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3 Days in Sedona Hiking Itinerary

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.

If you have three days in Sedona, you have enough time to experience some unforgettable landscapes.

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.

Girl sitting on a rock overlooking the town of Sedona

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3 Days in Sedona Hiking Itinerary Overview

  • On day 1 in Sedona, you’ll watch the sunrise at the jaw-dropping Airport Mesa Scenic lookout and visit the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross.
  • During day 2, you’ll experience the powerful energy of a vortex and enjoy stargazing at one of the world’s most celebrated locations.
  • Finally, on day 3 in Sedona, you’ll hike across the legendary Devil’s Bridge and visit one of Sedona’s world-class spas.

Get a free & interactive Tourist Map of Sedona here.

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.

Silhouette of a person in a yoga pose on a red rocky outcrop in Sedona

Vortex yoga is very popular in 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.

Craggy red rocks in the desert on the Chapel Trail hike in Sedona

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. 

Sedona Hiking Travel Tip

Make sure you pick up a Red Rock Pass at the start of your Sedona hiking trip. As part of a conservation program, the pass gives you access to the Sedona Red Rock National Forest recreational areas. The pass must be displayed on your windscreen when parking at many of the popular hiking spots across Sedona.

Red Rock Passes are available in 3 options:

  • Daily $5.00
  • Weekly $15.00
  • Annually $20.00

You can pick up passes at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, the Red Rock Ranger Station, some convenience stores and most of the trailhead kiosks. See here for more details on the Red Rock Pass.

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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.

Rocky outcrop known as Coffee Pot Rock in Sedona

Coffee pot Rock Sedona

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.

People walking through the gates into one of the most popular attractions in Sedona, Tlaquepaque Village.

Tlaquepaque 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.

Mexican style Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

Tlaquepaque Village

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 of the Holy Cross in Sedona.

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.

Red rock landscape from Chicken point Overlook, 3 day Sedona hiking itinerary.

The view from Chicken Point Overlook

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.

Desert valley from the Cathedral Rock hike in Sedona

Views from the Cathedral Rock hike.

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.

Girl standing on rocky outcrop over a large canyon at sunset.

Sunset at Cathedral Rock

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. 

Margarita cocktail with a lemon wedge in the side of the glass in Sedona

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.A couple standing on a red rocky outcrop with arms stretch in Vortex Yoga pose.
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.

Sedona Vortex Tour Recommendations

Experiencing Sedona’s vortices is a unique experience. Something all visitors to Sedona should try in one way or another, whether you’re into that kind of thing or not.

You can find a range of vortex tours from Sedona here for all interests including both hike and drive, yoga, meditation or vortex and sunset.  

For something different, there’s also a Spiritual Vortex Food Tour, A Psychic Vortex Tour, even a UFO and Vortex Tour.  

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.

Downtown Sedona

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.

Looking over the outdoor terrace at the red rock landscape at Mariposa Latin Grill in Sedona

Comfy lounges and view at Mariposa Latin Grill

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.

Hiker laying in the sun on red rocks next to 2 natural pools at 7 sacred pools.

7 Sacred Pools Sedona

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.

Starry night sky over Sedona

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.

Hiking man on the natural rock bridge - Devil's Bridge in Sedona at sunset.

Devils Bridge

Breakfast

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.

Other great spas in Sedona include Sedona’s New Day Spa, L’Auberge de Sedona Resort or Amara Resort and Spa.

Cafe overlooking the desert in Sedona

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.

Cafe in the vineyards of Sedona

Views over Sedona’s vineyards

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. 

Sedona Winery Tour Recommendation

If you don’t want to drive, you can take a 4 hr Jeep and Winery Tour. Starting at 3.00 PM, you’ll get to taste some of the best wines in Sedona, followed by a sunset drive through the striking desert landscape.  

Want something more energetic? Take a Water to Wine Tour. Kayaking down the scenic River Verde to the confluence of Oak Creek and the Verde River, you will visit the famous Alcantara Vineyards for a wine tasting. This tour starts from 1.00 PM and runs for 3-4 hrs. This tour can also be taken in the morning.  

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.

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About the Author

Valentina Djordjevic

Valentina’s Destinations was born from Valentina’s obsession with meticulously researching, organizing and planning travel itineraries. Originally from Serbia, Valentina grew up in Chicago. She loves hunting down local restaurants, unique experiences, and hidden gems.
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