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4-Day Sedona Itinerary for Adventure Travelers – Bearfoot Theory

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Sedona is one of the best destinations in the southwest for outdoor adventure. There are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, camping, and enjoying the red rock views that make Sedona such a special place.

I’ve visited Sedona several times now, and I’m always tweaking my Sedona itinerary to maximize fun and adventure – as well as a little bit of luxury.

This 4-day Sedona itinerary is filled with the best hikes, relaxation time, and dining at some of the best restaurants with views that will make you want to linger.

Let’s dive in!

4-Day Sedona Itinerary at a Glance

You could spend months in Sedona and not see or do everything it has to offer. There’s so much going on!

Our main goals for this Sedona itinerary, though, are to:

  • Get in as much hiking as possible
  • Try out some of Sedona’s best restaurants
  • Explore the town and all of the cute shops

You can certainly customize our itinerary to fit your interests and timeframe, but this outline will help you cover a little bit of everything during your visit to Sedona.

  • Discover the best hikes & views
  • Eat at some of the best Sedona restaurants
  • Catch sunrise at Cathedral Rock
  • DAY 1: Hike Bell Rock & Courthouse Butte Loop
  • DAY 2: Hike West Fork Trail
  • DAY 3: Choose your hike!
  • DAY 4: Hike Cathedral Rock for Sunrise

Sedona Trip FAQs

How many days do you need in Sedona?

There’s no right answer for how many days you should spend in Sedona. Four days will give you a good overview of what the area has to offer, but you could spend weeks in Sedona and not check off all the sights and activities.

If it’s your first time visiting, I recommend spending at least 4-5 days in Sedona. You can always decide to come back!

When is the best time to visit Sedona?

Sedona is a year-round destination, but I recommend visiting in spring or fall for the best temperatures and weather. Summer can get very hot while winter can bring cold temps, rain, and even snow.

What if I only have one day to explore Sedona?

If you only have one day in Sedona, I recommend:

– Hiking West Fork Trail
– Lunch at Indian Gardens
– Walking around the shops and stores of downtown
– Dinner at Elote or Hideaway House

4-Day Sedona Itinerary

There is a ton to see and do in Sedona, so if you’re looking for other activities in addition to hiking or you want to make your trip longer, check out or post on the Best Things to do in Sedona.

Day 1: Explore Courtyard Butte & Bell Rock

  • Morning: Arrive in Sedona
  • Afternoon: Hike the Courtyard Butte & Bell Rock Loop
  • Evening: Dinner at Elote (reservations required)
Woman hiking down trail in Sedona with Courthouse Butte in front of her
The Courthouse Butte & Bell Rock trail is a classic in Sedona for great scenery and red rock vistas

For your first day in Sedona, hike one of Sedona’s most iconic loops: Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock trail.

The loop takes you all the way around Courthouse Butte for classic Sedona views and stunning scenery. Don’t forget your camera!

We started this hike around 3:30 pm during the peak heat of a 92-degree day in the middle of October. It was pretty darn hot, but there was a nice breeze and we were prepared with lots of sun and heat protection.

Surprisingly, there was also quite a bit of late afternoon shade on the trail as well, but be sure to bring lots of water in your hydration backpack.

Courthouse Butte & Bell Rock Loop Tips

  • Trailhead: Bell Rock trailhead (Red Rock Pass or America the Beautiful Pass required)
  • Distance: 3.9 miles
  • Trail type: Loop
  • Direction: Either way, but we hiked it clockwise
  • Time needed: 2-3 hours
  • Elevation gain: 341 ft
  • Map: AllTrails, Hiking Project

After your hike, get cleaned up and excited for dinner at Elote which I guarantee will be some of the most delicious food you’ve ever had!

Tip: Reservations for Elote are required and since it’s such a popular restaurant, they can book out weeks in advance. Be sure to make your reservation before heading out on your Sedona itinerary.

Restaurant table loaded with food and menu from Elote in Sedona
Elote serves up some of the best Mexican-inspired food in Sedona

Day 2: Hike The West Fork Trail

  • Morning: Hike the West Fork Trail
  • Afternoon: Indian Gardens for lunch
  • Evening: Walk around town, Hideaway House for dinner
Man walking under red rock overhang on the West Fork Trail in Sedona
The West Fork Trail is great to do year-round because it stays cooler than other trails in Sedona

In my opinion, the West Fork Trail is a must-do hike when in Sedona. It’s absolutely beautiful and unique and stays cooler than most trails even on hotter days.

The trail runs along Oak Creek’s meandering West Fork in a canyon full of trees that were bursting with fall colors when visited in October. It’s one of the most popular trails in Sedona, though, so go early and don’t expect solitude.

