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Oak Creek Canyon

Take one of Arizona’s most beautiful scenic drives through this canyon and be sure to take your hiking boots, fishing rod, swimsuit and camera along for the ride.

Oak Creek Canyon is a steep river gorge that carves a breathtaking chasm between Sedona and Flagstaff in northern Arizona. Experience the region known as the little cousin of the Grand Canyon on the Oak Tree Canyon Scenic Drive, a magnificent stretch of road that that brings you some of the best views in the canyon. Wind through forested passes, keeping watch for the hiking trailheads dotted along the roadside. Find a spot to drop a fishing line in the heart of the canyon, Oak Creek, or swim in the gorge’s clear waters.

You can begin your journey as an ascent from Sedona or a descent from Flagstaff. Either way will present stunning views and a breathtaking 4,500-foot (1370-meter) change in elevation throughout the 14-mile (22.5-kilometer) road. Between Sedona to the peak of Mogollon Rim, you’ll see the lush foliage of tall oak trees and evergreen pines against a backdrop of red rock and rugged cliffs.

If you begin at Mogollon Rim, you’ll see a panoramic view of what awaits you at Oak Creek Canyon Vista. Peruse roadside displays of Native American handicrafts made by local artists as you wind down the narrow bends. Stop by Midgely Bridge for an opportunity to photograph the unfolding panorama of sunset-hued rock, sandstone cliffs and green foliage.

Once you’ve navigated the switchback turns, you’ll reach a lazy stretch of road alongside Oak Creek. If it has been raining, you might see waterfalls plunging into the coursing offshoots of the creek, as well as clear pools reflecting the crimson rock. Plunge into the canyon’s swimming holes or drop a fishing line. There are plenty of picnic spots and outlooks to linger at along the way.

Oak Creek Canyon is a free highlight of northern Arizona and easily accessible by car on the adjoining state and interstate routes. It should take 2.5 hours for the drive. Each season brings a different view to the region. While the road is regularly snow ploughed in winter, take care during slippery road conditions.

Past Sedona, you’ll reach the fascinating geological formations of Red Rock Country and the stunning hiking trails around Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock.

Get the most out of your visit to Oak Creek Canyon. Here is a list of the best things to do:

You ought to consider buying a Grand Canyon Tour with Overnight Stay in the Canyon or a Scenic Desert Landmarks Tour while you're here. These experiences are a couple of the most sought-after.

Have a look at our Sedona things to do page to learn about even more activities while you're in the area.


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Oak Creek Canyon

See all 543 Properties near Oak Creek Canyon
Junipine Resort ¥18,958
Junipine Resort

Junipine Resort

8351 N Highway 89A, Sedona, AZ
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated on a river, this romantic condo building is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Slide Rock State Park and within 12 mi (20 km) of Oak Creek Canyon and Coffee Pot.

    Inn-joy Lodge
    Inn-joy Lodge

    Inn-joy Lodge

    2897 Buffalo Trail, Flagstaff, AZ
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Flagstaff, this vacation home is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Kachina Trail and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Forest Highlands Golf Club. Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Fairgrounds are also within 9 mi (15 km).

      Heavenly Hideaway
      Heavenly Hideaway

      Heavenly Hideaway

      3449 Awatobi Ovi, Flagstaff, AZ
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Flagstaff, this vacation home is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Kachina Trail and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Forest Highlands Golf Club. Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Fairgrounds are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Blissful Pine Chalet
        Blissful Pine Chalet

        Blissful Pine Chalet

        3449 Awatobi Ovi, Flagstaff, AZ
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Flagstaff, this condo building is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Kachina Trail and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Forest Highlands Golf Club. Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Fairgrounds are also within 9 mi (15 km).

          Woodland Chalet
          Woodland Chalet

          Woodland Chalet

          3449 Awatobi Ovi, Flagstaff, AZ
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Flagstaff, this vacation home is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Kachina Trail and 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Forest Highlands Golf Club. Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Fairgrounds are also within 9 mi (15 km).

            Orchard Canyon on Oak Creek
            Orchard Canyon on Oak Creek

            Orchard Canyon on Oak Creek

            8067 N. State Route 89A, Sedona, AZ
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Sedona, this lodge is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Slide Rock State Park and within 9 mi (15 km) of Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona Art Center. Midgley Bridge and Kuivato Gallery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

              Cozy Hilltop Retreat
              Cozy Hilltop Retreat

              Cozy Hilltop Retreat

              2748 Kletha Trail, Flagstaff, AZ
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Flagstaff, this vacation home is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Kachina Trail and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Forest Highlands Golf Club. Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Fairgrounds are also within 9 mi (15 km).

                Treehouse
                Treehouse

                Treehouse

                3170 Kweo Trail, Flagstaff, AZ
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Flagstaff, this vacation home is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Kachina Trail and 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Forest Highlands Golf Club. Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Fairgrounds are also within 9 mi (15 km).