There are many amazing places to enjoy and appreciate all across the United States, from the charming villages of New England to the beautiful beaches of Florida and the Gulf Coast, the mountains and plains of the Midwest, the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and so much more. From arid deserts to snow-topped mountains, America has every kind of landscape imaginable, and each state is unique and special in its own ways.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Arizona. A state defined by its extraordinary scenery, Arizona is best known as the home of the Grand Canyon, along with many other incredible areas of natural beauty like the Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park, Monument Valley, and so much more. The state of Arizona attracts millions of visitors each year, with outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers being drawn to the unique features and geology of the state.
One of the main reasons people visit Arizona is to see the Grand Canyon, and it’s possible to do day trips to the Grand Canyon from many towns and cities all over Arizona. So even if you’re in a different part of the state, like Phoenix or Sedona, you can still plan a day trip to one of the most iconic national parks in the world, and there are a lot of different ways you can go about it. Here’s how to plan out the perfect Sedona to Grand Canyon day trip.
Getting to the Grand Canyon from Sedona
Sedona is barely 100 miles away from the Grand Canyon, so it's actually one of the best Arizona cities to base yourself out of if you're planning a day trip there. One of the best things about planning a day trip from Sedona to the Grand Canyon is that you can choose from a few different options when deciding how you want to get there. You can simply choose to drive, take a bus tour, or even ride on the train.
Getting to the Grand Canyon from Sedona by Car
Driving is the simplest option for people planning a day trip to the Grand Canyon National Park from Sedona. You can follow the I-40 and AZ-64 to get to the Grand Canyon, and the journey is a little over 100 miles, so it can be completed in under two hours.
This is a very scenic drive through sections of the Coconino State Forest, and you can even do a little detour to go past Humphreys Peak, which is the highest natural point in the whole of Arizona.
Getting to the Grand Canyon from Sedona by Bus
Many different bus tours connect Sedona to the Grand Canyon, so you can look around and compare prices with different tour operators to see which option might be the best for you. Some tours even come with additional experiences like rafting and guided hikes.
The bus takes about two hours to get to the Grand Canyon from Sedona. Prices will vary depending on which bus tour you choose and the features included in your tour will also vary, so there are lots of options if you choose a Grand Canyon day trip by bus.
Getting to the Grand Canyon from Sedona by Train
The Grand Canyon Railway offers one of the most unique ways to get to the Grand Canyon. This scenic train ride departs from the city of Williams, which is about an hour away from Sedona, so you'll need to drive there first of all and then climb on board the train.
The train usually departs from William at 9.30am, arriving at the Grand Canyon for 11.45am, and then sets back towards Williams at 3.30pm in order to arrive back before 6pm. This gives you a few hours to explore the canyon itself.
Important Information and Things to Do at the Grand Canyon
- Best Time to Visit - There’s no bad time to visit the Grand Canyon, but the weather and crowds will vary over the course of the year. Seeing the Grand Canyon is winter is a very unique and enjoyable experience, with the red rocks of the canyon contrasting nicely with the layers of snow scattered around. Seeing the canyon in winter, meanwhile, gives you more warmth and sunshine to be able to hike around and enjoy outdoor activities. Many people say that the best time to visit the Grand Canyon is in late spring or early fall in order to get good weather without the big crowds.
- Getting Around - Shuttle buses operate at the Grand Canyon to help you get around, with a shuttle bus running all along the South Rim and stopping off at several key locations. This is a popular option with people on day trips to the Grand Canyon as it allows you to get around more quickly, seeing a lot of different landmarks and getting a lot of great photo opportunities throughout the day.
- Things to Do - There are many different activities you can enjoy at the Grand Canyon. Most visitors simply visit the Visitor Center, take hikes around the South Rim, and stop off at the various viewing platforms and photo areas to take beautiful photos and admire the views. If you want to choose something more intense, you can reserve a spot on a helicopter tour or rafting trip down on the Colorado River itself.