Places To Explore While Camping In Sedona with Kids
By Care Willink
Sedona, Arizona is one of our favorite places to travel to and hike with kids! Each season brings a new vibe. Temperature-wise it’s cooler than most places in the desert in the summer. The fall season brings you stunning colorful trees and the perfect brisk breeze. In the winter you’ll find the red rock with the snow is just breathtakingly beautiful. And spring features beautiful desert flowers which are a sight to behold.
Go and pick out a campervan and check out some of these places to explore while camping in Sedona, especially if you are traveling with kids.
National Parks updates in Arizona:
Located in Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park encompasses 277 miles (446 km) of the Colorado River and adjacent uplands. The park is home to much of the immense Grand Canyon; a mile (1.6 km) deep, and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide. Layered bands of colorful rock reveal millions of years of geologic history. Grand Canyon is unmatched in the incomparable vistas it offers visitors from the rim.
South Rim Grand Canyon Village Area is open with some visitor services and overnight accommodations. Note: State Route 64, (Desert View Drive), is open a distance of 25 miles (40 km) from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View. There is a turnaround at Desert View. The East Entrance to the park at Desert View remains CLOSED. You must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park.
The North Rim has a short season. Facilities and lodging are usually open May 15 through October 15, each year. Lodging and Camping Reservations are strongly recommended. The North Rim is over 8000 feet/2438 m. in elevation. Individuals with respiratory or heart problems may experience difficulties. Walking at this elevation can be strenuous. The North Rim is closed to all vehicles between December 1st and May 15th, and no visitor services are available.
If you choose to visit the South Rim this week, you must use the South Entrance near the town of Tusayan to enter and exit the park. The East Entrance to the park at Desert View, is CLOSED because of COVID-19 concerns and lock downs on the Navajo Nation. Desert View Drive is open between Grand Canyon Village and Navajo Point.
Desert View - East Entrance
Established December 8, 1906, Montezuma Castle is the third National Monument dedicated to preserving Native American culture. This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape.
Outlet Trail Closed at Montezuma Well National Monument
The outlet trail at Montezuma Well National Monument is currently closed for maintenance.
Museum Under Renovation
Due to renovations, the museum inside the visitor center is closed.
A Few Great Places For Some Amazing Camping
Rancho RV Park – less rustic, still beautiful sites. Very nice facilities. Looking at $50-$70 depending on the time of year.
Manzanita Campground – Rustic Riverside camping. Very beautiful location.
Lo-Lo-Mai Springs Campground – Have a mixture of sites available. Nice facilities and unique vibes that will give you the full Sedona experience. I mean, they have a “sometimes store” if that doesn’t tell you enough!
Slide Rock – Was one of our favorite things to do in Arizona and fun places to explore while camping in Sedona! We spent hours sliding down and jumping off the ledges! If you hit the right time of day and season there are very few people. If you are daring enough to swim in the colder weeks, you will have the place to yourself. You’ll find a $10-$20 dollar entry fee depending on the season as well as bathrooms and a snack house.
Downtown Sedona – Downtown is another one of the fun places to explore in Sedona and is filled with unique souvenir shops and restaurants. You get the best vacation vibes, surrounded by panoramic views of the red rocks.
See The Vistas From Sedona to Flagstaff During Scenic Drive Along HWY 89a.
HWY 89a is a beautiful scenic highway with plenty of pull-offs and provides more fun places to explore in Sedona. One in particular about 5 miles north of Sedona just over the bridge. There you will find a pull-off with a hiking trail that takes you down to the Oak Creek river for more beautiful views. The bridge towers over the canyon majestically and the architecture is impressive — deserving of a photo or two itself!
Oak Creek Vista – A beautiful vista overlooking some rolling mountains.
Here Are A Couple Of Our Favorite Hikes
Cathedral Rock Trail – A moderate hike that is a little bit harder for kids! It’s only 1.5-miles roundtrip, but with some very steep inclines in places and very fun! This hike is my absolute favorite of all time, and if you know me, that is saying a lot! It’s short and sweet but man-O-man the views are incredible.
What I love about it is the whole time you are climbing, you see beautiful scenery behind you; then when you get to the top, there is a mind-blowing view of the other side of the mountain. It will take your breath away. Take your time for lots of pictures. I’ve done this with many different levels of hikers and all have enjoyed this trail. I hiked with a baby pack and younger children and they all loved it!
Bell Rock Trail – An easy to moderate hike and more welcoming to kids! There are three trails, we have done two and both are beautiful. One hike was 4 miles roundtrip. This one went around the whole top of the rock. It was another one of our fun places to explore in Sedona because the views were stunning all the way around and we did it with the kids in the pack. The beginning and end are high traffic but most of it was hardly any people.
Devil’s Bridge Trail– It was a moderate hike (hard for kids because of the length) and about 2 miles roundtrip, but it was straight up. You can see the views and also climb around a bit. This is more heavily trafficked.
You can drive past the parking area and right up to the trail. You will have a couple of miles of hiking with some jeeps passing by. Once you get to the Devil’s Bridge trailhead you will find the steeper part. We did it with a baby on my back and young children and they all loved it!
Let Me Not Forget To Mention A Few Good Places to Eat!
Cowboy Club Restaurant – One of our favorite restaurants to date because they make it feel so authentic! Be sure and order the appetizer platter so you can have the full Sedona experience. On the platter are fries made from cacti, actual rattlesnake meat, bison brochettes, and prickly pear cactus jam!
Some Other Places For Food – There is a lot of fast food and chain options as well. Random fact – the McDonald’s in town features the only McDonalds in the world where the arches are not golden! The arches are blue because gold didn’t match the city’s (natural) decor.
When it Comes Exploring Fun Places In Sedona, Always Use Caution
Be cautious while visiting: If you aren’t used to the desert wildlife and land please use caution. There are things with the nickname “jumping cactus” aka a cholla cactus, which got this nickname because they very easily attach to you if you simply brush up against it. Also, keep your eye out for scorpions, spiders, and rattlesnakes, and do your research to be sure the kids stay away from these!
We truly hope your stay is a wonderful one and you make the best memories while checking out one of the most beautiful places in the desert. So book your camper van from our Phoenix camper van location and head towards Sedona today!