At El Portal Luxury Inn in Sedona, we know that there is so much to do in and around Sedona. Our passion for the area has led us to discover all of the historic, cultural and natural wonders that make the area so special, and we share our knowledge with our guests on a daily basis. When you stay at El Portal, we help you plan each day trip, arranging everything you'll need to experience these amazing sights. And don't just book a night or two with us - here's a sampling of some of the ways you could fill a full five day trip.
Once you've dropped your bags in your room, explore the area around El Portal Luxury Inn on foot. Visit the shops next door at the world famous Tlaquepaque Artisan's Village or take a short stroll down to Oak Creek and feed the ducks. If you are in the mood for an exciting jeep trip with our own Sun Country Adventures our concierge would be happy to arrange it for you. After you've worked up an appetite, relax over dinner at Rene's or Oak Creek Brewery, both just steps away. After a great meal, make yourself at home back at El Portal with a glass of wine around our campfire.
On your second day, prepare for a visit to the West's most amazing sights. Start your day with a hearty home-cooked breakfast at El Portal, before departing bright and early. The first stop on your day trip is Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. Sunset Crater is a cinder cone that is part of the San Francisco Volcanic Field and was declared a National Monument in 1930. From here, you head on to Cameron Trading Post, where you have the opportunity to learn about Native American culture first-hand through art. You can purchase handcrafted silver and turquoise jewelry, colorful handmade rugs, pottery, baskets and paintings from many tribes throughout the Southwest.
After spending time at the trading post, you'll arrive at the East Entrance to the Grand Canyon Park. There are many scenic overlooks accessible by car that provide spectacular views of the Grand Canyon. Desert View Drive (Highway 64), follows the canyon rim for 26 miles, with many opportunities to take in the magnificent vistas. Other options are Hermit Road, or catching a free shuttle bus in the park that will take you to many of the canyon overlooks. The staff at El Portal Luxury Inn can assist you in deciding which route within the park is best for your excursion, as well as booking a train trip, a Custom Grand Canyon trip or a personal guide to accompany you. After taking in the spectacular views of the Grand Canyon, head back to El Portal in time for dinner.
After breakfast on day three, take a short fifteen minute drive to the Palatki Ruins, where you can see 5,000 year old petroglyphs, and ruins left by the Sinagua Indians as early as 1100 A.D. There is a ceremonial site among the red rock cliffs that is an easy half-mile walk. From here, you head to Sedona's majestic Red Rock State Park. The park is a 286-acre preserve and environmental education center with breathtaking scenery of red rock and flowing water. Hike one of the many trails winding through manzanita and juniper to the banks of Oak Creek.
Revisit the ancient past of the Sinagua people at Tuzigoot Pueblo, located on the summit of a long ridge that oversees much of the Verde Valley. Get a glimpse into what was once a two-story structure that formed a thriving village.
Continue on your tour to the eclectic copper mining town of Jerome. This wild-west town has a rich history as a booming mining town, surviving several major fires, and becoming a virtual ghost town after the close of the Phelps Dodge mine in 1953. Take in great views and the funky, western feel as you stroll through the shops and art galleries, visit the history museum and grab some grub at one of the local restaurants.
After lunch in Jerome, head back through Cottonwood to Montezuma Castle, another wonderful example of the Sinagua legacy. Montezuma Castle is a five story high pueblo built under overhanging cliffs above Beaver Creek. It is one of the best-preserved Indian ruins in the Southwest. Eleven miles from the castle, you come to Montezuma's Well, a unique geologic feature that is home to unique species of animals, ancient Indian ruins and a 1,000 year old irrigation ditch still in use by residents today. Upon your return to Sedona, unwind with our ever-changing happy hour of cheeses, ripe black olives, green stuffed olives, bruschetta, assortment of cold meats, fruits, vegetables, tapenade and more.
Day four takes you north to the High Country, starting with Walnut Canyon National Monument. Start at the visitor's center and museum before taking in the panoramic views from the cliff edge and visiting the well-preserved, ancient buildings in the canyon walls. From here, you visit the Meteor Crater, the site of impact between planet Earth and a piece of an asteroid thousands of years ago. Take in the stunning view of this natural wonder, and then head back on Hwy 40 East to Winslow, Arizona for lunch at Hotel La Posada. (Go ahead, stand on the corner. You know you want to.)
After snapping a picture in Winslow, head east to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park. This U.S. National Park is home to one of the world's largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood. View ancient petroglyph sites and Agate House, a Native American building made of petrified wood that was reconstructed during the 1930s. We want to hear all about your day as you relax back at El Portal Luxury Hotel that evening.
No trip to Sedona would be complete without a hiking excursion in the gorgeous surrounding terrain. The staff at El Portal can help you choose hiking trails that suit your interests and fitness level, but here are a few of our favorites for day five.
Devil's Bridge is considered the largest natural arch in the Sedona area. It is fifty-four feet high, five feet thick, and spans over 45 feet. From atop the cracked and fractured sandstone arch are dramatic views of the canyons, mountains and red rock cliffs. The trail utilizes natural rocks as stairs to the top of the arch.
Two Brins Mesa trails provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and red rock formations, as well as the town of Sedona, which lies 800 feet below. We can help you choose from a number of different loops and trails, depending on your interests.
The Wilson Mountain trail provides excellent views from its higher elevation of 7,122 feet. This is a strenuous hike of at least 10 miles and an elevation gain of 2,200 feet, but is a great choice for a less traveled trail with spectacular views.
Two popular shorter trails are Vulture Arch, reached by a 1.6 mile trail from town; and the 3 mile Boynton Canyon trail, which ends in a box canyon with vertical Coconino sandstone cliffs rising up to 1,200 feet on three sides.
At El Portal Luxury Inn, we love sharing the wonders of Sedona and Arizona with our guests, and making a stay at our hotel an unforgettable experience. We invite you to take our trip - and have a wonderful Sedona Arizona vacation.