Denver to Sedona Road Trip: The Grand Canyon Route

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From the Moab Desert to national forests, there’s lots to see on a Denver to Sedona road trip. And if you’re not in a hurry, you can take an alternative route that includes a visit to one of the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth: the Grand Canyon.
In a straight shot, driving from Denver to Sedona is fairly simple. But this alternative route, presented by the free car insurance comparison shopping and broker app Jerry, is the ideal path for anyone who enjoys a great road trip and wants to see as much of the Grand Canyon as possible.
On a big road trip like this, safety is naturally a top priority. Jerry’s roadside assistance gives you the peace of mind you need to thoroughly enjoy this awe-inspiring region of North America.
When you’re exploring the Grand Canyon, the last thing you want to worry about is a flat tire or a dead car battery. Jerry’s roadside assistance will be there for any roadside emergency that rears its ugly head.
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Key trip details

Denver, CO to Sedona, AZ map.
Denver, CO to Sedona, AZ
​​Distance: 867 miles
Driving time: 15 hours and 8 minutes
Suggested length of trip: 2 to 4 days

Itinerary

  • Denver, CO—Half a day
  • Gunnison, CO—1 to 2 days
  • Moab, UT—Half a day
  • Page, AZ—Half a day
  • Sedona, AZ—1 to 2 days

Start: Denver, Colorado

This Denver to Sedona road trip is going to show off some beautiful geologic scenery. So what better place to begin this journey than the Mile High City?
Denver Colorado stands tall with the Rocky Mountains serving as a backdrop. And seeing America’s most famous mountains, flatlands, and canyons all on the same road trip? Your camera better be ready to earn its keep.

Where to eat in Denver

  • Blackbelly ($$$): If you’re a fan of the show Top Chef, then you might recognize this spot, opened by season 5 winner Hosea Rosenburg. Be it their charcuterie board, steak tartare, or market-cut lamb, you can’t go wrong with any of Blackbelly’s delicious meat-centered menu.

What to do in Denver

The geometric building of the Denver Art Museum at night.
Denver Art Museum
  • Denver Art Museum: Home to thousands of pieces of artwork, sculptures, and exhibitions spanning centuries and nations, touring through halls of the Denver Art Museum makes for an interesting and enlightening afternoon. Some of their permanent collection includes the works of Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and more.
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Only a ten-minute drive from downtown Denver, this nature area is home to over 300 species of wildlife, guided wildlife viewing tours, fishing, and hiking trails over 9 miles long.

Leg 1: Denver, CO to Gunnison, CO

201 miles, 3.5 hours
If you were to compile a list of the most picturesque roads in America, Colorado’s highway 285 would be an easy contender for the number one spot. Highway 285 takes you through lush evergreen forests, climbing and descending between captivating mountain views.
Today, it’s all about the views. Even knowing your Denver to Sedona road trip will eventually result in visiting the Grand Canyon and the stunning sights of Sedona, you’re going to think of this stretch as one of the prettiest along the way.
To get to Gunnison, follow US Hwy 285 S and US-50 W to N Iowa St.

Where to eat in Gunnison

  • W Cafe ($): If you want to pick up some solid breakfast grub before continuing on your drive, W Cafe has huge portions of delicious omelets, stuffed hash browns, french toast, and more.
  • El Paraiso ($$): For top-notch, authentic Mexican food, check out this spot with a bright and cheery atmosphere. Try out their veggie fajitas or their mushroom quesadilla!

Leg 2: Gunnison, CO to Moab, UT

236 miles, 4 hours
Following the Colorado River, you’ll continue along highway 50 until you hop on Interstate 70, eventually taking you to a town every lover of geological wonders needs to visit: Moab, Utah.
Continue on the US-50 W until you reach E Center St. in Moab.

