Arizona is a huge state. It’s often uncharted territory for many travelers. Whether you’re on a cross-country trip or just attempting to see more of Arizona alone, it’s impossible to ignore how beautiful, scenic, and romantic this southwestern state is.
If you’re looking to get a little taste of everything–see the majesticness of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, experience the energetic powers of Sedona, and wine and dine in Scottsdale–there’s no better way to do it than with a good ol’ fashioned road trip through Arizona!
If you’ve got 4-5 days to spare to explore a portion of this magical state, then I’ve got you on your perfect Arizona road trip experience.
In this post, I’ll give you a detailed itinerary for a 5-day road trip through some of Arizona’s best. This is the exact road trip itinerary I used to show my parents around Arizona for the first time in their lives, so I know it’s tried and true.
Let’s dive into your perfect 5-day Arizona road trip to Phoenix, Sedona, and Antelope Canyon!
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Table of Contents
5-Day Arizona Road Trip Overview: Phoenix, Sedona, and Antelope Canyon
On this itinerary, you’ll get to visit highlights like Phoenix, Sedona, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend, all while enjoying the amazing scenery and kitschy road trip stops that Arizona has to offer.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what this 5-day Phoenix, Antelope Canyon, and Sedona road trip looks like at a glance:
- Day 1: Phoenix
- Day 2: Scottsdale / Page
- Day 3: Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend
- Day 4: Sedona
- Day 5: Sedona / Drive back to Phoenix
Let’s quickly cover the highlights:
Phoenix is a great city to start your road trip. It’s a vibrant and lively place with plenty of things to see and do. With your time here, you can visit the Desert Botanical Garden, take a hike up Camelback Mountain, float down the Salt River, and check out the local arts scene.
Scottsdale, AZ has grown in popularity over the past few years. While it’s always been known as a great place for older folks to retire, it’s most recently become a super popular bachelor and bachelorette party destination!
Scottsdale is home to many great golf courses and spas. Shopping is big here too! And if you’re interested in learning about history, you can visit the Scottsdale Historical Museum. No matter what, Old Town Scottsdale is not to be missed!
Sedona is a must-see on any Arizona road trip. This small town is nestled in a beautiful red rock canyon and is full of art galleries, spas, and hiking trails. Don’t miss a chance to go jeeping or ATVing among the red rocks– it’s a blast!
Antelope Canyon is by far one of the major highlights of this road trip. This is the furthest point on this road trip from Phoenix, so you’ll be intentionally making the drive out to see this incredible landmark!
Antelope Canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Arizona, and for good reason. This slot canyon is simply stunning, with its towering red cliffs and winding passages. Be sure to book a tour in advance, as they fill up quickly.
One of the most popular attractions in Arizona is Horseshoe Bend. It’s a short drive from Antelope Canyon, making it a very convenient and natural stop on your Arizona road trip.
Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. It’s a beautiful spot for a quick hike, and you can even go swimming in the river if you’re feeling brave!
Now that you know a little bit about what each place has to offer, let’s get into the details of the road trip!
Looking to visit the Grand Canyon as well? Simply tack on another day to this itinerary to make it a 6-day adventure. Heck, you can make it 7 days too! There’s so much to see and do in Arizona! Alternatively, if you’re short on time, you can also check out my 4-day Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park road trip.
5-Day Arizona Road Trip: Rental Car Logistics
For our road trips, we typically like to pick up rental cars from a nearby airport (there’s often more availability at the airports compared to rental car shops in town). For this road trip, aim to pick up a rental car from the PHX airport.
We typically like to rent from Hertz. Their Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program is awesome (and completely free to join). You’ll get counter-free pickup at select locations, and even mobile alerts with your exact rental car and its location before you arrive. Check out rental car pricing and availability here.
For the car rental, you’re going to pick it up from PHX and drop it right back off at PHX, where you’ll ultimately take your flight home.
If you’re based in the Phoenix area, then lucky for you, no flight home is needed!
ARE YOU ROAD TRIP READY? YOUR QUICK CHECKLIST:
License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!
Spare Tire | In addition to carrying a spare tire with you, don’t forget to check your current tire conditions before you set off as well.
