Sedona, AZ – Home of the Red Rocks

This eclectic, gorgeous little town of 10,000 is situated at the mouth of a canyon located south of Flagstaff AZ. Unlike the typical desert landscape, you do not trade off trees for cactus here – the landscape is forever touched by the sun, and trees creep up canyon walls, that otherwise, elsewhere, would be bare. The relatively mild temperatures – for a desert, of course – make it the ideal getaway. An astounding 4 million tourists make their way through this area per year.. For a reason, of course, as it truly is one of the most wonderful, awe-inspiring places we have visited.

                You can drive to a pine forest, to meadows filled with flowers, to desert canyons, to creekside spots of cool and peace, all unbelievably close to each other. There are countless hikes within 15 minutes of any given location in Sedona that, for the most part, are all interconnected as well. There are enough trails in this small region to entertain you for a lifetime. In fact, one local man, Bill Bohan has hiked nearly every trail and documented them. He was the owner of the Sedona Motel up until recently, has written three books on Sedona’s hiking, and is the proprietor of greatsedonahikes.com, a useful tool I like to use to identify what trail to tackle next. You can search by length, difficulty, and a number of different categories.

                The Red Rock Region holds a special place in my heart, as there is such a wealth of unexpected liberty there – endless hiking, a community who supports each other in their endeavours, organic and sustainable food in abundance, and sights from the mountains and mesa tops that take your breath away.. The Southwest has such a magical, adventurous air to it. I feel like I could remain there forever.

For a great day trip in Sedona, I’d recommend starting with a smoothie or juice at Local Juicery, then going on a hike from Cathedral Rock to Oak Creek with your favourite book or pen and paper, as well as a picnic, to soak up the sun. Afterwards, if you love hiking as much as I do, check out the Brin’s Mesa to Overlook Point hike for sunset views. You’ll get to walk through a canyon, ascend a mesa, and view the light on the canyon walls and cliffs glow and then fade away. End your evening with dinner at Chocolatree Organic Oasis for conscious delights! If you need accommodations, the Sedona Motel is a great place (most reasonable- in Sedona) but if you don’t mind the drive, the Iron Horse Inn in Cottonwood is our favourite. They have wonderful rooms at a great price – in fact, they are the best place we have ever stayed for any non-exorbitant price.

The National Forest areas immediate to Sedona are part of what is called the “Red Rock Ranger District.” To recreate in this district you are required to hang a Red Rock Pass on your car when left unattended for $5 per day, $15 per week, or $40 per year. The first two options (day or week passes) do not apply to the three day-use areas (Crescent Moon/Grasshopper Point/Call of the Canyon), which each cost $10 additionally. If you are only visiting a few areas once or twice then it is more cost effective to pay per day, but otherwise, I would recommend purchasing the pass – there is less hassle overall. If you have an America the Beautiful Interagency pass you can use it in lieu of the Red Rock Pass, although you will still have to pay the additional fee at the day use sites. For a more detailed explanation, this is the USFS webpage that tells all about your options.

As a last note, I’d like to ask all visitors to pack in and pack out all of your belongings when camping + hiking in these area. The human footprint is so visible it is almost impossible to ignore. Respecting our environment is one of the most important aspects of travel – it’s something not to be overlooked. For a great map of Sedona’s hiking trails, download this USFS map here. I like to keep one on my phone and one physical copy in my backpack.

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2017-03-22T23:05:16+00:00 Tags: , |

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