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Sedona AZ

Scenic Drives in Sedona AZ

Upper Red Rock Loop

This drive will take you past many of Sedona, AZ's vortex centers of energy, which may or may not float your boat, but they sure are pretty. Take 89A west of Sedona AZ. Pass by views of Cathedral Rock. Take a left on Chavel Ranch Road to get to the Crescent Moon day-use area for a picnic. It's also a good place to get pictures of Cathedral Rock, or go swimming. As you loop back, pass by Red Rock STate Park, with hiking trails and an education center.

Boynton Canyon

The drive to Boynton Canyon should be a full-day affair because once you get here, there's lots to see and do. You can stretch your legs once you're there, by hiking the canyon. You can also eat lunch at the Enchantment Resort, or just contemplate the area, as it is considered the ancient birthplace of the Yavapai Apache. It's located 8 miles west of Sedona, Arizona. It's a narrow canyon made of red rock (of course!). There used to be Sinagua cliff dwellings here, and you can still see some of them. There's a six-mile round trip trail just oustide Enchantment Resort, with trailhead parking. On your way to Boynton Canyon you'll see the following formations: Capitol Butte, Coffee Pot Rock, and Three Golden Cheifs.

Schnebly Hill Scenic Drive

This one is a rocky road adventure for all-terrain vehicles so dont' even think about bringing your rental car on this one. This is a dirt road over big rocks...get the picture? You can try your SUV on the road, but bo slow. Always check locally when you get into town, because you never know: they may have recently done maintenance on the road, making it passable by regular cars. To get here, take Route 179 south, turn left after the bridge over Oak Creek, and you are on your way up the road to Mogollon Rim. That's the drive. On the way you'll bass Mitten Ridge and Merry-Go-Round Rock and the views are the best. Another option is to traverse the road on a mountain bike or by hiking the Munds Wagon Trail. At the top is Schnebly Hill overlook. You can take a jeep tour to make the trip, too. On the way back, take the paved road called Dry Creek Road. It goes to Boynton Pass, via Forest Rod 152C.

Airport Mesa

Dive up to Airport Mesa for the sunset of a lifetime. This is west of Sedona, Arizona on Route 89A, then a left onto Airport Road. the view is unobstructed, and there are easy trails, too, if you want to get out of your car and stretch your legs. There are two overlooks on the way up, and this makes Airport Mesa scenic drive a good way to get acquainted with Sedona, Arizona. There's a Vortex here, too! This is also where you get access to commerical air tour companies.

Drive to the Village of Oak Creek

This is another easy drive, starting out on Highway 179, going south. You'll pass by many famous geological landmarks on the way. The route winds past Chapel of the Holy Cross, between buttes and cliffs, and when you get to Oak Creek Village, you have perfect views of Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock.

Palatki Ruins

Follow directions for the scenic drive to Boynton Canyon, but take Boynton Pass Road when you see it. It's also called Forest Road 152. Then take Forest Road 525, then Forest Road 795, which is a dead end, at the end of which you will see Palatki Ruins. Palatki Ruins are ancient Sinauga cliff dwellings that have been well-preserved. Get a reservation to park here, since it's required. You'll also need a Red Rock Pass, and the ruins close at 3:30 so keep this in mind when planning your scenic drive. The roads are dirt roads, so don't plan on making the trip after it rains.

V-Bar-V Heritaage Site

This is south of Sedona, AZ on Route 179 near where it intersects with I-17. It's a petroglyph site, one of the finest in the area. It's on a small cliff face and depicts herons and turtles. Take the dirt road just off the intersection of I-17 and 179, and take it for almost three miles to Beaver Creek Campground. Then walk a half mile to the petroglyphs. You'll need a Red Rock Pass for this site too, so contact the Red Rock Ranger District for that.

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