Jumper Cables / Car Jump Starter | A must-have for any road trip! If you’re looking to invest in something exponentially more powerful/convenient than simple jumper cables, get the NOCO Boost HD Car Battery Jump Starter Box. This tool was sent from heaven and serves as a car jump starter, portable power bank, LED flashlight, and 12-volt portable power–all in one!
iOttie car mount | This is my partner in crime on any road trip. It’s got an amazing grip and popping your phone in and out of the mount could not be easier. If you’re renting a rental car and you’re not sure if it has a navigation screen, bring a phone mount with you. The iOttie attaches by suction, so it’s easy to transport from car to car.
Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This convenient little kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.
Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.
Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh. A portable hard cooler will allow you to pack picnic lunches, bring cheese and jams, and more.
Day 1: Phoenix / Scottsdale, AZ
After flying/driving into Pheonix, the first thing you’ll want to do is check in to your hotel, especially if you’re arriving later in the day.
Because we took the first flight of the day out to PHX, we had ample time on our first day to explore the city.
Since we had at least 6 hours before we were able to check in to our hotel, we picked up our rental car and headed to check out the city of Phoenix. The first thing we did? We ate!
Breakfast at Matt’s Big Breakfast
Start your morning off with a hearty breakfast at Matt’s Big Breakfast. You will find all the classic staples like eggs, griddlecakes, waffles, and more.
As the name suggests, you can expect big portions here!
Desert Botanical Garden
From there, head to the Desert Botanical Garden.
The Desert Botanical Garden is a beautiful place to see some of the best flora in Arizona. From the moment we arrived, we all absolutely fell in love with the landscaping and atmosphere of the place!
At the garden, visitors can stroll through five thematic trails to explore the fascinating beauty of the Sonoran Desert, from cacti and succulents to wildflowers and trees. The garden also provides opportunities to learn more about desert landscaping, nature art, cooking and wellness, and more through various adult and children’s classes.
Before you visit, be sure to take a peek at the garden’s calendar to see if there are any festive events or exhibitions that fall on the day of your visit.
During our visit, Chihuly in the Desert was the featured exhibit, which honestly elevated the whole experience so much more.
Combining art, architecture and nature, Chihuly in the Desert showcases some of Dave Chihuly’s best works set against majestic saguaros and other desert gardens. There was even an indoor Chihuly exhibit as well that was absolutely gorgeous and not to be missed!
Goldfield Ghost Town
If you’re open to embracing the Wild West vibe that Arizona does so well, head to Goldfield Ghost Town, located just 45 minutes from Phoenix.
Goldfield Ghost Town is a former mining town located in the Superstition Mountains east of Apache Junction. The town was founded in 1892 and ultimately abandoned by 1898.
Today, it is a popular tourist destination with a variety of shops and restaurants. There are a number of historical buildings to ogle at, including a courthouse and a jail.
Spend an hour or so walking through the town, perusing the gift shops, trying your hand at gold panning, and taking the quick mine tour.
There are a number of other attractions in the area, including the Superstition Mountain Museum and the Lost Dutchman State Park. There are also several hiking trails in the area if you’ve got a group that’s interested in being outdoors.
Because we visited in June and the daytime temperature was over 100° F, it was simply too hot for us to want to do any hiking! If you don’t mind the heat or you are visiting the Apache Junction area during cooler seasons, you can consider hiking.
After an hour or two of exploring Goldfield Ghost Town, it’s time to head back to Phoenix to get a dose of arts and culture. Take a stroll along Roosevelt Street, the center of Phoenix’s arts district, teeming with a slew of creative people, eateries, and art galleries.
If you need a midday pick-me-up, head to Lux Central where you’ll find all kinds of decadent desserts, pastries, and coffee drinks.
After you’re done exploring Roosevelt Street, it’s time for you to eat dinner, grab drinks, and rest up at your hotel. Below are a few tips to guide you in your evening.
Where To Stay in Phoenix/Scottsdale Area
We decided to stay in Scottsdale for the night just so we’d be closer to the next day’s attractions. We stayed at the Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains, which was a very spacious and comfortable hotel.
