The scenic Oak Creek Canyon Drive is one of the most amazing drives in the state of Arizona. This road was Arizona’s first designated Scenic Highways. Rand-McNally named it one of the most beautiful drives in America. The beautiful plant life set against canyon makes this a ride one you will always remember.
Long ago, the road started out as a cattle trail. Then it was used as a wagon road. It was the shortcut to Flagstaff. Today, the road crawls along Oak Creek through the lush riparian environment, following the canyon walls. Then, it ascends upward rapidly to the high forests of northern Arizona and Flagstaff. It is a winding, thrilling drive.
The scenic drive goes between the town of Sedona and Flagstaff. It is approximately 28 miles long. A portion of the drive follows Oak Creek, which is set in the bottom of Oak Creek Canyon. This 16-mile canyon gorge has streams and waterfalls.
The best time of the year to make the drive is during the fall. In autumn, the leaves turn to vibrant shades and the color of the canyon rock make the scene complete.
You will start your scenic drive from Sedona by taking State Highway 89 north out of town. You will travel along the highway until you reach Flagstaff, where the scenic highway ends. You can make the drive from Flagstaff by taking State Highway 89 south out of town. You will travel along State Highway 89 until you reach Sedona, where the scenic drive ends. You can reach the scenic drive from Phoenix or Tucson by taking Interstate 10 north out of town past the town of Camp Verde. When you get to the exit for State Highway 179, take it and continue heading north up to Sedona. Once you get to Sedona, take State Highway 89 north up to Flagstaff. The scenic portion of the drive is from Sedona to Flagstaff, through Oak Creek Canyon.
This is a drive you won’t want to miss. You feel like you are in a faraway place, as you wind your way down the canyon. As a native Arizonan, this is one of my favorite drives. I love to get away from it all and roll down my windows and let my senses take it all in. Take the drive.