Arizona Travel Guide Devils Bridge Crescent Moon Sedona Phoenix Grand Canyon Antelope Canyon Horseshoe Bend

We went to Arizona for the first time a few weeks ago and had a blast! Arizona is so picturesque and definitely worth a visit in one’s lifetime. While we crammed a lot into our time there, it didn’t feel too busy or intense. If you’re thinking of planning a shorter Arizona trip with moderate hikes, here is my 5-day Arizona Travel Guide:

Day 1 – Phoenix

7pm: We flew into Arizona and drove straight to dinner at Cocina Madrigal, which was only about 10 minutes from the airport. After, we drove to a nearby Whole Foods to stock up on fruit, water, and protein bars. Then we headed to the Westin Downtown, where we stayed.

10am: The next morning, we got machaca breakfast burritos at Carolina’s Mexican Food and horchata iced lattes at Tres Leches Cafe. With breakfast and coffees in hand, we hit the road and drove around 2.5 hours to Sedona.

Day 2 – Sedona

Devils Bridge Sedona Arizona hike

12:30pm: We got to Devil’s Bridge and started our hike. The parking lot is quite small so we parked on the street near the entrance. If you park by the entrance, there’s about an extra 1 mile to hike each way. That brings the total hike to around 4 miles round-trip. While there are some rocky parts, hills, and stairs, the overall hike is moderate. To protect your ankles, you could wear hiking boots though it’s not required. I wore my Nike Presto sneakers and they were pretty comfortable. It was 80-degrees and hot, so we brought a bottle of water each, wore hats (I’d even recommend a wide-brim dry-fit hat to cover your neck), sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Devils Bridge Sedona Arizona hike

3:30pm: After the hike, we drove to the Crescent Moon Picnic Site. We walked to both streams, dipped our tired feet into the cold water, hydrated, and relaxed while snacking on protein bars and Sumo oranges.

Crescent Moon Picnic Site Sedona Arizona hike

5:30pm: We hoped to eat at Elote Cafe but they’re closed Sunday-Monday, so we went to The Hudson, which turned out to be such a great choice. We dined on the patio with a stunning view. I recommend the burger and salmon chopped salad with a prickly pear margarita.

The Hudson Sedona Arizona food restaurant dinner margarita

7pm: We wanted to start our morning early at the Grand Canyon so after dinner, we drove 1.5 hours to our hotel there for the night. When we arrived, we played pool and then went to our room to rest up for the next day and continue our rewatching of Game of Thrones haha.

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Day 3 – Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Ooh Aah Point hike Arizona

8:30am: We’re not ones to get up at the crack of dawn on vacation, so if you are that type, more power to you. That being said, nothing was crowded or busy even though we started hiking around 9am, and we had plenty of time to do all the hikes we wanted to. We got coffee and breakfast sandwiches at a nearby Starbucks, drove into Grand Canyon National Park ($35 per vehicle for 7 days), parked in one of the many lots, and took the shuttle (they run every 10-15 minutes) to the Visitor Center.

Grand Canyon Ooh Aah Point Arizona hike

9am: We chose Ooh Aah Point as one of our hikes because it’s only about 2 miles and the payoff is immediate. You descend right away into the canyon and the views are sweeping and overwhelmingly breathtaking. The photos don’t do the Grand Canyon justice and it’s a destination that you should visit in your lifetime if you can. We got to Ooh Aah Point, which is aptly named, and just sat and admired the canyon that stretches out hundreds of miles and is billions of years old. There are areas near the edges to take photos but please be careful as there have been many deaths due to falls in the Grand Canyon. We played with camera angles so it looked like we were on the edge. There are plenty of nice hikers around and we all helped each other take photos for a couple minutes. We rested up just in time to ascend, which is 1 mile straight up, and while it’s definitely a workout, it’s not too hard as the distance is rather short.

If you’re looking for a strenuous hike, people recommend the Bright Angel Trail because it offers views of the Colorado River. It’s almost 16 miles long, could take 8-10 hours or sometimes days, and half of it is an ascent uphill. We wanted to do this hike, but we were planning to hike multiple days and thought this one would deplete us. In the end, we decided against it and I’m glad we made that decision. I do think that to truly experience the Grand Canyon, you do have to physically give some of yourself and hike and sweat if you can. Ooh Aah Point is a shorter hike that gives you both a moderate workout and the incredible experience of seeing the Grand Canyon.

