Travel

filed in

Travel: Everything you need to know about traveling Sedona Arizona

Grant + I LOVE to travel! So when we planned out honeymoon, we especially wanted to go somewhere adventurous! Lucky for us, we were able to go to Sedona AZ for our honeymoon! I’ve put together a brief itinerary of what we did, where we went, and what we ate. One day, I hope you can get there too!

Day 1 – Crescent Moon State Park

We flew out Tuesday and spent most of the day in planes or in our car. We got to rent a jeep wrangler for the week! Ah! It was so exciting. Wednesday we were able to go out and explore Crescent Moon State Park. It cost us $11 to get into the park, as many of the parks in Arizona have an entrance fee. Sedona is also in the middle of Red Rock County, which requires a Red Rock pass to get to many of the hiking areas. However, our National Parks Pass got us out of that fee.

I brought my film camera along! I was SO excited to buy this film camera – it’s been my dream to own one for the longest time! I shot 3 rolls of Kodak Portra and 1 roll of the Fujifilm. I haven’t gotten them developed yet, but I’m really stoked to do so!

Day 2 – Chapel of the Holy Cross & Cathedral Rock

Thursday morning we slept in  headed to The Chapel of the Holy Cross. We didn’t do our research enough and got there before the gates opened. The gates opened at 9, so we had to wait until it opened to go in, but we didn’t have to wait long. The chapel was open and it was free to get in. We had to wear masks, but the gift shop was closed. Inside the chapel you could light a votive candle for $1 or a large candle for $6 but we just went inside to pray. We didn’t stay long, there wasn’t much more to see other than the inside of the chapel, before heading to our AirBNB to eat lunch.

After lunch we went to Cathedral Rock! This was one of the most well known hikes in Sedona, and the view was absolutely stunning! Total it was a two and a half hour hike, but you can definitely do it faster than that. We took breaks as we hiked up to catch our breath. We had to literally climb up boulders on our hands and knees, and coming back down was a little sketchy at some parts, but it was so worth it. A nice thing about Arizona trails is that the park service has large stone wire cairns that direct you so you don’t go astray. I suggest getting to the Cathedral Rock parking lot as early as you can in the morning, as it get’s pretty crowded because of how popular it is. Be warned that though this hike is only 0.7 miles, it’s a pretty steep grade, and is not for everyone. This parking lot too, needed a Red Rock Pass, so you will have to pay for parking unless you’ve already purchased a pass.

Day 3 – Slide Rock

Friday morning we woke up super early to get to Slide Rock by 8 am. This is also a very popular place in Sedona as the rocks and the river create natural swimming holes and slides. It usually fills up by 10am, and then you have to wait for parking. We started out walking past the slides to some hidden fishing holes way in the back. By the time we left around noon, it was packed! The water was FREEZING but so cool to be able to go for a little dip!

In the evening, we drove to Airport Mesa. There are two parking lots for Airport Mesa. The first parking lot is small and only holds about seven cars. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a parking spot. The large parking lot is at the top of the hill, where the lookout is. This parking lot you have to pay to get into, so when we turned around, we were lucky enough to get a parking spot at the first one. There is a little bit of a hike from the first parking lot to the lookout, it’s about 0.7 miles, but it is a really nice hike. It’s not too steep, and we made it to the lookout for the sunset which was perfect!

This is the view from Airport Mesa lookout!

Day 4 – Birthing Cave, Bell Rock, Jeep Tour

Sedona’s Birthing Cave was top on the list for us to go see. You follow the Bryce Canyon trail, and when you come across stacked logs on your left, you veer off the trail and walk on a deer trail towards the bottom of the mountains. You follow the trail until you get to the base of the cave – you can see it up in the rock formation – and then you have to scrabble up a steep trail right to the mouth of the cave. In order to get the Instagram shot of Sedona’s Birthing Cave you have to have a super wide angle, like 10mm or more, a fancy iPhone, probably the latest, or a super wide angled GoPro. The inside of the cave is VERY steep, and you have to really watch your step. You also have to scale the steep side to sit in the ‘belly-button’ of the cave to get the photo, and it’s difficult to scale the wall so I’d be cautious about doing that.

These plants were seriously SO COOL.

Looking up from the trail, this was what Sedona’s Birthing cave looked like! It doesn’t look like much from the bottom of the trail.

This was as wide of a shot we were able to get. Below, I’m sitting at the bottom of the super steep sides. Grant crawled up to the ‘belly button’ in the side of the wall to get these two shots!

100% unashamed. We wore our Chacos the whole entire trip! Here is the link to get the ones that I have! We both have Z cloud, and they were the perfect shoes. The red sand & the tan lines we had when we left were the real deal.

https://www.chacos.com/US/en/mychaco/?gclid=CjwKCAjwzvX7BRAeEiwAsXExo6_4UycYHs4qIsNG5oh73o2CA7FVuNoUFdw-YgkzP0HW01gkB3UVrxoCkZYQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

After lunch, to kill some time, we went and explored Bell Rock. It was a fifteen minute drive outside of Sedona and was a nice walk. The trail was super wide to the base of the rock, and was an easy walk. We didn’t hike up the side of the rock as we were pretty hot and tired, but if we wouldn’t have been so tired we definitely would have tried to.

