Sedona is one of the most beautiful places to visit on earth, and Americans are lucky to have such beauty nearby, especially those who live in the Western portion of the United States and can easily drive there. However, there are some stunning sites that are great day trips from Sedona, and which make sense not to drive there alone because of the long distances in undeveloped Navajo land, where rest stops are infrequent. The Grand Canyon is the most obvious day trip outside of Sedona, but two additional other trips are fantastic and are offered by Sedona- based Redstone Tours. As of this writing, a purchase of two or more tours enables the traveler to get a five per cent discount. Even better, they do not accept any money until after the tour has been completed, but a credit card hold is required to make the reservation.
Monument Valley is nearly three hours from Sedona, with stunning views of the Vermillion Cliffs off into the distance as well as vistas of the much closer Painted Desert along the way. A stop at the old but newly renovated Cameroon Trading Post breaks up the long drive, as well as a stop at a Navajo location that honors that famous World War Two Navajo “Wind talkers,” and a small museum to honor their work in thwarting enemy efforts to understand American code. But the real trip is of course spectacular Monument Valley, the site of many Western movies across the generations, as well as a very famous scene from “Forrest Gump.” The trip also includes a long lunch at the only restaurant on the grounds, The View. Once in the park itself after lunch, the tour continues with various stops for about two hours. This tour is exceptional because not only does the traveler get to sit in the luxury of a van or bus, but the stops along the way are breathtaking, and there is plenty of time at each stop for photos. Since the scenery can look dramatically different as the day progresses, travelers are inclined to take photos of the same scene multiple times. Tours to Monument Valley depart Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday only.
At trip to Antelope Canyon and Slot Canyon is a must, especially for the camera enthusiast. This trip also stops at Horseshoe Bend, which is at the bottom the Grand Canyon, and is also the site of many rafting expeditions. The tour continues onto Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. A Navajo guide takes over once in Page, and all travelers are escorted to the Slot Canyon in an open air vehicle. The slots themselves are both compact in size and crowded, with only fifteen minutes allowed for photography is these unique structures. A Navajo guide gives tips on taking the photos to ensure maximum effectiveness amid the dim and often challenging lighting in the slot. But the red rock formations are spectacular, and almost every photo will look like it belongs in a frame or a coffee table book. A stop at the old but newly renovated Cameroon Trading Post breaks up the long drive, as in the other tours they offer. This tour is only offered on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Lunch is included at Glenn Canyon Dam.
The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is of course the most obvious day trip, and this company offers several which depart daily. The Grand Canyon Explorer is one of the most popular, and includes lunch at the Cameroon Trading post, ancient desert dwellings, and stops at the South and East rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon sunset trip offers dinner at the lodge and then the stunning views of the Grand Canyon at sunset. The sunset trip leaves later in the day and returns much later at night to also ensure some great star gazing in the remote and unobstructed night skies. There is also a Grand Canyon day hike in yet another of Redstone’s offerings. For anyone who has been there before and wants a different take on it with a chance to see various additional and different sites, any of these would be great alternatives for a day trip from Sedona. All tours are also offered from Flagstaff and are full day trips. Consult the Redstone web site for additional details on these different Grand Canyon trips.