Road trip planning guide with day trip ideas by car, motorcycle, bicycle, or RV, highlighting vacation stays at beautiful Bluegreen Resorts.

"A man who couldn't make things go right could at least go." - W. Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways

Oak Creek's Amazingly Lush Stretch of Arizona Roadway

Arizona Road Trip Part II - Oak Creek Canyon

One of the most scenic roadways in Arizona is found along the drive North from Sedona, but you'll come up on it well before you gaze down into the dizzying miles of awe-inspiring Canyon we've named Grand.  To imagine it, think of the Grand Canyon turned inside out and peppered with forest.  This is a place that'll have you turning your face upwards in wonder rather than craning your neck downward into unimaginable depths. 

This is the stunning leg of your Arizona road trip that is Oak Creek Canyon.  A contrast to the red rock of Sedona, the roadside is painted in lush forested green.  Here, you'll begin to get a sense of the kind of scenic variation that makes this state so unique.  If you've love to get around on two feet, whether it's backpacking or camping and hiking, there are few better stops along your ride.

At this point in your day trip, you've left Bluegreen Resorts Cibola Vista approximately 2 hours south and made the stop in Sedona.  Ready to head out and log more miles, continue North on 89A toward Flagstaff, straight into the Coconino National Forest.  Even the name sounds serene.  Rand McNally has named this one of the top 5 scenic drives in America, so you'll want to take your time.

The Canyon is 15 or so miles in length and about a mile wide, and its deepest point is about a mile and a half.  You'll climb up and down switchbacks on this road, so pay attention and plan on frequent stops so drivers can take it all in safely.  Depending upon the time of year you'll catch views of fiery foliage, and even in inclement weather you're in for a treat - cascading waterfalls. 

Natural Attractions:
Slide Rock State Park - A natural water slide 7 miles North of Sedona on 89A.  Don't bring swimwear.  Wear shorts and a pair of tennis shoes to enjoy sliding down the smooth rock of this water chute.

West Fork Trail - This is where you can enjoy the area on foot, taking in the rock formations and striking overhangs.  The trail is marked for the first three miles, and the area offers picnic tables sites and toilets.

The amount of time you stay in the area is entirely up to you, and if you've brought equipment, Coconino National Forest offers campgrounds and rental cabins.  It's just 17 or so miles to North Flagstaff and a few hours back South to your poolside retreat at Cibola Vista, but there's plenty here to make you want to stay a while or at least take the road real slow.

Next week, we'll continue on 89A to Flagstaff and The Canyon.

Photo credits: 
Oak Creek Canyon, OneJumpJohnny, Deviantart
Cibola Vista Bluegreen's ColorfulPlaces

Trip Planning Resources:
Arizona Leisure - Oak Creek Canyon
Dream Sedona - Oak Creek Loop
Trip Advisor Oak Creek Canyon
The American West Travelogue
US Forest Service - Coconino National Forest West Fork


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