For something closer to the heart of Scottsdale, I’d recommend the fun and quirky Hotel Valley Ho. So worth the splurge!
Other Things To Do In Phoenix
- Phoenix Art Museum
- Japanese Friendship Garden
- Phoenix Zoo – Arizona Center for Nature Conservation
- Pueblo Grande Museum
- See a show or do trivia night at the Crescent Ballroom
- Go river tubing or kayaking on the Salt River
- Sunrise hot air ballooning
- Carnival of Illusion
Where To Eat In Phoenix
- Cibo – munch on delicious wood-fired pizza in a cute little house/restaurant with a cute outdoor patio.
- Pizzeria Bianco – artisanal wood-fired pizza crafted by James Beart Award-winning chef, Chris Bianco.
- Virtu – restaurant by Chef Gio Osso that has appeared on national best restaurant lists; don’t miss their iconic charred octopus dish!
Where To Drink In Phoenix
- Grab a drink at Melinda’s Alley – an old-fashioned speakeasy in the basement of a building in the historical red light district; open Fridays and Saturdays
- Cobra Arcade Bar – home to 40 vintage arcade games
- Valley Bar – listen to live music and DJ sets in an intimate setting
Day 2: Scottsdale / Drive To Page, AZ
You’ll start your second day by exploring the lovely town of Scottsdale, AZ. Scottsdale is a vibrant vacation town filled with luxury resorts, fine dining, and exciting outdoor adventures.
Though it may sometimes carry the stigma of being a posh destination for older, more mature travelers, Scottsdale has a lot more to offer than just spas and golf courses. They’ve got something for everyone–art, food, outdoor adventure, and a very cool vibe that is definitely suited for anyone.
Once you’re done in Scottsdale, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the car making the drive over to Page, Arizona! And by a lot, I mean 4-5 hours’ worth of driving.
Historic Old Town Scottsdale
Historic Old Town Scottsdale is a great place to start your second day! This quaint part of town is filled with charming shops and great restaurants.
The Wild West vibe of Old Town is unlike any other! Not only is the architecture so quintessentially ‘Arizona’, but it’s also just so darn photogenic.
By far, one of the most fun things to do here is to explore all the gift shops selling everything from cactus candy to Native American crafts.
This part of town is very walkable, so you can park your car, grab a bite to eat, and spend the next few hours on foot burning off all those morning calories.
Fifth Avenue Shopping District
Once you’re done shopping and embracing the old-timey vibes of Historic Old Town Scottsdale, head to the Fifth Ave Shopping District. This part of Scottsdale is known for vintage clothing shops, designer fashion boutiques, and Native American jewelry shops.
More chances to buy gifts and home decor from the Southwest? Yes, please.
Other Things To Do In Scottsdale
- Bike Pub Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale – 2-hour pub crawl on a party bike!
- Sonoran Desert Jeep Tour at Sunset – if you’re interested in this, try to fit this into Day 1 instead (you won’t have time during Day 2)
- Sonoran Desert Mountain Bike Adventure – 1.5-hour beginner-friendly tour, good for kids and adults alike
- Butterfly Wonderland
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
Where To Eat In Scottsdale
- Hash Kitchen North Scottsdale – super fun, boozy brunch restaurant
- Buddha’s Ritual – Asian fusion breakfast/brunch
- Sophia’s Kitchen – delicious Italian spot
- Cook & Craft – Scottsdale – features modern American fare and crafted cocktails
- The Sicilian Butcher – absolutely scrumptious Italian food
Where To Drink In Scottsdale
- Craft 64 – artisan wood-fired pizza, local craft beer
- A bunch of the spots listed above also serve drinks!
Drive To Page, AZ
Once you’re done exploring Scottsdale, it’s time to make the long drive over to Page, Arizona. The plan is to stay in Page for the night so that you’re able to sleep in and enjoy the morning in Page before going on your Antelope Canyon tour!
While the total drive time is about 4 hours 20 minutes, do allow about 5.5 hours for the drive over to Page from Scottsdale. You’ll probably be stopping for restrooms, dinner, etc.
