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Day Trip to Mystical Sedona

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 264 miles / 424.9 km
  • Ride Time: 1 day
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $20.06
  • State: Arizona
Submitted by:

You do not need to be mystical to enjoy Sedona, but it might make the trip more rewarding.

Drive North from Phoenix on I-17. I suggest leaving early as traffic builds rapidly on I-17, and there is construction from 101 until Highway 74 (Cave Creek, Lake Pleasant Rd.).

I-17 itself is a great motorcycle road after you leave the Phoenix area as it climbs past New River into Black Canyon. There are a number of attractions, including the Phoenix Living History Museum (

If you have a full day available, and it's between 0900 and 1500, stop in and see the museum.

If not, you will need to run your bike at at least 85mph to keep up with traffic as you climb through black canyon. It's an SUV race (with trailers) as people slam on the throttle and road up the scenic road. The freeway is clear and well designed, so there is not a problem as you climb 2,000 foot from the Phoenix Valley of the Sun to the mountain meadows north of black canyon.

Watch for the road to Crown King and Bumblebee. There is a website to see the attractions in Crown King but the road is dirt and soft sand and not recommended for street cruisers.

Bumblebee is interesting, and not as far off the main road, but you still need to negotiate some dirt roads to see it.

As you come to Cordes Junction, if you could tolerate a stop, it may be worth your time to visit Arcosanti, a Village of the Future.

Arcosanti is an ambitious project for an ecologically sound community without cards or motorrized vehicles. Rumble down to see them and get their opinion on your motorcycle. Here's an image from their site about their lay-out.

I think this is a wonderful project, and plan to spend more time there and find ways to support their work.

Continuing North, you'll be in Verde Valley before long, but I-17 becomes a little interesting, so be cautious of the mountain grades and curves.

Verde Valley is the westernmost point of the General Crook trail, the General who relocated local native american tribes to reservations in other parts of the state, as well as a number of very interesting attractions. including Montezuma's castle, as well as Cliff Castle Casino .

There is also the Verde Valley railroad

which has some beautiful rides in the morning or evening, depending on the season and your schedule.

But if you only have one day, pass all these attractions and exit on Exit 298 to highway 179 towards Sedona. The Red Rocks of Sedona are an amazing attraction, and in many ways surpass the Grand Canyon for intrigue if not splendor.

I suggest great caution on Hwy 179 as most drivers are distracted by the incredible scenery and may not notice your bike. Take it slow and watch for sights that come straight from movies you've seen. The experience is sublime as you view panoramas that come out of more movies than you can recall.

Watch for the signs leading to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

This is a remarkable chapel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Website is and the site is a MUST SEE location in Sedona.

Aside from the Chapel being amazing, there is a mansion below that must be seen to be believed.

We've watched this incredible mansion (with an observatory) being built for three years, and I will be glad to see it finished!

As you leave the Chapel and continue on, I again must warn you to be EXTREMELY cautious -- not only are the red rock cliffs amazing, but the locals place artwork out for your perusal and it can be VERY distracting.

As you come to an abrupt 90 degree turn in the road, you will see Tlaquepaque on the left and a Mystical shop on the right. I recommend stopping in at tlaquepaque, but don't as me how to say it.

Their website is and it is worth viewing.

There is one shop in TL . . . that produces incredible mobile art.

Whether you are a believer or not of Mystical subjects, I suggest you visit at least one of the Sedona mystical shops .

If you are interested in seeing off-road Sedona attractions, we tried (and recommend) the Pink Jep Tours.

Sedona has more to offer than I can put in one topic. Some people stay a day and see enough, others stay a month and wish they had more time: it all depends on you and your personal attitude about votexes (or is it vortices?) and mystical sites.

But if you have had enough, leave out by Oak Creek Canyon to the NorthEast. Again, watch for distracted drivers, as the scenery is fantastic, you will encounter mountain grades and curves as you climb past 'Slide Rocks'

Once you climb the 2,000 feet in elevation back to I-17, you can blat back to Phoenix at a comfortable 85 MPH or go on to other attractions. This makes for a VERY full motorcycling day.


This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Arizona. This motorcycle route has 7 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by bdking in September. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by bdking

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Day Trip to Mystical Sedona
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Day Trip to Mystical Sedona
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Day Trip to Mystical Sedona
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for Day Trip to Mystical Sedona
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 5 for Day Trip to Mystical Sedona

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesParksFall ColorsForestMountainsRuralDesert

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Road Characteristics:

Sweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadHillyHeavy TrafficSmoothAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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