The West Fork Trail is 3.6 miles each way and it’s flat but sandy so the going is slow and there are numerous river crossings.

The river was very shallow when we hiked this trail in October so we were able to easily navigate our way across on rocks or walk across. If you want to wade through the water, I recommend a pair of Astral water shoes which are great for hiking in rivers and streams.

Scenic view of river through a canyon on the West Fork Trail in Sedona
Pack shoes you don’t mind getting wet since there are numerous river crossings on the West Fork Trail

You can bring a lunch with you to enjoy at a scenic spot along the river, or I highly recommend grabbing lunch post-hike at Indian Gardens on the way back into town. It’s a wonderful little cafe and market with a nice outdoor seating area in the back.

Depending on when you finish your hike, take some time to rest or check out some of the cute shops in town and the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village (Cocopah and Crystal Magic were favorites).

Then, head to an early dinner at Hideaway House so you can enjoy the views before the sun goes down.

Tip: I highly recommend making a reservation for Hideaway House since it’s one of the most popular places in Sedona to watch the sunset.

Day 3: Choose Your Hike!

  • Morning/Afternoon: Hiking trail options: Bear Mountain, Huckaby Trail, or Boynton Canyon
  • Evening: Dinner at The Hudson

Since there are so many great hikes in Sedona, I wanted to give you some options for day 3.

Bear Mountain Trail

If you’re looking for a challenge, get up before sunrise and hike the Bear Mountain Trail. This is a difficult 4.3 mile out-and-back trail that takes you up to a peak with amazing views.

>> Map: AllTrails, Hiking Project

Huckaby Trail

If you want a more moderate hike, check out the Huckaby Trail (5.7-mile out-and-back) where you’ll find some shade, some nice views of town, and a swimming hole.

>> Map: AllTrails, Hiking Project

Scenic Sedona landscape with red rock mountains in the distance
Views of Sedona’s red rock bluffs from Huckaby Trail

Boynton Canyon Trail

The Boynton Canyon Trail (6.1 miles out and back) is also a popular trail with beautiful views and is supposedly home to an energy vortex.

>> Map: AllTrails, Hiking Project

Whichever trail you choose, bring a lunch or a good amount of snacks to enjoy on your hike as these will likely take half a day.

After your hike, head to The Hudson for an early dinner so you can beat the crowds and enjoy the views.

Whether on the outside patio or in the dining room with enormous windows, the views are incredible and will make you want to stay for hours. The food is delicious too and the service was superb.

Day 4: Hike Cathedral Rock for Sunrise

  • Morning: Cathedral Rock sunrise hike
  • Afternoon: Depart Sedona
Cathedral Rock in Sedona at sunrise
Cathedral Rock is one of the best places in Sedona to enjoy sunrise or sunset

Cathedral Rock is a beautiful hike to do during sunrise or sunset. We opted for a sunrise hike on our last morning since we had a long drive home ahead of us and didn’t want to do anything too major.

We started around 7am as the sun was coming up, but I’d recommend starting even earlier for the real sunrise views from higher up.

You can often see hot air balloons floating over town in the early morning hours too, which is another reason for an early start!

The Cathedral Rock trail is more of a climb than a hike. It’s short (only 1.2 miles round trip), but it’s strenuous because you’re walking/climbing uphill almost the whole way.

There are areas where you’ll need to use your hands to climb, so if you’re afraid of heights this might not be the trail for you – or alternatively – you can just hike up to the point where you’re comfortable then sit down and enjoy the views.

Cathedral Rock Trail Tips

After your hike, grab a quick breakfast at Creekside Coffee, a little cafe across the parking lot from Hideaway House. They have nice coffees, teas, a small breakfast menu, and good vibes although the main event is the views.

If you want a full sit-down breakfast, check out their restaurant Creekside American Bistro downstairs.

Additional Sedona Resources

And there you have it, a 4-day Sedona itinerary for a fabulous Sedona trip! There are so many things to do in Sedona so even if you don’t follow this itinerary exactly I hope that it helps you with your trip planning.

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to customize your trip, check out our other Sedona guides:

  • Best Hikes in Sedona
  • Sedona Travel Guide
  • Best Things to do in Sedona
Woman standing at lookout wearing a hiking backpack in Sedona, Arizona

Looking for more adventures in the Southwest? Check out these blog posts to start planning your road trip or getaway:

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Have you visited or planned a trip to Sedona? What are your favorite hikes, restaurants, and things to do? Leave us your tips and suggestions in the comments below!



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