Hi! I’ve been a little quiet on this blog. Life has been busy with work, and our kids are now older with a ton of activities to tetris into our overall family schedule – but we’re still making the most of every day, getting outside regularly, and squeezing in trips whenever we can! I’ve shifted to sharing most of our adventures on our Instagram page of the same name, and have saved trip itineraries to Instagram Guides. But since not everyone is on Instagram, I’ll try to catch up a post more of our trips on this blog including Costa Rica, Iceland, Taiwan, Lake Powell, Alaska and more!
I’m kicking off my return to blogging with my recent girls trip (with friends from college/ medical school and motherhood) to Sedona, Arizona. We chose Sedona for its incredible natural beauty, focus on wellness, great weather in late September, and dining options. We travelled from California, Minnesota, and Massachusetts and found convenient direct flights to Phoenix, Arizona. We spent 3 nights at the Enchantment Resort in Boynton Canyon, which provided a relaxing home base, access to many nearby hiking trails and was about 25 minutes away from the town.
Day 1: Thursday – Arrival
- Met up at the Phoenix airport, coordinating our flights to land within a 2 hour window in the afternoon ( between 2-4pm)
- Rented a car from Budget via Costco Travel. They seemed to be short on cars when we arrived, so we waited about an hour for a car to become available.
- Drove 2 hours to Sedona
- Checked into our room (Junior Suite Two Queens) at the Enchantment Resort
- Enjoyed dinner at Che Ah Chi – the restaurant at the resort
Day 2: Friday : Adventure day – Devil’s Bridge & Pink Jeep Tour
- Our day began early at 5:30 am, followed by a quick breakfast from the resort market which opens at 6 am. I had read many reviews of the Devil’s We reached the trailhead by 6:30 am and noticed parking spaces were filling up quickly. Many reports noted that by 7-8 am, the parking lot is full. Alternately, you can park in Sedona and take the free Sedona Shuttle which run year-round, Thursday through Sunday, to many trailheads, including this one.
- Hiked up to Devil’s Bridge. Some trail info: We started at the Mescal Parking Lot and took a nice trail from there to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead (only accessible by high clearance 4×4). Overall distance was approximately 4 miles round trip, with around 500 feet elevation gain. The hike is moderate, but the section approaching Devil’s Bridge is a bit steep. We lucked out with a short line for photos, but be prepared to wait up to 90 minutes during busy season!
- After our hike, we reenergized with delightful smoothies from the Local Juicery. (Tip: The pb&j smoothie is so good! )
- We had lunch at the Vault, which happened to be across the street from where the Pink Jeep Tours start.
- In the afternoon, we embarked on a thrilling 2 hour Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour. Our driver was a fantastic guide and photographer— we all loved this activity!
- Following the jeep tour, we paid a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
- We ended our adventure filled day in Sedona with dinner at Elote Cafe – a delicious Mexican restaurant in Sedona. Tips: This is an extremely popular spot so be sure to make your reservation 3 months in advance through their website. In our case, my friend emailed them and asked to be contacted if there was a cancellation, which we were notified about and accepted this afternoon.
Saturday: Hiking, Relaxing and Wining/Dining
- We started our morning with a gourmet breakfast at Hummingbird at Mii Amo, the luxurious spa section adjacent to the Enchantment Resort.
- Following breakfast, we hiked part of the Boynton Canyon trail (there is an entrance to the trail from the resort) and explored the Subway Cave. This is considered a “secret spot” in Sedona, but on the morning we went- we saw hundreds of others. While the hike to the base of the cave is generally pretty flat, the final portion is technical and requires some scrambling and footwear with good traction. I have to warn that it is potentially dangerous, as on our hike, we saw one woman carried out with an injured leg. If you are interested in this hike and vista point, I strongly encourage you to do some research (ie watch this YouTube video) to familiarize yourself with the route and please consider your knees/ footwear and leave no trace. No view is worth destroying land. No view is worth injury.
- After our hike, we spent a laid-back afternoon by the resort pool and enjoyed a light lunch by the pool *
- On our last evening in Sedona, we drove back into town for happy hour wine tasting at Vino de Sedona, followed by a delicious dinner with sunset views at Mariposa .
- We wanted to squeeze one more quick hike and experience a vortex before leaving Sedona, so we took the Kachina Woman trail which starts at the resort.
- On our way out of Sedona, we revisited the Local Juicery for avocado toasts and another round of delicious smoothies for breakfast.
- With memories in our hearts and photos on our phones, we drove back to the Phoenix airport, marking the end of our incredible Sedona journey. We loved it and hope to return to explore more!
Overall Tips and Information:
- We enjoyed our stay at Enchantment Resort. Our room was comfortable for the four of us. We enjoyed the two meals we had at Che Ah Chi and at Hummingbird on the Mii Amo side. We found the location to be very beautiful and convenient to the hikes we did on this trip. One gripe was that there were not enough chairs/ loungers by the main pool (the nicest one) and people seemed to claim them for the whole day. Another tip: If you want to have some spa sessions at Mii Amo, especially as a group of friends- book it way in advance, when you book your room. We called one week prior and couldn’t get massages for four of us within a similar time block at Mii Amo.
- There are many wellness and activity offerings throughout Sedona including massages, reiki, aura photography and readings. We could have participated in some of the complimentary wellness activities at the resort, and have heard good things about them – but on this trip, we focused on hiking and spending time catching up with one another.
- Make your dining reservations in advance, or else you might have limited dining options or long waits! We booked all our dinners (other than Elote Cafe which we got into with a cancellation) prior to our arrival.
- Tips for hiking in Sedona: 1) Start early to beat the heat and secure parking. 2) Wear good hiking shoes for the sandy and rocky paths 3) Stay on trail and stay safe. 4) Bring water and stay hydrated! 5) Leave no trace – pack out all trash 6) Check weather beforehand – don’t hike if there is a storm forecasted. 7) Use sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen. 8) Bring a camera and have fun!
*This is not a sponsored post. My friends and I did the research to plan this weekend, and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.