Along the way, you’ll pass by a few really cool attractions. I’d take note of these attractions in case you want to slot them into your itinerary when you leave Page and backtrack to Sedona.
- Out of Africa Wildlife Park
- Grand Canyon South Rim – just a 1-hour detour from Highway 89 / Cameron, AZ
- Cameron Trading Post – great restroom break and pitstop to try a Navajo taco or pick up gifts! We visited the trading post on the way from Page to Sedona. More on this later.
If you make it to Page by dinner time, I’d highly recommend eating dinner at El Tapatio, a super cute and colorful restaurant serving up huge plates of traditional Mexican food.
Where To Stay In Page, AZ
These two hotels are going to be the most comfortable (and are the least outdated!):
Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell – This highly rated hotel is located in the center of Page, only a 10-minute drive away from both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
Wingate by Wyndham Page Lake Powell – This is another highly rated hotel located a 7-minute drive away from Horseshoe Bend and a 13-minute drive from Antelope Canyon.
Day 3: Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend (Page, AZ)
Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are two popular landmarks that have become very popular tourist destinations over the past few years. Why? Because they offer stunning views of Arizona’s unique and natural landscape.
They are both very close to each other and are easily accessible from the small town of Page, Arizona. We’ll be visiting both of them on Day 3.
Today is the day we get to see the iconic Antelope Canyon! You’ll need to book a tour in advance (this is a must). Pick a tour between the times of 11 am to 1:30 pm for the best lighting conditions during your tour.
First off, you’re going to need to choose between seeing Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon. Choosing between the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon is fully dependent on what you want to see, how much time you have, and how much money you want to shell out for a guided tour.
Upper Antelope Canyon tours are more popular because they feature the light beams that photographers love. Because of this, the Upper Antelope guided tours tend to be more expensive and more crowded than Lower Antelope Canyon tours.
While Lower Antelope Canyon doesn’t have light beams, it’s still incredibly beautiful! You’ll be walking through a maze of colorful slot canyons that’ll make you feel like you’re in a natural labyrinth all your own. If you’re looking for more of an adventurous experience and do not care about light beams in your photos, opt for the Lower Antelope Canyon!
We went on a guided tour of Lower Antelope Canyon and it was absolutely breathtaking.
When it comes to choosing which tour company to go with, I personally don’t think it matters because honestly, each tour operator will offer a similar experience. You can browse through all the different Antelope Canyon tour companies and read the reviews before choosing the tour you want to go with!
If you’re interested in seeing both portions of the canyon, you can definitely opt to see both and compare the two canyon areas for yourself! This convenient half-day tour offers the chance to see both ends of the canyon in one go.
More on Antelope Canyon here: The Perfect Antelope Canyon And Horsehoe Bend Itinerary
Depending on the time of your Antelope Canyon tour, you’ll either eat before or after your tour.
If you didn’t get a chance to make it to El Tapatio, go there! Otherwise, I also recommend BirdHouse, serving up the best fried chicken meals in town!
At this point, you can head straight to Horseshoe Bend or rest up/rehydrate before visiting Horseshoe Bend.
Horseshoe Bend is a fun little stop where you can truly admire the power of erosion caused by the river over time.
Visitors can access the bend by ‘hiking’ a short 0.6-mile trail from a nearby parking lot. Honestly, it’s more of a walk than a hike! There is a gradual incline on the path, so just be mindful of that when coming back up from the viewpoint.
Horseshoe Bend can take anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on walking speed and how long you plan to linger at the viewpoints.
Tips for visiting Horseshoe Bend
- Horseshoe Bend can be visited without a guide, but there is an entrance fee of $10 per vehicle these days.
- The Horseshoe Bend trail is a sandy, dirt path. The dirt/sand on the path gets quite hot during the summer, so I’d advise you to avoid sandals or open-toed shoes.
- Bring water, sunglasses, and a hat!
Drive to Sedona, AZ
Once you’re done enjoying what the town of Page offers, it’s time to head to the next destination for the next 2 days–Sedona!
Once you depart from Page, after about 2 to 2.5 hours of driving, you’ll arrive in Sedona!
