Things to do Outdoors in Arizona: 4-Day Travel Itinerary
Road Trip Travel
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
Sedona is MAGICAL. I love everything about it. One very convenient thing is that all the hiking is close to town! So you can go hiking, come back to eat lunch and then head back out to start hiking again. You could easily spend between 1-3 days in Sedona depending on how much more of Arizona you want to explore. For a one day trip I recommend the following:
Start at Devils 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. Round trip this hike is ~4.2 miles. The terrain is nice, in that 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, but I can vouch for these tacos!
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 so worth it. This is one of my all time favorite hikes. Not only can you enjoy the Subway Cave and experience the Boynton Canyon Vortex but 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
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 at 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 a shuttle ride you can do to ride out 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, AZ!
Day 3: Visit Page, Arizona & slot canyons
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 so unique, with Owl Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon being less visited and uniquely different than 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. We did a morning tour but it was equally magical! Page also has a unique rock formation called the New Wave. It’s kind of a knock off version of The Wave in Southern Utah. So, if you can’t get tickets to the Wave in Utah, be sure to checkout the New Wave in Page. 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
There are several ways to explore Lake Powell, but kayaking is the most economical and environmentally friendly way to do so! I’ve done a lot of kayaking in the southern US but kayaking Lake Powell was a unique experience as you are kayaking between soaring canyon walls! 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 my guide to Hawai'i: 6-Day Adventure on The Big Island of Hawai'i.
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