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Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr

Green Bay, Wisconsin
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73 posts
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Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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We are doing an out west trip in early June. We are flying into Phoenix, picking up rental car and heading to Sedona right away and staying for 3 nights in Sedona before moving on. Plans are below with a couple of questions for you guys... Would love feedback or ideas...

* On way to Sedona would like to stop at Taliesin West as son loves Frank Lloyd Wright; would also like to do quick stop at Montezuma Castle/Well

* Pink Jeep Tours - any recommendations? Looking at maybe shorter one...??

* Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Villiage

* Saw that Cowboy Club restaurant and drinks/ice cream at Canyon Breeze was recommended.. not sure on Cowboy Club, looks kind of like tourist trap. We like to try and experience "local cuisine/atmosphere" but if this is it then that's cool

* Hiking - we love to hike and be out in nature (just came back from Smoky's)... here are some trails I researched. Won't be able to do all so please let me know the top 2/3 you would do. Kids are great hikers! West Fort Trail; Devils Bridge Trail?; Eagles Nest Loop; Bell Rock Pathway; Boynton Canyon; Sedona Airport Overlook vs Airport Summit Trail vs Airport Loop (are these all the same?); Cathedral Rock Trail. (Chapel of Holy Cross just not sounding appealing to me) and the sliding rock got some nasty/gross reviews and sounds pretty touristy...

Thank you so much in advance, we are so excited!!!

19 replies to this topic
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
73 posts
1 review
1. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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Should also mention that we are heading to Yavapai Lodge at GCNP after Sedona and hoping to stop at Walnut Canyon on the way there. Hoping it is not too far out from Flagstaff... if it is, is this worth stopping at or just get to lodge? Thanks!

Phoenix
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for Phoenix, Pinetop-Lakeside
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2. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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What time of day are you scheduled to land at Sky Harbor?

Taliesen West is open 7 days a week from 10-4. It is recommended that you reserve your tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour is highly recommended. I've been twice and loved the off road adventure. Reserve ahead of time online as it books in advance.

I agree that Cowboy Club is kind of a tourist trap with Ok food.

If you like Mexican food try Elote (advance reservations a must) .

If you do go to Canyon Breeze for a snack, go out back to sit and enjoy the views!

Walnut Canyon is not far from from Flagstaff. In case anyone has bad knees know there are 240 step-down to Walnut Canyon ruins (and back up). Heed the warning sign at the top of the stairs. As to whether it is worth it depends upon your interests. If interested in Native American history it might be worth it to you.

Edited: March 23, 2021, 3:24 am
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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3. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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Scheduled to land at noonish. Good to know on Taliesen West, thank you! Thank you also on the tour for Pink Jeep, there were so many, hard to know which is recommended and sounds fun! Passing on Cowboy Club, not our thing from what it sounds. We LOVE mexican food so thank you on that, I'll make reservations. Also good to know on Walnut Canyon. We should be fine but good to know just in case. My husband and son are huge history buffs and we love learning about local culture, history and so on, so this sounds fun. If we book the Broken Arrow tour, would you have a recommendation then on some hikes so they don't overlap what we see on the jeep tour? Thank you!!

Phoenix
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4. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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Due to a bad knee I am not into hiking. I'll let others make those recommendations. Have fun!

Mariposa is another popular restaurant (advance reservations a must) where you can eat inside or outside and enjoy pretty views. Book online. https://www.mariposasedona.com

Sedona, AZ
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5. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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For a quick Mexican or burger lunch, try Tortas de Fuego or Senor Bob's, both in West Sedona. You can good get picnic sandwiches at Sedona Memories in Uptown or at grocery stores.

You didn't mention Red Rock Crossing. I wouldn't miss that iconic site. Great place to picnic and also for sunset. Walk on the path going upstream.

Most everything in Sedona is touristy, not just the couple sites you mentioned sounded touristy. Bring patience, know that scenery is all over as you drive around town and sit in traffic, begin as early in the morning as you can to get parking spots at hiking trailheads, count on extra time to get to dining or tour reservations.

West Fork is a great summer hike in Oak Creek Canyon because it is shaded and cooler.

Can't imagine what wouldn't be appealing with Chapel of the Holy Cross. It is not a hike. Just park there and walk up the ramp. An architectural wonder built into the rocks. Great views, peaceful and meditative inside (if tourists don't ruin the ambience).

I don't pay much attention to trail names when I hike in certain places that have a system of trails in one area. Read this review by Esty666 of Airport Mesa. Just drive up Airport Mesa Rd. There is one smaller parking lot half-way up and another large parking lot at the top. The overlook is exactly that...an overlook, not a hike. It's across from the large parking lot. Hiking is from either parking lot.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g31352-d255401-r320437429-Airport_Mesa-Sedona_Arizona.html

Someone on TA asked the same sort of question about Bell Rock Pathway vs Bell Rock Trail, etc. My advice...just park in the parking lot at Bell Rock and hike anywhere around there, you'll figure it out. One is at the base, one takes you up Bell Rock a bit. At some places, you just don't have to be so concerned about exactly which trail you will be on....unless, of course, you are hiking alone and have informed someone of your whereabouts. You'll understand when you're here.

