Need help planning your Sedona and Grand Canyon itinerary for families? This article has some suggestions for you! From gorgeous red rocks in Sedona to the South Rim of The Grand Canyon, an epic adventure awaits your family in Arizona. Take a pink Jeep Tour along a stunning backroad, hike Devil’s Bridge, and see some local wildlife. Though you could totally visit these two beautiful destinations separately, it’s completely doable to see them both in one trip. In fact, on our most recent trip to Arizona, we drove from Phoenix to Sedona, then took off for the Grand Canyon! Here, I break down some of the best tips I learned along the way, including where to stay, eat, and more. I’ve also included a sample itinerary to give you an idea of how to plan a similar trip with your family. Here’s my Sedona and Grand Canyon Itinerary For Families!
Before arriving in Sedona, you’ll need to know where to stay! Sedona has so many hotels for families to stay at. During our trip, we opted for the Courtyard by Marriott, which had a great location near some hiking trails and among the stunning red rock scenery. Other great hotels for families include Enchantment Resort, L’Auberge de Sedona, and Adobe Grand Villas. These luxury properties showcase stunning views of Sedona and offer various activities for families to do together. For more information on where to stay in Sedona with kids, check out this list of best hotels for families in Sedona.
Day 1: Arrive in Sedona, Hike the Boynton Canyon Trail, and Enjoy Sunset Views
Our Sedona and Grand Canyon itinerary for families started with some driving. We arrived in Phoenix the day before, and then drove to Sedona the next day, which took about two hours. For lunch, we stopped at Moon Dog Pizza to refuel with a delicious slice. Then, we set off to hike the Boynton Canyon Trail,one of the most scenic box canyons in Arizona! Famous for its red rock scenery, this hike wasn’t too hard overall for my kids, though it could be a bit challenging and slippery at times.
After hiking, we hopped in the car and drove up to the Sedona Airport Overlook for a scenic sunset view. We recommend visiting an hour or more before sunset so you can avoid the long line of cars trying to park. End your day with dinner at Molé — yum!
Day 2: Devil’s Bridge, Bell Rock Pathway, and Dinner at Up The Creek
We started the second day of our Sedona and Grand Canyon itinerary with breakfast at our hotel. Then, we set off for Devil’s Bridge in the nearby Coconino National Forest, one of the most popular hikes in Sedona. I suggest arriving early and setting aside three hours to see everything along this 3.9-mile moderate trail. It’s usually crowded, especially along the stunning natural rock bridge that gives this trail its name. There weren’t many casual and quick lunch spots around, but we eventually settled on Famous Pizza.Then, we rented bikes from Absolute Bikesto take along theBell Rock Pathway. Despite being the easiest mountain biking trail in Sedona, it was still a bit too difficult for my kids. However, if your kids are up for a challenge, it’s beautiful and you can also hike it. Finish your day with dinner at Up The Creek!
Sedona is conveniently located within Arizona, so it’s easy to take a short day trip somewhere near. We decided to drive to Jerome on our third day, since this old mining town is only around 30 minutes away. Once we arrived, we went to Jerome State Historic Park, where we visited the Douglas Mansion. It’s located on a scenic hilltop with nice views of the city, and you can learn some information about the town too. After, we poked around a little and took the kids to Nellie By’s Kaleidoscopes to see some colorful kaleidoscopes. Plus, they loved the sweet treats at Rickeldoris Candy Shop!
After we returned to Sedona, we went on a Broken Arrow Pink Jeep Tour.This rugged off-roading adventure takes families down deep descents and through Sedona’s most beautiful backroads. We suggest booking a tour close to sunset for the best views! Next stop, the Grand Canyon.
On the fourth day of our Sedona and Grand Canyon itinerary for families, we finally set off for the park. Many families choose to combine a trip with Sedona with a visit to Grand Canyon National Park since the driving distance isn’t too far. It took us around two hours to arrive, and we didn’t encounter much traffic during the drive. Families can take a break during the drive and visit Bearizona Wildlife Park. Located in Williams, this unique wildlife safari showcases wolves, bears, bison, and more. Best of all: you don’t have to leave your car, since it’s a drive-through experience! Afterward, you can set off for The Grand Canyon again. Once we arrived, we saw a long line of cars to get inside the park. It took us a little longer than we anticipated to check into our hotel. We prepared for our adventure the next day!
We had breakfast at El Tovar on our fifth day. My kids loved the hot chocolate! Then, we left for a hike along the South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Ah Point. Located on the South Rim, it’s accessible by a shuttle from the Visitor’s Center. A round-trip to Ooh Ah Point is around 1.8 miles, so even though it’s a bit steep, it should be fine for most kids. If you plan to go further, set aside at least two hours or more. For lunch, we grabbed burgers at the Bright Angel Lodge. There aren’t a lot of food options inside the park, and there’s a very long line to get back in. After lunch, we hiked to Shoshone Point Trail, which isn’t marked on any maps. This easy walk provides an unbelievable view! For dinner, we ordered room service, then grabbed gelato at Grand Canyon Chocolate Factory.
Pro Tip: If you want to save yourself the hassle of finding food in the park, pack lunch with you!
Day 6: Back To Phoenix, Camelback Mountain, & the Echo Canyon Trail
On day six of our Sedona and Grand Canyon itinerary for families, we hit the road for Phoenix again. It’s around a four-and-a-half-hour drive from The Grand Canyon, so we wanted to get an early start. Though we didn’t do much sightseeing while in Phoenix, I did visit Camelback Mountain without my kids. Here, I hiked the Echo Canyon Trail, which I consider to be quite difficult. I did see a few kids along the trail, but they seemed much more experienced.
If you need somewhere to stay near Grand Canyon National Park with kids, consider El Tovar Hotel. We loved this hotel located right on the South Rim of the canyon – the views truly can’t be beaten! It’s a 15-minute walk from the Grand Canyon Village, has an on-site restaurant, and offers free parking. Some of the spaces were a little cramped, but this comes with the territory of staying in a historic hotel. Some other hotels on the South Rim we didn’t stay in but are good for families include Thunderbird Lodge and the Bright Angel Lodge.
Other Tips to Know Before Visiting Sedona & the Grand Canyon with Kids
There are a few other tips parents should know before visiting Sedona or The Grand Canyon with kids. Firstly, bring along some sturdy hiking boots and lots of water, regardless of where you’re heading. To get your kids excited about the trip before you leave, you can also read them some travel-related books. We chose Grand Canyon by Jason Chin, so they could read it ahead of time and reference all the flora and fauna they saw. Since it’s so well-illustrated, it made the whole experience better! A Kid’s Guide to Elite Hikes of Sedona is another fantastic one, since it provided an overview of Sedona’s best family-friendly hikes. This helped us choose where we wanted to go ahead of time, and told our kids what to expect too. An activity book is another great way to pass the time and rehash what you saw each day!
We hope you enjoyed this Sedona and Grand Canyon Itinerary For Families by our contributor Melina McCarty! Whether you’re visiting for a week or just want to take a short trip, beautiful adventures await you in Arizona. Enjoy Sedona and the Grand Canyon with your family!
*Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of and belong to Melina McCarty.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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