Discover the Best of Both Worlds
It may not surprise you that Scottsdale and Sedona rank high among Arizona’s most popular visitor destinations. But did you know that they’re just an easy two-hour drive apart? That’s right – a mere 125 delightfully scenic miles are all that separate these two colorful cities. Each has its own distinct personality and both welcome guests with upscale amenities and breathtaking natural settings. Spend a day (or two or three) in each city and experience the magic both have to offer.
The Magical Sonoran Desert
A Red Rock Wonderland
Let the Pros do the DrivingProfessional ground tour operators offer fun and easy day trips to Scottsdale and Sedona. Luxury vans, professional drivers and expert guides will take you from place to place while you sit back and enjoy the scenery.
DIY (Drive it Yourself)The roads connecting Scottsdale and Sedona are smooth, open and easy to navigate. From Scottsdale, take the Loop 101 north to Interstate 17 north toward Flagstaff. Proceed north on I-17 approximately 85 miles to AZ-179 (exit 298). Turn left and follow AZ 179 approximately 15 miles to Sedona.
Simply reverse these directions when traveling from Sedona to Scottsdale. Just note that your connection from I-17 southbound will be the Loop 101 east to Scottsdale.
Approx Distance: 125 miles
4 Must-See Sites Along the WayIf you have some time to spare, there are several fascinating things to see just off Interstate 17 between Scottsdale and Sedona.
1. Bloody Basin Road (exit 259)
Bloody Basin gets its grim name for being the sight of numerous battles between white settlers and local American Indian tribes in the late 1800s. Today, the road leads to the Agua Fria National Monument.
2. Arcosanti (exit 263)
This prototype town, a few miles northeast of Cordes Junction, is based on the late Italian architect Paolo Soleri’s concept of “Arcology,” architecture coherent with ecology. Public tours are offered daily.
3. Montezuma Castle National Monument (exit 289)
This expansive, five-story cliff dwelling was inhabited by the Sinagua people for more than 300 years. A self-guided 1/3-mile loop trail leads you past the dwelling along spring-fed Beaver Creek.
4. Montezuma Well National Monument (exit 293)
Another Sinagua cliff-dwelling, Montezuma Well is a tranquil site offering trails around the rim and to the bottom of the well. More than 1.5 million gallons of water flow into the well every day.