How to Travel from Phoenix to Sedona

Sedona is one of Arizona’s most stunning travel destinations. The landscape in Sedona is a mix of deep canyons, steep sandstone cliffs, red rocky formations, and pine forests. Travelers to Sedona are generally those who have come here on a day trip from Phoenix. Tourists visit Sedona for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, sightseeing, spiritual purposes, shopping in Sedona, festivals, art, and culture.

Phoenix to Sedona is a road distance of 116 miles, and a drive of just 2 hours. Driving in your vehicle is the best way to explore the various places coming on the route. So here’s all the info that you will need to visit Sedona from Phoenix.

Why should you visit Sedona?

You should visit Sedona for its surreal landscapes and spellbinding scenic beauty. The red sandstone cliffs rise abruptly from the surrounding plains and create enchanting scenery. A sight of the deep gorges and canyons in Sedona is a photographer’s delight. Centuries of natural forces have shaped the landscape of these jagged mountains and canyons you see today in Sedona. Sedona is also famous for spiritual healing, music festivals, art workshops, and cultural events. Sedona is a favorite getaway destination from Phoenix. Sedona also falls on the route to Grand Canyon National Park.

Phoenix to Sedona by shuttle bus

Shuttle buses are public transportation that is the cheapest way to visit Sedona from Phoenix. Groome Transportation runs shuttle services seven times a day from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Shuttle buses start early in the morning and take around 3 hours to reach Sedona. On the route, the shuttle bus picks up other travelers from many places in Phoenix. The shuttle bus may stop at Cottonwood, Camp Verde, and Village of Oak Creek on route to Sedona. Shuttle buses only provide transportation between Phoenix to Sedona. There are no guides on this bus and no narration. It is the most economic mode of transport.

Phoenix to Sedona by car

Driving by car is the best way to travel from Phoenix to Sedona. The road distance that you will have to cover is 115 miles, and it takes 2 hours to reach Sedona. From Phoenix, take Interstate 17 and head northwards. You will pass through rolling hills, cactus vegetation. The landscape turns into a desert landscape as you move further north of Phoenix. Sunset Point is a beautiful stop where you can stop for some time to admire the incredible scenery of the place.

The road winds through a flat desert landscape from here onwards. At Camp Verde, you will be able to find many restaurants and gas stations where you can halt and have some refreshments. You can visit Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde. Here you can explore the cliff dwellings of indigenous people who lived here before the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. After this visit, you can continue your journey on Interstate 17, until you reach exit 298. Here you have to turn to State Route 179.

The road becomes more twisting and you will pass through the incredibly scenic Village of Oak Creek and Bell Rock. From here on, you will see the most wonderful scenery from your car. Rocky cliffs turn the landscape into ochre reddish and you could see the Chapel of Holy Cross in the cliffs. Stop on the way to Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. You can halt here for some time, and see the artisans creating sculptures and other crafts in the workshop. This is a great place for shopping for gifts and souvenirs.

Phoenix to Sedona by private tour

You can take a shuttle bus tour from Phoenix and visit Sedona. It is an informative and entertaining way to visit Sedona, and the most interesting thing about a bus tour is that you can spend an entire day just sightseeing on the road, and visit popular stops along the way. A shuttle bus tour generally costs around $139. This tour lasts 10-11 hours and depending on the tour you take, you can stop en route at places like Tuzigoot National Monument, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Bell Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, and others.

A guide will guide you with details and interesting bits of info about the places you will visit and their narration and knowledge will make the tour interesting. The tour also makes a long stop at Sedona, where you can shop for curios, and browse through the various shops, and relish the ice creams or eat light snacks.

Phoenix to Sedona by private shuttle

Going by private shuttle service from Phoenix gives you more comfort and travel options. The private shuttle is normally a luxury SUV. This option is best for those who love to travel in comfort and style. The best thing about taking a private shuttle from Phoenix to Sedona is that you can customize your route and make appropriate arrangements.

What is the best time to visit Sedona?

The fall season is the best time when you can visit Sedona. Avoid summers and winters though. It’s a desert area and it gets too hot during the day. In winters temperatures are low. In the Fall season, you may be able to see fall colors in canyons.

Which places can I make a stop en route Phoenix to Sedona car drive?

Though Phoenix to Sedona is just a 2 hours drive if you drive nonstop, it is the most scenic of drives in Arizona. You can stop at many places on Interstate 17. There are many restaurants, rest stops, gas stations that come along this route. If you like adventure then there is plenty of it to do on this drive. The stops mentioned below are a must-visit if you want to enjoy your car drive and make it a memorable one. Make a Phoenix to Sedona trip itinerary and include these places and you will have an epic road trip of your life.

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

You will be able to do many recreational activities here before you head out to the desert country of Arizona. You can do boating, swimming, fishing in Lake Pleasant. There are many camping grounds where you can pitch a tent and it has many RV campgrounds also.

