My top tips for the ultimate Sedona 2 day itinerary – perfect for a weekend trip from Phoenix!
I recently had the most amazing weekend in Sedona, Arizona! This charming mountain town in Central Arizona is truly breathtaking, and it makes an epic weekend trip from Phoenix.
Driving into Sedona, I couldn’t stop smiling as I admired the towering, rich red rock formations that filled the horizon. The mountains are rugged, colorful, powerful, and beautiful.
You could honestly just drive around Sedona without even doing anything and have an incredible time.
But our weekend in this gorgeous town was filled with amazing hikes and food that helped catapult Sedona to one of my favorite US destinations!
Here are my recommendations for how to spend a weekend in Sedona, Arizona.
This Sedona 2 Day Itinerary is based on my own experience, which was based on recommendations from friends.
Sedona 2 Day Itinerary
This Sedona 2 day itinerary is ideal for a weekend trip from Phoenix.
But even if you’re heading here from Flagstaff, Tucson, or other Arizona destinations, a weekend in Sedona is well worth it!
A rental car is ideal for getting to and around Sedona. It just gives you more flexibility and freedom for exploring, though shuttles and Ubers are also available.
Is 2 Days Enough In Sedona?
Yes, 2 days is plenty of time for an introduction to the beautiful area of Sedona, Arizona.
In 2 days, you can try some amazing hikes, eat delicious food, and do plenty of sightseeing. Our 2 days in Sedona were completely action-packed, as you’ll see in my itinerary below.
Of course, Sedona has so much to see and do. You could easily spend days, weeks, or months here and still not uncover all the magic of the area.
But a couple of days is a great place to start. And 2 days in Sedona is better than no days in Sedona!
Looking to explore Sedona on a budget? Check out my ultimate list of 50 budget travel tips!
How To Spend A Weekend In Sedona: Day 1
This Sedona 2 Day Itinerary is designed to begin in Phoenix. This is how we personally did our Sedona adventure, and it’s only a 2-hour drive.
So try to leave Phoenix early so you have plenty of time to make the most of your day!
Drive Along The Red Rock Scenic Byway
Most likely the first thing you’ll do in Sedona is drive along the Red Rock Scenic Byway.
This incredibly scenic road, also known as Highway 179, trails through the dramatic landscapes of Sedona.
Running north to south through downtown Sedona, the Red Rock Scenic Byway offers the perfect introduction to the breathtaking scenery.
Drive past rugged red buttes, towering rock formations, distant mountains, deep valleys, and an abundance of saturated natural colors.
The Red Rock Scenic Byway is the backbone of Sedona, and many of the best hiking trails, accommodations, and attractions branch off of this road.
Hike Cathedral Rock
- Hiking time: 1-2 hours
- Distance: 1.2 miles round trip
- Difficulty: Moderate/Hard
Cathedral Rock is one of the most iconic landmarks in Sedona. This massive, orange-red rock formation overlooks the vast valleys and mountains of Arizona.
You can hike up the steep rock formation to get panoramic views of Sedona. Plus you can get up-close to the massive orange spires that sit atop the mountain.
The hike is relatively short, but it’s steep and there is a bit of rock scrambling involved.
Definitely wear hiking shoes with good traction!
If you’re looking for a great intro hike to kick off your weekend in Sedona, Cathedral Rock is a fantastic choice.
The Cathedral Rock Hike is also quite popular. If you want to escape the crowds, consider visiting early in the morning, later in the afternoon, or during off-season.
Hike The Little Horse To Chicken Point Trail
- Hiking time: about 2 hours
- Distance: 3.6 miles round trip
- Difficulty: Moderate
After hiking Cathedral Rock, head to the nearby Little Horse Trail. This is another excellent hiking trail that offers some amazing sightseeing.
The Little Horse to Chicken Point hike is relatively flat and weaves through the dynamic landscape.
Admire the rocky outcrops and unique desert flora and fauna as you stroll along this enjoyable trail.
Pack plenty of water as well – the hot, dry, midday Arizona heat will leave you so thirsty!
Stroll Around Downtown Sedona
If you’ve still got energy after your two hikes, do some sightseeing in downtown Sedona.
The quaint town center is full of rustic lodges, art galleries and boutiques, souvenir shops, and cafes.
The dramatic mountain ranges are visible in the distance, making the town that much more scenic.
Eat Delicious Mexican Food For Dinner
For dinner, indulge in some delicious, authentic Mexican food!
Maria’s Restaurant and Cantina in the nearby village of Oak Creek has affordable, hearty Mexican meals. The fajitas and margaritas are both incredible.
Or you can head over to Tortas De Fuego 1 West Sedona. This tiny eatery serves up amazing tacos and tostadas.
There are also plenty of Mexican eateries right in downtown Sedona itself.
How To Spend A Weekend In Sedona: Day 2
Get ready for another epic day! Next on your Sedona 2 Day Itinerary, try to get up early for the sunrise and then spend most of the day on one of the area’s most iconic hiking trails.
Climb Up Bell Rock For Sunrise
- Hiking time: 15 minutes
- Distance: 0.8 mile out and back
- Difficulty: Easy
Kick off day 2 of your weekend in Sedona itinerary with a sunrise hike.
The are countless trails that make for a great sunrise hike. We personally chose Bell Rock, which is one of the prominent buttes located just north of the village of Oak Creek.
It’s a short, 0.8-mile climb to make your way up Bell Rock.
As you climb higher on the rock, it becomes hard to stay on the trail. You might find yourself just wandering around on the butte, and the higher you get the steeper and more difficult the climb becomes.
But you can enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape from anywhere on Bell Rock.
We hiked about halfway up and then just relaxed and watch the sun cast its golden glow over the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Grab Breakfast At Red Rock Cafe
After a sunrise hike, fuel up for another action-packed day in Sedona!
Red Rock Cafe is a busy cafe that serves unique, enticing southwestern breakfast cuisine.
You can find classic breakfast options with a Mexican twist, such as Huevos Rancheros, burritos, or skillets.
The menu also has southern comfort foods like biscuits and gravy and indulgent American classics like cinnamon rolls and pancakes.
Hike The West Fork Trail Through Oak Creek Canyon
- Hiking time: 3-4 hours
- Distance: 7 miles round trip
- Difficulty: Moderate
This is one of the most gorgeous Sedona hikes!
Located in Coconino National Forest, West Fork of the Oak Creek Trail is truly breathtaking.
You’ll follow a tranquil stream through the forest and embark on a few river crossings. The massive, rugged canyon walls of Oak Creek Canyon tower above the trees the entire way!
Though the West Fork Trail is long, it’s relatively flat and sandy.
You’ll find lots of crowds and families near the beginning of the trail. But the crowds thin as you progress and by the end there will be barely anyone else there.
Note that entry to the trail costs $12 per vehicle. Or you can park on the road nearby and walk in for $3 per person.
Treat Yourself To Some Ice Cream
After a long hike along West Fork, you deserve some refreshing, homemade ice cream!
Rocky Road Ice Cream Co in Sedona is the perfect place to grab a sweet treat.
The locally owned ice cream shop has classic flavors as well as unique options like prickly pear sorbet.
Other Fun Sedona Activities
If you have more than 2 days in Sedona, there are plenty of other fun things to do, including:
- Explore the area on a jeep tour (great if you don’t have a car)
- Hikes such as Devil’s Bridge, Soldier Pass, or Boynton Canyon
- River rafting or kayaking on the Verde River
- Yoga in the mountains
- Cliff jumping and swimming in Wet Beaver Creek
Thanks for reading my itinerary for a weekend in Sedona!
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