Sedona is a gem! I had no idea when I was looking for a cheap weekend flight that I would find Sedona! I found a flight from Dallas to Phoenix and booked with points; I was originally planning to stay closer to Phoenix and hang out in Scottsdale, but then I discovered Sedona online! So glad! This place is a peaceful hiking mecca and I would definitely go back! We spent two days in Sedona and loved every minute. Sharing the highlights, our favorite hikes, and our favorite restaurant that you have to visit!
First things first: thank you, Mazda, for loaning me the new Mazda3 to drive during this trip! It was so fun to zoom around on mountain roads and cruise through town with the sunroof open!
Of course we happened to visit Sedona during Spring Break week for AZ and CA! Oops! Surprisingly, Sedona is a small city and doesn't have a *ton* of hotels, unless you look in surrounding cities as well. All of the hotels were packed...and tbh way more expensive than they should have been! Luckily, we found an Airbnb to book, and it was perfect!
Let's start with our hikes: we did two of the most popular hikes in Sedona, and I'm glad we did! I almost let a few people talk me out of doing one of the hikes and I'm SO glad I didn't, because it ended up being my favorite one! That being said, I'm going to share my tips to beat the crowds and make the most out of your hiking experience, especially if you're visiting during peak season or a weekend.
Devil's Bridge Trail
This is one of the more popular hikes in Sedona, because the payoff at the top is amazing, and it's not *too* difficult of a hike. I loved the Devil's Bridge Hike! It was such a fun experience because when we got to the top, we waited in line to take a photo walking out onto the bridge, and we had an audience! Everyone waiting in line cheered and clapped for people out there taking photos...we even made some friends while we waited!
The hike isn't that long, but you do have to walk a little over a mile from the trailhead parking lot to the actual trailhead. UNLESS you have a 4x4, then you get special parking after you drive the mile through all of the hikers. We parked our Mazda and walkedThe above photo is about half way through the hike and the lookout was too good to pass up.
Photos of mountains never do them justice, and here's another example! This is the view from the top (below photo) and it was amazing! I was nervous walking out onto the bridge, but once you're out there it's much wider than it looks from the ledge.
Cathedral Rock Hike
This was my FAVORITE hike in Sedona...because it was the most challenging and the view from the top was a fantastic payoff! We originally planned to do this hike at sunset then change and have a bridal portrait session with a local photographer, BUT it was rainy and PACKED so we made a last minute change to our photoshoot plans. We ended up doing the Cathedral Rock hike the next morning and I'm SO glad we didn't try to fight the crowd at sunset. There was already a line for the parking lot when we arrived in the morning, so we turned around and parked on the main road then walked a mile down to the trailhead.
Cathedral Rock is also one of the four energy vortexes in Sedona. TBH I didn't feel anything super special at the top, aside from the normal "omg I just climbed a mountain and the view is amazing" feeling ;)
Here are my tips to make the most of your Cathedral Rock hike:
- go in the morning
- avoid weekends
- park at the Methodist church before you turn off the main road unless you're going at sunrise
- the hike was about 2 hours total
- be prepared for old people and young children to pass you while you struggle to climb the mountain (lol)
I handed someone my phone at the top and prayed for a few photos to turn out! I would 100% do the Cathedral Rock Hike again! It was challenging, but so fun and worth it! After the hike, I think I ate the most food I've ever eaten...which brings me to...restaurants!
Sedona has some amazing restaurants and of course a lot of them have beautiful views of the red rock mountains around the city. Here are my three favorite places we ate at.
Coffee Pot Restaurant
Get ready for the best diner experience ever. Coffee Pot is where we went to eat after our Cathedral Rock Hike and I ate SO MUCH. They have 101 omelettes on the menu WHAT?! Most of them were legit and sounded great, but idk about the peanut butter & jelly omelette...that's a no for me. Haha! Everything we had here was delicious, and it's super casual - perfect for right after a hike.
Creekside American Bistro
We went to Creekside for brunch and it was so good! It was a little chilly the day we went, so the patio was enclosed, but definitely go for a visit if you want a patio spot with a great view of the mountains when the weather is nice!
This was our splurge meal...The Hudson is a little nicer of a restaurant, but it seemed like you could show up to *almost* anywhere in Sedona in your hiking gear and it wouldn't be a huge problem. Again, the view here was fantastic, even from inside! Definitely recommend The Hudson; of course, grab a reservation so you don't have to wait!
We would love to go back to Sedona to visit and do more of the hikes! There were so so many - impossible to make a dent in them in one weekend! Enjoy!