Sedona is a unique vacation destination rich in art. History, culture, and the ability to disconnect from everyday life, and reconnect with nature. One of the best ways to really decompress from the stress of everyday life is by spending time in nature, without your cell phone. Many people like to explore the beautiful Sedona hiking trails, walk around the shops and exhibits downtown, or go for a bike ride to unwind. While these are great choices, our favorite way to really decompress and recenter yourself with nature here in Sedona is old as the Earth itself: stargazing.
Sedona is the perfect place to go stargazing for a number of reasons. First, the red rock landscape gives you plenty of unique spots to relax and watch the stars. Since many of these stargazing locations are away from Sedona’s bright lights, you can get a relatively unobstructed view of the stars without driving too far out of town. If you’re willing to drive a little farther to go stargazing, there are several great spots for stargazing in Sedona.
Two Trees Observing Area is just off State Highway 89A, about 10 miles (15 mins drive) southwest of downtown Sedona. This is one of the best stargazing spots in all of Sedona, and offers breathtaking views of the Milky Way, stars, and the moon. Two Trees Observing area is utilized by the Sirius Lookers, the official astronomy association in Sedona.
Crescent Moon Picnic Site is another ideal spot for stargazing near Sedona, and will likely be less busy than the Two Trees Observing Area. Crescent Moon Picnic site offers great views of the night sky with little to no light pollution, and also has one of the best sunsets in all of Sedona. Come a bit earlier than sunset, as you’ll want to be here for golden hour! There are many trails leading away from the main picnic area, and we encourage you to explore them and find your own stargazing vantage point!
The Jordan Trailhead Observing Area is another spot that is heavily utilized by the Sirius Lookers, and is located at the Jordan Trailhead, about 6 minutes north of Sedona. Though the observation area is simply an empty field at the end of a dirt road, this is one of the best spots to see the Milky Way in Sedona. During monsoon season, or periods of heavy rain, be careful along the dirt road leading up to the observation area. It can get quite muddy, and cars that don’t have four wheel drive, or have low clearance, may get stuck. Bring some chairs, a camera, a tripod, and if you have one, a telescope. You’re going to want to take a closer look!
Merry-Go-Round Rock is located up in the mountains near Schnebly Hill Road, about 30 minutes east of Sedona (5.3 miles). While it’s only about 5 miles from Sedona, it requires winding through the mountains and gaining quite a bit of elevation. When you finally make it to Merry-Go-Round Rock, you’ll be far, far away from the lights down in Sedona. Be sure to bring a flashlight with you, as there are no lights at the parking area and you’ll need to walk a bit to find your stargazing spot.
Last but not least on our list is Dry Creek Road. While this isn’t an official stargazing spot, it’s one of Sedona’s best stargazing areas in general. Running north west out of Sedona, Dry Creek Road takes you away from the city lights out by Devil’s Bridge, Brins Mesa, and other famous rock formations. We recommend just heading out around sunset and picking a spot that looks good to you. Whether you pull off into a hiking trail’s parking lot, or just along the side of the road, you’re sure to find a fantastic spot for stargazing along Dry Creek Road.