicken Point Overlook is an often overlooked (no pun intended) scenic lookout. It’s especially isolated yet unbelievably pretty out there. From the Chapel of the Holy Cross, you can get to the Chicken Point Overlook and back in less than 2 hours.
Late Afternoon. Cathedral Rock Hike & Sunset
Cathedral Rock is one of the best places in Sedona to watch the sunset. It’s also one of the most visited places in Sedona because it is home to a unique vortex site (more on vortices later). The native Americans who inhabited Sedona hundreds of years ago believed Cathedral Rock was a sacred place.
Cathedral Rock Hike
Timing will be everything with this hike. Watching the sunset at Cathedral Rock is one of the most romantic things to do in Sedona. Plan to start hiking at least one hour before the sun is due to set.
The Cathedral Rock hike is only 1.2 miles long, but it is rated difficult. It is short but steep, so be prepared for some climbing and ensure you wear sturdy shoes.
Evening. Dinner at Elote
After a big day enjoying Sedona’ great outdoors, you’ll be thankful for Sedona’s fantastic restaurant scene. Head to one of Sedona’s most iconic restaurants – Elote Cafe.
Named one of the best restaurants in both Sedona and Arizona, Elote is also touted as one of America’s best Mexican restaurants. The catch – Elote doesn’t take reservations, so try to be there early to avoid a waiting time of up to two hours.
On the bright side – if you do get caught, you can enjoy pre-dinner margarita’s and popcorn while you wait.
If the possibility of waiting at Elote doesn’t appeal, head to the Heartland Cafe. Another award-winning Sedona restaurant with an extensive wine list and indoor-outdoor seating, Heartland accepts reservations well in advance.
Day 2 Sedona Itinerary
Morning. Vortex Yoga Hike
On day 2 in Sedona, start your morning off with a vortex experience. A vortex is thought to be a whirlpool of energy which can stimulate healing, enlightenment, meditation, and self-exploration.
While all of Sedona is considered a vortex site, there are more powerful mini vortex sites within Sedona. Some of these sites include Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Bell Rock.
If you have a sustained meditation practice, you won’t need a guided tour to explore a vortex site. However, if you’re new to meditation, a tour might be a nice way to get in touch with this exciting energy.
Take a Vortex Tour
Take the Vortex Yoga Hiking Tour at Sugarloaf Mountain in Sedona. Your guide will take you to a secluded, and lesser-known, vortex site.
You’ll enjoy a guided yoga and meditation practice. Finally, you’ll get to hike up to the top of the Sugarloaf Summit and enjoy incredible 360° views.
Midday. Sedona Downtown & Lunch
Shopping Downtown Sedona
After a morning of hiking, yoga and meditation, head to downtown Sedona. Downtown Sedona is full of cool souvenirs stores, crystal shops, and Southwestern-inspired fashion boutiques.
If you’re feeling inspired after your morning vortex enlightenment, Sedona Crystal Vortex has two shops in town and is the best place to shop for crystals.
Lunch at Mariposa Latin Grill
Head to West Sedona for lunch at Mariposa Latin Grill. One of the best restaurants in Sedona, Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill is an upscale restaurant in a gorgeous location. Eat outside on the patio and enjoy unobstructed views of Sedona’s Red Rock scenery.
Afternoon. Hike Soldiers Pass
Work off lunch with an easy hike on Soldier’s Pass famous for two unique landscape features —Devil’s Kitchen and the Seven Sacred Pools. Devil’s Kitchen is a natural sinkhole, and the Seven Sacred Pools are a group of natural ponds.
The entire Soldier’s Pass Trails is 4.2 miles, out and back (it’s possible only to hike part of the trail). It’s rated as moderate and considered one of the top trails within the Coconino National Forest system.
If you take the Soldier’s Pass Trail, you’ll quickly get to the Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole. The Seven Sacred Pools are not much further, about 0.5 miles into the trail. The Seven Sacred Pools is also an excellent turn-around spot if you are looking for a more leisurely hike.
Evening. Dinner and Stargazing.
Dinner at Cress on Oak Creek
Head to Cress on Oak Creek for dinner. It’s the premier creekside restaurant within the upscale L’Auberge de Sedona Resort. Cress on Oak Creek features a seasonally inspired Prix fixe menu and artfully prepared classic cocktails.
Stargazing at the Jordan Road Trailhead
Finish off day 2 in Sedona with stargazing at the Jordan Road Trailhead. Sedona is a designated International Dark Sky Community of which there are less than 30 of these communities worldwide.
Be on the lookout for UFOs and aliens. Afterall, Sedona is one of the top eight places in the world for UFO sightings and the extraterrestrial.
Day 3 Sedona Itinerary
Early Morning. Devil’s Bridge Sunrise Hike
Devil’s Bridge Hike
On your last day in Sedona, it’s another early start for a hike to Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge, one of Sedona’s most photographed landscape features is a natural sandstone arch bridge you can walk across.
Due to Devil’s Bridge popularity, sunrise is the best time to visit. Start your hike about one hour before sunrise from the Devil’s Bridge parking lot. The hike is a 4.6-mile round trip hike. Allow 1.5-3 hrs depending on how much time you want to spend at Devil’s Bridge.
After your hike, when all the tourists are just setting off, settle in for breakfast. Reward yourself with an unhealthy breakfast at Sedonuts or an ultra-healthy breakfast at ChocolaTree Organic Eatery.
Morning. Treat Yourself to A Spa
After breakfast, consider booking a spa experience at one of Sedona’s impressive spas or resorts. If you happen to be staying at the Enchantment Resort, their Mii Amo Spa is rated the number one spa in America, but it’s an exclusive treat for hotel guests only.
Lunch at Wildflower Bread Co.
Head to Wildflower Bread Co. for a casual lunch. A relaxed bakery-style eatery with a sandwich and salad focused menu popular for their freshly baked bread and aromatic coffees.
Afternoon. Hike Bear Mountain or Wine Tour
On your last afternoon in Sedona, you have two wildly different options: hike Bear Mountain or winery hopping in Valley Verde.
OPTION 1: Hike Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain is a calf-killing, 4.9 mile out and back trail in the Coconino National Forest. It’s a challenging but rewarding hike with three unique summits. This hike will take 4-5 hours.
OPTION 2: Winery Hopping in Valley Verde
Sedona’s climate and landscape are perfect for growing grapes, and the region is known for exciting, flavorful, wines. There are over 20 wineries along the Valley Verde Wine Trail.
Page Springs Cellars is known for having fun events and live music on weekends. Alcantara Vineyards, reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse, is one of the most beautiful places in Sedona.
Dinner at Dahl & Di Luca
Whatever you decided to do with your afternoon, finish your last night in Sedona with dinner at Dahl & Di Luca Restaurant, an award-winning Italian restaurant.