While I lived in Los Angeles I visited Sedona and the Grand Canyon for a weekend trip in July 2016. I bought a super cheap flight to Phoenix and rented a car to drive up north. When I booked my flights I was planning on “only” going to Sedona – but the weather forecast was SO good, that I had to drive to the Grand Canyon. I visited the Grand Canyon twice before this trip and it was always raining -so this was my chance to see the Grand Canyon in the sun 😉
My plan was as followed:
- arrived in Phoenix at 9 am
- Grand Canyon
- Drive to Sedona
- Camp in the Backcountry of Sedona (for free!)
- Devil´s Bridge Trail
- West Fork Trail
- Slide Rock State Park
What a perfect weekend!
If you feel like road tripping in this area, you can read everything about my suggested plan and possible variations here!
Sedona and the Grand Canyon can be perfectly combined. I drove 3.5 hours to the Grand Canyon from Pheonix and Sedona and its beautys are just on the way. If I would have had more time, I would have also squeezed a day in Page into my plan. I have been there twice so far and love the canyons in that area!
I started the day with driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. I stopped at nearly every single stop and enjoyed the views.
For everybody out there, who hasn´t been do the Grand Canyon yet: You need to go! The views are spectacular. You will just sit there, be quiet and enjoy the nature…
After the Grand Canyon I drove the way back to Sedona. It was starting to rain so badly. But hey – this wont stop me! 🙂 I was looking forward tomy camping adventure in the backcountry. And so I did!
I arrived in Sedona in the dark,because there was a huge traffic jam going on, before entering Sedona. Plan some time to get into Sedona – there is a traffic light, that seemed to drive all drivers crazy and resulted in a 3 hour traffic jam.
I had a description on how to find the (free) backcountry camping spot – coming from Sedona head on the 89A West and turn left on a dirt road (but you can easily drive here with a normal car) after a brown sign mentioning the “Deer Creek”. There you are – pick a place!
When I got to the dirt road to the Campsite I saw a huge spider crawling over the road. I was just thinking: “How should I get out there and put up my tent!?” But I had to do, because I didn´t want to sleep in the car….
So I put my tent on in the darkness with the lights of my car turned on – always on the watch for big spiders. But luckily no spider came along ;-). I enjoyed the stars for a long while until I felt asleep.
I woke up early the next morning to enjoy the most of the day I could. When I was starting to the Devil´s Bridge Hike I saw many hot air balloons in the air – they seemed to have been watching the sunrise.
So ten I startedthe Devil´s Bridge Trail. This trail is really great – it is about 7 kilometers roundtrip, so you can easily make this one in 3 to 4 hours with a lot of pictures and time 😉
The trail starts nicely with stones that you just have to follow and leds you to a dirt road. I somehow seem to have mixed route number 3 and 1 together (map). The trail from the “parking lot” at the end of the dirt road is not very streneous if you take your time. There are some parts, that you have to “climb” a little, but it´s not very tough. You can do that 🙂
The trail is beautiful and the scenery changes a lot. The blue sky in combination with the red surface of the rocks gives an amazing picture and offers amazing views.
The Devil´s Bridge itself looks outstanding! I have been to the Arches Nationalpark prior to this trip, but you are not able to walk on an arch over there – so I enjoyed actually standing on this bridge so much 😉
I also hiked down the bridge. You don´t have to be afraid, as you can see on the next picture: The bridge is actually quite wide, so you wont fall down:
After this hike I made my way to the West Fork (Call of the Canyon) Trailhead. I knew that I couldn´t make it to the very end, but still wanted to expierience a little bit of the trail.It was totally worth it.
The last stop of my day was the Slide Rock State Park. If you have children, this is the place to go… If you are still feeling like a children, this is ALSO the place to go ;-). I have to say: It´s crowded if you go there on a weekend in the summertime.Very crowded… But it´s still just so much fun.
I advise you not to park on the parking spot directly located at the entry. This parking spot is SO expensive. I think it wasaround 30 + $ per vehicle. By the time I was there, I didn´t even have the choice because it was already closed because they were full. I parked on another (free!) parking spot along the road (direction Sedona), maybe 1 kilometer away of the entrance and walked to the entry. I had to pay only the walk in fee – around 2 $ per person. So I was quite happy…
If you walk to the very end of the state park you can find this idyllic place, away from the crowds. From there you can perfectly start your slide adventure…
An awesome weekend – a trip to Sedona is absolutely worth if you are driving around in the area!