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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
22937 posts

Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
We're taking the kids there for fall break later this year. Have a house booked in Sedona for a week as kind of our base for the area(yes, I know GS is a 2 hour drive) and looking for some suggestions.

Definitely want to hike a day or two, but not sure which trails. Not super challenging, but something kids and adults can do.

Have had a couple of people mention Pink Jeep Tours, and I see they do one to the GC. Anyone done that trip and can recommend it? Seems it might be easier to do the GC with a guide that knows the area, but $155 per person gives me pause.

Any must-do restaurants? Spa rec for the wife one day?


kciDAtaE
Member since Apr 2017
3696 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
Went to Sedona over New Years. Didn’t get to hike with the rare snow fall but I hear Devils Bridge is a good hike. Moderate with a bit more challenging at the end. Heard it was good for all ages

We did a star gazing experience one night which was neat. People of all ages. About 90 minutes pointing out the constellations and about 5-6 trips to the telescope. Saw some really cool stuff. Two galaxies, double stars, etc and more stars then I’ve ever seen. I think $70 per person.

We also booked a hot air ballon but was cancelled due to high winds. Heard that was awesome. We did book a helicopter ride instead and was really cool. Got close to the Red stocks and flew between arches

Visit GC website to plan your day there. We spent the night in flagstaff to make the drive to and from GC easier.


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lsunurse
LSU Fan
Scottsdale, AZ
Member since Dec 2005
117585 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
I think people are meaning to do a pink Jeep tour off-roading in Sedona.

You don’t need a paid tour at GC. There are free shuttles to take you to all the vistas.

ETA: I second Devil’s Bridge hike. Views at the end are great and lots of great picture opportunities. I just took my brother and his gf there when they visited me. And they had a 5 month old baby with them on that hike and did just fine.
This post was edited on 1/7 at 6:31 pm


bluestem75
LSU Fan
Dallas, TX
Member since Oct 2007
1042 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
When we did this trip, we missed our turn to enter the GC near the main visitors’ center. So we continued up 89 north of Flagstaff and cut over 64 to enter at the East entrance near Desert View. At first, we were a little frustrated, but Desert View is much less crowded. We drove the length of the Canyon to the main South Rim Vistors’ Center. It was so busy over there with tons more people and park buses shuttling everybody all over; we realized that our “mistake” at missing our turn in Flagstaff was actually good luck. We got great views of the Canyon at Desert View with out having to deal with the crowds. If you’re daytripping out of Sedona, I recommend going this route.
This post was edited on 1/8 at 7:53 am


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
22937 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

I think people are meaning to do a pink Jeep tour off-roading in Sedona.




They did, but we saw the GC excursion and just wondering if that was worth it. Sounds like it is not.





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The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
22937 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

When we did this trip, we missed our turn to enter the GC near the main visitors’ center. So we continued up 89 north of Flagstaff and cut over 64 to enter at the East entrance near Desert View. At first, we were a little frustrated, but Desert View is much less crowded. We drove the length of the Canyon to the main South Rim Vistors’ Center. It was so busy over there with tons more people and park buses shuttling everybody all over; we realized that our “mistake” at missing our turn in Flagstaff was actually good luck. We got great views of the Canyon at Desert View with out having to deal with the crowds. If you’re daytripping out of Sedona, I recommend going this route.




Awesome. That sounds like what we might want to do. I've heard the South Rim can be a clusterf*ck.


kingbob
LSU Fan
Sorrento, LA
Member since Nov 2010
46195 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

I've heard the South Rim can be a clusterf*ck.


It certainly was last week. It took me 3 hours to get from the outlook back to Flagstaff, half of that was just getting out of the park.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
22937 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

It certainly was last week. It took me 3 hours to get from the outlook back to Flagstaff, half of that was just getting out of the park.



What time did you try to leave? A lot of things I'm reading say to stay for sunset, or at least until all the tour buses leave around 4 or 5.

I'm a sunrise person, so going to try and get my crew up super early to get up there and see the sunrise one morning.


kingbob
LSU Fan
Sorrento, LA
Member since Nov 2010
46195 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

What time did you try to leave?


Just after sundown, but when I was driving in a couple hours earlier, it was already bumper to bumper traffic going the other way. I would have liked to have gotten there earlier and spend way more time there, but rather than fly into Phoenix the night before, I got bumped onto a flight into Vegas that morning. After getting my bags and the rental car situated, I didn't leave Vegas for Hoover dam until like 10:00am and tried to see both the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon and drive to Phoenix all in the same day. It worked, but the schedule was definitely tight.

Ended up driving up to Sedona a few days later and it was gorgeous. It had just snowed, so the snow on the red cliffs was breathtaking.
This post was edited on 1/8 at 10:13 am


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LSUfan20005
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
5349 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
Definitely scoot over to Walnut Canyon - Beautiful wooded short hike featuring cliff dwellings. Kids will love it.

Plenty of trails in Oak Creek canyon just north of Sedona.


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LSUfan20005
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
5349 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
Great point. That entrance is much quieter, plus I think the gorge and view of the Painted Desert is underrated. Under no circumstance do you go to or near the visitor center - period.