Pitstop at Cameron Trading Post
Want a quick break to stretch your legs? Make a stop at Cameron Trading Post! This complex is huge, containing several buildings serving as a motel, a large gift shop, a restaurant, a gallery, and a gas station.
The Cameron Trading Post is a great place to buy gifts and souvenirs. It’s also a great place to learn about the history of the area. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable, and they’re always happy to help.
If you’re hungry, there is also a great restaurant here where you can try a Navajo Taco (a taco made with traditional fry bread in lieu of a tortilla).
Entering Sedona via Red Rock Scenic Byway
As you drive into Sedona from the north, you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled.
Why? Because this isn’t any old road. This is the Red Rock Scenic Byway!
The Red Rock Scenic Byway is the gateway to the world-famous Red Rock Country of Sedona, Arizona. It’s located just 110 miles north of Phoenix (or about 40 miles south of Flagstaff).
This highly acclaimed National Scenic Byway begins shortly after you exit #298 off Interstate 17 and has earned the distinction of being Arizona’s First ‘All-American Road’. This prestigious designation means it’s a national destination in itself!
Although the Scenic Byway is only 7.5 miles, it sure packs a heavy punch of drop-dead gorgeousness. Trust me when I say this was such a beautiful drive!
Check-in to your hotel
As you drive into Sedona, you’ll want to check in to your hotel, drop off your bags, and perhaps freshen up for dinner.
During our 2 night stay in Sedona, we stayed at Las Posadas of Sedona in the nearby Village of Oak Creek (just 10 minutes away from Sedona proper).
Where To Stay in Sedona
- L’Auberge de Sedona – an absolute must for couples if ‘budget’ is not in your vocabulary for this trip. This timeless hotel is loved by many, many couples.
- A Sunset Chateau – a great and spacious bed and breakfast that screams cozy rustic vibes
- Wilde Resort and Spa – another great boutique hotel option featuring a modern atmosphere with a Southwestern twist!
Dinner: Butterfly Burger
Since we were staying in the Oak Creek area, also known as an area well known for its wonderful dining options, we decided to eat dinner at a place close to our hotel.
This decision led us to Butterfly Burger, a couture burger lounge by Chef Lisa Dahl. And couture it was! This place felt like a Las Vegas dinner lounge–except it was in Sedona and their main dish was good ol’ burgers!
With names like The Waco Kid, Oui Oui Monsieur and Mi Quiero Vaquero, your taste buds will be transported from the American southwest to France, Spain even Greece!
If you’re contemplating which burger to get, go with the Gringo Burger. We ordered the Gringo Burger, the Butterfly Burger, and the Nothing Burger. By far, the Gringo Burger was the best. My dad even called it the “best burger he’s ever had”.
Before you call it a night, don’t forget to visit the nearest grocery store to pick up snacks/drinks for your hike tomorrow!
Day 4: Sedona, Arizona
If your hotel stay includes complimentary breakfast, enjoy your wonderful free breakfast there first thing in the morning.
If your hotel does not come with breakfast, head to one of the following restaurants to fuel up for the day:
- Creekside Sedona – breakfast with a view
- Red Rock Cafe – classic breakfast eats with a southwestern twist
Since our hotel, Las Posadas of Sedona, included breakfast (made-to-order at that!), we had breakfast there every morning before getting started for the day.
Here’s a peek at some of the fresh and delicious meals we ate–one morning it was chilaquiles and the other it was tamales.
Pro Tip: Picking a hotel that serves a fresh, hot breakfast can really save you money! Feeding 3 adults for no additional cost? You really can’t beat it. We were so happy we booked the hotel we did and wouldn’t change a thing about it!
Morning: Devil’s Bridge Hike
Devil’s Bridge is one of the most scenic hikes ever. I mean, look at that photo. It’s absolutely gorgeous!
For those of you who’ve never heard of Devil’s Bridge before, this geological wonder stands as one of the greatest and most beautiful formations in Sedona Red Rock County. This 4.2-mile hike definitely tops the “must do” hikes in Sedona.
If you’re someone who can get a hike in without eating first thing in the morning, I’d recommend you just get started on your Devil’s Bridge hike first thing in the morning!
