Sedona Sites and Activities
Sedona tour sites offer breathtaking natural beauty, mild climate, and clean air. It is a great vacation and tour destination.
Discover its majestic red rocks, explore its back-country in a jeep, and learn about the area’s geology, plants, animals, history and Native American culture.
Schnebly Hill Road
Sedona sites include the popular and most scenic Schnebly Hill Road. Sedona was founded in 1902, ten years before Arizona became a state when President William Howard Taft was president. Sedona is named after the wife of one of the early settlers, T. C. Schnebly. The original names suggested for the settlement were Oak Creek Crossing and Schnebly Station, which were both rejected by the postmaster because they were too long to fit on a cancellation stamp. One name that did stick is Schnebly Hill Road, one of the most scenic backcountry drives in the area. At the time, this whole red rock country was wild, remote and virtually unknown. It is now one of the most popular destinations in the Southwest. Schnebly is one of Sedona’s sites that is less than 5 minutes away.
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park is one of the Sedona sites that has the most breathtaking views of the multicolored canyon walls. In season, there are fresh apples and other fruit from the trees located on this Arizona State Park land. Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historic apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon. Frank L. Pendley, having arrived in the canyon in 1907, formally acquired the land under the Homestead Act in 1910. Due to his pioneering innovation, he succeeded where others failed by establishing a unique irrigation system still in use by the park today. This allowed Pendley to plant his first apple orchard in 1912, beginning the pattern of agricultural development that has dominated the site since that time. Pendley also grew garden produce and kept some livestock. Still standing is the Pendley homestead house that was built in 1927.
As one of the few homesteads left intact in the canyon today, Slide Rock State Park is a fine example of early agricultural development in Central Arizona. This is one of the Sedona sites was also instrumental to the development of the tourism industry in Oak Creek Canyon. The completion of the canyon road in 1914 and the paving of the roadway in 1938 were strong influences in encouraging recreational use of the canyon. Hence, Pendley followed suit and in 1933, built rustic cabins to cater to vacationers and sightseers. Some can still be seen in the park.
On July 10, 1985, Arizona State Parks purchased the park property from the Arizona Parklands Foundation. The park was dedicated in October 1987, and accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places on December 23, 1991. The park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead. Visitors may slide down a slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek. The swim area is located on National Forest land and is jointly managed by Arizona State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service.
Slide Rock is one of Sedona’s sites that is about a 15 minute drive up Oak Creek Canyon.
Sedona sites includes movie locations that have been a major attraction to filmmakers for decades. Some are where many Western Cowboy motion pictures were made. Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see a scene from the Sedona area in a television advertisement. The Sedona area was first discovered by the movie industry in 1923 when Victor Fleming filmed The Call of the Canyon, a black and white silent movie adapted from Zane Grey’s novel. The movie was actually filmed in Oak Creek Canyon at the confluence of West Fork and Oak Creek, at a site that was to become a popular early resort.
The most well-know and photographed scenic sites in Sedona is the Red Rock Crossing area that includes Red Rock State Park, Crescent Moon Picnic Area and the towering Cathedral Rock. This is a great place to fish, swim, picnic and wade in the creek.
Photographers especially enjoy scenic shots of Cathedral Rock reflecting in Oak Creek. It is also a popular place to hike and walk the edges of creek.
Tuzigoot is one of the Sedona sites that is only about 25 minutes away. At Tuzigoot Pueblo, you will enter into the ancient past of the Sinagua people, which is Spanish for “without water”. They built and lived in the Tuzigoot Pueblo, whose name is Apache for “crooked water”. This name was probably given to them because their pueblo is located close to the Verde River, which meanders like a snake through the valley. The pueblo is 120 feet above the floor of the Verde Valley and was built between 1000 and 1450 AD. This village crowns the summit of a long ridge overseeing most of the valley. The original village was about two stories high and excavation reveals 77 ground-floor rooms.
Sedona sites include the nearby Montezuma Castle National Monument. The ageless ruins at Montezuma Castle were built under overhanging cliffs that are a hundred feet above the banks of the small Beaver Creek. Also built by the Sinagua people, this is a beautiful piece of architecture five stories high with over twenty rooms in the pueblo. Montezuma Castle is one of the best-preserved Indian ruins in the Southwest. Though there are many theories, all the Indians of this entire area seemed to vanish or move in the 1400 AD period time frame.