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AZBadgerFan
Wisconsin Fan
Scottsdale, AZ
Member since May 2013
677 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
Others have the hikes pretty-well covered so...

quote:

Any must-do restaurants?


Elote', you won't regret it. Dahl & Deluca has good Italian food.

quote:

Spa rec for the wife one day?


L'Auberge and the Enchantment Resort in Sedona both have nice spas. Amara' does as well.


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Bunsbert Montcroff
Arizona Fan
Phoenix AZ
Member since Jan 2008
4824 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
i cut and pasted this from my post in an old sedona thread; it should touch on a lot of the questions you have:

i would add enchantment to this list, along with l'auberge. enchantment is going to be a tiny bit further west, and l'auberge right on oak creek. both very nice resorts. junipine is a bit less pricey, and right on oak creek.

do not miss elote cafe for incredible southwestern cuisine. indian gardens cafe is a great lunch spot, and has a beautiful backyard sitting area where you can have a glass of wine and enjoy the pines and a fountain. we like to get up early, fish oak creek in the morning, and go to indian gardens for a warm bowl of posole for lunch. note, it gets busy on weekends.

indeed, sedona is the second-most visited place in AZ after the grand canyon. pack your patience, especially when driving through downtown or down 89. traffic can get WAY backed up.

lots of fun day hikes, including boynton canyon (near enchantment), the west fork of oak creek, ab young trail which takes you to the "end of the world" (basically up the mountains above oak creek and overlooking town), bell rock, devil's bridge, soldier pass, wet beaver creek to the "crack", well you get it...lots of incredible hikes.

if you are into it, fly fishing oak creek is a treat. there are local guides, or you can just pull up at one of the stops along 89, hop out and fish for rainbow and brown trout. 89 itself (the "back way" up to flagstaff, i-17 is the main route) is a very pretty drive in itself and runs right along oak creek.

don't miss the chapel of the holy cross, a small chapel built into the mountains.

the pink jeep tours go to several spots, from native american ruins to a beautiful lookout called schnebly vista. solid rec from another poster.

another poster also mentioned jerome, which is a neat little ghost town/mining town. on the way there (or back) you can stop in cottonwood, which has a neat little main street with wine cellars and restaurants. indeed, if you are into wine take the short drive from sedona to cornville along page springs road, where LOTS of wineries and tasting rooms can be found. page springs cellars is the one we always visit.

flagstaff is a short drive, and worth checking out. think high-mountain college town. late winter/early spring is when the az high country gets most of its snow, so if you want to ski at snow bowl, that would be an option. on a clear day you can see the snow-capped san francisco peaks, which are quite a sight.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
22937 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
Awesome. Thanks.


It's looking like we may only actually spend a day or two in Sedona proper. Looks like a ton of options for short day excursions - Jerome, Cottonwood, GC, maybe Page.


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Nighthawk504
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
NOLA
Member since Aug 2015
115 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
Check out Fossil Creek in Arizona, you have to make reservations, but it is certainly worth it.


Bunsbert Montcroff
Arizona Fan
Phoenix AZ
Member since Jan 2008
4824 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

Check out Fossil Creek in Arizona, you have to make reservations, but it is certainly worth it.

during the winter (i think october - march) you don't need reservations to visit fossil creek.


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Evolved Simian
Alabama Fan
In a van by the river
Member since Sep 2010
13715 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

I've heard the South Rim can be a clusterf*ck.




It can be, but not likely at fall break. I've only been once in the fall, and it wasn't that crowded.

I second the balloon ride in Sedona. The kids loved it.


The Spleen
Alabama Fan
Member since Dec 2010
22937 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

It can be, but not likely at fall break.



Well, something popped up on our fall break, so we moved the trip to the first week of June. A lot of what I've read said the South Rim is crowded that time of year, but it's easy to take one of the trails a 1/2 mile or so in that area and get away from the crowds.


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MLU
Member since Feb 2017
278 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
If it's still warm enough, Grasshopper Point is a good swimming hole near Sedona. Slide Rock is worth the visit if you have never been before as well. Devil's bridge is a good, moderate hike. Call of the Canyon just north of Sedona is another good trail. If you can only do one, then the West Fork Trail is the one to hike although I think Boynton Canyon Trail is a close second. Both are about 3 miles and the terrain varies throughout. There is no bad hike in Sedona.

North of Flagstaff is Lockett Meadow which has a create hike through an aspen forest that you can take all the way to Humphrey Peak if you so chose. West of the Grand Canyon are the Havasupai Falls which is a good hike in and a pretty nice payoff when you arrive.

We have not spent much time in Sedona doing civilized things. It's all been hiking, camping, swimming,mm etc.


lsunurse
LSU Fan
Scottsdale, AZ
Member since Dec 2005
117585 posts

re: Sedona/Grand Canyon Recs
quote:

West of the Grand Canyon are the Havasupai Falls which is a good hike in and a pretty nice payoff when you arrive.


Can’t hike there without a special permit. Permits open up every February and sell out (for the entire year) within a couple days.


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