The red rocks of Sedona attract 3 million visitors per year. With 300 miles of trails through forests and canyons, and with dramatic views at every turn, it makes for a great outdoor vacation destination.
The rocks have been shaped by wind and water over millions of years and the deep red colour is due to iron oxide.
The panoramic views are breathtaking.
Rock formations are named for their shape: this is Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock
The Two Nuns:
The Coffee Pot:
Its all even more stunning as the sun goes down…
Apparently 1.7 of the 3 million visitors use the trails for hiking, walking and cycling (what are the rest of them doing I wonder!). Routes vary in length, difficulty and shade. The staff in the tourist office in town will help you plan your time accordingly.
Fay Canyon is a 2.6 trail through forest with minimum elevation so suits most walkers.
On some trails, like the one at Bell Rock, the way is marked with rocks.
On the Baldwin Trail, close to Cathedral Rock, you can cool off in Oak Creek:
Many trails cross each other:
You can just drive to some of the trailheads for great views of the town and surrounding region:
And while you’re in the car, pay a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built into the rock:
Sedona is internationally known for its Vortex sites. For the uninitiated (like me!), a vortex is a swirling centre of energy thought to accelerate healing. The whole area is actually a vortex but there are specific spots around town which radiate particular energy. People visit them for meditation, yoga and spiritual practices.
Bell Rock is one of the most well known sites.
The Town of Sedona
The town didn’t do it for me – just not my cup of tea. Lots of galleries (which I usually love) and mini art colonies – trying too hard to be Santa Fe I felt. And full of small tasteful malls blending into the landscape. And water features and out of place sculptures on street corners. But absolutely the place to go for dream-catchers and crystals of every size and colour.
I will admit though that the setting is beautiful.
There’s a nice ‘History Walk’ with information boards which point out physical features as well as relating historical and movie titbits.
There must be a by-law insisting that dwellings merge into the surroundings ….
Guess what this building is….
Even the traffic lights are tasteful!
Plenty of souvenir options:
These are Javalinas – a wild desert dwelling pig-like animal. Sculptures like these appeared as part of an arts project.
Not a corner wasted!!!….
We stayed in Sedona for 3 nights at the start of our trip. We flew into Phoenix airport (Dublin – Heathrow – Phoenix) and rented a car. Its about 120 miles (2 hours) from the airport to Sedona.
Sedona is about 30 miles from Flagstaff and 110 miles from the Grand Canyon.
Tourism is what its all about here so there’s plenty of accommodation. We opted for the Arabella Hotel.
The Positives: Nice room with patio area / good breakfast included in price / walking distance to town centre / free parking / mini-market next door for drinks, snacks, etc. / nice pool with towels / close to some trailheads.
The Niggly Bits: Just the price really – $130 per night (end July) – but we found accommodation in general in the region to be more expensive than expected so its not out of line with elsewhere on our trip.
View from the hotel car park !! Not Bad!!