The Devil’s Bridge hike has become super popular over the last few years, so expect the trailhead parking lot to be full even before 7:30 am, especially on weekends.
If you are planning on eating breakfast and taking your sweet time (like we did), then your best bet to avoid parking troubles is to park your car at the Posse Grounds Park and Ride and take the free shuttle to the Dry Creek Trailhead.
There will be a shuttle about every 15-30 minutes that will take you from the parking lot to the trailhead. Once you hop off the bus, walk the Dry Creek Trail for about a mile until you connect to the Devil’s Bridge Trail.
Before you know it, you’ll be at the iconic bridge area!
Explore Uptown Sedona
After grabbing lunch (there are lots of great options in Sedona), it’s time to slow it down and explore the parts of town that aren’t related to hiking.
One of the most walkable areas is Uptown Sedona.
Uptown Sedona is a great place to visit if you’re looking for stunning red rock views and plenty of shopping and dining options. This vibrant community is home to a variety of businesses, including art galleries, clothing stores, restaurants, and more.
Visitors can enjoy the many scenic viewpoints that the area has to offer, as well as the many shopping plazas in town. Whether you’re looking to grab a refreshing drink, do some al fresco dining, or simply spend some time browsing the unique shops, Uptown Sedona is sure to keep you entertained for a few hours.
During your stroll, don’t miss all the statues, art sculptures, and galleries. Sedona is quite artsy, so do spend a few moments enjoying that aspect of the town!
Tlaquepaque Arts And Shopping Village
Now that I’ve mentioned Sedona’s deep artistic nature, I recommend heading over to the Tlaquepaque Arts Shopping Village. This ultra-unique spot is almost like a town in itself. It’s so lush with greenery, romantic, and magical!
The village is filled with fantastic artisanal shops full of gorgeous pieces you’ll want to purchase, quaint restaurants, and beautiful architecture that’ll surely make you feel like you’re in a different country (perhaps Spain or even Morocco).
Its various fountains, cobblestone paths, and various archways are also ideal for random photoshoots.
I’m pretty sure we spend more time posing by all the nooks and crannies of the village than actually shopping! But we weren’t the only ones, there was an actual wedding photoshoot happening while we were there!
Dinner: Hideaway House
The Hideaway House restaurant is a great place to have dinner when you’re in Sedona, Arizona. The food is amazing, and the views of the red rocks from the outdoor dining patio are breathtaking.
If you’re looking for a romantic evening out or just a night of good food and great company, then this is the place for you. I loved the cozy treehouse vibes and the amazing food paired together!
I highly recommend the pasta dishes and the Pizza Blanco (it’s pure garlicky goodness)!
Do try and make a reservation though, because this place is always busy! Trust me, it’s worth the effort of calling/booking ahead.
Couldn’t snag a reservation? Other restaurants with a view include Creekside American Bistro, Cowboy Club Grill, and Oaxaca Restaurant.
Day 5: Sedona / Back To Phoenix
This is your last morning in Sedona and the last day of this road trip itinerary! Today, you’ll be seeing Sedona by Jeep before making the 2-hour drive back to Phoenix.
Again, either eat breakfast at your hotel or dine at one of the many amazing breakfast joints!
Unless you plan on doing a morning hike or even a sunrise hike, there is no reason to get up too early today.
Sedona Jeep Tour
Taking an off-roading Jeep tour is by far the most popular thing to do in Sedona. With that said, how could I leave Sedona without allowing my parents to experience the exhilarating thrill of going off-roading up to majestic rock formations?
So what can you expect on a Jeep tour of Sedona? Well, you’ll be bouncing along and hanging on to your seats, all while your guide is telling you stories, pointing out important landmarks, and taking you to various vistas / photo ops among the red rock formations.
I absolutely loved the Jeep tour we went on with Arizona Safari Jeep Tours. While it was bumpy, it wasn’t too bumpy for older travelers.
Plus our guide Wyatt was so incredibly engaging when telling stories–we learned all about the town of Sedona, the Native American history that permeates the area, and the nature that surrounds this magical town!
