9 BEST Sedona Scenic Drives & Stunning Road Trips

Sedona scenic drives Affiliate disclaimer

Looking for the best Sedona scenic drives? You’ve come to the right place!

Sedona is known for its stunning red rock formations that surround the entire area, as well as its powerful spiritual energy. This area is brimming with views around every corner, and most of them you can see right from the road.

We have visited Sedona numerous times now and on our most recent visit we made it our mission to go on all the best scenic drives near Sedona. We found some incredible views right from our car and we’re here to share them with you!

Whether you’re wanting to go on a quick sunset drive, an all-day self-guided drive, or an incredible off-road Sedona Jeep tour, we’ve compiled all our favorite scenic drives in Sedona in this article.

So fill up the tank and get ready to set out on one of the best scenic drives in Sedona!

Sedona Planning Guide

  • Red Rock Pass – Don’t forget to park at most of the trailheads and parking areas in and near Sedona you’ll need a Red Rocks Pass. You can also use an America the Beautiful pass for a lot of the parking lots, which we didn’t know until after we bought a Red Rocks Pass (oops!)
  • Budget HotelThe Cedars Resort is one of the best budget hotels in all of Sedona with incredible views, a swimming pool, and clean rooms.
  • Mid-Range HotelThe Inn at Thunder Mountain is the best mid-range boutique inn in the entire Sedona area. The decor, views, and vibe are top-notch and amazing at this small hotel.
  • Luxury HotelA Sunset Chateau is the place to stay if you’re looking for a luxury vacation in Sedona. The rooms are huge and decorated to perfection and the views right from your balcony can’t get any better.
  • Best Scenic Sedona Tour – If you want to see some incredible Sedona scenery without doing the driving yourself, look no further than this awesome off-road 4×4 Jeep tour where you’ll see some of the best scenery in the hard to get to places.

9 BEST Sedona Scenic Drives

1. The Red Rock Scenic Byway

Also known as State Route 179, the Red Rock Scenic Byway Sedona is by far the most popular Sedona scenic route that you could take.

This Sedona scenic byway will take you 7.5 miles through the Coconino National Forest which will give you the most diverse landscapes to see and so many fun things to do!

This is also a great opportunity for a scenic drive from Phoenix to Sedona.

There are also some pretty awesome off-road Jeep tours in this area of Sedona. Going on a Jeep tour is definitely high on our list for the next time we visit!

Ron standing looking at the views on the sedona red rock scenic byway drive
Ron looking out over the Red Rock Scenic Byway views

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Oak Creek Canyon Natural Area – The halfway point on a Sedona to Flagstaff scenic drive, Oak Creek Canyon Natural Area is worth a stop. The area is full of some of the best views in Sedona by car as well as ample hiking and some of our favorite secret swimming holes to check out.

⭐️ Slide Rock State Park Home to one of the best waterfalls in Sedona, Slide Rock State Park is the perfect relaxing stop along your scenic drive in Sedona. Aside from the beautiful waterfalls, you can enjoy the natural water slides and swimming holes that the park is named for!

⭐️ Chapel of the Holy Cross – If you are looking for a change of scenery, you should stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This Roman Catholic chapel is an architectural and engineering wonder nestled amongst the red rock landscape.

⭐️ Bell Rock  – Bell Rock is by far one one of our favorite hiking areas in all of Sedona and is a sight you won’t want to miss! Hiking the iconic formation will lead you to the most incredible panoramic views.

⭐️ Courthouse Butte – Just East of Bell Rock, you can make a secondary stop or hike to Courthouse Butte from Bell Rock. The hike will get you up-close views of the spectacular rock formation.

2. Oak Creek Canyon

This Sedona Arizona drive will take you through Oak Creek Canyon’s lush Ponderosa Pine forest all the way to the top of Mogollon Rim.

This scenic drive along State Route 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff will give you so many scenic spots in Sedona to stop and see!

view out over oak creek canyon one of the best sedona scenic drives
The view out of Oak Creek Canyon

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Oak Creek Vista – From the Oak Creek Canyon scenic road you will find Oak Creek Vista which is one of the more popular Sedona lookout points that will give you breathtaking views of the Oak Creek Canyon.

