Soaring red rock canyons that are filled with lush, green valleys. Rock formations that seem to have been placed there by some omnipotent being. Everywhere you look the world looks like nothing you’ve seen before, and every corner you take brings more breathtaking views and sites.
No, this isn’t a science fiction movie, we’re talking about Sedona, Arizona! A truly one-of-a-kind spot that happens to not only be ethereally beautiful but also happens to have some of the most outstanding driving roads in the country. We’ll start our journey at the iconic Sky Rock Sedona hotel, and set out for a set of views like you’ve never seen before.
Red Rock Scenic Byway
For one of the punchiest drives, you can do in a short period of time, look no further than the Red Rock Scenic Byway / 89A loop.
You’ll start at the legendary Sky Rock Sedona, and wind your way through the center of Downtown Sedona along the Red Rocks Scenic Byway (SR 179), passing by legendary spots like the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village and the Chapel of the Holy Cross, both of which deserve a thorough exploration on their own. Keep on moving through the quaint village of Oak Creek, complete with some of the most stunning vistas in the entire Sedona area, and take a quick stop at the Red Rocks Visitor Center for an unparalleled view of the valley and the Red Rock Range.
Exit highway 179 at Beaverflats Road to start making the loop back toward Sky Rock Sedona and onto Oak Creek Road. If you come in the summer, be sure to stop off for a cool dip at one of the many swimming holes along Oak Creek! Head north on 89A, and take in the views of the Red Rock Range from the other side of the valley. There are countless places to stop along the way here and enjoy the stunning views.
Take this route and in a matter of a few hours, you can see the very best that Sedona has to offer.
Red Rocks Scenic Byway to Mingus Mountain
If you have more time, you owe yourself a journey through the old mining town of Jerome and a thrilling drive up Mingus Mountain.
Your journey for the first part of this ride will take you on the Red Rocks Scenic Byway where you’ll be able to stop and gawk at the incredible views of the Red Rock Valley. Once you move off the 179, you’ll travel through the cool old west town of Cottonwood, complete with an iconic downtown that’s bustling with bars, restaurants, and shopping. Keep following 89A for an iconic bit of spooky fun and brilliant driving.
Those who love the supernatural (or just the super cool) will want to poke around the legendary ghost town of Jerome, known for its numerous haunted locations and interesting history. Next, put on your driving shoes because the road to the top of Mingus Mountain is one heck of a ride. From the switchbacks in Jerome to the long sweepers as your head up higher, this is a route born for a proper sports car. Stop at the top of Mingus Mountain and enjoy the peace, solitude, and a picnic lunch.
Once you back down, you’ll follow 89A all the way back to Sedona, but be sure to stop and enjoy the dozens of incredible views along the way back to Sky Rock Sedona. A highlight of this itinerary is a stop at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve, which is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the Southwest.
Sedona to County Corner
For all-out driving thrills and stunning views, you can’t beat the Sedona Sky to Country Corner run.
This one’s an easy one to drive since you basically stay on highway 89A the whole way through. Start in Sedona and wind along the backside of the Red Rock Range, stopping at one of the many scenic viewpoints along the route. Cruise through Cottonwood and Jerome, and then onto the really challenging bit of road for this journey. 89A dips and winds its way through the Prescott National Forest, climbing in elevation to nearly 8,000 feet before descending gradually back towards Kirkland.
What makes this route so entrancing is the views of the Valleys and peaks along the way, and the magical transition from high desert to pine-laden forests. If you love to drive or ride, this is a route that can not be missed.
A Bonus Road for a Separate Day Trip
If you love nature, you can’t possibly visit this region without a trip to the Grand Canyon. Not only is this incredible site one of the wonders of the natural world, but the journey to and from the Grand Canyon is equally as enriching.
Before you head to Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll need to purchase tickets for a specific time slot to enter the park. Do this well in advance, because the Grand Canyon is one of the most visited National Parks in the world! There are plenty of ways to get to the Grand Canyon, but we recommend taking the scenic route through Flagstaff, along the scenic majesty of Highway 180, and then onto Highway 64. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to watch as the treeline disappears into a mock flatland that hides the secret of the Grand Canyon just a few miles ahead.
Make sure to pack a lunch and map out all the activities you want to do once you get inside the park. An absolute highlight for those on a short stop is Desert View Road, which traverses 23 miles along the iconic South Rim of the Canyon. There is so much to see that you may even need a second day! Gas is available in the Grand Canyon Village but be wary of higher-than-usual prices.
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Drive
You know what’s better than beautiful red rocks and soaring mountains? How about experiencing these things behind the wheel of a bonafide supercar?!
Open Road by Xtreme Xperience offers you the experience of a lifetime by letting you slide behind the wheel of one of our bespoke supercars. That’s right, YOU get to drive on the incredible roads that surround the iconic Sedona, AZ area. Sure, you could drive these roads in your minivan, but winding past iconic landmarks like Cathedral Rock or Red Rock State Park in a supercar is an experience that will change your life.
You’ll be able to drive up to three unique supercars from brands like Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari. Depending on the experience, you can drive all three vehicles in the fleet over the course of the day. Besides working for a car magazine, how else are you going to compare three of the world’s best supercars?
Great roads, great sites, and great cars. What could be better than this for your next trip to Sedona?