That evening we went on a Red Rock Jeep Tour! It was possibly the best view of our entire trip, and I cannot recommend it enough! It was VERY off road, so if you get car sick, this is not the tour for you. However, if you don’t, it is so worth the ride! We started the jeep tour in upper Sedona and rode it all the way out along the Mongollon Rim. The jeep went up to Merrygoround Rock, and it was just simply incredible! We saw a vortex tree, got to sit on the same tree limb that Elvis sat on for a scene in a movie, and even got to watch a wedding take place. The best view was over the whole valley. With the sun setting, it was something out of a magazine. Absolutely incredible. Man just can’t dream up stuff like that.

Day 5 – Fishing & Sedonuts

Sunday we spent the day relaxing after watching church online and fishing! We started our day – after church – by going to a pastry shop called Sedonuts and tried some handmade doughnuts. They were sooo good, we went back and bought ourselves more throughout the week! Afterwards, we went fishing! Though Grant didn’t hook anything, it was nice to sit in the shade by the water and read. The rivers in Sedona are so clear you can see straight to the bottom. It’s awesome! We went out that night for the first time to a place called the Golden Goose for dinner, and though we waited in line to get in, the food was so delicious. We would definitely eat there again!

Day 6 – Grand Canyon – South Rim

Monday morning we saved for the Grand Canyon. From Sedona, it’s a two hour drive but it’s basically only three roads. It’s a super easy, and very scenic, drive. We got there around 10, and beat some of the crowds. I definitely suggest going early, because we got good parking in the main parking lot and it was very full by the time we left. The lanes to get in were also super long because of all the construction the National Park Service was doing, so I don’t suggest going after lunch. Get there early.

The Canyon Rim Trail was the main trail and it’s completely paved along the top of the canyon. It was a really nice walk, and would be easy for anyone of any ability. We wanted to attempt Kaibab Trail to go to Ooh Aah Point, however the trail is suggested to be walked with a guide and it’s an overnight trail so we ended up not doing it.

However, we took the Desert View drive heading East towards the Watchtower and it was perfect! There were plenty of spots to pull off and view different parts of the canyon. This was probably our favorite trail at the canyon. Our favorite lookouts were Lipan and Navajo, as they offered different viewpoints than the rest of the walking trials. Unfortunately, the Desert View Watchtower was closed, much to my regret. So we were unable to see that. However, the drive was amazing, and we spent a total of about 6 hours at the Grand Canyon. It’s definitely worth the drive if you’re in Sedona!

Day 7 – Devils Bridge

This was probably our second favorite hike of the whole entire trip! We started hiking the Devil’s Bridge trail around 7 am. It was a 4 mile hike round trip, so we wanted to get started early. If you have an off road vehicle, you can drive out 1.3 miles and park at a small parking lot at the base of the Devils Bridge trailhead. We had a jeep wrangler that was certified to be an Off Road Vehicle, but because it was a rental we didn’t want to mess with it. So instead, we walked. The walking was long, I’ll admit that. But the views were worth it! Once you hit the trailhead, it isn’t much farther. It get’s very steep right at the top, and I’ve read that a lot of people quit right there. Don’t give up! The steep section only lasts a little while, and then you’re there. The bridge is a natural bridge and surprisingly is about ten foot wide at its narrowest section. So no fear, if you’re afraid of heights, this bridge isn’t for you. But if you’re not, venture on our for the epic picture! We loved this spot as it wasn’t as steep of a hike as some of the other’s we’d done, but it also had one of the best views.

sedona red rock devils bridge hike couple photography

Day 8 – Soldiers Pass

Soldier’s Pass and the secret cave was our absolute favorite hike! This was a pretty long hike too, but the less than what the map says. The map starting out said 4 miles round trip, however it wasn’t quite as long to get to the cave. The cave is about 1 mile in, but you have to get off the main trail to find it. You follow the jeep road until you get to a Y in the trail. The main trail goes left, the trail to the secret cave is to the right. Someone carved a “C” with an arrow on a tree so that you can find the trail. That’s how we found it! It’s a moderately difficult hike to get to the cave, and gets especially steep right at the top. Watch your footing because it’s easy to slip! It’s a scramble at the top to get to the mouth of the cave. This is where it gets difficult. You have to literally boulder and pull yourself up over a huge rock to get into and up into the cave. Once you’re inside the cave though, it is INCREDIBLE. We were there for just a few short minutes before other people showed up, because we were afraid to climb up the rock and get stuck. Had we climbed it right away once we’d arrived at the cave, we would have had at least 20 minutes to ourselves inside the cave. The view was just amazing. This hike was our favorite, hands down!

If you’re ever heading to Sedona, I hope this helped you, or encouraged you to want to go! I can’t say enough good things about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Guide

A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day.