Where to stay in Moab

  • The Gonzo Inn: This ideally-located inn is the perfect spot to get some rest, and then head out and explore Moab and its beautiful landscape. The rooms are comfy and spacious, and the complimentary breakfast is yummy and filling. *Cost per night: from $263.**

Where to eat in Moab

  • Desert Bistro ($$-$$$): For a luxurious dining experience, this upscale spot serves delicious, inventive takes on Southwestern cuisine in an intimate, cozy setting. We recommend the duck confit and chicken breast.

What to do in Moab

A river of brown water can be seen cutting through the canyon at Thelma and Louise Point.
Thelma and Louise Point
  • Picture Frame Arch: As the name suggests, this frame-shaped arch creates a picture-perfect image of the Moab wilderness. The trail leading to it has excellent sights to see, so it's easy to make a day out of visiting the arch!
  • Courthouse Wash Rock Art: This large, colorful piece of rock art is located a few miles north of Moab. These are at least hundreds of years old but have been vandalized in the past—be sure to appreciate them from a distance and don’t attempt to touch them!
  • Thelma and Louise Point: Movie lovers will want to pay a visit to this iconic space, the filming location of one of the most famous climactic scenes in motion picture history.

Leg 3: Moab, UT to Page, AZ

273 miles, 2.5 hours
Are you ready for another iconic route that would easily make the list of America’s prettiest roadways? This drive from Utah to Arizona definitely makes the cut. But this time, you’ll swap out the thick mountainous forests of Colorado with the arid desert flatlands of southeastern Utah.
Follow US-191 S to AZ-98 W, then take S Navajo Dr to arrive in Page.

Where to eat in Page

  • Sunset 89: Hit up Sunset 89, a casual roadside restaurant that offers Pacific-Rim-inspired finger foods, burgers, and more.

What to do in Page

The smooth edges of Antelope Canyon lead up to a view of the sky and sun.
Antelope Canyon
  • Take in the views along Highway 191: Driving through here will simply blow you away. The horizons are draped with jaw-droppingly beautiful mountains, rock formations, and mesas. And you’ll be treated to more great views if you choose to make pit stops in Monticello and Bluff, too.
  • Monument Valley: This gorgeous valley boasts sandstone monuments and vast desert landscapes. You definitely don’t want to miss seeing the recognizable rock formation, Mitchell Butte during your drive!
  • Antelope Canyon: There are few sights you can see in your life that are as beautiful and picturesque as Antelope Canyon. You’ll need to book with an authorized tour company to head in, but this slot canyon is well worth the fee of admission (which is around $89).
  • Moki Steps of Courage: These ancient carved steps are found in the sandstone cliffs that line the area. Even from a distance, they’re a sight to behold, but to get a close-up look you’ll either need some high-powered binoculars or a drone.
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Bonus leg: Kaibab National Forest and Zion National Park

154 miles, 2.5 hours
If you can’t get enough of all these geological marvels, you might consider extending your trip with this bonus leg and checking out St. George, Utah. It will add another few hours of highly scenic driving to your itinerary—and if you enjoyed Highway 191, you’re going to love this stretch, too.
To get there, continue straight onto the US-89, then take AZ-389 W and UT-59 N to reach St. George

What to see from Page to St. George

  • Take in the breathtaking landscape: You’ll go through the northern reaches of the Kaibab National Forest until you reach Mount Carmel Junction. Then you’ll turn onto the iconic Mount Carmel Scenic Drive, Route 9, which you’ll follow through Zion National Park, eventually passing through the famous Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel.

Where to eat in St. George

  • Painted Pony Restaurant ($$$): Offering up simple, healthy (and beautiful!) dishes, stop at this art-filled eatery and try any of their eclectic Southwestern fare.

What to do in St. George

Three people hike through Snow Canyon State Park with orange rocks ahead.
Snow Canyon State Park
  • Red Cliffs National Conservation Area: This area is a transition zone between the Mojave Desert, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau. There are excellent hiking trails to explore, so pack and prep accordingly if you plan to spend the day out in the wilderness!
  • Snow Canyon State Park: Whether you do it on foot, bike, or horseback, there are countless ways to take in the dunes and trails found in Snow Canyon! You can even see an extinct volcano, lava tubes, and lava flows.