Close by, the Sinagua people irrigated their crops with the pristine spring waters of Montezuma Well, a limestone sink formed centuries ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. The Sinagua Indian dwellings in this area vary in size from one-room houses to 55 room pueblos. You will get a feel for the importance of water in this dry landscape as you walk across the meadows in which these ancient ones raised food for their families. Over one and a half million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. The waters of the well contain several forms of plant and animal life not found in any other waters of the world. This unique habitat is perhaps due to the constant input of large quantities of warm water that enter through underground springs, keeping the environment within the well very stable.
Prehistoric Hohokam and Sinaguan cultures took advantage of this source of water by irrigating crops of corn, beans, squash, and cotton. The rich riparian and surrounding uplands provided wildlife and native plants to supplement the agricultural products. Visitors to the site can still see traces of ancient lime encrusted irrigation ditches from past farming activity.
Montezuma Well is a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument located approximately 11 miles from the Montezuma Castle National Monument. Montezuma Well is a limestone sink formed long ago by the collapse of an immense underground cavern. Over one and a half million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. The waters of the well contain several forms of plant and animal life not found in any other waters of the world. This unique habitat is perhaps due to the constant input of large quantities of warm water that enter through underground springs, keeping the environment within the well very stable.
Prehistoric Hohokam and Sinaguan cultures took advantage of this source of water by irrigating crops of corn, beans, squash, and cotton. The rich riparian and surrounding uplands provided wildlife and native plants to supplement the agricultural products. Visitors to the site can still see traces of ancient lime encrusted irrigation ditches from past farming activity. Montezuma Castle and Well two of Sedona’s sites that are about 20 minutes away.
Jerome – Old Mining Town & One-Time Ghost Town
Sedona sites include the nearby historic copper mining town of Jerome. It is often referred to as “America’s Most Vertical City” and the “Largest Ghost Town in America”. Jerome is located about half way between Flagstaff and Prescott Arizona on US Highway 89A at the mouth of Copper Canyon. Before Interstate 17 was constructed, Highway 89A was the main highway between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Jerome is also know as a “mile high city” at about 5200 feet and is precariously perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill, which is part of Mingus Mountain.
Mine claims were staked and the “wickedest town in the west” was born in 1876. Growing from a settlement of tents, this copper mining camp quickly became a roaring mining community under the auspices of the United Verde Copper Company. It was producing an astonishing four million pounds of copper a month by 1897, was incorporated as the City of Jerome in 1899, had a peak population of about 15,000 in the 1920’s, and was once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. During its early years, four disastrous fires destroyed large sections of the town.
Phelps Dodge acquired the mining operation after the Great Depression and still holds the claim today with an office just west of town.
The federal government designated Jerome as a National Historic District in 1967. Today it is a thriving tourist and artist community.
A popular and worthy site to visit in Jerome is the Jerome State Historic Park.
- Historic mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- Antique mining equipment
- History exhibits
- Video presentations
- Picnic area with tables and restrooms
Jerome is one of Sedona’s sites that is only about 30 minutes away.
Vineyards and Wineries
Sedona sites include a number of nearby vineyards and wineries. They are all situated in beautiful scenic locations. These vineyards and wineries are some of Sedona’s sites that are between about 15 and 30 minutes away.
They say “good wine grows on gentle slopes with a river nearby.” This is why we decided to build our vineyard here on Page Springs Road, close to beautiful Sedona. The intense sunshine of Arizona helps the plants achieve the sugar content we expect, and we have found that the cold nights and warm days create a perfect environment for our varieties.
Visit our tasting room nestled in the mesquite and juniper-clad volcanic landscape just south of Sedona. Situated in the loft over our winery cellar that overlooks our vineyard, the tasting room is open from 11-6pm, seven days a week. For five dollars, you can sip wine crushed, barrel-aged, and bottled in the cellar directly below you, and take home your very own Page Springs Cellars glass.
Have you ever had a glass of wine that inspired fantasies of abandoning all responsibilities for a life on a vineyard; being one with the land, from vine to wine? Okay, maybe it would take a bottle of wine to get you to this level of dreaming. At Page Springs Vineyards we have developed a system to create hand-managed vineyards on a small scale that might fit in your yard and you won’t have to quit your day job to enjoy the pleasures of producing your own grapes and wine!
Echo Canyon Vineyard and Winery
Once upon a time, about 100 years ago, Echo Canyon was the site of a farm that produced fruits and vegetables for the mining camps in Jerome. The stage coach trail that was used is still visible today.
