Chock full of some of the country’s most amazing landscapes and natural wonders, Sedona, Arizona is also full of fascinating history, and it’s an important area for those who believe that its majestic mountains are home to mysterious forces that defy explanation.
Sedona is also a go-to spot for those looking to explore the area’s art and wine scene, or who want a scenic stepping-off point for their trips to the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and the famous Meteor Crater.
It’s entirely possible that there are too many choices, but whatever you decide to do, your trip will create a lifetime of memories.
1. Grand Canyon Classic Tour from Sedona
With all of the majestic scenery to see in Arizona, it may be tough to decide what to do.
This 10-hour tour from Sedona will ease the burden of deciding, because it’ll take you to one of the world’s natural wonders: Grand Canyon National Park.
Unlike anything else you’ll likely ever see, the tour includes lunch, park admission and a professional guide who’s well versed in the area’s fascinating history and geology.
This tour requires moderate exertion, so don’t skimp on breakfast and pack an array of clothes, as the weather can change quickly.
My personal tip: pick up a copy of the book Sunk Without a Sound at the gift shop.
2. Sedona Jeep – Helicopter Combo Tour
From planes, trains and automobiles, to horses, donkeys and helicopters, there’s really no method of transportation that isn’t available for an Arizona tour.
Sedona’s famous red rocks are best appreciated when viewed from multiple vantage points, and with this tour 3-hour tour you’ll do exactly that.
You’ll see Native American cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and the amazing rocks, which actually change color before your eyes as they’re hit by sunlight at different angles.
There’s a lot packed into this 3-hour tour, so it’s an effective way to maximize your valuable vacation time.
Book in advance if you can as these tours fill up fast.
3. Antelope Canyon Full-Day Tour from Flagstaff or Sedona
Located on ancestral Navajo land not far from Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is a mesmerizing example of the amazing effects that eons of wind and water erosion can have on the landscape, and you’ll learn about it from a Navajo guide.
Due to the rock’s iron content, they sparkle and transform the sun’s light into a myriad of colors that you might not associate with Mother Nature.
Your guided tour will also include Oak Creek Canyon, the Painted Desert, and the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, which is a mountain range that contains many of Arizona’s tallest mountains, some of which are nearly 13,000 feet.
4. Pink 4×4 Touch the Earth Jeep Tour from Sedona
The Arizona desert was made for off-road tours, and this Jeep tour of Sedona will take you to some of the area’s most stunning attractions such as Vultee Arch and Airport Mesa.
Rumor has it that Sedona is home to strange vortices that channel the earth’s energy into those who make themselves receptive by opening their minds.
Whether or not you believe it, you’ll definitely have a different view of the majestic desert and rock formations that have been wowing visitors for centuries.
Seeing it all via an open-air Jeep Wrangler with your travel companions will add another level of enjoyment altogether.
5. Full-Day Colorado River Float Trip from Flagstaff
If you took my advice and picked up a copy of the aforementioned book, then you’ll already know that the Colorado River is full of myths, legends and tales of disappearing people, possible murders and other unsolved mysteries that have been baffling visitors for centuries.
This 10-hour float tour will take you through some of the river’s most memorable and historic stretches, including Glen Canyon, the Glen Canyon Dam and the Navajo Nation.
You’ll get all the training and gear you’ll need to complete the trip safely, and your guides will teach you more about the area than you’d think possible.
6. Grand Canyon Railroad Tour from Sedona
This professionally guided Grand Canyon Railroad tour departs from Sedona and includes park fees, lunch and door-to-door transportation to and from your hotel.
The train cars have been designed with big windows and comfortable seats so you can take in Arizona’s majesty in total comfort, and they even have an audio system that’ll let your guide tell you about all the things you’re seeing.
Easy hikes are available at train stops if you’d like to check out a new vista point or two, and remember to wear a few layers as the Arizona high-country weather can change on a dime.
7. Soldiers Pass 1.5-Hour Jeep Tour
If time is something you don’t have much of, then this 1 ½ hour Jeep tour to Soldier’s Pass in Sedona would be a wise way to spend a few morning hours.
In a surprisingly short time you’ll see many of Sedona’s most visited and scenic areas including the Devil’s Kitchen sinkhole and Apache’s Seven Pools.
You’ll also learn about the area’s Native American, pioneer, and geologic history from your driver-slash-guide, and if you’re part of a fit group you’ll be able to get out and stretch your legs on a few famous Sedona trails like the Teacup and Thompson trails.
8. Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Monument Valley 3-Day Tour
If you’ve got 3 solid days to dedicate to see the vastness and grandeur of Arizona, then this jam-packed 3-day tour is for you.
In addition to all of the wonderful sights you’ll see, your tour price will include all park fees, 2 nights in a hotel and breakfast.
You’ll be guided to many of the state’s prominent attractions like the Valley of Fire, Antelope Canyon and the Navajo Nation, through which you’ll be guided by a Native American guide.
Stops in Sedona and Las Vegas will round out this complete tour, after which you’ll probably wonder how you covered so much ground in so little time.
9. 4-Hour Stargazers Desert Tour
Due to its low population density and high altitude, the areas around Sedona and Flagstaff offer some of the best places from which to gaze at the stars without urban light getting in the way.
Your guide will be a knowledgeable astronomer who’ll point out lunar features that will be amazingly clear if the weather cooperates.
All equipment is provided so all you’ll need to do is peer into the telescope to see moons, meteor belts and planets that are countless light years away.
Pack some warm clothes, as nighttime in the desert can get chilly even in the summer.
10. Castles of the Southwest Full-Day Tour from Sedona
Though noticeably different from their European counterparts, Arizona’s castles are feats of human ingenuity in their own right.
Built by Native Americans who chose to live high up cliff walls for safety reasons, the ruins at Tuzigoot and Montezuma’s Well are amazing and well-preserved examples of this unique southwestern building style.
Your tour will include park fees, lunch and water, and will end at the Wupatki ruins which are near Sunset Crater east of Flagstaff.
This tour will only be offered if 4 or more guests are scheduled at the same time, so wrangle up a few friends and book online.
11. Sedona Intimate Wine Tasting Tour
If you’re not familiar with Arizona, you may be surprised to learn that it’s home to a budding wine industry that has garnered some serious recognition in recent years as a hot spot for a variety of wines of excellent quality.
This tour begins in Phoenix, but will wind its way northward through the Verde Valley and Black Canyon hills, and even includes a stop at the amazing cliff dwelling ruins at Montezuma’s Castle National Monument.
You’ll top it all off with an intimate tasting at an area vineyard and tasting room.
I can’t think of a better way to end a tour.
12. 2-Hour Mogollon Rim Scenic Tour from Sedona
The Mogollon Rim is the large arc of volcanic mountains that are the most prominent geologic features in the northern portion of Arizona.
From Sedona, you’ll board a Jeep and follow a pioneer-era trail into the Arizona back-country, the vastness and splendor of which will blow you away.
The rim is part of the Colorado Plateau’s southernmost edge, and includes sedimentary and volcanic cliffs and gorges that give the landscape an otherworldly appearance.
Your guide will be able to tell you about the area’s settlers, and how the majestic formations were formed eons ago.
This tour is an efficient and reasonably priced way to see the sites quickly.
13. Jeep Tour, Horseback Ride, and Dinner Show from Sedona
As if Jeep and horseback tours of Sedona weren’t enough, the people who designed this fun-filled tour decided to add a dinner show as well.
The cost of the tour includes all transportation, food, drinks and the dinner and show at the end.
Please note that age restrictions apply to the horseback portion of the tour.
You’ll hit some semi-rugged trails that lead through Dead Horse Ranch State Park, and from there you’ll depart on the 1½-hour horseback portion, which will be followed by the western-themed dinner and show that’s comedic, authentic and family-friendly.
14. 3-Hour ATV Tour to West Sedona Canyon
One method of transportation that we haven’t yet mentioned is the ever-popular ATV.
These rugged workhorses were made for rough country like Arizona. They’re fun, safe, and an exhilarating way to see the sites.
This tour will cover more than 20 miles and you’ll get to see some magnificent formations and the shooting location for many films that were partially filmed in the area.
Tours can be catered to the riding and confidence levels of the participants, so don’t hesitate to throw in your two cents worth.
Before you head out you’ll get a lesson in vehicle operation and all the necessary safety gear as well.
15. 2½-Hour 4×4 Tour of Diamondback Gulch from Sedona
This relatively short tour includes door-to-door transportation to and from your Sedona hotel, and will take you through some rugged, high-country Arizona deserts with beautiful names like Doe Mesa and Bear Mountain.
Diamondbacks are the large, western diamondback rattlesnakes that inhabit much of the desert southwest, and if you’re lucky – or unlucky – you might get a glimpse of one of these deadly critters that can grow to be 7 feet long.
You’ll be stunned by the amazing scenery and by the local history as imparted to you by your knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide.
Expect to get bumped around a bit on this off-road tour.