Sedona is actually quite as magical as everyone says. Full of amazing hikes, energy vortexes, hippie vibes, crystal shops
Keep reading for tips on the best things to do for 3 days in Sedona.
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3 Days in Sedona – Trip Overview
- PTO/Vacation Days Needed: 1
- Nights: 3
- Cost: $$
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Where to Stay in Sedona
Sedona is a pretty small town, so you can’t really go wrong in terms of location of your lodging. There are plenty of great Airbnbs, hotels, and resorts that have great views!
I’ve heard GREAT things about the Amara Resort. It’s centrally located in town, has beautiful views of the red rocks, awesome happy hour location on the lawn and by the pool, and also offers a full-service spa.
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Packing List for 3 Days in Sedona
Beyond the normal packing list items, don’t forget to leave home without the below!
- Hiking Boots (these are my fave)
- Sony A6000 (I’m just starting to learn photography, but this is the camera I’ve been using! I love it)
- Day Pack
- Reusable Water Bottle
- SmartWool Hiking Socks
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3 Days in Sedona – Itinerary Overview
- Day 1: Pink Jeep Tour and Cathedral Rock Hike
- Day 2: Devil’s Bridge Hike and Wineries
- Day 3: Birthing Cave Hike and Exploring Town
This itinerary is based on arriving on Thursday evening and departing Sunday afternoon.
How to Get to Sedona:
Sedona is located just under 2 hours away from Phoenix. I recommend flying into PHX and renting a car to drive to Sedona.
Other options include:
- Fly into Flagstaff (just under an hour away from Sedona). This option is not recommended due to the expensive flight prices to fly into that airport
- Fly into PHX and take a shuttle to Sedona. This option is not recommended as having a car is essential in Sedona to get around. There are barely any Ubers there.
3 Days in Sedona Itinerary: Day 1
Pink Jeep Tour and Cathedral Rock Hike
I recommend arriving the evening prior so that you will have a full day.
Kickoff your day by grabbing a smoothie, Acai bowl, or juice from Local Juicery. This popular local spot has an extensive menu with many healthy and refreshing options!
First activity of the day: Pink Jeep Tour!
Normally I stray away from touristy activities when traveling, but the Pink Jeep Tour is actually SO much fun and serves as a great introduction to some beautiful trails and viewpoints around Sedona. I recommend booking ahead of time to ensure your preferred date and time doesn’t sell out.
Each Jeep holds about 10 people. If you aren’t with a big group, they will combine you with other groups. There are a few different tour options to choose from, but we went with the Broken Arrow Tour. The pink Jeep Wranglers pick you up in town at their location and drive you
Next stop on your Pink Jeep Tour – Submarine Rock. First they’ll take you to an area across the way from the rock to view it from afar, and then you’ll get to go right up to it. This iconic rock has a fault line going through it that you’ll see as you climb up it. The views up here are beautiful!
While the stops you make are great, the most fun comes from riding around in the Jeep with your friends off-roading along these bumpy, steep trails!
Next- Lunch in Town
After your Pink Jeep Tour, walk around town and find a spot for lunch. We landed on the Cowboy Club for some western-style food. If you go here, make sure to try the cactus fries and the cornbread!
Next Activity – Hike Cathedral Rock
One great thing about Sedona is that everything is very close-by – including the trailheads for the hikes! This makes it easy to stop back at your hotel or Airbnb to regroup before your next activity and to not be too stressed for time.
I planned 3 hikes in Sedona for this trip, and they are all very different in terms of scenery and difficulty. Cathedral Rock is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona, but the climb up there can be a bit difficult for a beginner hiker. It’s definitely do-able, though and the view is so worth it!
Sedona Hike Overview – Cathedral Rock:
- Miles: 1.2
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Elevation Gain: 744 feet
- Traffic: Not very crowded (but we were there on a weekday)
The trailhead is only about 15 minutes from town. You can put “Cathedral Rock” in your Google Maps and it will take you there. It cost $5 to park in the parking lot via pay machine.
The hike is only 1.2 miles long, but it is mostly uphill. The first half of the hike is the most difficult – you’ll be scrambling up rocks to get to the first major landing. Make sure you bring a small backpack to carry your water bottle so that you have both hands available to help yourself up over the rocks (I learned this the hard way). Also make sure you are wearing hiking boots so that you can grip the rocks and prevent slipping while climbing up.
Follow the cairn formations to help guide you along the way!
Once you make it up the first half, the hike gets way easier, as there is a clear path with natural rock stairs and switchbacks to get to the top. You’ll be instantly rewarded once you get to the top and check out the epic view! If you walk on the right side, there’s a wide ledge (looks scarier than it actually is). You can walk along that ledge to the right side of the rock and get a great picture there.
Cathedral Rock is known for its supposed vortex energy fields, so be prepared for some good vibes along your hike!
The hike should take about 2 hours total, depending on how long you stop for pictures.
Next – Dinner at Mariposa
Mariposa is one of the best and most popular restaurants in Sedona, so make sure you make a reservation ahead of time! I recommend arriving there just before sunset you can enjoy the views from the grassy patio area. This Latin-inspired restaurant has delicious food – you can’t really go wrong with any of the menu options.
