Surrounded by red mountains and brick colored rocks, an hour and a half away from Phoenix, is the magical town of Sedona. The redness of the landscape and the peculiar shapes of the rocks can easily impress everyone. It was definitely something that I’ve never seen before and as soon as I drove into the area I was stunned by its beauty. This city is a very popular place for Phoenicians to take a break from the heat. It offers a good amount of activities for a weekend escape such as hiking, wine tasting, sightseeing, visiting one of the numerous spas and relaxation areas, recharging energy in the vortexes or having a nice picnic in one of the state parks.
State Route 89A connects Flagstaff with Prescott and passes right by the middle of town, becoming the main road of the tourist area. Downtown seems to be an attempt to recreate the Wild West scenery and, even though it is part of the town’s essence, I think it has a Disneyland-like feeling. You will find a lot of gift shops with local food and goodies along the street. There are also a fair amount of american style restaurants and bars for you to enjoy a tasty meal. There used to be an old time photography place called Pistols and Petticoats where you could dress up and have your picture taken. We did it one time and was a lot of fun. However, they recently moved to Jerome, so if you happen to go there, perhaps to visit Caduceus Cellars, make sure you stop by and get a nice and fun portrait.
For additional sightseeing, you can ride the Sedona Trolley. They offer 2 different tours (uptown and downtown) that alternate in time and are 1 hour long. Price is $15 for one or $25 for both of them. It is a nice way to take a glimpse of the town and later on return to the spots you liked the most. The guides have fun stories about the things you are looking at.
Another site you can visit is the Chapel of the Holy Cross built in 1956. It is located at the top of a hill and, as almost every place in this city, it has great views. It is a very simple but a very peaceful spot.
If you are into the New Age wave, Sedona is the right place for you. There are several vortex energy spots around town. Some of them can be reached with a small walk while some others will require a more complicated hike. There is also a new age super store called Center for the New Age for that specialized tourist industry.
Also in the area, there are a couple of State Parks that have nice picnic areas such as Slide Rock Park and Red Rock State Park. When I go to Sedona I usually visit an area called Red Rock Crossing inside Red Rock Park. It is open year round from 9 am to dusk and admission is $10 per vehicle of 5 people. Once you park an easy walk along the riverside will take you to the back of Cathedral Rock for a beautiful view. I recommend this site later in the day, the sunlight makes the rock look wonderful and it will be less crowded.
I’ve hiked a few trails in Sedona like the Cibola Pass to the Jordan Trail which is a very easy hike, but never underestimate the amount of water you need to bring. I also visited Devil’s Bridge once. It is supposed to be a moderate trail but it took an extra effort for me to get there. It was totally worth it, though. Last time we went to Sedona we hiked the Cathedral Rock looking of a vortex point. It was very hard to reach, however, almost at the top of the rock there is a narrow path that offers some breathtaking views. We met a guy named Steve who encouraged us to walk to the end of the path to enjoy the magnificent landscape. He was kind enough to take a few pictures of us while we were over there.
I recommend stopping by the Sedona Visitor Center specially if you are planning to hike. A map will come in handy but you also need to buy a vehicle pass to park in the trail heads. It costs $5 for one day, $15 for a week and $20 for a year.
All photos are owned by Sandra unless otherwise noted.