Sedona

Introduction:

Where? : Northern part of Arizona where hwy 179 end at 89A, 1 hr drive south of Flagstaff.

Google Map Link


 

What? : A major tourist attraction town, it has it all both for the hot summer days and also for winter visit. Surrounded by the amazing red-rock mountain landscape it offers excellent hiking, biking and off-road driving adventures and also art galleries and spiritual centers.

 

When? : Year round although summer can be very hot. Expect snow storms during winters.

 

Due note 1: My recommendations is to plan this visit at list for 3 days so you can enjoy what this town has to offer. Unfortunately, last trip we visit here we had only one and a half day here + we got hit by major snowstorm, so we did not visit all what we planned.

 

Due note 2: You can combine this visit with your Grand Canyon trip.

 

My thoughts: A must visit place even if it is for one day only. The view and the landscape is unique even if you do not have time for a hike.


 

The visit:

Sedona is known for its many and different types of tourist attractions:

1. Art community: galleries, boutiques, art stores and spiritual centers.

2. Hikes: There are more than 200 hikes options, different level of difficulties, all are in the surrounding wonderful red-rock formation.

3. Many rent/guided off-road drive options: Jeep, ATV, and more.

4. Mountain-bike rides: Sedona is one of the best mountain biking destinations in Arizona, make sure to find a good map in local bike store.

 

When coming from the Grand Canyon on hwy 89A going south:

Oak Creek Vista: just before the road start to go down sharply into the canyon you can find a nice vista point over the deep Oak Creek Canyon below.

Midgley Bridge Picnic Area: a short stopping point on the way with a nice arch bridge over the running river below.

 

Uptown Sedona:

This is the old center of Sedona where you can find many of the famous tourist attractions like art galleries, boutiques, stores and many dining places. You may find it difficult to find a parking place, especially at weekends.

 

Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout:

One of the most beautiful viewing points in Sedona, the parking is right by the viewpoint so no hike. This Mesa is a tabletop mountain looking out over the entire area, the airport, Lodge Resort and a nice restaurant are at the end of the road.


From this high point you see the new Sedona and all the mountain surrounding the valley.

Very nice at sunset or early sunrise.

There is another viewing point located on the middle of the road going up, you will see a small parking place on your left and a short hike will take you to the viewpoint.

 

Cathedral Rock:

Probably the best hike in Sedona, some climbing involved (no need for ropes) but the amazing view from the ridge top, right in the middle of the Cathedral rock formation, is rewording.

People say this is one of the nature earth energy Vortexes locations, not sure I felt the Vortexes, but it was definitely excellent hike with an amazing view.

Start at Cathedral Rock Trailhead on Back O Beyond Rd., this is a small parking lot so better be early morning or at late afternoon.



The short half mile trail is going down and cross the small river and then climb up the east side of Cathedral Rock. Some sections are quite steep and need hand holding but if you take this short section slow it is not difficult.



After additional uphill climb you will reach the end of the trail, a rock ledge between the mountains. There is a short trail extension following the narrow ledge on the right side, it will take you to cliff-adage lookout point, be careful when walking this short trail, falling from here is not recommended 😊.


 

The most “classic” remote view of Cathedral Rock is from the valley below at Red Rock Crossing Park, at the Crescent Moon Picnic Site.

 

Broken Arrow Trail:

This is one of the most recommended hikes to do near Sedona, overall 3.5 miles in and out.

Be aware of the 4x4 trail for jeep, you can be annoyed by the noise done by the 4x4 rides that are doing the adventure drive near your hike.

The hike starts at the end of Morgan road, where you can find a small parking lot, from this place the 4x4 starts.


Follow the hiking trail that is going south, this hike follows a nice canyon where the red rock mountain peaks are watching from all sides.

Eventually the Broken Arrow Trail will lead you to an opening in the rocks with nice viewpoint to the valley below, this placed called Chicken Point Overlook. From here you will hike back to your car or continue for longer hikes.



There are few others connected hiking trails that are crossing the small mountains to their other side and even options to create a longer loop trails, but we did not had time to explore this option.

 

Yavapai Vista Point:

A recommended Vista Point to stop when you are driving south on hwy 179.

Nice view of Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and the mountain range to the east.

 

Chapel of the Holy Cross:

One of the most impressive architectural sites in Sedona. You can see it from viewing points near the road or get all the way and see it up close.

 

Bell Rock:

This bell-shaped formation is just south of Sedona, along the Red Rock Scenic Byway (hwy 179), is one of the first notable red-rock formation you will see on your right when approaching Sedona from the south.

Easily accessible just off the road, this is a popular stop for tourists.

 

 

Other recommended places near Sedona I did not visit yet:

·       West Fork Trail: one of the recommended hikes options inside deep canyon

·       Slide Rock State Park: recommended at summertime for called water swimming in the natural pools.

·       Grasshopper Point Swimming & Picnic Area: recommended at summertime.

·       Schnebly Hill Vista Observation Site, Merry-go-round Rock, Schnebly Hill Vista Overlook: off-road drive that will take you to high viewing points, hiking trails and other nature attractions.

·       Devil's Bridge rock: A nice recommended hike, it is 4 miles round trip and you will find rewording red-rock natural bridge at the top. This hike is very popular and small parking lot so try to come as early as you can.

·       Soldier Pass Trailhead: you can find here few interesting places like: Seven Sacred Pools, Devil's Kitchen, Soldier's Arch and Soldier Pass.

·       Palatki Heritage Site: well-preserved ruin and one of the largest Sinagua villages in the area.

·       Boynton Canyon hiking trail: remote place to explore, offer longer hike options.

·       Crescent Moon Picnic Site: Come and enjoy the creek on a hot day, one of the iconic photographing points of the Cathedral Rock.

·       Red Rock State Park: A small state park, not sure it is a must visit place.

 

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