The drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon takes about two hours if you go straight there, making it perfect for a day trip. That being said, you might find yourself taking longer since there are so many beautiful places to stop along the way. If you don’t mind adding about 15 minutes to your drive, we’d recommend taking the more scenic route there. Start by taking Highway 89A north from Sedona, which takes you through Oak Creek Canyon. The ascent at the end of the canyon has too many hairpin turns for an RV, but a regular car should be fine.
Highway 89A will take you to Flagstaff, where you should follow the signs to Highway 180 North. 180 starts with an up-close view of Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona. Past the mountain, you’ll find yourself in Coconino National Forest, full of gorgeous ponderosa pines. Coconino is home to the only alpine forest in Arizona as well as some beautiful tundra and even volcanic peaks. Once you exit the forest, you’ll find yourself in the flatlands. Unfortunately, there’s very little of interest there, but this section of the drive should only last for under an hour.
Finally, about 20 minutes away from the Grand Canyon, Highway 180 passes through Kaibab Forest. While you might be itching to see the canyon by this point, it’s still worth stopping and checking out some of Kaibab’s trails if you feel like you have time. You’ll be rewarded with lakes, bubbling springs, and beautiful wildflowers, and you might even spot a whitetail deer or a black bear if you’re lucky.
To make the most of your trip to Sedona, we recommend our Sedona & Red Rock State Park Self-Guided Driving Tour. For frequent travelers, we also recommend Action+, our new yearly subscription that grants you access to all 100+ of our US-based tours.
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