After arriving in Phoenix and renting a car, an easy 2 hour drive delivers you to Prescott and your comfortable downtown hotel. Once the capital of Arizona, Prescott is a pleasant walk-able small town with a rich history, surrounded by Ponderosa pine forests and towering granite peaks. You’ll spend two nights here before driving to Grand Canyon’s South Rim Village. You’ll spend two days and nights at a comfortable lodge here at the South Rim, while exploring some of the most popular hikes the park has to offer. Next you’ll head south to Flagstaff, stopping along the way to explore ancient Anasazi ruins or one of our favorite hikes in the Coconino National Forest before spending the night in Sedona. With two nights here you’ll have ample time to marvel at the unforgettable landscape of striking red canyon walls and lush riparian corridors. You’ll have the chance to check out some of our favorite hikes with plenty of opportunity for free time to explore the towns, museums, and archaeological sites along the way.
Your days will start with a full breakfast at your hotel which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Then you’ll be out on the trail, exploring the wonderful landscapes Arizona has to offer, and driving through our expansive scenery. You’ll have plenty of options in Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff to stock up on any lunch supplies you may need for your hikes. Our hike descriptions should have you finishing each hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax at the hotel, or perhaps do a bit of sightseeing on your own. Later, you will enjoy delicious dinners at your hotel or another local restaurant. There are many great restaurants to choose from, and all of our recommendations will feature fabulous food.
Prescott – The Northern Arizona Highlights tour starts with arrival at the Phoenix airport, where you can transfer by shuttle to our home town of Prescott, AZ. Prescott is a charming small town tucked at the base of the Bradshaw Mountains. Wander by Victorian homes and Old West bars in the quaint downtown shopping district. Enjoy the delicious and widely varied menu at Prescott Station or another local restaurant in town before settling in to your lovely downtown hotel.
Prescott – Prescott is surrounded by 1.25 million acres of national forest and has been named one of the next great adventure towns by National Geographic Adventure—and for good reason! Granite Mountain is one of Prescott’s iconic landmarks and not to be missed. Naturally, one hike we love is on the edge of town through Granite Basin; a beautiful moderate route through forests of Ponderosa pine, oak, juniper, and agave with the imposing boulders of Granite Mountain towering above us at 7,626 feet. For an added challenge you could continue steeply up to Blair Pass, the main saddle on Granite Mountain for expansive views of the basin and Skull Valley below.
Grand Canyon Village – After a leisurely morning you will transfer to the South Rim at Grand Canyon Village. Geologists estimate that the Grand Canyon formed over an astonishing 525 million year period and is an extraordinary sight – one of the wonders of the world. This afternoon enjoy an easy walk along the rim of the canyon or head east to Desert View with many beautiful views from the historic stone fire tower into this geologic wonder. Stay at a comfortable lodge at the rim with a gourmet dinner at the historic El Tovar lodge.
Grand Canyon Village – The second day in this national park gives you the opportunity to take a full day-hike and wholly appreciate its beauty from below as you hike down into the canyon on one of many beautiful trails. One of Grand Canyon’s classic routes leads down the South Kaibab Trail for fabulous views of the Tonto Platform from Ooh-Ah Point. Return along the gorgeous rim trail for a second night at Grand Canyon Village.
Sedona via Flagstaff – Leaving the Grand Canyon, you’ll have the option to explore ancient Anasazi ruins at Wupatki, near Flagstaff, or hike through the aspen groves along Humphrey’s Peak, Arizona’s highest mountain at over 12,000 ft. Our favorite time of year for this hike is in the fall–when the leaves on the aspen start changing the inner basin becomes quite magical. You’ll continue south winding through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, one of the prettiest locations in the Southwest, where you’ll stay the night.
If you get to Sedona early, Fay Canyon in west Sedona is an easy walk through a beautiful Red Rock Canyon. Somewhat lesser-known than other nearby hikes, it’s a great choice for a short day.
Sedona – With towering sandstone formations in every direction, countless canyons and numerous creeks, you have many hikes to choose from today. We enjoy the quiet hike over Sterling Pass to Vultee Arch, through forests of pine and juniper, with beautiful views all day. Or for something different Sedona has a multitude of options from hot air balloon rides and jeep tours to mountain biking; or you can relax and check out the many art galleries and spas in town.
Another nice option is the walk to Brin’s Mesa and Soldier Pass, a scenic loop that can be done right from town.
For a taste of Arizona’s surprising local wines, you may want to head over to nearby Page Springs Winery and enjoy lunch and a glass overlooking the vineyard. Your hotel here is the impeccable Arroyo Roble Hotel, with fabulous views of the red rock scenery.
Depart – After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll leave for your post-trip destinations.
Join one of our group tours and make it a guided experience!