Sedona Trolley, Arizona: The Heart of Red Rock Country

Lisa Fritscher August 21, 2011 No Comments

Sedona Arizona Red Rock

Sedona is known for its stunning red sandstone

Sedona, Arizona is well-known for its stunning red sandstone, plethora of spas and New Age centers, and thriving arts community. As a booming tourist town, Sedona can be slightly overwhelming for first-time visitors. Dad and I love guided tours, so we signed up for the Sedona Trolley.

About Sedona Trolley

Sedona Trolley Arizona

The trolley is cute and distinctive

Sedona Trolley got its start in 1993 with a single tour. As the only overview tour in Sedona, the company filled a real need. With a professional, friendly staff and excellent customer service, Sedona Trolley was able to expand. Today the company offers two separate tours, each approximately 55 minutes in length.

Tour A travels through the south end of town, past elegant art galleries, shops and restaurants. The highlight of this tour is a 15 to 20-minute stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The chapel is located high on a hill with a phenomenal view of the Red Rock formations.

Tour B is a great choice for nature lovers. The tour leaves the city behind in favor of a closer look at the stunning Red Rock. Your guide will point out dozens of rock formations and provide an extensive history of the area. There are two photo stops, both offering excellent scenic shots.

As of 2011, the adult price is $12 for a single tour or $22 for both. Children aged 12 and below pay half the adult price. The trolleys are not handicapped-accessible. Tours A and B alternate throughout the day. The first tour begins at 9:00 a.m. and the last departs between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., depending on the season.

Our Experience

Sedona Trolley Seats

All seats provide an excellent view

We arrived in Sedona at approximately 8:30 a.m. for our 9:00 double tour. Free parking is plentiful throughout Sedona, and we easily found a spot just a block from the downtown Sedona Trolley office. Check-in was easy, and we were happy to discover that the office sells inexpensive bottled water. I highly recommend taking a bottle with you, as the heat and wind can be quite drying.

The trolley was surprisingly full for an early-morning tour. We left promptly at 9:00, and I quickly realized that I should have brought a hair tie. We’re used to trolleys with open windows, but most trolleys we have taken travel at slow speeds on historic roads. The Sedona Trolley uses major streets with high speed limits, blowing us around a bit.

Sedona Trolley View of Rock Formations

Our guide pointed out interesting rock formations

The first tour of the day is Tour B, so we settled back to enjoy the scenic views. Our guide was terrific, pointing out all sorts of flora and fauna as well as a variety of rock formations. He was also quite familiar with the various hiking trails. Hiking is a major draw in Red Rock Country, and our guide was able to point out hikes of varying lengths and difficulty levels. At the photo stops, he was great at keeping the group together, suggesting different shots and answering questions.

Sedona Arizona Town

There's a lot to see in town

We arrived back at the Sedona Trolley office just before 11:00. We had enough time to grab another bottle of water before departing on Tour A. This tour provided an excellent overview of Sedona’s tourist and residential districts, providing numerous ideas for further exploration. We had a great time listening to our guide and soaking in the Sedona atmosphere.

Chapel of the Holy Cross Sedona

The chapel offers an amazing view

Designed by Marguerite Staude, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is architecturally stunning. Designed as a nondenominational place for people of all faiths to gather, the chapel is currently operated by the Catholic Church. A small gift shop downstairs sells all sorts of religious gifts, including artwork featuring Jewish menorahs.

We had approximately 20 minutes to explore the chapel. The path from the parking lot is quite steep, but relatively short. Benches are provided outside the chapel, and some people sat inside the sanctuary. The path is a great place to take overview photos of the famed Red Rock. Photography is permitted inside the chapel and gift shop as well.

Tips for Parents

Chapel of the Holy Cross Exterior

The architecture was phenomenal

The Sedona Trolley is an excellent choice for families of all ages. The tours are long enough to provide a complete overview of Sedona and the surrounding area, but short enough and engaging enough to keep the attention of young children. The stops provide a chance to stretch everyone’s legs.

Since the trolley windows are entirely open, it is best to seat small children toward the inside. There is plenty to look at on both sides of the tram, and the microphone system works well, so feel free to select any seat on the trolley. Food and nonalcoholic beverages are permitted on board.

avatarAbout the Author:

Lisa is a full-time travel writer. She lives in an RV with her disabled father and writes about their experiences. Although she has no children of her own, Lisa loves being an Aunt to her own relatives and the children of all her friends. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Travel Confessions.

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