Black Canyon City

You can halt here at Black Canyon City if you want to have a quick bite or halt for some time on the route to Sedona. If you are keen on adventure, then you can hit the Black Canyon Trail, which goes through the Sonoran Desert. You can bring your mountain bike along and bike through the desert landscape.

Aqua Fria Monument

Agua Fria National Monument is where you will see old settlements of indigenous American tribes and rock carvings. If you are interested in wildlife then you can explore the place through hiking and horseback riding. Agua Fria National Monument is where the Aqua Fria river flows and makes deep canyons. You can bring your binoculars along and spot bobcats, coyotes, and other wildlife species. Camping sites are also there inside.

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Most people traveling from Phoenix to Sedona stop here as it is the best archaeological site in the area. Cliff-side dwellings made by native American tribes that existed before Christopher Columbus discovered America is the main attraction in Montezuma Castle National Monument. The rock-cut dwellings are cut directly on limestone cliffs and are spectacular to see. You can shop for gifts and have more info about the unique ancient cultures and people that lived in this area many centuries ago in the visitor center.


Jerome used to be a copper mining town. But today Jerome is a touristy town, which offers Ghost tours to visitors. Visit the Jerome Grand Hotel and listen to the many ghost stories on guided tours. You can have refreshments at restaurants and bars. Visit art galleries and boutique shops if you want to pick up curios and souvenirs during your road trip.

Verde Valley Wine Trail

Ahead of Jerome, you can make a halt at Cottonwood to sample some wines in Verde Valley Wine Trail. You can visit wineries here and they have tasting rooms.

Transportation within Sedona

In Sedona, you can take the Sedona Trolley tour and get around the most famous Sedona tourist places like Chapel of the Holy Cross and Boynton Canyon. These tours last for an hour.

What to do in Sedona

In Sedona, the major places and tourist sites that you should visit are given below.

Bell Rock

Bell Rock is the most famous natural rock formation of Sedona. It can be viewed from Hwy 179 or biking and hiking trails. It is shaped like that of a bell. If you want to go hiking then take the Bell Rock Pathway. Bell Rock Trail will lead you to the face of the rock and is a bit difficult.

Cathedral Rock

It is so-called due to the towering cathedral-like spires that rise over a small hill. In the center of these two rocky formations are small rocks that look like a praying hand. There are short trails like Templeton Trail which are less difficult. Cathedral Rock is a vortex site where you can experience positive energy flowing through your body.

Chapel of the Holy Cross

This catholic chapel is cut out from the red rocks its architecture is eye-catching. There is no entry fee to visit this chapel so you can view it from a distance or a close distance.

Pink Jeep Tour

Pink Jeep Tours is a great way to go through different trails and view the red cliffs from close range. Jeep is best for off-road driving and these rough and sturdy vehicles can go on the rough terrain of the canyons. Broken Arrow Jeep Tour is one such tour that you can take.

Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village

This arts and crafts village is where you can visit many art galleries, restaurants, souvenir shops. Visitors can see artisans at work making various crafts. You can shop here for ceramics, sculptures, decorative arts, jewelry.

Airport Mesa

Airport Mesa is a vortex energy center and this is also an incredibly scenic point from where you can have unobstructed views of the towering cliffs and canyons of Sedona. Sunsets from here are simply out of the world’s sight. Hiking is a great thing to do here and you can take Airport Mesa Loop Trail.


What is the cheapest way to travel from Phoenix and Sedona?

Driving by car is the cheapest way to travel from Phoenix to Sedona. It costs $12 and 2 hours of traveling time.

What is the road distance between Phoenix and Sedona?

The driving distance from Phoenix and Sedona is 116 miles.

What is the cost of a shuttle bus from Phoenix to Sedona?

A shuttle bus costs $55 from Phoenix to Sedona.

Which are the popular stops on the drive from Phoenix to Sedona?

The popular places where you can stop on the route to Sedona are Montezuma’s Castle National Monument. It is very easy to reach this monument.

How many days tour plans should I make to visit Sedona?

You can make a maximum of five days tour plan to visit Sedona. One of two days is not enough. There are many scenic places and heritage sites in and near Sedona that you can visit.

Sedona or Phoenix, which is cooler?

Sedona is cooler than Phoenix.

What’s next waiting for you?

So after you’ve read all about the various ways to reach Sedona from Phoenix, what are you waiting for!! Chalk out a road trip plan and get the most out of the trip to Sedona. You’ve no idea how this 116 miles stretch of road will bring adventures and excitement. Make a mental map of how to go about your trip. Which are the places you want to make halts at. Are you more into healing or adventure?

One thing that is common to both adventure lovers and spiritual seekers is that they will cherish the landscapes and natural scenery of this road trip wherever they go. Now you know how to travel from Sedona to Phoenix, check out our other travel guides to get more information.

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