Hiking Sedona and the Grand Canyon | Arizona

Over Labor Day weekend, my boyfriend Glenn and I took a trip out to Sedona, Arizona for some end-of-summer adventuring.

We stayed in West Sedona, which is less than a 10 minute drive from Uptown and the main street but it’s much quieter and easier to access on a busy holiday weekend. Don’t let these photos fool you, most of the places we visited and the trails we hiked were pretty packed!

View from our Airbnb and Glenn’s baby.

Our first hike of the weekend was right in the backyard of our Airbnb. We walked along Thunder Mountain Trail and then to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain which offers 360 degree views of the valley.

That afternoon we ventured a few miles north of West Sedona to Devil’s Bridge Trail. The trailhead is a little over a mile from the parking lot and accessible by ATV or you can just walk the ATV trail like we did. Once you reach the trailhead it’s another mile to reach the bridge with a steep climb at the end. It was a pretty crowded trail but the bridge and the views were worth it.

We also drove over to Chapel of the Holy Cross to see for ourselves how it was built right into the rock.

That night we wandered over to the main street in Sedona and had some Mexican cocktails and food at 89Agave Cantina. Because of the three hour time difference, we went to bed pretty early each night. We did try to drive up to the Airport to watch sunset but the parking lot was super packed and we should have planned ahead and gotten there a little earlier.

On Saturday we took a day trip north to the Grand Canyon. We stopped in Flagstaff on the way and had an amazing breakfast at Tourist Home All Day Cafe. I could not recommend this place enough!

Glenn had never been to the Grand Canyon before (and I hadn’t been since I was in high school) so as we arrived at the south entrance of Grand Canyon National Park we first drove around to a few of the overlooks. It was a holiday weekend so things were pretty crowded (I sound like a broken record! ha!) and they were running shuttles to the west side of the park.

We opted to hike the Bright Angel Trail. It was already around midday when we started so we went down to the 1.5 mile mark and then made our way back up. All in all it took us about 2.5 hours, with lots of stops for photos and water along the way.

On our way back to Sedona we stopped in Flagstaff again and had INCREDIBLE pizza at Fat Olives. The Belgio Dolce pizza (pictured top left) was *chefs kiss*.

On our last full day in Sedona, we woke up early for a sunrise hike up Cathedral Rock. We had heard that you need to arrive early to get a parking spot at the trailhead. We arrived a little before 6am and there were only a few spots left. It was so worth it though. The hike is semi-difficult with a lot of scrambling (a.k.a. using your hands to climb) but it was a great challenge with rewarding views along the way.

The views weren’t the only reward however. After the hike, we further rewarded ourselves with Sedonuts.

The weather was supposed to push the mid-90s that day so we treated ourselves to a spa day at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa by Diamond Resorts. We booked reflexology massages and were able to use the gym and pool for the rest of the day. It’s a great travel hack if you’re ever staying somewhere without a pool and I’ve actually done it before on my way home from Peru after hiking the Inca Trail.

Sedona was absolutely stunning and so unique. We hardly scratched the surface on the hiking and outdoor adventures you can do. There were lots of Jeep and ATV excursions you could book. Sedona also has Dark Sky Designation so the stargazing is next level. If only we could have stayed up late enough to really appreciate them haha

One of my favorite things was being able to watch the hot air balloons rise up on the horizon every morning. They were even there to see us off as we headed back to Phoenix to catch a flight home!

Casey

2 thoughts on “Hiking Sedona and the Grand Canyon | Arizona

  1. Wow, just look at all the amazing photos from your hiking adventures, Casey! Sedona is certainly one of the most scenic areas of Arizona and one of the best destinations for casual hikers looking to spend a few hours walking along the red rocks and scenic canyons. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day :) Aiva xx

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