Sedona, Arizona

We road-tripped from Texas to Sedona, Arizona over Mother’s Day this past May. If you’ve never been, Sedona is awesome! This was a quick trip, but we packed a lot in and really enjoyed all the things we were able to do over the long weekend!

We started the trip from Texas and drove straight to Albuquerque, NM for the night. The drive to NM takes about 9 hours. We didn’t leave until around noon, so we didn’t stop to do much on the drive. Our main goal was to get to Sedona in time to have 2.5 full days to explore the area. So we pretty much stopped to sleep in NM and then drove about 6 hours to get to Sedona the following day. We left early in the morning and got there in the early afternoon. We all LOVED the hotel we booked in Sedona, Hotel Arabella. They had many activities on site, including two pools/hot tubs, poolside drinks & snacks, outdoor games, and plenty of spectacular views. We were upgraded upon arrival to a room with a patio leading right out to the pool. It felt like we had the place to ourselves, nobody else ever used the pool near our room! There was also a good Mexican restaurant at the hotel that offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner, both in-person dining and room service.

Below you will find a great two-day itinerary suitable for kids!

Views along the Munds Wagon Trail
  • Day 1: Munds Wagon Trail Hike
  • 7:00 – Wake up, get ready for a day of hiking
  • 7:30 – Free breakfast buffet at hotel
  • 8:00 – Quick stop at grocery store/gas station for lunch/snacks on hike
  • 8:30 – Arrive at trailhead
  • 8:30-2:30 – Hike to Merry Go Round Rock via Munds Wagon Trail
  • 2:30 – Leave trailhead
  • 2:45 – Arrive back at hotel
  • 3:00 – Relax in the hot tub – great for those aches and pains from hiking
  • 4:00 – Shower, get ready for dinner
  • 5:30 – Dinner at Javelina Catina (walking distance from hotel)
  • 7:00 – Shopping after dinner (shops around the restaurant)
  • 8:00 – Back at hotel/night swimming and hot tubbing
  • 9:00 – Early bedtime for hiking the next day
  • Munds Wagon Trail At a Glance:
  • Open Season – Year-round
  • Length- 6.4 miles
  • Route Type- Out & Back
  • Rated- Moderate

The Munds Wagon Trail is about 8 miles out and back. AllTrails had the hike at 6.4 miles, but I clocked us at 8.1 miles. I would rate this trail as moderate if you’re hiking with kids. We needed to stop for food quite a bit. Luckily the majority of the hike is uphill on the way to Merry Go Round Rock, which makes the hike to the car mostly downhill. The views are stunning and the trail was very well marked.

Views along the Baldwin Trail to Cathedral Rock
  • Day 2: Cathedral Rock via Baldwin Trail
  • 7:00 – Wake up, get ready for a day of hiking
  • 7:30 – Free breakfast buffet at hotel
  • 8:00 – Quick stop at grocery store/gas station for snacks on hike
  • 8:30 – Arrive at trailhead
  • 8:30-12:30 – Hike to Cathedral Rock
  • 12:30-1:30 – Swimming in the river along the trail
  • 1:30 – Leave trailhead
  • 2:00 – Arrive back to town
  • 2:30 – Late lunch at The Vault
  • 4:00 – Explore downtown Sedona (lots of cool shops)
  • 6:00 – Arrive back at hotel
  • 6:00-8:00 – Night swimming/hot tubbing
  • 8:00 – Order room service from Mole (on site restaurant)
  • 10:00 – Bedtime for drive back home the next day
  • Baldwin Trail to Cathedral Rock at a Glance:
  • Open Season- Year-round
  • Length- 3.7 miles
  • Route Type- Out & Back
  • Rated- Hard (the trail isn’t hard, but the climb up Cathedral Rock is!)

Cathedral Rock is a popular area for hikers. It’s more like a rock climb, the hike is the trail that leads to the impressive rock formation! We chose not to go all the way up, we made it pretty far. But with kids I was a little nervous and wanted us to be safe.

One of the main reasons we decided to visit Sedona was because of the amazing landscape and hiking options. I had several hikes that I wanted to do, all those famous hikes like Cathedral Rock, Devil’s Bridge, etc. On Thursdays-Sundays, shuttles run to those more popular trailheads and you cannot simply just drive there on your own. I had read some mixed reviews on the shuttles, like how hard it was to find where they pick you up. So I decided to find a less popular option for our first day hike, which was on a Sunday. This plan worked out perfectly and we had an amazing hike! Then, I thought that we wouldn’t have any issues on the more popular hikes on Monday, but boy was I wrong! What nobody told me about Sedona is that there are tons of hikers and many of the popular trailheads have parking spaces for about 10 cars or less! We had a very difficult time on Monday morning finding any trails with parking spaces available. And frustratingly enough, the shuttles don’t run on Monday-Wednesday, at least not in May. So take my advice now, get up early! On Monday we were at the first trail by 8:30 and had no luck with parking and we had to drive around to five other trailheads before finally finding a place to hike! Even though we enjoyed our visit and there’s not a lot that compares to the views that Sedona offers, I was not expecting the crowds in town or in regards to hiking/parking. But don’t let that deter you from visiting! If you can’t find parking at Cathedral Rock, head to the Baldwin Trailhead. There’s a lot more parking available and the hike was one of my favorites! My boys loved the river, too!

Overall, Sedona is a beautiful destination and we enjoyed our visit. I wish that we would’ve had more time to explore the area, so I recommend going longer than for just the weekend, unless you live closer!

I have several videos (reels) on my Instagram of both hikes and our hotel if you want a better idea of exactly what the trails are like or if you want to see a peak of our room at https://www.instagram.com/road_trip_queen/

And as always, thank you for following along on our adventures!

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