⭐️ Midgley Bridge – Midgley Bridge is a hot spot for hiking, biking, and swimming! This bridge hides one of the best swimming holes right below the bridge and it’s accessible from the parking lot.

⭐️ West Fork Hiking Area – Hiking this trail will take you through the Secret Mountain Wilderness area where you can experience some of Sedona’s sacred vortexes as well as the beautiful landscapes.

⭐️ Pine Flat Campground – This is our favorite of all the campgrounds in Sedona and where we stayed on our most recent visit! Pine Flat Campground is perfectly situated along Oak Creek Canyon scenic road. It offers a shady grove of Ponderosa pines with ample fishing, swimming, and hiking opportunities right from the campground.

3. Red Rock Loop Road

The Red Rock Loop scenic drive is one of the shortest Sedona drives, but it is still one of the best Sedona AZ scenic drives on this list!

Starting at Upper Red Rock Loop and ending at Lower Red Rock Loop Road, you will find the best views of the Red Rock mountains and some notable places along the way. 

views of cathedral rock from the red rock loop scenic drive near sedona
View of Cathedral Rock from Red Rock Crossing

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Red Rock State Park – Red Rock State Park is a 286-acre nature preserve and environmental education center that is right off of the Red Rock scenic drive in Sedona. This must-see attraction has many trails where you can hike, bike, or horseback ride through to see the natural beauty.

⭐️ Red Rock Crossing – Red Rock Crossing has some of the best scenic views in Sedona due to the viewpoint of Cathedral Rock. You can swim in Oak Creek, hike the nearby trails to the top of Cathedral Rock, or enjoy lunch at Crescent Moon Picnic Area. This was our favorite place in all of Sedona the last time we visited!

⭐️ Scenic Overlook – Located at Upper Red Rock Loop Road, the Scenic Overlook will give you beautiful views of the Sedona Red Mountains and the perfect photo opportunities.

⭐️ Lover’s Knoll – Lover’s Knoll is a romantic scenic viewpoint that is super popular for photos, weddings, and watching an incredible Sedona sunset

4. Desert Canyon Loop

If you want to see some awesome Sedona Arizona desert scenery, the Desert Canyon Loop is one of the best scenic drives near Sedona.

This scenic drive in Sedona AZ will take you through Camp Verde and the Village of Oak Creek where you can stop and experience canyons, oases, ranches, and some incredible Native American ruins.

montezuma castle on the desert canyon loop sedona scenic drive
Montezuma Castle National Monument

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Montezuma Castle National Monument – Located in Camp Verde is a set of well-protected dwellings used by the Sinagua people known as Montezuma Castle. It is well worth stopping to see the amazing stone and mortar marvel that is situated on the cliff!

⭐️ Lava River Cave – Located near Flagstaff, the Lava River Cave is a mile-long lava tube cave that was formed approximately 700,000 years ago. This is the perfect stop to cool off and experience the vastness of the underground side of Sedona.

⭐️ Wet Beaver Wilderness – Wet Beaver Wilderness is a 6,155-acre wilderness area that is situated inside the Coconino National Forest. The area is famous for its perennially flowing desert stream where you can go for a swim.

⭐️ Fossil Creek – Another perennial stream, Fossil Creek is a rare riparian area within the otherwise desert area. This creek is a great place to cool down and even get a chance to see some of the many kinds of wildlife that frequent the creek for water.

5. Dry Creek Road

The Dry Creek Road scenic route to Sedona is the perfect easy option that you can complete in just a few hours!

This unique route is one of the scenic drives in Sedona AZ that will also give you the opportunity to see the evergreen trees of the Great Basin Conifer Woodlands against the Red Rock Country formations.

views out over dry creek road sedona scenic route

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Devil’s Bridge Trail – Devil’s Bridge Trail is an easy hike with lots of beautiful scenery. This popular trail will lead you to the main attraction that is Devil’s Bridge which is the perfect place for a photo op!

⭐️ Vultee Arch – If you stop to take a hike through the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness, you will find the Vultee Arch. The Vultee Arch is an incredible sandstone formation that you won’t want to miss.

⭐️ Bear Mountain – Bear Mountain is a pretty challenging hike, but it is worth the climb to the summit! Along the hike, you will get to see the red rock cliffs that Sedona is famous for as well as some other mountains and canyons. 