I really like Walnut Canyon, so I would say it's worth the slight detour. Are you staying just one night at GCNP? If the east entrance opens up by June, you could go in that way. After Walnut Canyon, you could visit Sunset Crater/Wupatki Nat'l Monuments. Walk on Lava Loop Trail, see more Indian Ruins. Of course, this takes more time, which I'm not sure you'd have.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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I think that staying in Uptown would be good with children of that age. Lots of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance. We always enjoy staying at the Matterhorn Inn which is in Uptown because of its excellent views of the red rock scenery from the room or outdoors from the patio or balcony. Next door is the Mexican restaurant Oaxaca where we enjoy eating and they also have those same excellent views from their balcony. Pink Jeep is in easy walking distance. The Cowboy Club was the only restaurant in Sedona where we've eaten where no one in our party has enjoyed the food. Our favorite place to eat in Sedona is Rene in Tlaquepaque Village where we have always more than enjoyed our lunch.

Since your son is interested in architecture, do visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It was iconic when first built in 1956.

And you think one particular spot in the area is touristy, it all is. But the red rock scenery is great. I first visited Sedona the year that the Chapel of the Holy Cross was completed as a 12 year old. (The chapel hasn't changed much except for the tourist hordes.) Then there was only a small Uptown. I cringe on every visit since because of the commercialism, the huge expanded town, and the large number of tourists. There are places there I can't stand to visit because of past memories and now what the place has become. But I still enjoy visiting because of the red rock scenery and try to divorce myself from much of the present development, Tlaquepaque Village excepted.

Sedona, Arizona
6 posts
7. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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The Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff is a good option if you decide not to go to Walnut Canyon.

Green Bay, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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Wow, thank you guys for all the input! Good to know on all of it being touristy... We recently went to the Smoky Mountains to do hiking and get away and did not realize how touristy the two small towns nearby were and unfortunately wasted a day stuck in traffic there versus outside hiking taking in the views. Our kids love being outside in nature exploring and we are excited to see the amazing view and just different animals/vegetation than WI! But we are doing lots of hiking after Sedona (GCNP, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands) so we will prep ourselves for Sedona to be the touristy section of the trip and take it all in!

I wasn't sure that the Holy Cross thing would be worth it but yes, my son does love architecture so we will add this to the list. So excited to try the local cuisine as well and we love southwest food so that will be fun! Not into shopping much, especially with the kids, but again, Tlaquepaque Village seems unique to the area and something we could not find anywhere in our neck of the woods so that is appealing. Really hoping to learn more about the local native culture/history so thank you on the addition of Sunset Crater/Wupatki Nat'l Monuments.

So it sounds like we should plan our days to do the hiking earlier in the morning/day and then chill/sight see for the afternoon and try to hit a sunset trail at the end of the day or drinks/dinner with a view somewhere correct?

What are the general temps for the area in early June? Should we bring our camel backs? TIA!!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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9. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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For local native culture/history here are two excellent shops to visit that have museum quality native things:

Garland's Navajo Rugs ( https://www.garlandsjewelry.com/collections/navajo-rugs ) on the traffic circle across from Tlaquepaque Village- not just Navajo items and not just rugs. There's a wide choice of things to purchase from moderate to expensive. The last room is full of museum quality Indian items.

Cameron Trading Post ( https://camerontradingpost.com/ ) on US89 east of the Grand Canyon (note that the East Entrance to the Grand Canyon is currently closed)- the main building of the trading post is crammed full of mostly Indian items that are moderate in price. They have a very good restaurant and also a hotel. At least in non-Covid times, a Navajo woman is inside weaving a rug. This is where we go from Las Vegas to buy blue corn flour as it is one of the few sources of it. But don't miss the Gallery on the north side of the parking lot. It is crammed full of museum-quality Indian items, the equivalent of visiting an excellent museum. If you can go upstairs, it's the same, but with the added attraction of this being the owner's former residence, and it has interesting architectural features.

The nice thing about visiting both of these places is that there are more than enough excellent Indian items to easily spend over an hour, but you're not overwhelmed by them as you might be in a large museum. And of course, you can also buy them. The people operating both places are extremely knowledgeable and happy to answer questions and we always stop at both when passing by.

Tuzigoot National Monument ( https://www.nps.gov/tuzi/index.htm ) is close to Sedona to the SW by Cottonwood. It is the ruins of an ancient pueblo and is interesting to visit. They also have a nice small exhibit of items found there.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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10. Re: Sedona Recommendations with a 3 night stay and 11 and 14 yr
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There is a Pink Jeep tour that goes to a cliff dwelling on the NW side of Sedona. There is a small hike to it. The first time we visited on their tour I had just gotten out of the jeep on the first tour of the morning, when a large javelina walked by within 20 feet away! You can drive this in your own car, but the road causes constant shaking of your vehicle. I don't like parts being shaken off my car!

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