Leg 4: Page, AZ to Sedona, AZ

158 miles, 3 hours
If you opt out of the bonus leg, the trip from Page to Sedona will follow along the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon, providing excellent views of this legendary natural wonder. And your final destination, Sedona, is an incredible vacation spot. This is a town you could very easily spend a week in without getting bored of it.
To reach your final destination, follow Coppermine Rd to US-89 S, and continue on the US-89 S and N State Route 89A to arrive in Sedona!

Where to stay in Sedona

  • Tinycamp: There are hotels in town you could stay in, but we highly recommend resting up in this luxurious, sustainable tiny house retreat. There’s easy access to hikes and natural landmarks, and downtown Sedona, and you get to end your day relaxing in a jacuzzi and enjoying a drink on your private balcony. Cost per night: from $275.

Where to eat in Sedona

  • Casa Sedona Restaurant ($$): Hit up this well-adorned local hotspot for great selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try their salmon omelet, or the steak and shrimp tacos, but be sure to make a reservation if you’re not staying at the Casa Sedona Inn.

What to do in Sedona

A woman sits on the orange rocks of Devil’s Bridge in Sedona.
Devil’s Bridge, Sedona
  • Take in the Coconino National Forest: Much of your drive should take you through this stunning forest, which you can stop to explore at your leisure if you’d like. It’s one of the most diverse national forests in the nation, and even just driving through it will make for a breathtaking experience!
  • Chimney Rock: You can hike up to this smokestack-shaped rock formation, a path that is made up of windy trails, beautiful wildflowers, and impeccable views. Doing a sunrise hike is a must.
  • Devil’s Bridge: One of the most popular trails in the area, this hike starts with juniper and prickly pear cactus-filled washes. It can be a bit of a tourist attraction, so head there early to avoid the crowds and reach the titular Devil’s Bridge before it gets too busy.
  • Buddha Beach: This hidden gem offers a unique and tranquil experience. This area is filled with hundreds of man-made "little Buddhas", stacks of rocks that resemble the Buddha’s belly and head. It also offers fantastic views of the nearby Cathedral Rock.

Roadside assistance that rocks

This Denver to Sedona road trip has its literal ups and downs. You’re starting in the Rocky Mountains and then going on a whole second Grand Canyon road trip before eventually ending up in Sedona. It’s an impressive travel itinerary… but it’s also going to expose your car to a lot of stress.
You’re going to want to make sure your car is mechanically up to snuff! That means fluids are topped off, oil is fresh, and your tires and brakes are in good order. And if a roadside emergency does happen, having 24/7 roadside assistance from Jerry might just salvage your trip from the brink of disaster.
Don’t let the ridiculously cheap price tag on Jerry’s roadside assistance fool you. This program will help your family out of just about any roadside bind you can think of—you’ll get fuel delivery, tire services, jumps, towing, lockout service, trip interruption credits, and more, all for just $6.99 for one car.
And if you need car insurance, Jerry can help you out with that, too. After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. So why do all that extra work when Jerry can do it better?
"Jerry is the best app ever. I entered basic information about myself (took less than 2 minutes) and Jerry did the rest. They were able to find insurance with the exact coverage I had before Jerry at a much cheaper rate. My monthly payment went from $110 to $58 and I literally did nothing. The app is completely free. They compare rates with several different companies and make every quote available for you to see. Once you decide you want to go with one of their suggestions, you click once and they go to work. All in all this app wants what's best for you without breaking the bank. Thank you, Jerry!" —Jerry customer
This Denver road trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona will be one you’ll never forget. And with Jerry’s help, you can rest assured you’ll remember this trip for all of the right reasons.
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