Arizona Day Trip: Sedona to the Grand Canyon

I recently traveled to Sedona, Arizona with a few girlfriends for an early spring break to visit the beautiful red rocks and relax. We took a day trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on Leap Day, and it was one of the highlights of our vacation. Before traveling to Sedona, I wasn’t sure what to expect with a drive to the Grand Canyon or what amenities would be available in the area. This post includes our experience and driving directions.

Traveling to visit the Grand Canyon from Sedona is a beautiful drive, high up in the mountains and through the desert countryside. The drive will take you north of Sedona through Flagstaff, and on a scenic highway {Highway 180N}. Be prepared for an elevation change during the first half of the drive, as you will go from 4,500 feet in Sedona to 8,000 feet north of Flagstaff. I was surprised at how steep and curving the road was at points.

We stopped at a scenic overlook on the way, with elevation at 6,420 feet:

We also drove by the highest mountain in Arizona, at 12,000 feet – Humphreys Peak {not pictured} – before reaching the flat, desert scenery.

Travel time from Sedona to the Grand Canyon is approximately 2 1/2 hours, each way. It’s a long drive for a day trip, but completely worth it for this amazing view inside the park!

Driving to the Grand Canyon from Sedona will take you to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, which is the most developed point to visit. The South Rim is open all year, unlike the North Rim which is closed during winter months due to road conditions. The South Rim of the park includes lodging, dining options, and a large general store with groceries. The village of Tusayan is two miles south of the entrance to the park, with additional hotel and dining options.

There are many lookout points inside Grand Canyon National Park, which has an entry fee of $30 per vehicle. The South Rim alone has 50 viewpoints of the beautiful scenery. See the tiny group of people out on the rocks?

You can walk along the paved Rim Trail next to the edge of the Grand Canyon, where there is no fence {!} and endless rocks to stop and take in the view. My friend J was behind the camera for this shot:

Β During our visit, we had a quick picnic with prepared sandwiches from a cafe inside the park and walked on the trail. The Rim Trail extends for 12 miles near the edge of the Grand Canyon. This trail is perfect for walking, running, or biking, as most of it is paved and level in elevation. Find information on additional Grand Canyon National Park hikes here.

We didn’t see any crazy wildlife on our walk, except birds, including this majestic raven:

I loved our visit to the Grand Canyon and can’t wait to go back someday for a longer trip. A post on Sedona highlights is coming soon.

Driving Directions from Sedona to the Grand Canyon:
*From Sedona travel north on Highway 89A toward Flagstaff for approximately 35 miles.
*Take the I-17 turnoff and continue north on Interstate 17, which turns into Milton Avenue.
*Make a left from Milton onto Highway 180 (Humphreys Avenue) and travel for approximately 50 miles.
*Highway 180N will then merge with Highway 64N. Take Highway 64N to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Estimated travel time: 2 1/2 hours.

Related Posts

Friday Five: Vacation Favorites in Southwest Florida

Friday Five: Vacation Favorites in Southwest Florida

This Friday Five post includes my vacation favorites in southwest Florida {Marco Island, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Naples}. I traveled to southwest Florida for a short vacation last weekend with K and C, visiting his grandparents in Marco Island. Chicago is in the middle […]

25 Holiday Activities in Chicago

25 Holiday Activities in Chicago

Chicago is a wonderful city for holiday and Christmas activities. This post includes 25 holiday activities in Chicago, from performances, to ice skating, to a gingerbread house decorating party – one for each day of December until Christmas is here.     One of the […]

0 thoughts on “Arizona Day Trip: Sedona to the Grand Canyon”

Leave a Reply