A trip to Sedona, Arizona is the perfect place for a Girlfriends’ Getaway!
If you’re like me, you want a few days with your best girlfriends that include hiking, relaxing, shopping, eating, and lots of laughing!
One of the absolute best trips I’ve ever taken was to Sedona for a five-day adventure. Follow these tips and it’s a guaranteed great time! You can’t go wrong!
Sedona is located in the northern Verde Valley region of Arizona and is renowned for its stunning red sandstone formations. The red rock illuminates at sunrise and sunset, creating magical views. Sedona is a haven for people who love a rugged landscape, hiking, biking, and a charming town with a vibrant arts community.
Sedona is also home to ancient vortexes which are places identified as energy centers that promote healing and meditation.
Sedona is ideal for a Girlfriends’ Getaway because it offers some of the most spectacular hikes you’ll ever take, is always gorgeous and has excellent vacation rentals. Sedona is a popular place for spa and wellness retreats, wine tasting, and plenty of shopping and dining for when you get off the trails.
How Many Days in Sedona?
It’s recommended you plan on 5 days for this trip. You’ll have time to fly to Phoenix, rent a car, and drive the 2 hours to Sedona before checking into your hotel or vacation rental.
Enjoy the next 3 days in Sedona, completing 3 major hikes, one each day. If you take the hikes very early in the morning, then your afternoons and evenings can be free for relaxing, hot tubbing, touring around, shopping, and eating!
Your final day gives you time to get back to Phoenix, return the car, and catch your flights back home.
Pro Tip for Trailhead Parking
You’ll need a Red Rock Pass to park at any of the trailheads. Your vacation rental may supply one for you, but if not, you’ll have to purchase one at the trailhead, or online before you go. The pass costs $5 per day or $15 for a week and must be displayed in your dashboard to avoid a ticket.
The Three Best Hikes in Sedona:
1. Brins Mesa & Soldier Pass Cave Hike
This hike is a 6 Mile Loop.
It’s Easy to Moderate Difficulty.
Park at the Brins Mesa/Jim Thompson Trailhead early because the lot will fill up quickly as this is a very popular hike. (Don’t park at the Soldier Pass Trailhead parking lot at the end of Forest Service 9904 Road.) There are toilet facilities in the Jim Thompson trailhead parking lot.
The Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness is within the Coconino National Forest in Sedona. The Soldier Pass/Brins Mesa Trail is one of the top hikes in this forest. This trail includes several landmarks along the way. You’ll find the vast Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole, the sandstone Seven Sacred Pools, and the hidden Soldier Pass Cave.
Hike the trail Clockwise starting at the Brins Mesa Trailhead /Jim Thompson Trailhead. You’ll come to the Devil’s Kitchen first, then the Seven Sacred Pools, and then the Soldier Pass Cave. There’s a little challenge on the .5 mile spur trail into the cave and as you climb to the Mesa.
You’ll hike alongside the beautiful red rock that Sedona is famous for, along with sacred Native American sites, and experience the land where dinosaurs once roamed and was once covered by ocean.
2. Subway Cave Hike
This hike is a 7.5 mile Round Trip.
It’s Moderate Difficulty.
Park in the Boynton Canyon Road lot. If you don’t get a spot in the lot, then you can park on the side of Boynton Pass Road. There are toilet facilities in the trailhead parking.
This is a gorgeous hike that leads to an unusual spot known as the Subway Cave. You’ll hike through vortexes and will see ancient Sinagua ruins. Climbing into the cave is not very easy, but if you can do it, you won’t be disappointed! Be sure to take the spur trail on your descent to the Boynton Canyon Vista as well. There you’ll find the rock formation known as the Kachina Woman, a spiritual figure for the Hopi Indians.
3. Devil’s Bridge Hike
This hike is a 4.2 mile Round Trip.
It’s Easy to Moderate Difficulty
Park at the Mescal Trailhead parking lot on Long Canyon Road very early because this is a small lot and a very popular hike. If you don’t get a spot there, then park at the Dry Creek Road for the Dry Creek Vista Trailhead. This will add a half mile to your hike and its not as nice as the Mescal Trail.There are NO toilet facilities in the Mescal trailhead parking, but there are pit toilets at the Dry Creek lot.
