When you travel to Sedona, make time to watch the sunset. The sunsets in Sedona are absolutely beautiful! We have put together a list of the best places in Sedona to see the sun go down.
Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook
It is true that the most popular location for a sunset is at the Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook. This overlook draws the biggest crowds, and you’ll want to get there early to get a good spot. Once the sun sets, not only do you want to look to the west, but you’ll want to check out the red rocks towards the town. The shadows on the red rocks change constantly and make for some outstanding pictures. Take Airport Road to the top to find the parking lot and overlook. There is a charge for parking.
Most popular Sedona Sunset at the Airport Mesa
On Airport Road, about halfway up to the mesa, you’ll find the Airport Mesa Scenic Hiking Trail. This trail takes you to the Summit Trail or the Sedona Trail View Point where you will find some tremendous views of the red rocks at sunset. You may not be able to see the sunset in the west from this location, but you’ll definitely get a gorgeous view of the Sedona red rocks. This trail has some climbing and uneven sections. If the parking area is full, just continue to the Sedona Airport Scenic Overlook parking area and take a hike along the Airport Loop Trail to the Airport Mesa Vortex.
Crescent Moon Ranch at Red Rock Crossing
Crescent Moon Ranch is located at Red Rock Crossing. Red Rock Crossing is where Cathedral Rock and Oak Creek come together. It is probably the most photographed and iconic red rock formation in Sedona. The sun sets earlier in this area and casts shadows on the red rocks and it is gorgeous. You’ll have to pay for parking, but you’ll find plenty of beauty in the area. Take Upper Red Rock Loop Road and travel for about 4 miles to Crescent Moon.
Cathedral Rock Trail
There is a fabulous view of the western sky at the top of Cathedral Rock. However, if climbing to the top is out of the question, there are terrific sunset views of the mountains from the base. Just take the short hike to a flat area from the parking lot. You can access the Cathedral Rock Trailhead from Crescent Moon Ranch and Red Rock Crossing. Accessing the Cathedral Rock Trailhead from Back O’Beyond Road just off of State Route 179 can be difficult. On weekends and busy times, the road and parking lot closes and during these times, the only way to get there is by using the Sedona Shuttle.
Cultural Park Trailhead
Take a drive and go out to the old Cultural Park area of West Sedona. From the Cultural Park Trailhead, you can see the sunset within the Boynton Canyon and Long Canyon area. You can hike the trail or just sit in your car and see some beautiful scenery!
Take a Scenic Drive
Want to avoid the crowds at the popular sunset locations? Then you’ll want to take a drive on the Dry Creek Road/Boynton Canyon Road, Cultural Park Road, Upper Red Rock Loop Road, Lower Red Rock Loop Road or the Red Rock Scenic Byway (also known as State Route 179). You’ll find a beautiful sunset view anywhere along these roads. For more information about these beautiful drives, check out our list of Best Scenic Drives. Besides taking a drive, there are many other free things to do in Sedona, too.
Advice for the Best Sunset
Here is some other advice to consider while trying to find the perfect sunset. Remember that once the sun goes down in Sedona, it gets dark quickly. If you plan to hike to your sunset destination, just remember you may be hiking in the dark when you return. Also, once the sun starts to set, it gets chilly in certain times of the year, dress appropriately.
Sedona Sunsets Best with a Tour
The Sunsets in Sedona are beautiful. You may want to experience them with a local tour guide who knows the best places to see them. Some Jeep tour companies have sunset tours available that also include information about red rock formations and vortexes. You may also see some great sunsets from the Verde Canyon Railroad Train Ride during their starlight tour, by renting a Harley Davidson or a helicopter ride.