Outdoor and Active

Day Trips from Tempe: Sedona

Sedona is one of my favorite places in the world. It has a great downtown with good restaurants, the hiking is incredible and the whole city looks like it should be on a postcard. I decided to take a little trip up north to to hike the Devil’s Bridge with my friends Jen and Diana. With only a two hour drive from Tempe to Sedona, it makes a great day trip.

Our day started off at Harlow’s Café for breakfast. Harlow’s is one of Tempe’s hidden gem restaurants. It’s small and if you blinked while driving down University Dr., you might miss it. The inside has wood paneled wall covered it old pictures.  The food is really good and the staff was very friendly. We had pancakes and I had the corned beef breakfast scramble. Everything was awesome.

Once we were done, it was time to leave for day trip. It’s a relatively easy drive to Sedona up I-17. I love it because it’s really picturesque. If there’s one thing I love in life, it’s a really pretty drive. If you have time, there are some scenic outlooks that are worth pulling over and getting out of the car for.

Devil’s Bridge is one the more popular hikes in the Sedona area. It’s about 4.5 miles round trip and is considered to be a moderate level hike. Because this hike is so popular, there are a lot of people on any given day walking on the trail with you. It’s a relatively easy hike for the first 90% of the trail – because all you’re doing is walking on relatively flat ground. You know those incredible pictures you see of Sedona? You’ll see some of them on this hike, so make sure you have your camera ready. The last little bit of the hike is pretty steep. It actually caught me by surprise when I saw how vertical it was. Having said that, it’s not too bad. The trail head elevation is about 4,600 feet.

The Devil’s Bridge gets name because it’s the largest natural sandstone arch in Sedona. You can walk out on the arch (the bridge) – unless you have a fear of heights. Then I probably wouldn’t recommend doing that. Remember to be careful walking across the top. There are no railings or ropes to hold onto to. Overall, the entire hike took us about 2.5 hours. Remember, as with every hike, make sure you have a good pair of hiking shoes and plenty of water.

I can never go to Sedona without making a trip to downtown. So after our hike, we stopped by the Black Cow Café. I had heard that they’re known for having some of the best ice cream in Sedona. Almost everything there is homemade – the ice cream, the pies, the cookies, all of it. They use locally sourced ingredients in their sandwiches. I highly recommend going there. The ice cream was out of this world.

After walking around a bit, we ran into someone educating locals and tourists about wildlife you can find in the desert. Sometimes you get lucky and run into random but really fun people like this downtown. We all learned about tarantulas and snakes. As you can imagine, my friends Jen and Diana loved it. We walked around a bit more to check out the local shops before deciding to head back home.

You can view our road trip on Google Maps to get a better idea of our route and how long it took from destination to destination.

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