The 15 mile drive on 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona is not to be missed. You will drop about 4,500′ of elevation into Oak Creek Canyon which has a few of the top campgrounds in the Southwest. Most of the campgrounds in Oak Creek were already closed for the winter so we opted for an off grid spot about 20 minutes south of Sedona. Camping in Angel Valley was one of the highlights of the Sedona area for us. Easy access, stunning red rock views and the optimal cost…FREE!! So we stayed for about a week.
Exploring Sedona was pretty effortless… we found that almost any restaurant/cafe served fresh, delicous food and any hike offered spectacular canyon views. We will breakdown our highlights below but again, you really can not go wrong with whatever you choose to explore in Sedona.
Best sunset hike: Doe Mountain – 3mi RT, 400′ elevation for the best views of Sedona. If you hike at sunset do not forget your flashlight! Consider bringing snacks for a sunset meal.
Best short, easy hike: Fay Canyon – 2.2mi RT, 150′ elevation, make sure to hike up the rock at the end of the trail for the beautiful valley view. PS – you can hike this short trail before continuing on to Doe Mountain for sunset.
Best intermediate hike: Cathedral Rock – 1.5mi RT, 600′ elevation, budget more time than you think you need (once you reach the top, continue to the left for another beautiful and less crowded view of Sedona).
Best day trip excursion: visit the town of Jerome, AZ – this old copper mining town is tagged as the “most vertical U.S. City” which overlooks the Verde Valley 5,000′ below.
- Visit (the haunted) Jerome Grand Hotel, an old miner’s hospital
- Sip wine at Caduceus Tasting room (Maynard James Keenan’s winery… he is the lead singer of the metal band Tool)
- Eat at Bobby D’s BBQ which we did not get to try but from the mouthwatering smell from their smoker, it has to be delicious
Best sunset dinner/cocktail spot: Mariposa – Latin inspired dishes with a must see view from their patio. A tad fancier (and pricier) than our typical recs but my mother and father in-law generously gave us a gift certificate for our anniversary. THANK YOU!! If a full dinner does not interest you, enjoy a fresh cocktail on their patio.
Best yoga: 7 Centers Yoga Arts – check schedule and opt for one in their yurt onsite.
Best breakfast: Local Juicery – Fresh and yummy acai, smoothies, waffles, salads and juices. The place is super small, outdoor seating only. (No wifi was a bit of a bummer).
Best brewery(s)... we could not narrow it down to one – Oak Creek Brewery in Sedona and THAT Brewery in Cottonwood (15 min S of Sedona):
- Oak Creek Brewery – they have two spots in Sedona, go to the “tap room & brewery” not the “grill.” Sit in their back patio, enjoy the fire and HH prices until 7pm. They also have free wifi. Try the Heff, Pale and Nut Brown Ale.
- THAT Brewery – Small brewery with GREAT beers! Relax and listen to live music or play a little foosball, either way make sure to try their BlackedOutIPA.
“We” (Dylan) also had time for a few home repairs/improvements at our boondocking site 🙂