⭐️ Fay Canyon – Fay Canyon offers a fun and easy hiking opportunity that will lead you to the Fay Canyon Arch in addition to the hidden gem that is the Fay Canyon Viewpoint.

⭐️ Mescal Trailhead – This intermediate hiking trail will lead you to Mescal Mountain which is a large sandstone butte. If you follow the trail to the end, you can catch beautiful views of the Boynton Canyon.

6. Sycamore Canyon Scenic Loop

One of the best scenic drives Sedona has to offer, Sycamore Canyon Scenic Loop will lead you through the heart of Red Rock Country. This drive to Sedona gives you the most amazing sights like cliffs, slot canyons, and access to so many trails.

sycamore canyon views one of the prettiest sedona scenic drives

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Sycamore Canyon Vista – Make a stop at the Sycamore Canyon Vista in order to get close-up views of Arizona’s second-largest gorge, Sycamore Canyon. This vista will also give you access to the Sycamore Canyon Vista Trailhead.

⭐️ Kaibab National Forest  – This 1.6 million acre forest is the perfect recreation stop on your scenic drive to Sedona. The Kaibab National Forest is known as a good spot to go camping near Sedona, hiking, fishing, and scenic drives through the forest.

⭐️ Sycamore Pass – Sycamore Pass is a popular trail most commonly used for hiking and off-road driving. You will get a chance to see Honaki Dwellings and Loy Butte from the trail if you make this stop!

⭐️ Robber’s Roost – If you want to see one of the most beautiful wind caves in Sedona, then you will want to stop and hike Robber’s Roost! This trail is moderately challenging and is 3.6 miles long.

7. Boynton Pass Loop

Boynton Pass Loop is just outside of the town of Sedona and has gorgeous views to see right from your car.

Besides the beautiful scenery along this route, Boynton Pass Loop also has some our our favorite Sedona hiking trails that you have to check out!

Beware though, this area is incredibly popular for hiking, so if you plan to park at one of the trailheads, either arrive super early or later in the afternoon.

seven sacred pools on the boynton pass is one of the best scenic drives in sedona
Seven Sacred Pools along the Soldiers Pass Trail

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Birthing Cave – One of the fastest and easiest hidden caves of Sedona that you can find, the Birthing Cave is an absolute must, especially for those who are looking for the perfect photo spots! The Birthing Cave is also known for being one of Sedona’s spiritual energy vortexes.

⭐️ Devil’s Bridge – Another photography destination, Devil’s Bridge is a nice, easy hike away from the route. It is also a great spot to enjoy an incredible Sedona sunrise or sunset if you time your hike out just right!

⭐️ Soldiers Pass Trail – Soldiers Pass Trail is a path that winds through some of Sedona’s most iconic Red Rock Country. You will get especially good viewpoints of the Coffee Pot Rock and get to enjoy one of the best secret caves in Sedona.

⭐️ Chimney Rock – Chimney Rock, otherwise known as Three Finger Rock, will give you panoramic views of the West Sedona area. It will take a moderate hike to get to the viewpoint, but it is definitely worth it especially early in the morning when you can catch sight of the hot air balloons that will fly by!

8. Schnebly Hill Road

Schnebly Hill Road is a scenic drive in Sedona AZ that requires a 4×4 high-clearance vehicle.

This road is one of the Sedona driving trails that will take you along an unpaved scenic route that drops 2,000 feet from a wooded mesa into Sedona. If you’re up for the challenge of this off-road adventure, you are bound to have a great time!

If you’re interested in doing this scenic drive but don’t have the right vehicle, there are a ton of options for Sedona Jeep tours that will take you on this route safely.

views out over schnebly hill road with scenic red rocks in sedona
Views out over Sedona from Schnebly Hill Road

Best Stops & Things To See

⭐️ Merry Go Round Rock – Another hidden gem of Sedona is the Merry Go Round Rock which can be accessed by this scenic route. This famous rock offers a vast landscape with a variety of formations to see like caves, holes, ruins, and more.

⭐️ Schnebly Hill Vista Overlook – The Schnebly Hill Vista Overlook is the perfect break from the bumpy road! You can relax and take in the sights of Munds Mountain, Sedona Airport Mesa, Chimney Rock, and much more.

