Two Majestic Wonders
From Sedona to the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is located just two hours from Sedona along one of the most scenic highways in North America. Drive through the Oak Creek Canyon and Colorado Plateau, with the world’s largest Ponderosa pine forest and a stunning view of the San Francisco peaks, before arriving at one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Grand Canyon National Park.
There are several ways to get from Sedona to the Grand Canyon, as well as several ways to experience this natural phenomenon.
Directions & Tips
Getting from Sedona to the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is about 100 miles from Sedona and takes about two hours to get to on an average day. There are quite a few transportation options from Sedona to the Grand Canyon, depending on your interests, time, and budget:
- Renting a car and driving yourself
- Taking a guided tour
- Flying to and through the canyon on a helicopter or small plane
- Riding the Grand Canyon Railway train
Renting a car or taking the Grand Canyon Railway are typically best for budget-conscious and adventurous travelers, while guided and aerial tours offer more luxury and education.
Exploring the South Rim
What to do once you’re there
When traveling from Sedona to the Grand Canyon, the South Rim offers the most convenient destination for views and attractions. The town located right at the South Entrance to the South Rim is Tusayan. Grab a bite to eat at RP’s Stage Stop or Plaza Bonita, stock up on souvenirs at the Grand Canyon Trading post, and catch an IMAX movie at the National Geographic Visitor Center to set the stage for your canyon visit.
Once you enter Grand Canyon National Park, your options for exploring the area are as diverse as its terrain. From a leisurely hike to an exhilarating Jeep tour or helicopter ride, there’s an activity that’s perfect for any taste. Some of our favorites include:
- Pink Jeep tours
- Red Rock Treks’ driving and hiking tours
- Westwind aerial and ground tours
- Mule trip or horseback ride on the rim
Recommended Trails & Sights
Experience the Grand Canyon
The best Grand Canyon hikes
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long and averages 10 miles in width from rim to rim. Seeing parts of it on foot is one of the best ways to experience the nature surrounding you. Hiking trails vary from easy to expert, so be sure to evaluate the difficulty before making a decision.
Some of our favorites include:
Grandview Point – A narrow, steep trail that offers spectacular views of Horseshoe Mesa
Zuni Point – A lesser-known trail located between mile posts 257 and 258 with beautiful views of the Red Canyon
Yuma Point – A difficult, day-long hike for advanced hikers who want to see raw, untouched nature
Lookout points and historic sites
The rocks forming the Grand Canyon were originally deposited over 10,000 years ago at the bottom of a shallow sea before they rose to this magnificent plateau. With eons of history and thousands of layers of nature to explore, it’s easy to see why the canyon’s views and historic sites are some of the most popular attractions.
Some of our favorites include:
Lookout points – Lookout Studio, Yavapai Point, Mather Point, Moran Point, Desert View and Watchtower, Lipan Point
Historic sites – Hermit’s Rest, El Tovar, Bright Angel Lodge, Kolb Studio, Desert View Watchtower, Hopi House, Lookout Studio
Places to Stop Along Your Day Trip
Along the Way
The trip to and from Sedona is just as fun as the canyon itself. As you head out of town after breakfast, visit Downtown Sedona for a stroll through its local shops before swinging by Indian Gardens for a delicious sandwich and drink as you fuel up for the drive.
Then, make a pit stop at the Oak Creek Canyon Overlook for beautiful views and Native American souvenirs. As you drive north through through Flagstaff, take some time to enjoy the Wupatki National Monument, a series of ancient pueblos that dot the red rock landscape.
After a full day at the Canyon, drive back through Flagstaff for a delicious dinner at a local favorite like Pizzicletta, Diablo Burger, or Beaver Street Brewery.
Do's and Don'ts
Making the Best of Your Grand Canyon ExperienceThe Grand Canyon is touted as one of Mother Nature’s most astounding accomplishments. However, a majestic trip up north can quickly turn south if you aren’t careful. To stay safe and make the most of your trip, follow these tips from our team of Grand Canyon veterans.
- Pack chapstick, water, sunblock, and a camera with a full battery and memory card
- Wear comfortable, close-toed shoes and a secure backpack with room for souvenirs
- Bring layered clothing that you can take on and off as the temperatures change quickly
- Visit when there’s heavy snow or thunderstorms
- Stay at the Grand Canyon unless you’re planning a major excursion
- Ignore warning signage or go to off-limit areas