Sedona, Arizona

I have been to Sedona a couple of times. Each time I go, I am more astounded by the beauty of this place. This is Red Rock Country. There is something for everyone…history, arts, outdoor sports, and shopping. This city is surrounded by red-rock monoliths named Coffeepot, Cathedral, and Thunder Mountain.

Things to do:

1. Slick Rock State Park: This is a natural water slide formed by the slippery bed of Oak Creek. The park is located in Oak Creek Canyon 7 miles north of Sedona. This park is highly visited during the summer so make sure to get there early! There is a $20 parking fee during the summer months. Wear shorts so that you don’t ruin your swimsuit.

2. Cathedral Rock: This is a short, steep climb into the gaps of cathedral rock. There are excellent views. It is 1.5 miles roundtrip. There is an elevation gain of 600 feet. From 89A, take 179 south 3.4 miles. Turn right on back o’ beyond road for .6 miles. The parking lot is on the left. You need a Red Rock pass in order to park there. See #10 for more information.

3. Oak Creek Canyon: This canyon is a spectacular 16 mile gorge with streams and waterfalls between sheer rock walls. There are hiking trails along the canyon. The canyon is located between Sedona and Flagstaff on 89A.

4. Devil’s Bridge Trail: Devil’s Bridge is the largest natural sandstone arch in the Sedona area. It is a mere 400 foot climb and is 1.8 miles roundtrip. If you’re brave you can walk across the top. To get there drive through Sedona, turn right on Dry Creek road, drive 2 miles, take the right fork, drive 1.3 miles and turn right to the trailhead. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. You need a Red Rock pass in order to park there. See #10 for more information.

5. Chapel of the Holy Cross: This Roman Catholic chapel is built into the rock. It was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. The views from the chapel are breathtaking and it is remarkable how the chapel fits nicely in the red rock. There is no admission to enter. Open daily, 9-5. The chapel does not hold regular services. Take 179 south toward Oak Creek for 3.1 miles. Turn left on chapel road and go to the end. 

6. Bell Rock: This is a great hike with beautiful vistas. It is a 3.5 mile hike each way. The formation looks like a gigantic Hershey’s kiss. Take 179 south for 6.4 miles. You will see the parking lot on the left before you reach Bell Rock Boulevard. The trailhead is located at the north end of the parking lot. You need a Red Rock pass in order to park there. See #10 for more information. 

7. Take a jeep tour: There are multiple tour companies in town. You can get up close and personal with the rugged landscape. They show you things you would never see by regular car. 

8. Shop and dine in uptown Sedona: There are also many art galleries in town. 

9. Visit Tlaquepaque, Sedona’s Premier Arts and Crafts Village: There is a combination of Old World and Mexican architecture. It is home to more than 40 shops and galleries. At the intersection of 89A and 179, take 179 for .2 miles. The entrance is on the right hand side. 

10. Go on more hikes: You’ll need to buy a Red Rock Pass in order to park your car at the trailheads. They are $5/day or $10/week. You can purchase them at the visitor center at 331 Forest Road in Uptown Sedona. (800) 288-7336. Some popular hikes include Broken Arrow Trail, Soldier’s Pass, Boynton Canyon, Coffeepot Rock, Fay Canyon, and Llama Trail.