⭐️ Schnebly Hill Trail – Schnebly Hill Trail is a hiking opportunity right off of the road where you can find a variety of overlook areas. This trail has a moderate incline, but you are rewarded with magnificent views of the red rocks.

⭐️ Cow Pie Trail – The best way to utilize this beautiful trail is to complete the Cow Pie Loop. Combine Hangover Trail, Cow Pie Trail, and Munds Wagon Trail to experience over 9 miles of varied terrain and scenic views across Sedona!

9. Grand Canyon Loop

The Grand Canyon Loop is arguably one of the best scenic drives in Sedona. Starting in Sedona and heading north to Flagstaff along Highway 89A, you’ll drive through the scenic Oak Creek Canyon.

Once you get north of Flagstaff the views really start to pick up as you make your way to the Grand Canyon. You can make this drive into one big loop by then coming down Highway 89 and driving through Jerome and Cottonwood and back to Sedona.

you can see the grand canyon on a scenic drive from sedona
Views of the Grand Canyon on our day trip from Sedona

Best Stops & Things To See:

⭐️ San Francisco Peaks – You’ll get a peek of the alpine tundra or the San Francisco Peaks along this Grand Canyon Loop route.

⭐️ Yavapai Point – Stopping at Yavapai Point and hiking up to Yavapai Vista will give you some of the best Sedona scenic views on this route.

⭐️ Wupatki National Monument – Located near Flagstaff, this National Monument is a famous archaeological site where you can see over 2,600 ancestral Puebloan sites. 

⭐️ Grand Canyon National Park – The real destination of this Grand Canyon Loop is obviously the Grand Canyon National Park. Check out one of the many viewpoints to get wide views of the canyon and the Colorado River below.

BONUS: Day Trips From Sedona

Looking for something other than a scenic Sedona drive? There are a ton of pretty incredible day trips from Sedona that require a bit more driving but are still 100% worth it.

Below are three of our top day trips from Sedona if you want to experience something more than one of the Sedona drive tours listed above.

views of the grand canyon is a great day trip to take from sedona
Views of the Grand Canyon

📍 The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon South Rim is only a 2-hour drive from Sedona, Arizona which makes it the perfect day trip! 

With how expansive the Grand Canyon is, there are tons of things to do here. Some of the best things to do include hiking the trails, riding a mule into the canyon, riding the train, going rafting in the river, experiencing the skywalk, and so much more!

If you’re willing to drive a bit further north, consider adding a trip to Antelope Canyon onto this day trip from Sedona.

📍 Camp Verde

Camp Verde is just under an hour’s drive from Sedona and it is an enchanting Arizona city that is full of fun things to do!

This city is known as the gateway to Verde Valley wine country, so visiting a winery should be at the top of your list. Apart from wine tasting, Camp Verde is home to the Montezuma Castle and Well which is definitely worth a visit.

Additionally, there are 7 parks to check out as well as outdoor recreation activities like kayaking near Sedona, horseback riding, and hiking.

a winery on a scenic drive near sedona
Views of vineyards at Page Springs Cellars

📍 Jerome

Jerome, Arizona, is worth a day trip from Sedona due to its interesting historical past and beautiful scenery!

Once known as the wickedest town in America, Jerome is now a National Historic District where you can experience a taste of the Wild West. Check out the Jerome Historic State Park and the Douglas Mansion to learn more about the history of the town.

You can even go on a Ghost Town Tour or a Haunted Tour if you’re looking for more spooky activities. Other things to do and places to see include Little Daisy Hotel, Jerome’s Sliding Jail, Art Galleries, Art Walk, and the restaurant and wine-tasting district.

Conclusion: 9 BEST Sedona Scenic Drives & Road Trips

view from bell rock in sedona

Sedona is full of so many beautiful sights to see so there is no wonder that you’d be left wondering what to see in Sedona by car or simply which scenic drives Sedona Arizona has to offer.

Whether you are looking for a Sedona to Flagstaff scenic route or a Flagstaff to Sedona scenic route or just looking for a day trip from Sedona, we hope that this article has helped you plan your trip to Sedona!

We hope this article about the best scenic drives in Sedona helps you plan your trip. We would love to connect with you! You can learn more about us here or read more of our recent blog posts here. Also, follow us on Instagram (@UnearthTheVoyage) and Facebook to see what we are up to next!

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