Here are a few other Jeep tours offered by Arizona Safari Jeep Tours:
- Sedona Outback Trail Jeep Adventure – 2 hours total; this is the one we personally took and loved!
- The Outlaw Trail Jeep Tour of Sedona – 3 hours total; great for the entire family (we would have chosen this one had we not been short on time on our last day in Sedona)
- Extreme Sedona Off-Road Canyon Jeep Tour – 2.5 hours; great for those looking for more bumps and incline
Pro Tip: These Jeep tours tend to get a bit dusty. Do bring a bandana or face mask to protect your face from the dust and dirt. You’re also going to want to bring along body wipes with you so you can quickly freshen up after the tour!
Pink Jeep or Arizona Safari Jeep Tours? Honestly, Pink Jeep Tours are great, but they’re way more expensive. I’ve found Arizona Safari Jeep Tours to be a wonderful alternative, so my pick these days is Arizona Safari Jeep Tours.
Head back to Phoenix
Your epic Arizona road trip has finally come to an end. Wow, what a wonderful 5 days it has been!
At this point in the day, pick up any last-minute gifts and refreshments, grab a quick meal, top-up on gas, and head back to Phoenix.
The drive from Sedona to Phoenix will only be about 2 hours.
Top Tours In Sedona, Arizona
- Sedona Outback Trail Jeep Adventure – Go off-roading through Sedona’s red rock landscape on a Jeep tour! This one is not too bumpy so it’s good even for the kids and the older parents. This Sedona Jeep tour is limited to 10 people for a fun, personal experience. We did this tour during our last trip and our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining! Highly recommend this one!
- Sedona Vortex Tour by Jeep – This highly-rated vortex tour gives you the best of both worlds–a chance to ride in a Jeep and learn all about the magical vortexes! Traveling the region by Jeep, you’ll visit several vortex sites around town and learn about their history, all with the help of an informative guide.
- Sedona Helicopter Tour: Desert Thunder Tour – Swoop over the canyons and fly past the vast pine forests on this epic 30-minute helicopter flight over the Sedona desert. Try going first thing in the morning to catch the gorgeous sunrise from the sky!
- Verde Canyon Railway Adventure – Looking for a nostalgic way to see Sedona? Be sure to try out the Verde Canyon Railway Tour which takes you on the heritage Verde Canyon Railroad from Clarkdale to Perkinsville. The railroad is full of history and offers scenic views of the state. The 4-hour round-trip train ride is fun, and a great way to get a perspective on the region’s natural and cultural treasures.
ARIZONA ROAD TRIP: ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST
Aside from the normal clothing and toiletries you’d pack for any regular trip, here are the things I’d recommend you not leave home without for your Arizona road trip:
- America the Beautiful National Parks Pass | The national parks annual pass is a great way to save on trailhead parking fees in Sedona. If you don’t want to invest in this pass, you’ll have to pay $5 for the daily Red Rock Pass.
- License and registration | This is a no-brainer, but always good to check you have all documents before it’s too late and you get too far away from home. Do NOT leave home without them. They are road trip essentials!
- Roadside Emergency Kit | You never know what kind of car trouble you may encounter on the road. This kit contains 42 roadside emergency components, including jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight and batteries, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, poncho, cable ties, bandages, towelettes, and zipper-lock bags.
- Trunk Organizer | With any road trip comes lots and lots of stuff to pack. Keep your road trip essentials organized with a trunk organizer. Not only will this make it so much easier to find what you need, but it will also lead to more space in your trunk for you to pack other necessities.
- Flashlight | You never know when you’re going to be stranded on the road at night, out hiking late, or even exploring a dark cave. Leaving a flashlight in your car can really come in handy when you’re faced with unexpected situations.
- Portable Cooler | Coolers are a must for any road trip, but especially on desert road trips. The desert is a hot, hot place. Not only will you be able to keep beverages cold and refreshing, but you will also be able to keep perishables fresh. A portable hard cooler will allow you to pack picnic lunches, bring cheese and jams, and more. If you’re looking for the best cooler technology out there, the Yeti Portable Cooler is top of the line, with ColdCell Insulation that offers superior cold-holding compared to other soft coolers.