The Devil’s Bridge hike is also in the stunning Coconino National Forest. This trail brings you up to the remarkable natural sandstone arch known as the Devil’s Bridge. The bridge was formed 300 million years ago when a fallen rock and eroding stone created this special bridge. You can wait your turn in line to walk onto the bridge with your girlfriends and have your photo taken by another hiker in line.
When to Go to Sedona
Sedona is known for being a year-round destination. That being said, the summer can be extremely hot with temps in the 90’s F. Fall and Spring weather is considered perfect – 70’s F – 80’s F. The winter can be quite cold but also has fewer tourists. I found a November visit to be the best time to enjoy all the outdoor activities.
Where To Stay in Sedona
Knowing a little bit about Sedona’s primary neighborhoods may help with planning where to stay.
Uptown Sedona is the city’s busy tourist neighborhood with all the shops, restaurants, and galleries. This neighborhood is walkable and at the center of things, but will be a bit farther from the hike trailheads.
West Sedona has many hotels and restaurants as well as residential neighborhoods. This makes finding a vacation rental here very easy. The homes are huge and have many bedrooms, ideal for a girlfriend getaway.
Where to Eat in Sedona
The most popular restaurants in Sedona offer a wide variety of foods and many have stunning views of the Red Rock surrounding the town.
Elote Cafe was my favorite restaurant on the trip. Its Mexican and Southwest cuisine.
The Hudson offers American cuisine, is near the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and has a lovely patio.
Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen is a great spot for lunch or dinner. We actually ordered delivery from here to our VRBO.
What To Pack for Sedona
Any trip to Sedona will include a lot of outdoor activities as well as some nights out, so you’ll want to be prepared!
Hiking clothes and socks enough for 3 hikes
Lightweight hiking jacket
A couple of casual evening outfits
Sandals or casual sneakers
Other Sedona Activities
Sedona has many natural and man-made landmarks to keep you and the girls very busy and inspired.
The Red Rock Scenic Byway is an 8-mile drive on Highway 179 that passes some of Sedona’s most famous sites. Begin at the Village of Oak Creek and end at Back O Beyond Rd.
Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Catholic chapel that was built in 1956. It is considered a man-made wonder of Arizona because it is literally built into and around a rock formation and has views overlooking Sedona. You’ll find the chapel at the end of Chapel Road.
The Bell Rock is a huge bell-shaped rock on the side of Highway 179. You can see it from the road or stop and hike to the iconic rock north of the Oak Creek village.
Cathedral Rock is another giant rock formation on the side of Highway 179. You can drive by or stop for the hike to Cathedral Rock.
Shop at Tlaquepaque Village with its 50 boutiques featuring arts and crafts made locally.
Do some wine tasting on the Verde Valley Wine Trail. With many wineries in Sedona and nearby Cottonwood, you can stay pretty happy for a while. The wineries on the trail offer a passport stamp as you progress from vineyard to vineyard!
Four Wheel Driving is a popular activity. You can find many tours to take you on the roads through the Red Rock.
A girlfriends’ getaway to Sedona is truly an unforgettable trip! It combines your favorite things – breathtaking natural beauty, rejuvenating hikes, relaxation and your best girlfriends! You’ll enjoy the sunrises and sunsets against the backdrop of the most awe-inspiring red rock formations in the world.
Sedona has something for everyone from 4 wheel drive adventures to incredible hikes, and the great arts and culture scene. What can be better after a beautiful day than hanging out in the hot tub, sipping wine, and building lasting memories?
Grab the gang, make your plans, and get to Sedona!
Guest author: Carrie Green Zinn is the owner and author of Carrie Green Zinn – A Travel Blog, which helps travelers become inspired to explore and step out of their comfort zones. Carrie focuses on family vacations, empty nest travel, and girlfriend getaways.
If you found this information helpful consider buying me a cup of coffee. Just scan the QR code or click the link. As always, thank you for your support!
Get Travel Insurance
I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner! My second favorite site to find flights is Momondo, another great site for finding cheap flights.
Book a Place to Stay
If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO.
Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!
Choose Activities and Tours
To find great activities in any area I use Get Your Guide and Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available.