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Top 5 National Parks near Sedona to Celebrate National Parks Day on August 25

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Cacti on red cliffs, with ancient pueblo buildings alongside

Sedona is the perfect home base from which to explore a plethora of national parks across beautiful Northern Arizona. In celebration of National Park Service Day, August 25, 2015, we’re highlighting our picks for the top 5 national parks near Sedona. All of the parks below are less than 3 hours’ drive from L’Auberge – making them perfect for day trips! What’s even better? Entrance is free on National Parks Day!

Birdseye view of a canyon with a cloudy sky

Grand Canyon National Park

One of the great “Wonders of the World” and an iconic destination, Grand Canyon National Park offers unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms that decorate a canyon 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size.

The Details
– The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
– 1 h 59 min (109 miles) from L’Auberge
– No entrance fee on National Park Day
– Leashed pets are allowed on trails above the south rim, Mather Campground, Desert View Campground, Trailer Village and throughout the developed areas. Pets are not allowed on the north rim other than on the bridle trail and Arizona Trail
– August Sunrise & Sunset times: 5.47 am – 7.10 pm


Landscape view of ancient Pueblo ruins built into a cliff

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Gaze through the windows of the past into one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape. Set aside an hour to explore the museum and roam the trails through a scenic sycamore grove at the base of towering limestone cliffs. Enjoy your lunch in our picnic area along the shore of Beaver Creek.

The Details
– Open daily 8 am – 5 pm
– No entrance fee on National Park Day
– Dogs are welcome on the trails at both Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well


Close up view of wood logs amongst rocky hills.

Petrified Forest National Park

Petrified Forest is a surprising place, offering far more than the world renowned petrified logs. There are fossils, badlands, buttes and mesas, ancient petroglyphs, wildlife and wildflowers depending on the time of year; vast vistas for more than a hundred miles! If you are craving some quiet solitude, the Painted Desert is perfect for hiking and contemplation.
The Details
– No entrance fee on National Park Day
– Opening hours: July 26 – Aug 22, 2015 7 am – 7:30 pm /// Aug 23 – Sept 19, 2015 7am – 7pm
– Facilities: Painted Desert Visitor Center, Rainbow Forest Museum, Painted Desert Inn National Historic Landmark
– Petrified Forest is a very pet friendly national park! Please take your furry friends on trails, even backpacking in the Wilderness Area
– 2 h 21 min (144 miles) from L’Auberge


A tree covered volcanic crater seen from aerial view.

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Roughly 900 years ago, the eruption of this volcano reshaped the surrounding landscape, forever changing the lives of people, plants and animals. Hike the trail through the lava flow and cinders and you’ll likely discover colorful, ruggedly dramatic geological features coexisting with twisted Ponderosa Pines and an amazing array of wildlife.

The Details
– The scenic drive is open year round, day and night. All trails in the monument are open from sunrise to sunset
– No entrance fee on National Park Day
– Summer days are warm with temperatures in the 80s; afternoon thunderstorms are likely July to September
– Pets are NOT ALLOWED on any trails in the monument or in buildings. Pets are allowed in the parking lot only and must be leashed at all times. Please clean up after your pet
– 1 h 15 min (50.3 miles) from L’Auberge


Cacti on red cliffs, with ancient pueblo buildings alongside

Tonto National Monument

The Salado Phenomena, 700 years ago, blended ideas of neighboring Native American cultures to emerge a unique and vibrant society. Tonto National Monument showcases two Salado-style cliff dwellings. Colorful pottery, woven cotton cloth, and other artifacts tell a story of people living and using resources from the northern Sonoran Desert from 1250 to 1450 CE.

The Details
– No entrance fee on National Park Day
– Visitor Center and Museum open daily from 8 am – 5 pm /// Lower Cliff Dwelling open daily starting at 8 am (must start hiking by 4 pm to be back before closing) /// Upper Cliff Dwelling accessible only through guided tours
– 2 h 44 min (139 miles) from L’Auberge

Posted: August 13, 2015

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