- Swiss Army Knife | A multi-tool is great to have in any car, regardless of if you’re going on a road trip or not. It can be useful in so many situations! There have been so many instances where I’ve needed to cut something or open up hard-to-open packaging while away from home, and this has been a lifesaver.
- First Aid Kit | It’s always good to carry a first aid kit around with you when traveling. Road trips make it easier to do this since all you need to do is toss it in the trunk! Note: This is not the same as the roadside emergency kit.
- Hiking Boots | If you plan on hiking, bring well broken-in boots with good ankle support and good traction. My all-time favorites are the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots. They’re one of the lightest boots in its class, very durable, and provide out-of-the-box comfort, which is extremely important if you want to prevent blisters from the start.
- Hiking Socks | Make sure you have a good pair of cushioned wool hiking socks.
- Adventure Pants | A must-have for any outdoor adventure. I love the bottoms that prAna makes! They are built for the wild, yet still super breathable, lightweight, and stretchy. Check out the Halle Short II (women) and the Hybridizer Short (men).
- Waterproof Rain Jacket | A lightweight waterproof rain jacket is critical for any outdoor adventure. Desert nights can get cold, and you never know when rain may come. Since these weigh virtually nothing and are so easily packable, I recommend you carry one with you whenever you head outdoors. Depending on the weather forecast and chance of precipitation, I’ll either go with a rain shell or a puffier windbreaker. Despite the options I have here, one thing is for sure— I’m never without some sort of outer layer. My top recommendations are Marmot Men’s PreCip (for men) and The North Face Women’s Venture 2 Jacket (for women).
- Puffy Jacket | If you’re traveling in the fall or wintertime, you’re going to need layers in the desert, which tends to get windy in certain areas. You have a lot of options here, but I personally have the North Face Thermoball, and it’s kept me warm throughout my many years of outdoor adventuring!
- Daypack | I’m a fan of the Osprey Daylite Daypack. It has ample room for all the snacks and water you’ll need, as well as for your camera and the safety essentials for the hike.
- Hat, Bandana, or Buff | Sun protection is key for any desert destination. Keep the sun off your skin with a fancy sunhat, bandana, or a Buff. All three can be used to shield your neck or forehead from the sun. As a bonus, bandanas and Buffs can be used as headbands to keep hair and sweat off of your face. Soak your bandana or Buff then put it on your head, face, or neck for a quick cool down.
- Hand Sanitizer | Hand sanitizer gel or wipes are a must any time you’re going to be in contact with surfaces many other people have touched. Never leave your hotel room without it! And if you do happen to forget it, remember to wash your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face.
- Body Wipes / Feminine Wipes | Feeling a bit gross after a hike (or even after a walk outside on a scorching hot day) but don’t have the time to shower right in that instant? Just whip out one of these body wipes for a quick refresher. These are the feminine wipes I like. Ladies, don’t forget ’em. Trust me, you will feel and smell so much better. Always good to have a few handy in your travel bag.
- Headlamp / Flashlight | Being able to find your way through the desert wilderness in darkness is essential, so you should always carry a light source with you, even if you don’t plan on staying out past sunset. An LED headlamp allows you to hike hands-free and is my preferred source of light. FYI, the flashlight on your smartphone is not an adequate substitute– the light is not bright enough, plus it’ll drain your battery life, which may be critical in an emergency. Always carry extra batteries.
- Portable Power Bank | You’re probably going to be out all day, snapping away taking pictures, GPSing to all the funk roadside stops and eateries… the last thing you want is to be driving along with no phone battery! A portable power bank is a must-have, and Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many travelers! I never embark on a day of exploration without it.
- Travel Adapter | If you’re traveling from abroad, a universal travel adapter is a necessity. This 5 in 1 travel adapter is perfect for travel use with cell phones, laptops & other devices anywhere in the world.
- Soft Hydration Flask | Stay hydrated throughout the day with a water bottle that can go anywhere with you—and fold up when not in use. I love the packability of these bottles!
- Medications | Motion sickness pills for those windy roads; painkillers, anti-inflammatories, etc.
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