Things to do Outdoors in Arizona: 4-Day Travel Itinerary

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  • Arizona

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

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  • Domestic Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Hiking

  • Outdoors

  • Southwest

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Fora’s Take

Arizona is one of the most magical places in the US. With beautiful views, hidden gems and invigorating adventures, there are endless things to do, which is why it's a can't-miss locale.

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Where to stay

Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

Centrally located near hiking with great evening activities (think: making s'mores and live music).

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Day 1: Explore magical Sedona

Person standing on red rock with blue skies during daytime

Sedona is magical. One very convenient thing is that all the hiking is close to town; you can go hiking, come back to eat lunch and then head back out to start hiking again. You could easily spend between one and three days in Sedona, depending on how much more of the Arizona you want to explore. For a one-day trip the following is a great place to start:  

Start at Devil's Bridge earlier in the day. If you start by 8 am, you’ll miss waiting in line to have your picture taken on Devil’s Bridge. This hike is about 4.2 miles. The terrain is nice; there isn’t much elevation change. The trail primarily consists of sand and rocks. 

Have lunch at Oaxaca Restaurant and enjoy the cactus tacos. There are also tons of other restaurants with excellent reviews in downtown Sedona.

After lunch, find the mystical Subway Cave. This hike is not completely marked, but you’ll start the hike in Boynton Canyon on the Boynton Canyon Trail, and then take an unmarked trail to Subway Cave. This requires a bit of navigating, as the trail is narrow and you have to scramble up rocks to get to the famous Subway Cave, but it is worth it. Not only can you enjoy the Subway Cave and experience the Boynton Canyon Vortex, but you'll also appreciate Native American ruins. Completing this hike in the afternoon is a unique experience because as you head back while the sun sets, you will appreciate how the colors of the red rocks change. 

Day 2: Go hiking in the Grand Canyon

Red cliffs and canyons with blue skies during daytime

When it comes to hiking, the most exciting part of the journey is the destination and the view. But at the Grand Canyon, the best part is the South Rim. If you’re up for a hike, hiking down to the Indian Gardens Campground is a nice down-and-back day hike. The first five miles are downhill and the last five miles are uphill. There is also a shuttle ride you can take to various lookout points along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, if you have time. From there, head to the hidden gem of Page, Arizona. 

Day 3: Visit Page, Arizona & slot canyons

Red canyon with sunlight filtering in

Page, Arizona is an off-the-beaten-path, unique place, most famous for Lake Powell and the slot canyons on the Navajo Reservation. One must-do activity is a tour of the slot canyons. There is one with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours that provides access to Owl Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon and Upper Antelope Canyon. The only access to these canyons is with a Navajo guide, so it’s a must to book with one of these companies. Each of these three canyons is unique, with Owl Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon being less visited and different from Upper Antelope Canyon.

Pro-tip: There are morning and afternoon tours, but beware that afternoon tours are often more expensive due to the nice lighting in the canyons when the sun is overhead. Page also has a unique rock formation called the New Wave. Also stop by the Glenn Canyon Dam Overlook. And if you’re feeling up to it, you can walk across the dam.  

If you haven’t seen enough beautiful landscapes at this point, you must go to Horseshoe Bend at sunset. From there head to Sunset 89 for some nice Pacific Rim cuisine to cap off the night. 

Day 4: Kayaking through Lake Powell

Woman in red kayak in body of water next to large rocks during daytime

There are several ways to explore Lake Powell, but kayaking is the most economical and environmentally friendly way to do so. The views from the lake are incredible, and specific tours will take you to Lower Antelope Canyon where you can then hike into the slot canyon before kayaking back out. This is truly a memorable experience.

Need to Know

For more outdoor travel tips, check out this guide to Hawai'i: 6-Day Adventure on The Big Island of Hawai'i.

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