11am: After the hike, we took the shuttle back to the Visitor Center to rest up and eat the lunches we packed of Sumo oranges and protein bars.

Grand Canyon South Rim Trail hike Kaibab Hermits Rest Colorado River Mojave Point

12pm: After lunch, we boarded the Red Route shuttle at the Grand Canyon Village to Hermits Rest. If you want a flat hike with amazing views, this is the trail for you! It’s a total of 7 miles around the South Rim with 9 scenic viewpoints, including the Colorado River (it’s brown in April and becomes turquoise in the summer). However, if you get tired, you could just ride the shuttle to the next stop, get off, take photos, and hop back on the next shuttle. We hiked about 4 miles, from Mojave Point to Hermits Rest, and I was in serious shock the entire time at how gorgeous the views are.

5:30pm: We took it slow all day and still got back to our car earlier than I expected. We grabbed takeout for dinner and headed back to chill for the night.

I bought these The North Face hiking sneakers and they are soo comfortable. They’re so cushioned and supportive that my feet didn’t feel tired at the end of the day. Plus, the gray color is neutral and matches everything. It was somewhat warm but incredibly windy the day we hiked, so I layered with a gray tee and a fleece jacket. The very next day, it snowed at the Grand Canyon! We were lucky we just happened to miss that inclement weather, but I’d say be prepared for whatever weather comes your way.

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Day 4 – Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon Arizona hike

7:30am: We woke up early to drive 2.5 hours north to Antelope Canyon for our tour at 11am (we had to check in at 10am). I recommend buying tickets online a couple months in advance if you want to go on the 11am or 1pm tours, which is when you can most likely see the famous light beams. Tickets are quite pricey online, around $60-85 each (depending on if you buy after market), and even more if you go on the photography tour. Then you pay another $8 each at the door.

10am: We arrived at the Antelope Canyon parking lot an hour before our tour. We did have a scare though — our phones jumped forward an hour because the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Savings, but it turns out that the Antelope Canyon Tours just follow Mountain Time Zone so we didn’t miss our reservation. That being said, make sure to get there early to check in because I overheard people missing their tours because they were late. After we checked in, we waited in our car because it was so windy outside. At around 10:45am, we went to the common outdoor area and waited for our names to be called for the tour group.

Antelope Canyon tours Arizona hike

11am: Antelope Canyon is stunning and absolutely worth the visit. However, the experience itself leaves a lot to be desired. It’s super packed in the narrow canyons with all the tour groups, and sometimes a couple of the guides can be aggressive and yell at you to move aside for their groups. You end up waiting a lot for people to take photos in the famous spots. Since we visited on a windy day, sand was constantly falling from overhead. We thankfully wore hoodies to keep the sand off, but because it’s dark in the canyons, we couldn’t wear sunglasses so my eyes were pretty irritated from the falling sand. I would recommend a bandana so you don’t breathe in all that dust. I tried to tune out all the external factors and just focus on the natural marvel of Antelope Canyon, and we were fortunate enough to see the light beams!

After Antelope Canyon, we went to Big John’s Texas BBQ, which was delicious, and a warm lunch was satisfying after a couple days of eating cold protein bars haha. For dinner, I recommend getting spicy fried chicken at BirdHouse.

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Day 5 – Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend Arizona hike

It’s a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike to and from Horseshoe Bend, and the sights there are truly epic. As it was still slightly chilly while we were there, I wore this Margaret O’Leary jacquard coatigan with a fun pattern to keep warm.

If you have some extra time, there are so many viewpoints in Page, Arizona like Scenic Road, Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, etc. As we made our 4.5-hour drive to Las Vegas, we made a ton of stops because the terrain just looked so otherworldly and interesting that it made the road trip pass a lot faster.

I hope this travel guide helps in planning your future trip! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

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4 Comments

  1. May 1, 2019 / 11:47 pm

    I went to Arizona two summers ago and it was awesome! I am going again this summer to revisit all the places and visit some new ones! Thank you for this post.

  2. May 3, 2019 / 1:42 am

    This is a great travel guide! Arizona is a beautiful state and you managed to see a lot while you were there. And I love all of your photos too!

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net

  3. May 5, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    Oh my gosh those photos are absolutely stunning!
    I really want to go and visit Arizona, I especially adore the look of Antelope Canyon, such a whimsical place!
    Thanks so much for sharing this!
    xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com

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