Once again, Echo Canyon is a testament to hard work and a celebration of the earth’s bounty. Fabulous wine grapes are grown and transformed into the magical wines of Echo Canyon Vineyard and Winery. After an eighty-year hiatus, Sedona Red Rock Country is back in the wine business. Nestled along the banks of pristine Oak Creek, our rock walled vineyards produce wines that rival the finest made anywhere. We have planted only the best grape clones, utilize organic and biodynamic farming methods, and produce our wines in small, traditional open top fermenters.
Our vintner’s philosophy is very spartenistic; create wines that are enjoyable for the novice and the connoisseur alike. Unlike most winemakers, our vintner learned the art of wine making by training as an apprentice under master winemakers throughout the United States and Europe.
Starting with a sassy white Zinfandel we transcend through the lighter wines such as the Pinot Grigio and Mourvedre, progressing to the more robust red Zinfandel and Syrah, finishing with the smooth Muscat and Champagne. For masterful enjoyment we reserve library wines including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Syrah, 15 year old Port, and others soon to be added. Jerome and the Jerome Winery is one of Sedona’s sites that is about 30 minutes away.
Out of Africa Park
Out of Africa Park is a most unique Sedona sites attraction in Northern Arizona. At Out of Africa Park, you will see and interact with animals from around the world that live in natural, spacious habitats and share a unique and special relationship with their caregivers. The park is a fun, interactive, and educational experience for visitors of all ages. This is one of Sedona’s sites that is especially popular with families.
On the Serengeti Safari you’ll experience the heart of Africa in the heart of Arizona. This is an authentic African Photo Safari with expert park guides. While riding on a Mercedes Unimog, you can expect personal encounters with giraffe, zebras, wildebeest and more. They will provide treats so that you can feed the animals and maybe receive a gentle kiss from a giraffe. On nearby hills, you may spot prides of lions or other big cats overlooking their domain and the prey animals you are among. It’s like Africa – only closer.
An educational tram or trolley will take you on an hour-long tour of the WILDLIFE PRESERVE where unobstructed platforms provide excellent photo opportunities of the lions, tigers, wolves, hyena, and other predators that roam in large, natural habitats. You can also walk at your leisure among the Preserve’s predator habitats. Often you will see staff inside interacting and answering questions about the animals. It’s like seeing them in the wild. This is one of Sedona’s sites located about 4o minutes away.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village
Nestled beneath the shade of the sycamores on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek in Sedona, Tlaquepaque is the most distinctive shopping experience to be found in the Southwest. Authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque, meaning the “best of everything,” one of the Sedona sites that has been a landmark since the 1970’s.
Its vine covered stucco walls, cobble-stoned walkways and magnificent arched entryways give you the feeling that Tlaquepaque has been here for centuries. Tasteful galleries and unique shops live in harmony with its lush natural environment where giant sycamore trees stand in testimony to the care taken in preserving the timeless beauty of the Tlaquepaque grounds. It would be hard to find more beautiful surroundings anywhere to create a shopping experience like no other. Tlaquepaque is one of the Sedona sites that should be on anyone’s list who especially enjoy quality fine arts and crafts as well as beautiful architecture.
- Backcountry Jeep Tours
- Scenic airplane & helicopter rides
- Hot air balloon rides
- Backcountry hikes
- A Western Movie sites tour
- Championship golf courses
- Horseback rides
- A tour of Sedona’s Wine Country
- Fly Fishing
- Mountain Biking
More Sedona Sites and Activities
- Sedona’s Wine Country
- Western Gift Shops
- Red Rock Crossing and Red Rock State Park
- The Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Slide Rock State Park
- Oak Creek Canyon Overlook
- Jerome Mining & Ghost Town
- Tuzigoot National Monument
- Other Indian Ruins
Tour Subjects Discussed by Our Guides
- Popular local sites
- Red Rock Geology
- Pioneer Settlers
- Town Evolution
- Western & other movies made in the area
- Sedona’s Wine Country
- Wilderness Canyons & Mountains
- Ancient Ruin Sites & History
- Names of Rock Formations
- Oak Creek Canyon
- Chapel of the Holy Cross
- Jerome Mining & Ghost Town
For “Multi-day” private custom designed tours to Southwest National Parks and other locations go to TourTheSouthwest.com