Don’t expect a lively bar scene at night in Sedona. There are a few local dive bars in town, but nothing really beyond that. That
3 Days in Sedona Itinerary: Day 2
Devil’s Bridge Hike and Wineries
Wake up and start your morning with the Devil’s Bridge hike. This is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona, so start early to beat the rush of people at the iconic sandstone arch. Also, start early to beat the heat! There is little shade on the trail and it can get HOT.
Sedona Hike Overview – Devil’s Bridge
- Miles: 4.2
- Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
- Elevation Gain: 564 Feet
- Traffic: Crowded
The trailhead is about 15 minutes from town. Put “Devils Bridge Trailhead” into your Google Maps and it will take you to it. One important thing to note – if you don’t have a 4WD (we didn’t) then you can’t drive all the way up to the trailhead!! This adds and extra 2 miles roundtrip to your hike. You’ll see what I mean when you drive up to it – the paved road turns into a very bumpy dirt road, so instead of going on that, park in the lot adjacent to it and walk along the bumpy dirt road instead.
There is no shade on this road, so make sure you wear sunscreen and pack a lot of water.
After about a mile on the dirt road, you’ll arrive at the trailhead for Devil’s Bridge. It’s a well-maintained trail that’s easy to follow, and mostly uphill. The trail will take to you the base of the bridge at first, but keep following it up a steep incline to reach the top of the bridge. Here you will have a clear viewpoint of the bridge, and will likely see several other visitors at the top chilling out and waiting for their turn to get their iconic picture walking across the natural sandstone arch formation. Walking out on the bridge looks a lot more treacherous in pictures than in real life – it’s actually quite wide so you don’t feel like you’re towering hundreds of feet above the ground on a rock bridge!
On your way back down the trail, make sure to stop and soak in the scenery and take a few more pictures.
Next Activity- lunch at Pisa Lisa
There’s a great pizza place in town called Pisa Lisa, owned by the same people who own Mariposa. Head here for lunch after your hike to carb up before the wineries!
Next up – winery time!
There is a small trail of wineries about 30 minutes from Sedona, which makes for quite the fun afternoon outing! First, head to Page Wine Cellars for some wine with a nice view! If you are interested in learning about the wine-making process, you can take a wine tour for about $38/person that includes tastings. The wine tour lasted about 1.5 hours which was a bit too long in my opinion, but it was still interesting.
The winery has a beautiful grassy outdoor area overlooking the vineyard, and a creek running through the property.
Next, head right down the road to Javelina’s Leap Winery. This winery doesn’t have as great of a view as Page Cellars, but it does have great wine and delicious appetizers! Inside the winery is a circular bar-like setting where you can enjoy a tasting in the nice air conditioned room. There’s also plenty of outdoor seating and picnic tables. If you’re hungry, try the organic farm-grown cheese, homemade truffles, and the deviled eggs (best I’ve ever had!).
Next, head back to Sedona and grab some dinner at Tortas de Fuego. We found this to be some of the best Mexican food in Sedona (backed up by a local’s recommendation as well). You can’t go wrong with their carnitas tacos, quesadillas, and nachos. Simply delicious!!
3 Days in Sedona Itinerary: Day 3
The Birthing Cave Hike and Exploring Town
Kickoff your last day in Sedona with the most picturesque and one of the easiest hikes in Sedona – The Birthing Cave. This hidden gem of a hike does not have any posted signs, so follow my directions closely to get there! Because its one of the hidden hiking trails in Sedona, you’ll likely have this magical place to yourself. We did some great hikes in Sedona over the course of our 3 days there, but this one was my favorite. The view looking out from the inside of the cave is breathtaking!
Sedona Hike Overview – The Birthing Cave
- Distance: 2 miles
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Long Canyon Trailhead
- Traffic: None
To get there, head to the Long Canyon trailhead (about 15 minutes from town). This trailhead is harder to find than the ones for the other two Sedona hikes mentioned in this blog post. There is no parking lot. Instead, you park along the side of the road. This means you’ll have to look closely to not miss the small sign for Long Canyon. It will be on the left side of the road.
Even once you arrive
Once you get closer (about 1/2 mile in), you’ll see a few different paths that take you straight up to the cave on your right. Take one of these
The view from inside of the cave looking out is spectacular. We ended up sitting in here admiring the view and taking pictures for probably about an hour. The best way to take a picture and get the whole cave view in it is to climb up the cave wall ledge and do a bit of a crab-crawl to the middle portion ledge where you can sit. The hardest part of the hike is getting up there to take a picture – the rocks are slippery and hard to hold on to as you make your way over there.
Bring a wide-angle lens!! If you don’t have one, then you’ll need to take 3 pictures (top, middle and bottom) and stitch them together in order to get the massive cave to fit into one photo.
This unique cave was my favorite part of Sedona. I hope you love it as much as I did!
Next – explore the town
Check out the town of Sedona a bit before heading back to Phoenix to fly out. You’ll find a plethora of crystal shops, places to take an aura photo, and souvenir shops. I found this super cool candle shop called Sedona Candle Magic that handmakes candles right there in the store that are cut with different shapes on the outside. When you light the candle (or hold it up to a light in the store) it glows different colors through the carved-out pieces of the candle. Very unique and creative!